Posted by: tootingtrumpet | September 5, 2009

England vs Australia First ODI Performance of the Day – County cricket

GalleryBLOB.aspxPerhaps we’re punch drunk after a fantastic World Twenty20 and a topsy-turvy Ashes series and perhaps we’re just a bit “not talking” after cricket jilted us at the abandoned Old Trafford Twenty20 match and perhaps we’re a bit peeved that the first England vs Australia ODI was played on a Friday instead of a yawningly long Saturday shorn of any English interest in football above the third level of the league pyramid. Whatever the reason, for much of today, The Oval snoozed through hard-working attritional cricket served up by rather grim-faced pros.It wasn’t enough for England to emerge victorious, with Strauss’ men’s stop-start chase limping to the final ball before fizzling out and Michael Clarke’s men sealing a rare win in South London.

That England got as close as they did to the modest Australian target, was due to solid contributions from Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah, Luke Wright and Adil Rashid. They never looked fluent, but they looked a lot more in touch than Paul Collingwood or England’s Number 7, Stuart Broad. And no wonder – the four top scorers in England’s knock have been playing plenty of county cricket recently, feeling bat on ball, getting their timing right. In contrast, Stuart Broad had faced just 15 balls in limited overs cricket all summer long before he faced up to 90mph merchants, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee.

We’re always told that England’s players play too much cricket, but when the facts are examined (the pundits and players who complain about too much cricket never say exactly how much is actually played), the truth is that most centrally contracted players don’t play enough matches to be sharp when it matters.


  1. Toots,

    I think that (a) 9 limited over matches is far too many and (b) any ODI between Australia and England should have been played at the start of the summer ie before the Ashes as in previous years.

    Spectators and players all look like it is one big chore, and so would I if I was standing freezing in the outfield!

    Again, it looked like 2 well matched, but ordinary teams.

  2. It is 7 not 9, thank god. Mogodon for the masses it looks like. What a boring game, at least watching Rashid bowl added some interest, he looks a real prospect, even if Clarke was winding me up with his helpless orthodoxy.

    And the last few overs were interesting, not least for Clarke’s bowling choices. Hopes and Johnson obviously not seen as death bowlers at all.

    But perhaps I am spoilt by the past Oz teams and the rise of 20/20.

    Not enough batting practise didn’t seem to stop Callum Ferguson and he has only had nets for about 4 months. Batsmen do get out occasionally you know.

    • Lou – I was including the two 20/20 games to make 9.

      Cricket is a summer game though – what is the chance of the Durham match being weather affected on 20th September? Madness.

  3. Very silly, I agree. These games should have been played before the test series. It all seems an anti-climax now and it would have been a very good taster, instead of feeling so tacked on.

    I really like ODI’s, but it is a shame as I know I am getting spoilt by the thrills and spills of 20/20 and aggravated by the stupidity of so many one dayers to make a tour like this SO long.

  4. Thanks for the comments lads. I agree – 7 ODIs is four too many and they should have been scheduled in July as an aperitif before the main course.

    Yeah, batsmen get out, but the centrally contracted players looked very rusty – in September! Some batsmen, like Ferguson, can be at ease and play into form in 20 deliveries – most can’t.

  5. I don’t believe the hypothsis of the death of ODI’s. Many games are packed with interest and variation. This was a dull game but that proves nothing.
    What worries me most is rise of the “odds” players, the guys who are most likely to minimise risk and deliver just enough. Collingwood. And for gods sake he was their best bowler. Lee came on to wreak havoc, went for two boundaries and was taken off. It’s a bit depressing if the players we know are the best play second fiddle to the odds players.
    It may simply be because of the uncertain status of the two teams, and their necessarily tentative approach, but names like Wright, Collingwood, Hopes, and White don’t exactly keep you glued to the screen. I’m not sure what to make of a match where Lee and Johnson are playing but are not key to winning or losing.

    And Tooting, on this site, other contributors are guys, or blokes, not lads, thank you:)
    And guys is unisex in Australia.

    • Fred, I really enjoy ODI’s but from watching on the idiot box, the Ozzies batting plus the lack of atmosphere at the Oval was stultifying. I couldn’t work out what either team was trying to do apart from bore each other to death. I know what you mean by odds players, more teams are being invaded by players who are jacks and not masters.

      i can’t believe before the game Sky commentators were comparing Luke Wright to Freddy. When will they learn? And why don’t they see it as disrespectful or insulting? I bloody well do.

  6. Guys? Okay er… guys!

    It’s too easy for ODIs to descend into five singles per over and Colly and Bracken bowling at 73mph for what feels like hours on end. That’s not a spectator sport.

  7. Toots, this might seem odd, but I blame bowling restrictions for that. It is extremely difficult to find a ODI match lost with more than a couple of wickets in the shed. Defending teams need to bowl the opposition out in order to win, and yet, captains persistently use their trundlers through the middle overs in order to “get them through”. If you removed the restrictions captains would be better able to attack (though admittedly they could and should do so now), but that is my bugbear.

    Even so, I am firmly in the camp that all the advantages of ODIs over tests are more perfectly captured by 20/20 games, and that we could dispense with them without any great loss. Perhaps keep one at the beginning of summer as a knock-about exhibition game

    • I like the idea of no bowling restrictions and I wouldn’t mind seeing how it works in T20 too. So for instance two fast bowlers could just bowl two 10 over spells in the extreme case. I think its demeaning to great bowlers to be restricted to x-number of overs.

      • I guess I’ll just have to find it amusing that the boring overs with these two teams start at the beginning of the game.

        • Should I feel guilty for being glad that Clarke is out? It is so depressing to see him in ODI’s now. His strike rate for the last 2 years has been so ridiculous.

          • He’d be England’s best player!

  8. Lev – I always thought that the restrictions on bowlers is to avoid playing 9 batsmen and two bowlers, but that’s how lots of T20 sides look these days, so why not get rid of the restrictions?

    10.15 am start today in September – win the toss, win the game.

    • Looks like you called that one wrong Toots – win the toss and throw away the game! England keep finding new ways to lose at this form of cricket.

      Still two ordinary sides – can’t help but feel the current South African team would blow both of them away in all departments.

      • It’s a huge advantage to win the toss (I wrote the above before the toss was held) – but it still wasn’t enough for a very ordinary England to beat an ordinary Aus.

    • Teams could go that way but it would be a risk, I think it would be closer to 7/4 or 8/3 depending on the dibbly-dobblers available.

      In the nearest equivalent sport, Baseball, the no-hitter is celebrated, feasted on by the purists. At the moment great bowling spells aren’t a well enough recognised feature of T20 as I see it. Its all about the bash and slog aspect and that devalues the format.

      It would be great to see 2 great bowlers up against a strong batting line-up on a fair wicket for 20 overs – when its all to play for. With a couple of relief bowlers in the line-up should it all go wrong for the main men.

  9. Toots, I doubt any side would risk having only two bowlers. Most captains seem to rotate regularly to keep the batsmen guessing. Given you wouldn’t generally plan on losing more than 5-6 wickets, I doubt a T20 side is any more likely to play 9 batsmen than a test side. There is a good case for playing a specialist keeper too, I might add.

    • Russ – you’re right, but I think playing two “pure” bowlers backed by dibbly-dobblers would become a norm. The advantage of nine batsmen is that you can keep attacking with the bat even five down and that the century that often turns an ODI can come from any one of 9 players.

      Specialist keepers standing up to 80mph cutters will become more prevalent I think, but apart from SL’s Jayawardene, there’s few in international cricket.

      • What bpthers me is the downgrading of the real skills of the pure bowler if every one wants a bowler who can always bat a bit as well for one dayers. I am sure that Rashid would not be thought of yet, if he couldn’t bat.

        • Side composition depends a lot on the skillfullness of the pure bowler. If they are no better than the dibbly-dobber, then a side will play a lot of all-rounders in any format (look at New Zealand for example). I think the latter stages of the World Cup showed that some bowlers are definitely better than batsman masquerading as such, and that, notwithstanding the value of extra batsmen, the value of those specialists will mean we end up somewhat like the current ODI sides: 5 bats, 2 all-rounders, specialist keeper and 3 specialist bowlers. But it will depend on the personnel (naturally).

  10. I like the idea of rewarding bowlers with extra overs for each wicket they take. For every wicket a bowler takes they’re allowed an extra 2 overs for instance.

  11. England appear to be playing this ODI series so badly that the Trumpet has had the valve pulled. Not a word for some time re any match from the man who feels entitled to label anyone else’s non blogging as ‘only doing it when one ‘s team plays well.’…

    Rajeesh, too. Big buckets of silence there, in tandem with the Tooter. Oh well.

    Here we have Strauss as so far a Five Times Loser, possibly Six times, after tonight, and, not unreasonably, the possibility of being a Seven Times Loser, which would be historic, no? . . Has anyone ever lost every game in a series? Has England? Will this be a first? What omens can be read into this? What has silenced the Trumpet so totally? On this board, that is. A big puzzle. Why no detailed insight, some rationale for it all from the Toots?

    Surely, Australian Bastardry cannot be held as the reason for each and every match so far being a pitiful demonstration by England of what cannot be called cricket in any sense of the word.

    So what’s goin on?

  12. England have been dismal in this series.

    As I do for as many ODI series as I can, I’ll be here with an England Report Card on its conclusion.

  13. I’m a big Aussie fan, but quite frankly the whole thing is an anti-climax and should have been played BEFORE the ashes.

    Toots is right though, England have been dismal.

    Can’t believe they are persisting with some of these guys like Bopara though…..its amazing what a big score against a poor West Indies does for your reputation ;-)

  14. All this just makes losing the Ashes even more painful. Is England just doing this to rub it in?

  15. Ongoing confirmation for me that l couldn’t possibly care less about One Day Cricket (or 20/20). World Cups aside l guess….

    • Moreover its finals footy time here. Please Cats please. 2 more games.

  16. ah yes… Six Times Loser confirmed, for Strauss.

    Ive seen some absolutely brilliant cricket in this series, unfortunately not from England at any time, but brilliant cricket is so good to watch whatever the format, whoever the team,, and Ricky and the mob have demonstrated some truly awesome cricket, at the crease, with the bat, and in the field.

  17. The umpiring has been without the plethora of hideousness so painfully exposed in the Ashes series, as well..

  18. Again, booing at Strauss from the English spectators. Those few that were left by the time the game finished. How disgusting. In SriLanka the Barmy Army spat the dummy and booed Vaughan, et al, putting up signs such as ‘Thanks for Wasting my Money on You’ , shoving and pushing with rage at the team bus, etc, but I assumed the heat was a large factor, apart from the abysmal play that unhinged English fans then.

    And the anonymity of being far from home, too.

    Certainly wasn’t the heat last night.

    Something is very peculiar with English cricket fans these days, of every persuasion re format.

  19. I am flattered, Jal , that you waited 11 long days of play, quite excellent play, really, and an hour after I post to tell me you don’t care about it. Rivetting. And a little bit of a fib, too. I think you are caring quite a bit, and have been waiting, longing for someone to post something, anything in regards to it all. Hours and days must gave gone by for you until BLAM!!!. .pepp posts.

    Luckily I dont labour under the burden of having to make a choice between which format of cricket is ‘best’. The ‘Best’ is what is playing now, whatever it is. And this is history . 7 losses? Seven Times Tosser Strauss ? Even SixTimes Loser is quite horrid. Will Strauss be always known for it? Quite possibly. Certainly here he already is .

    I’ve enjoyed the bits and pieces of Denly, though. He’s about the only one I expect to see play in AU at some stage. Of course, that’s if the selectors had any brains, naturally, he won’t be the only one, no doubt Bop and Shah and Bell and so on will be trotted out yet again in 2 years time, oh well. But Denly has promise. But then, I thought the same of Cook when I first saw him at the crease too ( 2006) and quel disappointment. I had not realised that what I was seeing then was Cook having already reached his plateau of skill.

    • Yes sorry l must have been lying to myself again…

  20. The focus must shift to Champions Trophy as of now. I don’t think England has the skill and temperament to thwart aussies from complete humiliation.Even if they do so u must blame aussies.
    Can the aussies perform at the real stage where they may face some real opposition. Its good that the aussie machinery is up and running but they will face stiff opposition from mainly 4 teams.

    1. India ( going by the form and hunger they share with england when playing australia)
    2. sri lanka( i would put them ahead of south africa because of usual reasons)
    3. South africa ( please prove me wrong)
    4. Pakistan( unpredictable nature and good spinners)

    problem for australia is that 2 of these teams are in their group.

  21. I see Australia still have trouble dealing with spin in the middle overs

    • australia always got away after a bad start because 4th or 5th bowler in the middle overs was not upto the mark. Hussey thrives on such situations like bevan and it becomes difficult to strangle them. all 3 asian teams know this and can trouble aussies because they have good spinners.

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