Premature Gloating and The Real Number One Battle

12 12 2010

Gloating Too Early?

In amidst the euphoria of England’s innings win in Adelaide and the glee with which the selection of Michael Beer and Phil Hughes has been greeted, an important and sobering fact lies in England’s record at the WACA. As Scyld Berry’s excellent piece in the Telegraph explains, England have never won against a full strength Aussie side at Perth. (The sole victory coming in 1978 against an Australian side depleted by Kerry Packer and his World Series Cricket).

Rather than regurgitate the article we recommend you click here as it will help keep matters in perspective… As much as we and almost all other judges around the world are convinced that England will win this series, the fact remains, this is the Australian’s we are talking about. A wounded and discounted Aussie is a very dangerous thing…

In the same paper the inevitable chat about England challenging for number one status has been raised once more. If England win this series well, say 3-0 perhaps, then it is worth posing these questions, yet, up until the point where this potential score line is reached – the English within us wishes that people would refrain from what appears to be premature gloating!

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The Real Number One Battle

On the subject of challenging for number one status, the top two sides, India and South Africa, kick off their three test series at Centurion on Thursday. For all the naysayers and doubters (of which we admit for a while we were one) with regard to the justification of India’s number one ranking status, this will either seal the deal for the next 6 months or simply open up all the old arguments once more.

South Africa are ranked a comfortable number two and possess a fearsome pace bowling attack. India’s batting line up of course requires no introduction and this battle for supremacy promises to be a brilliant one to watch. Our money is on either a drawn series or South Africa shading it as we still believe that, at home, any of the top four or five teams (minus perhaps Australia in their current form) would be favourites to beat any of the others.

What with the Ashes coming to a head as well over the next four weeks, we cannot wait for what should be a feast of test cricket!

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Broad’s Replacement

No need to panic for England at the WACA despite only one wicket between Bresnan, Shahzad and Tremlett. On what was more akin to a pudding than a proper cricket pitch, England’s three back up seamers were swiftly removed from the attack in the second innings to be replaced with a mixture of Panesar, Collingwood and some declaration bowling yesterday from Morgan and Strauss of all people.

Despite one or two articles in the Australian press suggesting that England are having difficulty deciding who will play as a result and that perhaps the back up isn’t of sufficient quality, this is simply straw clutching by a media starved of their usual ‘pommie bashing’ material.

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One response

12 12 2010
Jonathan

While I agree that the article from SB is an excellent piece, I still feel that Perth is a danger if you have the bowlers to extract everything from the pitch.

Four years ago, the Oz attack was a ruthless bunch of hunters, this year, not so much.

Sorry, but the England attack will extract more from this pitch than Australia, they will ask more questions than Oz, simply because they are more accurate than their Oz counterparts. I do however, agree that Oz cannot be counted out over a 5 match series, we know the balance sways, but I still believe this England team is stronger.

It will be interesting to see what happens in a few days time!

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