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Alexlotl

Cricket Horrible Cricket - The Ashes Down Under, 2013/14

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For the record, it's Friday 13th 2013. Except in Perth, where it's Friday 13th 1976.

I think this match should be fun to listen to, either way. Plenty in the pitch means it'll be exciting even if batsmen don't lose their heads, and there'll always be a potential collapse around the corner for both sides.

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Australia have won the toss and are going to bat. I'm sure I saw some stat recently saying we haven't won after losing the toss in some ridiculously long time, and during the same period we've never lost after winning the toss.



Teams:


England 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Michael Carberry, 3 Joe Root, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Tim Bresnan, 10 Graeme Swann, 11 James Anderson.



Still no Finn! Idiots. Bres AND Stokes in there, to make sure no-one's happy. Swann persists.



Australia 1 Chris Rogers, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Steven Smith, 6 George Bailey, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Ryan Harris, 11 Nathan Lyon.



Harris's body has apparently held up, so the Aussies name an unchanged team.



Looking forward to listening to Anderson and Broad have a bowl on a nice bouncy track, anyway.



Also: Billy Bowden is back in! Given as all umpires seem to be pretty rubbish these days, may as well have one with personality.



476770-billy-bowden.jpg


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Once again we get into a potentially good position and allow it to start slipping from our fingers. If Australia make over 300 we could be in trouble here; hopefully we can polish them off in this evening session and get a bit of batting in before the close.

Smith and Haddin slapping us around a bit though.

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It is a good batting pitch though, and so if we bat sensibly and play MJ properly then we should be able to make a big score.

Unfortunately the above was also true in Brisbane and Adelaide.

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It is a good batting pitch though, and so if we bat sensibly and play MJ properly then we should be able to make a big score.

Unfortunately the above was also true in Brisbane and Adelaide.

Yeah, they need to get 400 really, if only to remove that statistic from their minds. No reason they can't do it, the ball didn't seem to do much once it got old.

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Also: don't slog sweep, don't hook. The carelessness of shot selection has been so frustrating. Johnson stills serves up enough leg stump half volleys to score off of him, although Harris also has a good record in Perth.

I do think that Australia have had an awful lot of luck throughout the series too though. Lifted shots dropping short or just beating an infield - with the exception of Clarke last night when they have attacked Swann providence has been on their side.

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Its a good batting pitch for Australia ... you mean. I predict yet another batting colapse for England :(

Whatever has happened in this series, our top 5 is still definitely better than Australia's. Runs will come.

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Prior is important here. All Australia really had was one big partnership. If Prior can continue his recovery in form from the last test we might get up towards the Aussie score. If not, we could well be a hundred runs short.

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This series has been an unmitigated disaster. It's embarrassing. I know the Ashes in the summer were closer than the scoreline suggested (it came down to England winning a handful of crucial sessions, really) but the manner in which we've been completely outclassed & have hopelessly capitulated is shocking. A 5-0 whitewash is very much on the cards at this rate.

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Ugh. Heads gonna roll? Can't easily see whose, Cook is rightfully untouchable, ditto Flower. Root is gonna have to fail a lot more times before he's given up on. Might be curtains for Prior I think. And maybe Finn in for an injured Broad will spark something?

What an embarrassing set of performances though. Not even looking like making a close match from any of the three is poor indeed.

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This is the point though - we have several players out of form at the same time. Add in Trott's early exit and now Broad's foot injury - and any top team would struggle to compete.

I certainly don't think it's complacency or a lack of preparation.

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We certainly have too many players out of form at the same time, but whereas before it's been the top-order out of touch, our bowling unit is looking jaded too. What Australia have been very good at (both in the Summer and now) is stemming runs and building pressure, which has undoubtedly led to a number of the rash shot selections we've seen. We just don't seem to be able to find any way to do that, and the team doesn't seem to know how to deal with the Aussies when they start to aggressively target bowlers.

It's hard to see even any pride being won on this tour, let alone a test.

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Prior, KP, Swann, Anderson should all be dropped for the next test. Bairstow, Ballance, Panesar and Onions in. Prior especially after today's all round performance.

Being dropped might give those lot the motivation and rest they need to overcome their clear current mental fatigue.

This is the point though - we have several players out of form at the same time. Add in Trott's early exit and now Broad's foot injury - and any top team would struggle to compete.

I certainly don't think it's complacency or a lack of preparation.

It's not form. I realised the other day - normally at this point there would be some in depth dissection of a player's technique to explain where they're going wrong. There's none of that now. It's just poor mental approach, poor application, taking the easy option of getting out playing a shot rather than digging in. We've got senior players playing like novices. A point needs to be made to them.

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Prior, KP, Swann, Anderson should all be dropped for the next test. Bairstow, Ballance, Panesar and Onions in. Prior especially after today's all round performance.

Being dropped might give those lot the motivation and rest they need to overcome their clear current mental fatigue.

It's not form. I realised the other day - normally at this point there would be some in depth dissection of a player's technique to explain where they're going wrong. There's none of that now. It's just poor mental approach, poor application, taking the easy option of getting out playing a shot rather than digging in. We've got senior players playing like novices. A point needs to be made to them.

That is form, though? When you're in good form, you pick the right shots. When you are out of sorts, then mentally you are unsure what shots to play, get caught in two minds about playing or leaving, don't move your feet well etc. Added to that is, as I mentioned above, that the Aussies have been fantastic at strangling the run-rate and that builds pressure - more so when you are fighting against the scoreboard to avoid following-on (again). Some of these players have been struggling for a while now, before this series and the one in the Summer.

Again, look at how we struggled to make scores against New Zealand - again, they were able to build pressure by stopping the runs coming. I'd love to know the teams' average run-rate over the last 12 months vs the last 3 years, say.

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http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;groupby=season;orderby=start;page=4;team=1;template=results;type=team

There you go.

There is something in it in that the run rate has been decreasing but only gradually.

As per form - poor form is surely a negative deviation from a long term mean? Yet as you say it has been "for a while now" - this is more than something that is going to change back without action. We seem to agree that it is mental anyway - regardless if we call it 'form' or not.

We're not talking about just not moving your feet or playing vs leaving. We're talking about shot selection. We're talking at flashing at balls outside of off, playing slog sweeps, playing hook shots. It's the choice of style of shot rather than the application of an particular shot. It's the difference between playing and missing with a defensive shot at a length ball outside off (fair enough) or playing an extravagant cover drive.

I don't just blame the players as the media were as much a part of this circus of criticising England batsmen post-NZ for not scoring quickly enough which has perhaps contributed to this ludicrous notion of 'playing positively'.

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Well the problem with scoring slowly in the modern era is that is has always made batsmen of any country a bit edgy and increases the likelihood of playing a poor shot. It happens all the time and is why having a bowler to tie-down an end is so important, to build that pressure. The New Zealand matches were great examples of that - a lot of players were getting bogged-down due to scoring rates hovering around 1.5 an over at times and gave their wickets away to some very average bowling trying to up the pace.

I don't think what is happening right now is a reaction to the criticism from the media, it's a continuation of how poorly we've batted over a period of time. Haven't we only had opening stands over 50 about 3 times in the last 20+ innings?

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A good batsman shouldn't be worried about his run rate and just play his shots.

For me KP and Prior need to go and think about how they play cricket.I can't remember the last time Prior had a good innings and KP is all over the place.

Having written that I remember we still have an innings today to sit through. erggh. I hope at least we can drag it to 5 days.

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A good batsman shouldn't be worried about his run rate and just play his shots.

That's true of course, but when none of the team is performing it's going to affect everybody - you can't play your own game if you all think that *you* are the one that needs to bat to save the innings - it'd be hard to still stick to your own game in those circumstances.

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