The Compulsive Hooker’s Ashes Predictions

23 11 2010

Nb. Anyone planning on putting on any bets for the series would do well to ignore our thoughts – we’re rarely, if ever, right!

With the pre Ashes hype becoming almost unbearable in the last few days and the number of articles being offered for general consumption increasing exponentially and reaching (what is hopefully) a fevered peak; we feel that the time has come to finally offer our predictions for the series ahead.In two days time, a matter of a little over 36 hours from now, the Ashes 2010/11 will commence and all the talking will go out the window. Those who can walk the walk will shape this series and live long in the memory; whilst the remainder will become the forgotten chaff of yet another season.

Up until this point we have tried to dodge binding statements of what we believe is going to happen for fear of being proved hopelessly wrong, although, it has to be said, regular readers will probably have worked out what we are going to say already. If you have we apologise for what you might feel is an entirely unnecessary and repetitive article… For everyone else – read on.

Leading Run Scorers:

We believe that, fitness permitting, the leading run scorers on either side will be Michael Clarke and Kevin Pietersen. Clarke because we feel that despite all the recent criticism directed at him for his limited overs batting will show that he is now the most important player in the Australian test line up. His class and mental abilities under pressure have never been in doubt and we think this will be a big series for him. If Clarke’s back gets the better of him we think it could well be Simon Katich in his place at the head of the run chart. For England KP has long been a player who thrives on a challenge. We think this will be the series he gets his mojo back and plays two or three crucial innings.

Leading Wicket Takers:

A difficult one this one with the mercurial talents of Johnson competing with the more predictable methods of Siddle, Hilfenhaus et al. Also difficult as, with the Australian selectors in a minor tizzy, the make-up of their first eleven is not certain and it’s possible our pick will not even get a start… Nevertheless we are going to plump for Doug Bollinger whose brand of fast left arm is, to us anyway, the scariest prospect for England’s batsman. For England, we would suggest that Stuart Broad will be the main danger. Despite the competing claims of Swann, we think that Broad is now one of the premier fast bowlers in the world and on the Aussie pitches will be a serious prospect.

The Keeper Battle:

Neither of these keepers would be first on the list for a ‘Gentleman’s World XI’ or even come near to the top of the ‘Tidiest Keeper’s awards’ yet both are highly effective players and their battle promises to be a long and intriguing one. Prior’s batting should revel in the quicker pitches he will encounter whereas it is of course Haddin’s own stomping ground. On the keeping side we believe Prior now has the edge despite a terrible start to his career as a test player with the gloves and, it is with this reason in mind, we are going to pick the Englishman. Matt Prior to shade this battle.

Who Will Keep The Urn?

As we mentioned before, going by our heart we are going to have to choose Australia to win as we are concerned, should we pick England, we will irrevocably harm their prospects. However, trying to remember that nothing we can write or say will have any effect on England’s chances, we will try now to pick objectively…

Here goes…

A crucial point to remember is that England don’t have to win to retain the Ashes – if it’s a drawn series England keep that all important little urn. With that in mind, and considering we have never been averse to a little fence sitting, we are going to go for a 2-2 draw and England to come home with their honour intact.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree?

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2 responses

23 11 2010
James Parrett

Hey Brad,

Interesting piece but yeah, i don’t think you’d make a decent bookie…!

Batting – Ponting for me for the Ozzies. Eng, no idea. I’ve backed Bell just coz the odds were good. I reckon it has to be Strauss if we’re going to retain the urn.

Bowling – Swann all day long mate. No question. Ozzies, probably Mitchell Johnson. He is a class act. I think people have forgotten how good this guy is.

Keeping – yes, agree on Prior. Interesting to see if Haddin lasts the distance. I rate that lad Paine v highly.

Overall – it is very very close. I think it will come down to who wins the toss on Thurs morning! Being hopelessly biased i will say 3-1 Eng.

23 11 2010
Bradders

Haha. You can tell I favour the long odds ones when having a flutter!

Can’t wait for it all to begin!

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