England walloped in Ashes 2006 second test

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    Martin W

      Comments I just posted to Daily Telegraph site:

      Yes, dispiriting.
      Last summer, England really took on Australia:
      outdid them for being bold n brassy.
      Yet this series, with too many players, such spirit
      wanting: Bell lingering for 10 mins or so before
      running summed up, I think, the gulf in attitude
      between then and now.

      Very hard to know what Giles was in team for
      this time: barely spinning the ball, batting
      slightly, and that dropped catch, while Panesar
      carried the drinks.

      Surely Fletcher must make changes for next test:
      Giles onto plane home; Panesar in.
      Maybe Jones out, for Read (notions Giles better
      for test batting not looking good).
      Even Vaughan in, for Anderson, might be
      tempting: for captaincy and bolstering spirit, and
      perhaps extra batsman. If Aussies can do with
      four bowlers – two of whom past it, said Botham
      I think – England maybe should consider too.

      But oh dear, whatever the selection, so many of
      us will watch next test with trepidation,
      wondering what happened to the England spirit
      of the 2005 summer.


      Martin W

        The Telegraph article I added comment to starts:

        England’s Ashes hopes imploded this morning in a blaze of run-outs, daft shots and cruel umpiring decisions. From what had looked a safe position overnight – and all through the match, for that matter – they managed to conjure one of the most dispiriting defeats in their long and often inglorious history.

        Aussies snatch victory as England collapse
        The Times has a good piece, starting:

        We came to see England defend the Ashes in Australia, and boy have they defended. So much of what they have done, from strategy to shot selection has been cautious, fearful of error, blind to the benefits of aggression. It has been an abbrogation of the way they played their cricket under Michael Vaughan in England in 2005.
        Shane Warne said before the series that it would be different this time because England were not used to being in front, and he was absolutely right. They don’t know how to make the running against Australia. It is anathema to them.
        The character of English cricket is defined by the back-to-the-wall situation, Trevor Bailey and Willy Watson defying Australia at Lord’s in 1953 being the prime example. Geoff Boycott played his whole career in over-my-dead-body mode. He was very good against Australia.

        England freeze in the heat of Adelaide
        Over at cricinfo Australia, an article starts:

        What a waste. A decent Test series was developing over the first four days but it was ruined by two sessions of England negativity. In the winning corner was Australia, whose only weakness is not knowing when to stop attacking. Then there was England. Sad, sorry, insipid England. They were as lame as Andrew Flintoff will probably be tomorrow.

        Feeble England ruin series

        England will need a massive turnaround for the rest of the series – and it does indeed seem this must be with the mindset, for there are players with great abilities (albeit best spinner was a drinks carrier).
        Otherwise, instead of parading in an opentop bus after series, looks best if they return home via Channel Tunnel, and somehow remain underground until get to back doors of their homes.

        Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/12/05 12:05

        Martin W

          More on the mindgame, from Derek Pringle in the Telegraph:

          In 2005, England attacked Australia with the most talented players available at the time. That has not been the case here with Monty Panesar and Sajid Mahmood left out for the more conservative picks of Giles and James Anderson. They may have lost this Test playing badly for a day, but Matthew Hoggard betrayed their defensive mindset when he said beforehand that England had come here not to lose.

          England collapse brings the point of no return

          Martin W

            Almost the third test, and I’ve posted to another place (Simon Hughes’ blog on torygraph website):

            It’ll of course take more than a little fly swatting (and bluebottle’s a kind of fly, in blightly at least), but better than letting em swarm all over the place.

            England need to win 2 of 3 – meaning that gotta take the game to the Aussies, as happened in long ago 2005 summer. Better to try this and lose, perhaps, than just faff about with dead bats n pads or whatever.

            I barely know Shah, but seems worth considering for attitude.
            Likewise a few other positive selections needed. Read surely deserves a go, say. And, of course, Panesar.
            Harmison doesn’t seem up for the fight.
            If only one change before next test, I’ll watch, but perhaps with same horrified fascination as last time, esp that last day.

            Martin W

              Yikes – trounced 5-0 in the Ashes series; first whitewash in over 80 years, and read that the team that had lost 5-0 before at least took one test to 6 days (those were timeless tests), so this team’s efforts even more feeble.
              Somehow, good players, yet never firing as a team – while the Aussies just plain formidable.

              England also demolished in 20-20, and first one-day international; now hoping that can do better vs Kiwis tomorrow, but really, not looking good, esp with Pietersen out injured.

              World Cup prospects look horribly, horribly bleak. As article in Telegraph noted, one-day cricket has been played in England since 1962 – yet our one-day international side looks abysmal.
              We’ve heard of Fletcher and co wanting to focus on tests, pulling players out of county matches to do so. That strategy hasn’t worked.
              Aussies strong in all forms of the game; and as I heard a commentator say, their strength in one-days helped too in tests: not so prone to hit ball to fielders, or become utterly becalmed.

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