It’s a brave man or a cricket journalist who would dare to offer any predictions at all on the #Ashes2015 at this, the so-called midpoint of this edition of the age-old rivalry. I’m neither. I’m just a watcher eating rye. With marmalade.
The first Test went to England emphatically. Everywhere in the cricket news ( is there any other kind? ), New England became more than just Tom Brady and an under-inflated oblong. New England was Olde England with a new coach and new found aggressive intent. This was going to be a renaissance like no other.
Then came the second Test and suddenly New England was derided as a flash in the pan. The Australians were back. Mitchell Johnson was back to his best. He was going to bring back the ghosts of New Englands Past. Suddenly, everyone was back to questioning if New England had really existed. Was Anderson tired and reaching end of life? The unrelenting examination of Moeen Ali’s place in the side continued with renewed vigour. ( I personally think Moeen’s place should be examined, but hey, I live in Canada, never got beyond Sunday cricket level so what do I know? )
Both the first and second Tests took less than 4 full days. The margins of victory are big. England beat Australia by 169 runs in the first. Australia won by 405 runs in the second. The third Test was a dismal affair, taking less than3 full days as England won by 8 wickets.
So what are we to take from all this?
Don’t make predictions.
Don’t count out anyone.
The Dukes ball swings.
The Dukes ball is unplayable.
The pitches in England are really helpful to bowlers.
Australia really are a Dad’s Army.
Anderson is only effective in helpful English conditions under overcast skies and with a Dukes ball.
The Australian batting is weak.
England need an opener.
England need a slip cordon.
And a #3 batsman.
Bring back KP.
Oh, a proper spinner.
Starc cannot be effective in Tests.
Clarke is at the end of his career.
The Edgbaston crowd totally overpowered Australia ( really?? !! )
Hazlewood is McGrath reborn.
Hazlewood is expensive and should be replaced by Siddle.
Siddle should replace Starc.
Haddin didn’t deserve to be dumped for personal reasons.
Haddin deserved to be dumped for cricket reasons.
Australia are too quiet.
Ian Bell is better than KP ever was.
Ian Bell is the #3 that England needed.
Now who opens with Cook?
Rashid or Moeen?
England are better off without all those South Africans in the side.
And KP, we don’t need him anymore.
Gary Ballance needs to bat at #5.
Clarke needs to bat at #5.
Drop Voges and bring in Shaun Marsh.
Drop Buttler and give the gloves to Bairstow.
Can Stokes take a wicket?
Can Broad start batting again?
Stokes always manages to take a wicket at critical junctures.
England need to stop preparing slow sub-continental pitches.
Counties holding Tests are trying to make tests last 5 days with batting friendly pitches to maximize revenue.
The Counties holding Tests haven’t done a good job at making pitches that last 5 days.
We have an aging Australian side.
We have an England side in transition.
But England are always in transition.
Finn was handled terribly during the previous regime.
Peter Moores? Who is he?
Boof? What is he doing?
The Australians are not happy with Boof.
Clarke is not happy with Warner trying to be a good boy.
The England players no longer have cliques.
Wait, they had cliques?
We told you, KP was the cause.
Why do those lights remind me of pacman?
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