Posted by: tootingtrumpet | November 19, 2017

Ashes Preview – KISS it!

Cummins, Starc, Hazelwood and Lyon

It’s often said that success in sport, as in life, is sealed with a KISS. So, with the weight of history bearing down upon you, the heat from the sun, the opposition and the fans and Patrick Cummins at the top of his run, how do you Keep It Simple Stupid?

Here’s three thoughts for England’s likely XI to carry into Brisbane’s cauldron.

Alastair Cook 

You’ve done this before – you know it and they know it.

All you need to think about is batting – after all that stuff last time round, it’s that straightforward.

Just because they’re blocking your scoring areas, doesn’t mean that you should force the issue elsewhere.

Mark Stoneman

It’s that same ball that coming from the same place travelling the same distance it did when you scored all those runs in the last couple of weeks.

It’s your game once you’ve got to 20 – doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says, so fight to get to 20 by any means possible and then cash in.

Wear some virtual headphones – it’s not like you’ll be missing out on any great wit from Warner and co.

James Vince

Your chance to show what you can do.

Your captain and selectors believe in you – so you must too.

Keep your weight moving forward into the shot and the hands high – it’s four through the covers whether the ball goes along the ground or in the air.

Joe Root

They fear you more than you fear them.

Five days is a long time and runs on the board really matter – 500 is a good score, but 600 is better.

There’ll be times to defend in the field, but when you want to attack, attack hard.

Dawid Malan

This is why you picked up a bat as a kid – it’s your time.

The next ball is the only one that matters.

Stand up straight and get on top of the bounce.

Jonny Bairstow

Don’t let the adrenaline get to your bottom hand – play straight, even if there’s no swing and little seam to worry about.

Gloves low until the last moment and every ball Moeen bowls is beating the bat – until it doesn’t.

Reviews will be critical and you’re a key decision-maker – get them right.

Moeen Ali

You should beat your opposite number’s runs – so make sure that you do.

Warner and Smith will come hard at you, so block off easy boundary options and attack both sides of the bat with close fielders whenever you can.

Bounce is your friend, so rip as many deliveries as you can.

Chris Woakes

You’re an all-rounder, so bat like one.

Rhythm produces pace and keeps fatigue at bay – don’t let Warner and Smith ruin it by reacting to them moving about in the crease.

Even if you’re 0-70, bowl to a plan, don’t just put it there.

Craig Overton

Keep the wrist behind the ball and hit the deck hard.

Work on each batsman as captain and coaches say, no matter what is coming from the other end.

It’s hard because it’s supposed to be hard – otherwise anyone could do it.

Stuart Broad

Embrace the crowd’s hostility – it’s coming anyway, so why not?

Find the “McGrath Length” for the pitch and stick to it – they miss, you hit the off-bail.

When they bowl bouncers at you, they’re actually free hits, but don’t pick out a fielder.

Jimmy Anderson

Pitch the new ball up, even if it’s getting hit.

Bowl, deliver as the best fielder in the side and talk tactics as vice-captain – there won’t be much energy left for sledging.

You know a lot more about this game than anyone at the other end and a lot, lot more than most of them.




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