Posted by: tootingtrumpet | December 16, 2010

Third Ashes Test Day One – The Final Over of the Day

Chris Tremlett's doppelganger - just as tall too.

Ball One – In yet another role reversal in a series of characterised by them, England start days with an intensity that suffuses all that they do. From Prior’s spectacular early take , the appeal to which was overturned on appeal, to Tremlett, in for his first Test in years and instantly relaxed in his approach to the crease, England have looked, as the phrase goes, on it.

Ball Two – Of course any batsman can get out early, but as captain and vice-captain, Punter and Clarke played shots utterly devoid of the discipline the match situation demanded. If The Ashes are retained by England, those two dismissals may be the leitmotif of the series in the way the Harmison ball proved the signature moment of 2006-7.

Ball Three – Betraying his lack of first class experience, Steve Smith went hard at the ball too soon after lunch giving away all his good work prior to the break and edging the impressive Tremlett to slip for a regulation catch. After years of churning out technically proficient cricketers, the evidence provided by Hughes and Smith in this match (and earlier, by Doherty) suggests that Shield and Grade cricket is not the hothouse it once was. Or, with this Australian XI boasting only Ponting, Hussey, Haddin and Clarke with 100 first class matches (a figure reached by every England player except Steve Finn), perhaps Australians just don’t play enough.

Ball Four – Is the pitch fast or slow? On the one hand, it looks slow, since pulls and cuts have gone mainly well in front of square: on the other, Tremlett and Swann have got the ball through quickly, with Prior taking plenty of deliveries above head height from the sinewy Surrey seamer. Another interpretation would diagnose the pitch as two-paced, but that would be most unusual for a first day wicket in Australia.

Ball Five – After Tea, England looked quiet, wilting a little in the heat, with Anderson jogging in and Mitchell Johnson giving it some long handle. Suddenly, two wickets went down and England showed, yet again, the invaluable ability to make something happen when least expected and most needed.

Ball Six – Early days yet, but in a tight selection call, England’s think tank went for Tremlett over Bresnan and he repaid them handsomely, with pace, accuracy and wickets. After the Trott debut in 2009, it looks like England have pulled another rabbit from the hat at a crucial time in The Ashes. The much vaunted attention to detail that characterises the Strauss – Flower regime is the gift that keeps on giving.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.

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Responses

  1. England too good Toots. Enjoy it.

    Only Hussey and Haddin have stood up for Australia and the rest … pah.

  2. About 200 runs is what you expect from the last 5 wickets. Was an entertaining day. Will have to wait and see if we get any wickets tomorrow.

    Re Ball 2: Is it a bad shot or plain bad luck when 3rd slip (or was he 4th?) pulls one out of the air away to his right? The ball was there to be hit.

  3. Are England deliberately bowling a bit slower, rather than the wicket being slow?

  4. Lev – I think you’re right. Looks a 400 pitch to me and if England get that, there’s no way back for Aus I feel.

    Jim – The ball was there to be hit, but as early in the day as that, it was there to be left alone too.

    gg – Finn looked tired, Jimmy was within himself and Tremlett wonderfully in rhythm. I felt it was the kind of pitch that would have been commonplace in the 90s, but looks quick these days. I haven’t seen anything of the Centurion match, but that might be a quick wicket although Steyn and Morkel are two classes above anything on show in Perth

  5. Saw some of SAF-India. Morkel was almost unplayable early with his pace and bounce. Was all over a shell-shocked Gambhir. SAF looked superb and definitely a class above.

    Eng too good…

  6. Where the fuck has that inswinger been MJ? (waca + runs = confidence?)

    • Swing is a capricious mistress – she comes and goes. MJ isn’t the only one swinging it, but that was impressive stuff from him. In a sense, it doesn’t matter, as we all knew MJ had a five-fer and England a collapse somewhere in the series – what matters now is the reaction of both sides.

  7. Yippee! Order’s restored to the world – England back to their rightful place.

    All ye naysayers on Ponting, where are you now?
    It was never going to happen that Ponting will go out tamely – after this test, as was being incredibly suggested – and for that reason alone, I knew that this would happen.

    Would love to read the English newspaperrs tomorrow – tail between legs, eh?
    Mitch is back. Kiss the Ashes goodbye, England.

    (A country called South Africa doesnt exist in the world. I dont know what happened there yesterday ;-) )

    • kam – There’s a long way to go yet. Please see my comment above.

      • I know but you’ll allow me my first moment of celebration in this series, wouldnt you?

        I still favour Oz to shade this. The definitive Ponting 100 is coming up. Belts strapped, and attention, please!

        • Not in this match though ! Just got out down the leg side for 1 !

          • Next match then. During the Pakistan series, there was a lot of happiness and gloating in anti=Ponting folks in my circle(pretty much everyone except me). It took just the one last innings for him to restore the series average to 50+.

            4 more innings are there in this series for him(atleast 2, at any rate, if England collapse to innings defeat or rain affects matches badly in the next 2 matches). Enough to score a big heap of runs. Potentially, 4 more centuries. Realistically, atleast 1 or 2.

        • Yes Kam – celebration allowed, but be careful!

          • Sure, but I think Australia already have enough. England’s batting seems to be a poor man’s Indian batting line up. Very good in non challenging conditions, capable of weathering tough match situations in reasonably challenging conditions, but collapsing at the first sight of tough conditions.
            (And yes, Sach, Rah and Lax havent done enough in SA to not warrant that jibe.)

            I am still fingers crossed about the series outcome but Perth is surely Australia’s!

            • England have just made 1215-6 in two innings!

              • But less than 200 in Perth. And they collapsed in Perth last time, too. :-)

  8. It will be interesting to see what Oz will do with a 81 run lead. A target of 300 is achievable by Eng, and so, Aus needs to score at least 300 runs in their 2nd innings, and leave Eng a target of 375-400 to get.

    • I agree Kumar. Aus will have to bat well here – in conditions they do not favour.

  9. Amazing turnaround by Johnson, be nice if Hughes, Punter and Clarke did likewise.

    Wonder if we’ll miss our Beer.

    I’m off now…

  10. Well, I cant pretend it is not happening any more 136 all out? Seriously? Extremely disappointed with the big 3 in the Indian lineup, not to mention Sehwag.
    I can understand if the bowlers lose the way for India, but for the great batsmen(which they are, even if they fail abjectly in this tour, which they will, it seems)
    Doesnt look like long before India will fall off the #1 perch. SA/Eng/Aus to shoot out for #1?
    (after Aus ace this Ashes series, they’ll also be contenders)

    • Long way to go in SA too. But Steyn and Morkel look good enough to take even India’s wickets and India’s bowling looks thin.

  11. What are you smoking kaminey and pass it my way will you…Aus #1…those days are long gone.

    • They are gone, yes but they’ll come back.
      Of the 3 other contenders,
      1) India is already losing steam- I expected them to do well in SA this time but looks like it is the same old story.
      2) England are pretenders – let them win the ashes first
      3) SA – quite strong contenders.

      Australia has to just set a few things right – to begin with, the selectors.

      Let me state something – West Indies collapsed because they had no system. Australia are struggling not because their system has collapsed but because some wrong decisions have been made. I think the robustness of the Aussie system will kick in now, and it is not long before Australia regain their dominance again.

      • Punter should retire, Clarke needs to stand up or go, Hughes is in the team based on a FC average of ~15 this season and scores of 0 & 4 in his last game.

        Hussey and Haddin aren’t getting any younger and we have tried about 10 spinners since Warne retired.

        After a golden era the cupboard is pretty bare at present.

        Australia needs to learn how to compete again before setting the sights up.

        • Aus has problems all right. Clarke’s innings was ridiculous. Ponting needs to ease the pressure by swapping with Hussey – in batting positions if not responsibilities.

  12. Oh yes but let’s wait until the end of Ashes to pass judgement on Ponting. If he goes now, I feel it’s a little incomplete. There has to be a build-up towards a great player’s retirement – either way, remember how Steve Waugh went, with all the wolves baying for him for quite some time, he kept them at bay, and then went out with fanfare. There has to be a waning phase. Ponting hasnt had any. In a lean season, he still averages 31. Something tells me this is not how it happens. There is always an Indian summer before great players retire. Like Sachin had last year(and looks like, already it is over and he’ll retire after the world cup).

  13. If Punter wants to bat at 6 in Melbourne and Sydney its fine by me but he can’t do 3 anymore.

    If you take out the 50 n.o. in junk time at Brisbane his average is rank.

    Been an all-time great but cannot bat at 3 anymore and time is nearly up.

  14. Kaminey – don’t worry, it is the indian thing of recent years to start a series slowly. It would be a huge jump to go from Indian pitches to South African pitches, but then they also have to go from facing the medium pace and cutters of New Zealand to the pace of SA.

  15. I agree with Levremance, but I’d probably put it to Ponting that if he wants to see this team develop as he says he does then he need to give someone else a chance to grow into the number 3 spot while he is there to guide them.
    But as he is a stubborn old goat I doubt he’d budge.

  16. Lev and Jim – I agree.

  17. Khawaja is the future 3. Get him there while Ricky can school him on the ground and in the nets.

    • That’s a big call Japal, but he is the next man in. Wouldn’t he be better at Six though, with Jaques at Three? Surely Rogers for Hughes up top too?

      • Well the real problem is l wanted him at 6 before last Summer as the project 6 ahead of North. Now he would be ready to transition up the order…Not too fussed where but think he should be in the side and stuck with.

        Could actually open as well has done it alot. Hughes form did not warrant his selection, Rogers has done a knee hasn;t he?

  18. I’d suggest the coach organises for Punter, Khawaja, err Smith and Clarke and a few of the other blokes to stop by for a few tinnies and to watch a movie.

    While they’re sipping their coldies subliminal messages are transmitted during the handover scene from “The Club” (see subliminal messages in brackets below).

    Geoff Hayward speaks to Laurie Holden, “They’d find it pretty hard to sack you if we made the finals (if we win the Ashes),”

    Danny Rowes interjects “Bastards, we’ll win the bloody flag (win the ASHES),

    LH “We won’t win the flag, but we could make the finals (we can win the ASHES),

    DR “It’d help if moneybags got off his arse and started trying, put him in the middle tomorrow and I’ll play in the back pocket, I need a rest (Punter must bat at 6 and Khawaja goes to 3, Punter needs a rest, Punter bats at 6)

    • Great scene – great film. Watson would make a good Geoff Hayward.


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