Dingo’s Rant: An Aussie’s Ashes Predictions

24 11 2010

More from our increasingly nervous resident Aussie:

“The aim of English cricket is, in fact, mainly to beat Australia.” Jim Laker.

So here we go again.

A confident, conquering English cricket team struts into town to pour misery on an already sorrowful Aussie cricket team.

Hang on… I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s meant to read! How did it come to this? We all knew Australian cricket was on the slide – but being the underdogs against the pommies on home soil? It’s all too much to bear.

The Australian selectors have decided to stick with generally the same team that’s been continually losing for the past couple of years – some close games mind you – but losses none the less.

One small change to be noted; the left arm slow bowler, Xavier Doherty, comes in for Hauritz – assumedly, perhaps, because Kevin Pietersen has a knack of getting out to bowlers of this type. Besides, Hauritz was neither taking wickets, nor holding up an end or even getting runs with the bat. Other than that, of course, he was not doing a whole lot wrong.

Hussey has retained his spot. In days of old, senior players were retained during bad form; doing so to enable them to retire gracefully or with a bang, but, with world class players liberally dotted about the team – this was easy to do. A team of Waughs, Haydens and Gilchrists could be counted on to carry an out of form player. Hussey has never really done enough for the baggy green to deserve this favour and there’s simply not enough in form players around him to cover.

Luckily for him, his understudies have also not done enough to state unequivocally their cause. With both Ferguson and  Khawaja failing quite miserably in the Australia A versus England warm up match. So Hussey stays and North also gets another shot – much to the chagrin of most supporters.

Ponting gets older and so his inability to play the short ball, or anything aimed at the stumps, leaves him looking a little fragile. The openers at least look settled and should provide a few runs before the ball becomes worn and all batsmen become clueless against the guile and skill of England’s trump card, Graeme Swann.

This is where we’re hoping Clarke, crook back and all, will hopefully dance his way around the crease and gather a few crucial runs. He may not be well liked by the Australian public with his carefully manicured image grating on most people’s nerves, but If he wins us back the urn through his batting – we’ll let it slide!

Bollinger will take wickets as long as his toupee stays secure. Hilfenhaus will bowl. A lot. And Johnson will try to aim the ball somewhere near the batsmen and, once every 4 overs, will bowl that unplayable delivery that will either take a wicket or knock someone’s teeth out. He, along with Siddle, have said they feel Strauss is the key wicket and will target getting his wicket with a barrage short deliveries.

Two things here: First; why are we targeting just one player? Perhaps targeting all 11 would seem a better plan… Second; with the short balls being feasted on recently by the visiting Sri Lankans, maybe bowling stump to stump would be a little more productive? Especially at tail-enders against whom we have struggled recently.

So, getting down to it, here’s how I see it:

Most Wickets

With the abundance of rain recently England will feel a little more at home; the ball will probably even swing a bit so Broad will be a definite handful. However, Swann be the man and will continue to bamboozle the Australians and most probably take about 89 wickets. For Australia, Johnson will knock out most of the top order (retired hurt counts as a wicket in my eyes) so we’ll go with him.

Most runs

According to the great Shane Warne, unless England stroke KP’s ego, he’ll sulk his way into mediocrity. Alistair Cook is still rubbish and Strauss apparently will be the only player Australia targets, but, I think It’ll be Bell who finally steps up and nurdles his way to be England’s top run gatherer. For Australia – boy that’s tough…  I’m going to go with Clarke as long as his back holds up – he does have the temperament to get things done in tough conditions.

Who will get the Urn?

As for the outcome…  Well England have powered through their warm up matches. Everyone looks in good nick and the camp is full of confidence.

But – it’s not going to be their year. I’ll back Australia to come through. Their build up has been lackluster; their recent record abysmal; and every second man is carrying a niggle – but they’re at home; their backs are against the wall and we love a good fight. (I predict also it’ll be a wonderful fight!)

Australia 2-1.

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13 responses

24 11 2010
Will Buck

prediction going totally against the article written, but I would expect nothing less from a one-eyed Aussie for a home series. You’re going down this time though Dingo and I’ll be there at Melbourne and Sydney to watch us take the urn home!! Come England!!

24 11 2010
Bradders

I would thank you for your comments if you weren’t actually going to be there yourself (too much jealousy to do that!) – perhaps you could write something for us from the ground – if you’re not too under the influence…

24 11 2010
Jonathan

Bollinger left out because he has no match practice and replaced with Siddle!

What?

Bollinger has been a consistent player the last 12 months for Oz, and he got injured in India and has only managed a bit of game time in the past couple of weeks. Siddle has had game time against mickey mouse teams. Which one of the two is Test ready?

Seems to me like an odd decision picking a player on reputation (although Siddle can be a beast) rather than someone who is a consistent contributor. I think the England boys might be a little pleased to see this selection.

24 11 2010
Bradders

I am – I picked Bollinger to be the leading wicket taker. Stuffed my prediction but as you say – would rather have Siddle in there from an England point of view.

24 11 2010
BP

2 rupees from a fellow cricket fan in India: (It’s a 5.30am start, but I’m tempted to wake up for Day 1!)

Result prediction: I’m with Dingo…2-1 to Australia.

Key reasons for prediction:
1) To quote Ponting – and every single Aussie would agree – “THIS IS OUR TURF!” You should NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE HOME ADVANTAGE. The pitch conditions, weather conditions, crowd support and SELF-BELIEF (to take down anybody at home, no matter what it takes) are still with Australia.
2) Game 1 is at Brisbane! For 22 years, NO TEAM has even come close to winning here. As much a HOME FORTRESS as any ground in the world. The ideal venue for Oz to kick off their assault…and to completely neutralize England’s excellent ground work before the Ashes! And if Oz go 1 up, as they should, the 180-degree turn by the English and Aussie media, as well as ex-cricketers / experts, will make England’s task even more MONUMENTAL than before.
3) England’s self-belief and performance record AWAY FROM HOME. Every single Test team is more vulnerable away from home…but this current set of English players HAVE NOT YET DELIVERED A SIGNIFICANT AWAY TRIUMPH. So do they really have the self-belief needed??? They tied SA 1-1, but were within 2 wickets of losing that series 3-1…and importantly, they were CRUSHED at Jo’burg…which doesn’t bode well for them at Brisbane and (slightly less so) Perth. They also lost 1-0 to India, although that series was 2 years back and in very different conditions…nonetheless, once again, most of these players were unable to clinch the deal against tough opposition.

Scenarios in which England triumph:
1) Scrap as bloody hard as possible at Brisbane, and somehow pull off a draw. And remember that with the weather forecast for the next few days, a draw is not an improbable result. In fact, if I were English, I’d be praying for this game to be rained off! That would ensure the Aussie camp remains in its current state of semi-confusion / self-doubt, and would then reduce the English task to winning 2 Tests out of ADELAIDE, Perth, Melbourne and SYDNEY…a relatively less difficult proposition (though not easy!)
2) Rain affects most of the Test matches in the series…as the weathermen have suggested could well happen. All the better if that happens at Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne! And the series conspires to end at 1-1, with Strauss retaining his hold on the urn.

Contests I’m looking forward to:
1) Swinging, seaming and bouncing ball vs hesitant bats at Brisbane! 2) Johnson vs Pietersen and Strauss 3) Bollinger (who will return!) vs Pietersen and Strauss 4) Red-eyed / puffed-up-chest Siddle vs Pietersen and Trott 3) Pietersen vs the X-man! 4) Ponting vs Bouncers! 5) Ponting vs Broad 6) Ponting vs Swann 7) Swann vs Hussey & North 8) English tail vs (hopefully frustrated!) Aussie bowlers 9) Death match in a cage between Pietersen and Johnson!!! Or even Siddle vs Johnson!!! (now who wouldn’t pay to watch that!)

24 11 2010
Bradders

4am for me here in Dubai!

I hope your wrong about the score – but valid points all.

24 11 2010
dingo

Also dumbfounded at the ommision of Bollinger, unless he’s still not game fit, but nothing surprises me with Aussie selectors these days (you English fans must relate to this in times past)
Will, I like to think patriotic, rather than one-eyed. but yeah, article doesn’t breath confidence in my team, but over 5 tests, could go either way.

24 11 2010
Jonathan

Dingo, Steve James did a webchat earlier today for the Telegraph and said Bollinger was roaring in at practice!

At least your selectors didn’t pull out a
Pattinson from their featherbeds!! Although I hear he is doing well in Oz this summer.

25 11 2010
Jonathan

Balls, the Oz selectors now look like genius has been bestowed upon them!

25 11 2010
Bradders

and everything I wrote appears to be quite the opposite…

25 11 2010
Dingo

Never doubted for a second.

25 11 2010
BP

“…would rather have Siddle in there from an England point of view”

The beauty and irony of sports, eh Bradders?! 🙂

But what a brilliant day of Test cricket…Bell, Pietersen and Trott batted well, and then Siddle was sensational! No regrets for waking up at 5.30am to catch Day 1!

Advantage Australia for sure, but England are still not out of it. Looking forward to some more exciting Test cricket tomorrow! Can the English bowlers deliver???

25 11 2010
Bradders

Please don’t remind me! Yet again a compulsive hooker opinion shown up!!! Suspect thats about 150 short of par.

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