Sunday, July 24, 2005

ASHES UPDATE-03-DAY THREE

The first test started off with an unfamiliar display but shall end on predictable lines with the Aussies taking a 1-0 lead. The first day saw the English bowlers led by Harmison give the Aussies a real work out. It is not since the days of the West Indies pace machines, that the Aussies have been found wanting in terms of temperament and technique. It may appear that the batsmen got out playing irresponsible shots but the fact is the pressure generated by the English bowlers was too much for the liking.
The English were feeling top of the world with this masterly display at Lords' where their record against the Aussies has not been good. They had something to cheer about especially in the light of the blasts that rocked London(something that the English did never anticipate). Now all such fanciful thinking was given a big jolt by McGrath. Whatever do the commentators say about the uneven bounce or the lack of consistency in the pitch, the English batsmen were made to look like real novices. The English batsmen are highly overrated even by the standards of the British press, but this is the real deal-facing the best in the world.
In the last Ashes down under, Michael Vaughan appeared to be in a different class taking the might of the bowling. He had all the answers to the questions posed but since then he has not played an innings of note, especially in difficult times and climes. The only thing that he does now-a-days is to play a couple of his signature drive through the covers. The decision to drop Graham Thorpe in favour of 'attitude' in the shape of Kevin Pietersen is questionable. Thorpe has been a dependable batsman albeit without much flair or flamboyance. The selectors could have given the Surrey lefthander a chance-a final one in place of Ian Bell.
Pietersen is still there at the wicket but the task before him and the rest is impossible. The English catching, especially in the third innings was shoddy with Pietersen making a mess of really simple chances. The let off given to Clarke and the partnership between him and Martyn has become the deciding factor when scoring runs has been rather difficult in the match. Pietersen may after all score the runs but then the lapses have proved to be very costly.
The English still have something to look forward to-the rest of the series. If the weathermen are to be believed, there is still some hope in the first test with rains expected over London.

This was written in the morning and due to some technical problems at my end, it could not be posted then. The Aussies were not needed to wait for the fifth day to wrap up the match.

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