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Growing Crickt Bats in Australia


Doggy's Blog

CRICKET'S SHOW PIECE TO THE WORLD

Posted on 10 January, 2018 at 1:50

"Ashes Cricket" is the sports show piece to the world.

 

The series is a demonstration or if you like, a "Test" not only of character or ability, but commitment, humility, preparation and planning. All in order to maintain a Nations sporting pride.

 

And so the 2017 -2018 Ashes series came to end in Sydney and in the final wash up it was Australia 4 England 0.

 

For the Australian and England Cricket teams every aspect of the game was laid bare and scrutinised but for the respective Nations their "Cricket" can only be judge by the last performance.

 

I don't know how my many friends in the UK feel about it all... perhaps they feel their team lacked discipline and respect. The Ben Stokes incident did not help the cause and certainly disrupted tour preparations.

 

I suppose that might be used as an excuse for some but in my mind, the Tourists underestimated the task before them and certainly the Australian bowling attack. There also seemed to be a lack of support for Joe Root, an inexperienced leader without his deputy. Had this been anticipated... it didn't look that way because Joe was far from his best and always under pressure.

 

To his credit the Captain battled on without retreat from the Sun nor heat nor Pat Cummins.

 

As I watched, I wondered if England's brains trust ever thought Pat would last the series.

 

I know I had my concerns but Pat just got better with every Test match. In the end his stamina strength and hunger for wickets astounded me. The big quick played the entire series... ending it in Sydney with an 8 wicket haul. This performance proving beyond doubt that all batsmen require sound technique when confronting fast short pitched bowling.

 

Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc with Lyon in support were relentless... in comparison to the English attack. With Stuart Broad, under a cloud before the series he went missing when it counted leaving Anderson, Woakes and Overton carrying the burden.

 

I thought Anderson maintained good lines but without any support... the Australians only had to see him off.

 

Woakes look good at times, but refused to work his way about the crease and not once did he get close enough to the stumps to take advantage of his natural gift... the leg cutter. With such a delivery up his sleeve he has the ability to threaten any batting... but unless he's prepared to work the lines this will never happen often enough.

 

Moeen Ali was another great disappointment and seemingly overwhelmed by the Australians and the conditions. I think England could have played Mason Crane much early... it would not have made any difference as it turned out and who knows it might have made him?

 

From an Australian perspective we'd hoped for a series to lift the spirits of "Test Cricket".

 

We needed proof that this format of the game has no comparison to the contests which make up "Test Cricket" and as matches ebbed and flowed the Ashes did not let us down even though it failed to deliver the close fought result we were wanting.

 

It certainly was a terrific appetiser for the Test Cricket that awaits us in South Africa. I will have more to say on this in my next "SportsHounds" contribution.

 

I must congratulate Steve Smith for an outstanding series... his batting is truly Bradman like. I thought Darren Lehmann, David Saker and staff did a terrific job preparing a squad heavily criticised. Especially Tim Paine, Shaun and Mitch Marsh.

 

The selectors were proven right as they were with Khawaja... who's persona at the crease, reminds me very much of David Gower, the great England Left Hander... always relaxed and seemingly doing it with ease.

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