Recommended Posts

14 minutes ago, 99call said:

I've only been listening to the radio, and watching highlights on the beeb.   I did see the BS catch, and I 100% agree to this extent,  Whats the point in trying to achieve anything in life if you cant look back and be proud.  He should be ashamed, and he should consider himself a cheat. 

There is a difference however to me, levels of disgrace, and it's got to premeditation. For example I would consider anyone who uses anything either 'of the field' (dirt etc) or semi legitimately 'on the field' sunscreen, sweets etc it's all cheating, but bottle tops and sand paper is a whole other level of premeditation, where the offender has zero chance of explaining their actions as outright cheating.  The difference was obvious when Bancroft initially tried to suggest it was sticky tape and dirt. 

Ken.....I'm not and England fan, I enjoy the Ashes, I enjoy it being a war of attrition. Similarly to the All Blacks, there has historically been some sort of impenetrable air of swagger and confidence about Australian Cricket, and it also being traded on the "hard but fair" brand was always an extra knife in the heart for us in the UK.   i.e. "How did they get this good?  and we cant even call them cheats!".          The reason I find this subject so interesting is that, when nations interweave themselves ideologically with sports teams    Wales - Rugby,   New Zealand - Rugby,   Australia - Cricket,  England - Football  etc etc   It has a giant impact on whole countries and how they perceive themselves.   i.e.  when our team wins, we feel like we've won together, and when they lose or do something negative we got to take it on the chin. 

What I've tried to express, and largely failed at, is you've suggested Australian Cricket has healed itself and moved on, that largely Australians are not interested in this anymore.  Yet I don't think it's because it's not of interest, it's because what Bancroft, Smith, and Warner did was sort of place the 'Australian way'  in the mud. 

In short I think the reason why this will resonate for much longer than any Australian would like, is that you were on a much higher moral pedestal.  

Smith's performances have been hugely impressive, and to come back on the field was heroic, but my point remains.  None of these actions will ever put the genie back in the bottle, and this is the drama, and the tragedy, it's feels to me like Australian cricket is trying to orientate it's way back to the top of the pedestal, and I just think thats lost on gone.  you're now just fighting to see who is the king on the muddy puddle, like the rest of the international sides. 

smith will always have it around his neck. no question. but like warnie with his drugs and stupidity, i do not see it defining him. but we have argued this.

your point re levels of premeditation is interesting and it seems to have more grip over there than here. i have a good mate from england who has raised the same thing. and fair enough - if we are ever asked to rank cheating then yes, deliberately planning and getting a younger (not that young and one who still knew better) to do it is appalling and will rank higher than a spur of the moment incident. 

However, it is not that simple. In root’s defence, if you like, my gut feeling is that normally he would not claim it – yes, he turned one down in the first innings that he took in slips – but this was a high pressure situation with the possible Ashes series in the balance late on the last day and he claimed it without really thinking of the consequences but then felt himself locked in (i suspect that is the reality and i would hope it so). He really should have said to the umps, not sure, perhaps I didn’t (or sorry, no I definitely didn’t), and then when on screen, yep, I am clearly mistaken. No one would have had a problem with that. He would have been applauded, but I think he felt trapped by his immediate reaction. This is just my gut feeling. I don’t think he went out there saying if I get a chance to claim a catch like that I will. But that doesn’t excuse it. he had then chance to do the right thing and he failed abysmally. 

I do understand the view of this not being as bad as warner and Bancroft (smith, I think, as i have said, simply abrogated his duties, which he should never have done and for which he has paid).

But that said, cheating is a little bit like being pregnant. You are or you are not. I’ll never think of him as an honest bloke ever again (I’ll never think of warner or Bancroft as honest either and always think of smith as dim-witted and irresponsible for what happened under his watch).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

However, it is not that simple. In root’s defence, if you like, my gut feeling is that normally he would not claim it – yes, he turned one down in the first innings that he took in slips – but this was a high pressure situation with the possible Ashes series in the balance late on the last day and he claimed it without really thinking of the consequences but then felt himself locked in (i suspect that is the reality and i would hope it so). He really should have said to the umps, not sure, perhaps I didn’t (or sorry, no I definitely didn’t), and then when on screen, yep, I am clearly mistaken. No one would have had a problem with that. He would have been applauded, but I think he felt trapped by his immediate reaction. This is just my gut feeling. I don’t think he went out there saying if I get a chance to claim a catch like that I will. But that doesn’t excuse it. he had then chance to do the right thing and he failed abysmally

And this is why will love sport. We qet to boil down the minutia of the game in our armchairs, or down the boozer, and somehow try to imagine how our own moral compass would fair.  I always laugh when I hear people watching the rugby. "Jeeesus, he was through!!! why didn't he just side step those two covering defenders, chip over the full back and run it under the posts!?"      Yeah mate!?   you surely would have!     We get to pin our own morals to sportsmen and women when they do something good, and then they balls up, we get to abandon them, and suggest we are invulnerable to such mishaps. 

Much like life in the real world, honesty, honour, decency, the truth....... everything is on the slide or in decline.  It wont be long before not cheating is thought as being 'soft' or not wanting it enough. 

Ultimately you get out what you put in.   No doubt Joe Root will be disgusted with himself, and thats his legacy.  We are what we do. And of course it's a nonsense to suggest we as spectators are any better.   I'm sure we'd all be shocked with are own actions if put under the camera......especially hawkeye

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 99call said:

And this is why will love sport. We qet to boil down the minutia of the game in our armchairs, or down the boozer, and somehow try to imagine how our own moral compass would fair.  I always laugh when I hear people watching the rugby. "Jeeesus, he was through!!! why didn't he just side step those two covering defenders, chip over the full back and run it under the posts!?"      Yeah mate!?   you surely would have!     We get to pin our own morals to sportsmen and women when they do something good, and then they balls up, we get to abandon them, and suggest we are invulnerable to such mishaps. 

Much like life in the real world, honesty, honour, decency, the truth....... everything is on the slide or in decline.  It wont be long before not cheating is thought as being 'soft' or not wanting it enough. 

Ultimately you get out what you put in.   No doubt Joe Root will be disgusted with himself, and thats his legacy.  We are what we do. And of course it's a nonsense to suggest we as spectators are any better.   I'm sure we'd all be shocked with are own actions if put under the camera......especially hawkeye

agree with this very much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

i can understand you might want to defend the english captain but you ask how did he prove himself a cheat? he claimed a catch that he knew full well didn't carry. it is, by any standards, cheating. and yes, of course he knew full well. 

i do believe he would do it because that is exactly what he did. i've seen about 6 different angles, none shows it carried. nothing like. not on any objective viewing. 

it is simply inconceivable that anyone could imagine he genuinely thinks he caught it (john, you are just too nice). i'm yet to hear anyone down here (other than the too-nice john) even give him a possible doubt. he has shown himself for what he is. under pressure to win a test, maybe he made a mistake in the heat of the moment (if so, on seeing it on screen, he could and should have immediately said, whoops, i made an error), but with respect, i do not care if you know him. don't care if the bloke is your brother. i have absolutely no doubt he cheated. and i assure you that everyone i have spoken with, from here and over there, are not arguing the contrary. and no matter what they might tactfully say publicly, you did not need to be much of a lipreader or student of body language to know that is also exactly what the australians think of him. 

"There have been many more examples, including Australians, claiming catches that from all TV angles categorically did not carry and are not labelled cheats." there have certainly been examples - i'm not sure i'd say many and not sure many english or aussies involved - happy to look at any you can name (i do remember an english wicket keeper late 70s or early 80s around knott's era - taylor or richards - who blatantly claimed one but not many others). there have been a couple of aussies i would not put it past but that said, i can't name anyone - can you? - but that one of root's was obvious and blatant.

but you say that they are not labelled cheats? why not? of course they are cheating (as an english friend's email to me said this morning - he was horrified, for what it is worth). who says that they are not cheats? 

you suggest that my response is to do with frustration at seeing the innings end. does that apply to everyone? with respect, that is clutching at the very faintest of straws. for a start, i wasn't watching it live. that would have been about 3.30. i had gone to bed. so we can rule out that (same applies for almost everyone else i suspect). my opinion is based on viewing it many times (had it on tape) from all the angles they showed. if an australian had done that, i would have been mortified and i believe i would think of them as just as bad a cheat as i think of root. even my mother, who will defend the english till the cows come home, is convinced we should remain a monarchy forever and still thinks of us as little more than an english colony was horrified. 

you say errors can be made by the player. i played as a wicketkeeper. so i saw a great many catches come my way (sadly far from all were caught) but even with gloves, there was only one catch the entire time i played where i was not 100% certain whether it carried. which i immediately indicated to the umps and the bat was given not out. and that is with gloves on. i've heard test players insist (before this incident) that it is simply impossible not to know.

but say that there might be a tiny percentage - that is not one of them (one of my cricketing mates said he thought it landed three feet in front of him - slight exaggeration - and another said that the rules of backyard cricket have now changed - that would not even have been out under the one bounce, one hand rule). that ball was clearly bouncing up into his hands when he caught it. i do not believe an experienced cricketer would have made an error. he did not even express possible doubt - he just claimed it. and threw away his reputation for honesty. 

and before you start throwing stones at australians, worth remembering that ricky ponting tried to put in place an agreement between the teams last time he captained the ashes series that sides would take the word of the opposition on such matters. it was the english who refused it. wonder why? 

"Were the onfield umpires cheating when they gave the soft signal out? Was the third umpire cheating when they gave the it as out?  If they both called it out does that not at the minimum signify that there was clearly a view it could be out?" with respect, that is a silly and defensive comment and makes utterly no sense. the three umps we've had in this series have been dismal. but no one i have heard is suggesting that they are cheating. so yet another error does not become an accusation of cheating. live, it is entirely possible to rule that way, plus the england captain, who given the spirit of the game you would like to believe, indicated it was out. it became very clear it was not,  very quickly. i certainly do not blame the onfield umps. they referred it as they should have done. so of course it could have been out. no argument. but also no argument it was not.  the soft call meant the the third ump had to find evidence to overturn. no idea why he was so inept - why he has been so inept all series. it was he who made the majority of the errors in the first test. and it continues. but it should never have got to him. root should immediately have done the right thing. 

i'm sure that plenty of the english will defend him regardless - interesting that a member of the MCC was thrown out for abusing smith as a cheat, which seems just a tad hypocritical - and i might enjoy watching his talents as a bat, but i will never ever be convinced, that he is anything but a cheat. he showed that to the world. 

Its not blindly defending the English captain, or the England team Ken, or "throwing stones" at the Australians. Most English fans I know are pretty fair minded, I'm not talking about the morons who booed Smith when he came back out, but the vast majority gave him the ovation, respect and plaudits he deserved for such bravery (as did the UK press too). The clown from the MCC should be recoignised for what he is, an ignorant fool of which all countries have sadly a quota.  

However I am highlighting that cheating is a strong word to use in circumstances like these. Almost every test these days a catch is claimed (at slip usually) that is referred to the the third umpire and may or may not be adjudged to be out. Would everyone claiming a catch that is subsequently reviewed be considered a cheat by one side or the other?  Ponting had a catch decision go against him once in 2010 but I would never dream of saying he is a cheat, but he claimed it, it was given not out and he went on to state clearly that TV cameras should not be the arbiter, and I agree.  http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2010-11/content/story/489666.html).

I'm also surprised at your comment that the English turned down the idea of taking the players word implying some sinister reason. I would be very surprised if there where not reasons (quite likely commercial) other than the possible mistrust of the Aussie team or the thought that honesty policy would be to their disadvantage..

As for my personal opinion of Root I gave that because I know him well and I know he is honest, that's my genuine character assessment of him, where he not I would have said so, there are others whom I know that I certainly would not have vouched for. The reason I state this is because from one angle shown it looked (to me) like the ball had bounced up from his fingers into his palm, with his fingers below the ball, as such knowing his character I will gladly accept his word and give him the benefit of the doubt that he believed he caught it. You say it quickly became clear it was not out, it was not clear to me, or indeed the third umpire. These are just opinions as always.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Webbo said:

Its not blindly defending the English captain, or the England team Ken, or "throwing stones" at the Australians. Most English fans I know are pretty fair minded, I'm not talking about the morons who booed Smith when he came back out, but the vast majority gave him the ovation, respect and plaudits he deserved for such bravery (as did the UK press too). The clown from the MCC should be recoignised for what he is, an ignorant fool of which all countries have sadly a quota.  

However I am highlighting that cheating is a strong word to use in circumstances like these. Almost every test these days a catch is claimed (at slip usually) that is referred to the the third umpire and may or may not be adjudged to be out. Would everyone claiming a catch that is subsequently reviewed be considered a cheat by one side or the other?  Ponting had a catch decision go against him once in 2010 but I would never dream of saying he is a cheat, but he claimed it, it was given not out and he went on to state clearly that TV cameras should not be the arbiter, and I agree.  http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2010-11/content/story/489666.html).

I'm also surprised at your comment that the English turned down the idea of taking the players word implying some sinister reason. I would be very surprised if there where not reasons (quite likely commercial) other than the possible mistrust of the Aussie team or the thought that honesty policy would be to their disadvantage..

As for my personal opinion of Root I gave that because I know him well and I know he is honest, that's my genuine character assessment of him, where he not I would have said so, there are others whom I know that I certainly would not have vouched for. The reason I state this is because from one angle shown it looked (to me) like the ball had bounced up from his fingers into his palm, with his fingers below the ball, as such knowing his character I will gladly accept his word and give him the benefit of the doubt that he believed he caught it. You say it quickly became clear it was not out, it was not clear to me, or indeed the third umpire. These are just opinions as always.

opinions for sure. and we are not going to change each other's minds on this which is fair enough. 

as i said, i don't think that there was any intention by root to go out and cheat whenever he got the opportunity. i think that it was a spur of the moment thing. whether he regrets it, we'll never know. so if we play semantics, i don't see root as a serial cheat but i do believe that on this occasion he did cheat. which comes back to the 'little bit pregnant' argument. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

the 'little bit pregnant' argument.

I think it's really interesting to look at modern day rugby union with regards to this, and how we perceive and evolve with the rule books of different sports. 

These days when a winger has a flailing effort to dab the ball down in the corner, and he knows (he 100% knows) he's lost the ball before crossing the whitewash,  they often get up celebrate wildly, then go on to slightly grimace to the ten, and tells them "try and take the conversion quickly"

To me this is pretty similar, the player knows they've not scored, but they has abrogated their responsibility as an honest sportsman to assist the ref.  These days this is done in Rugby Union, with a cheeky wry smile and a "ah well, I had to try my hand".  

I think if this particular part of the discussion on cheating has taught us anything, it's that the publics obsession with wrong decisions whether is be Tennis/Cricket challenges,  Rugbys 4th official,  or VAR,  is increasingly dissolving the players personal responsibility to govern their own actions, and thats a sad thing.

As for Kens, "you can't be a little bit pregnant", I think thats true...... but you can be very, very pregnant.....and it doesn't look like a pleasant place to find yourself  haha!!  and I think thats what we should keep a grip on.  Some cheating like Neil Back, slapping the ball out of Peter Stringers hand into the Leicester Tigers defending scrum, was hilarious as spectator with no team in the game,   and many look back on this as almost and admirable 'dark arts' rougish act.  I'm sure many supporting Munster would not agree. There is a sliding scale of severity, and we need to be honest to it

The reality is,  the real arbiter of how bad something was, is not the ref, or the players,  It's us as fans of the game. Regardless of who we support, we should chew the fat be reasonable, and point out what is BS when we see it.    The history books will self govern the legacy any particular team or player will forge for themselves, all that will take care of itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, 99call said:

I think it's really interesting to look at modern day rugby union with regards to this, and how we perceive and evolve with the rule books of different sports. 

These days when a winger has a flailing effort to dab the ball down in the corner, and he knows (he 100% knows) he's lost the ball before crossing the whitewash,  they often get up celebrate wildly, then go on to slightly grimace to the ten, and tells them "try and take the conversion quickly"

To me this is pretty similar, the player knows they've not scored, but they has abrogated their responsibility as an honest sportsman to assist the ref.  These days this is done in Rugby Union, with a cheeky wry smile and a "ah well, I had to try my hand".  

I think if this particular part of the discussion on cheating has taught us anything, it's that the publics obsession with wrong decisions whether is be Tennis/Cricket challenges,  Rugbys 4th official,  or VAR,  is increasingly dissolving the players personal responsibility to govern their own actions, and thats a sad thing.

As for Kens, "you can't be a little bit pregnant", I think thats true...... but you can be very, very pregnant.....and it doesn't look like a pleasant place to find yourself  haha!!  and I think thats what we should keep a grip on.  Some cheating like Neil Back, slapping the ball out of Peter Stringers hand into the Leicester Tigers defending scrum, was hilarious as spectator with no team in the game,   and many look back on this as almost and admirable 'dark arts' rougish act.  I'm sure many supporting Munster would not agree. There is a sliding scale of severity, and we need to be honest to it

The reality is,  the real arbiter of how bad something was, is not the ref, or the players,  It's us as fans of the game. Regardless of who we support, we should chew the fat be reasonable, and point out what is BS when we see it.    The history books will self govern the legacy any particular team or player will forge for themselves, all that will take care of itself.

this all touches bang on one of my early points - and it reveals the massive hypocrisy in sports, all nature. 

in rugby and league, we see players claiming tries and celebrating only for video refs to expose them as fibbers - not even close sometimes.

in cricket, i mentioned the appeals for lbw and caught behind when the players know that it is not out, putting it into the hands of the ump. that is accepted as part of the game. and yet, claiming a catch you did not take (yes, i'm looking at you joe root, but leave that aside) is absolutely seen as cheating. if i was asked to explain the reason or difference, i could not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming up to the 3rd day of the Third Test and I must say, I can't recall too many test matches like this one. No...not because of controversies, or lack thereof, but rather due to the difficulty of batting on that pitch at Headingley, Leeds. We've lost 26 wickets in two days...yes, two days!

Australia are currently 6/171, ahead by 287 runs after Australia were sent in on Day 1 and dismissed for 179. Joffra Archer was excellent in picking up 6/45 but Australia responded with being dismissed for 67 in a session, Hazlewood collecting 5/30 and Dave Warner redeeming himself from Lord's by taking 4 excellent catches and making 61 in the first innings.

Below, I aim to be objective as possible and remove any bias from my writing, in other words, despite being Australian, I aim to be neutral and write from a cricket lover's perspective.

Some points from hereon in to consider...

  • No team has being bowled out for less than a 100 at Headingly and gone onto win in over 100 years.
  • To win, England would require to score the highest total of the match in the 4th innings. I can't locate exactly how many times this has been down in test cricket but from memory I think it is definitely no more than 15 times (including two matches in a row in the 1997-98 West Indies-England series in the Caribbean)...in a total of more than 2350 test matches thus far. Statistically speaking, England have less than 0.1% chancing of winning this game.
  • Despite this, I genuinely don't think that the skill and ability between the teams is much different. I think they are very close in regards to quality.
  • So why the difference in form thus far this series? After viewing Day Two from Headingly I could easily see that England a mentally tired as the end of August is the end of their season and players simply look they need a mental break. You can say they are professional and they should get on with it, but what about Mark Wood, Olly Stone and Gregory Leach? These three bowlers would be playing in front of Joffra Archer and look what he's done for England in two tests! James Anderson coming back for the fourth test is likely, but the problem is not bowling.
  • You could see from the misfields yesterday that England are playing below their peak, not to mention the drop catches from Bairstow and Root. Make no mistake, it's extremely difficult to bat on that pitch, Wade made 33 and collected some quality boundaries but two of his boundaries were from misfields that cost 3 runs each extra when they should have been singles. Prior to his dismissal he had gone 1 hour scoring 7 runs.
  • Marnus Labuschagne's 74 and 53 not out is like twin centuries (in this game). However, he was dropped on 14 by Root at 1st slip, saved from an lbw review not called for on 16 from Jack Leach that would have been given on referral, saved by a no-ball from Stokes when caught behind off a feather-nick on 35 and dropped from a beautiful in-swinger around the wicket by Bairstow on 42. In-between all this, he needed 134 deliveries to reach 50. This is the type of batting needed on this wicket as it is seaming prodigiously.
  • Ben Stokes was the best bowler of the match thus far, despite Archer's and Hazlewood's bag of wickets. 2/32 of 16 overs doesn't do justice to how well he bowled in the circumstances. He bowled a great eight-over spell, and 4 balls into a new Archer spell, Stokes had to come back on as Archer left the field due to cramp.
  • I think Joe Root will be sacked or forced to resign as captain after this test if England do not win, which I believe for the reasons stated above, is unlikely.
  • Steve Smith will come into the Australian team for the 4th test but who do you drop? It can't be Marnus Labuschagne. Marcus Harris? This would require Khawaja to open. Or do you drop Khawaja as Head and Wade have both made scores in the test series and Khawaja has not. What an interesting problem!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JohnS said:

Coming up to the 3rd day of the Third Test and I must say, I can't recall too many test matches like this one. No...not because of controversies, or lack thereof, but rather due to the difficulty of batting on that pitch at Headingley, Leeds. We've lost 26 wickets in two days...yes, two days!

Australia are currently 6/171, ahead by 287 runs after Australia were sent in on Day 1 and dismissed for 179. Joffra Archer was excellent in picking up 6/45 but Australia responded with being dismissed for 67 in a session, Hazlewood collecting 5/30 and Dave Warner redeeming himself from Lord's by taking 4 excellent catches and making 61 in the first innings.

Below, I aim to be objective as possible and remove any bias from my writing, in other words, despite being Australian, I aim to be neutral and write from a cricket lover's perspective.

Some points from hereon in to consider...

  • No team has being bowled out for less than a 100 at Headingly and gone onto win in over 100 years.
  • To win, England would require to score the highest total of the match in the 4th innings. I can't locate exactly how many times this has been down in test cricket but from memory I think it is definitely no more than 15 times (including two matches in a row in the 1997-98 West Indies-England series in the Caribbean)...in a total of more than 2350 test matches thus far. Statistically speaking, England have less than 0.1% chancing of winning this game.
  • Despite this, I genuinely don't think that the skill and ability between the teams is much different. I think they are very close in regards to quality.
  • So why the difference in form thus far this series? After viewing Day Two from Headingly I could easily see that England a mentally tired as the end of August is the end of their season and players simply look they need a mental break. You can say they are professional and they should get on with it, but what about Mark Wood, Olly Stone and Gregory Leach? These three bowlers would be playing in front of Joffra Archer and look what he's done for England in two tests! James Anderson coming back for the fourth test is likely, but the problem is not bowling.
  • You could see from the misfields yesterday that England are playing below their peak, not to mention the drop catches from Bairstow and Root. Make no mistake, it's extremely difficult to bat on that pitch, Wade made 33 and collected some quality boundaries but two of his boundaries were from misfields that cost 3 runs each extra when they should have been singles. Prior to his dismissal he had gone 1 hour scoring 7 runs.
  • Marnus Labuschagne's 74 and 53 not out is like twin centuries (in this game). However, he was dropped on 14 by Root at 1st slip, saved from an lbw review not called for on 16 from Jack Leach that would have been given on referral, saved by a no-ball from Stokes when caught behind off a feather-nick on 35 and dropped from a beautiful in-swinger around the wicket by Bairstow on 42. In-between all this, he needed 134 deliveries to reach 50. This is the type of batting needed on this wicket as it is seaming prodigiously.
  • Ben Stokes was the best bowler of the match thus far, despite Archer's and Hazlewood's bag of wickets. 2/32 of 16 overs doesn't do justice to how well he bowled in the circumstances. He bowled a great eight-over spell, and 4 balls into a new Archer spell, Stokes had to come back on as Archer left the field due to cramp.
  • I think Joe Root will be sacked or forced to resign as captain after this test if England do not win, which I believe for the reasons stated above, is unlikely.
  • Steve Smith will come into the Australian team for the 4th test but who do you drop? It can't be Marnus Labuschagne. Marcus Harris? This would require Khawaja to open. Or do you drop Khawaja as Head and Wade have both made scores in the test series and Khawaja has not. What an interesting problem!

john, i think this test has confirmed that these two sides have some excellent bowlers but far fewer decent bats. very much a ball dominated series. if we do go on in the next day or two to win this one and retain the ashes, i do agree, it does seem that there has not been that much of a difference between the teams, or so it seems. perhaps the difference is smith (and his sub) and we have a slightly better attack, or perhaps more good bowlers than england does. 

i'd be careful suggesting things could have gone differently with reviewing. that applies to both sides. they have both been dismal when bowling and batting with reviews. no clue. embarrassingly so. 

i think what will happen with teams for the next test will be very different if we win, or if a draw/english win. we win and the series is gone and so there will be changes accordingly. 

we should have it in the bag by now though i'll feel much more comfortable if we can add another 70/80 or a bit more. england do have some good bats and the pitch should be at its peak for batting. the aussie quicks will be absolutely tearing the walls down to get the ball though and lyon could be lethal. 

agree, luck has played a big part. labuschange had some last night. warner in the first (though not so much before that). i heard a figure of 25 times playing in missing for his 60-odd. but then burns got a ton in the first and apparently, yes someone counted, he played and missed an extraordinary 42 times. both sides have hardly batted well - smith, on the other hand, i can't really remember him playing and missing (and certainly no chances) more than a couple of times. also, i don't really consider root dropping labuschange as luck (some might say karma after he claimed that catch last test but leave that aside); nor johnny b's drop. root's was especially poor cricket. you are captain. you failed with the bat again. your team desperately needs a wicket and a lift. and you drop that? not luck. just poor. same can be said for warner's drops previous test. it is no more luck than being able to take advantage of a bad ball by the bowler. no one ever says the bat was lucky the bowler bowled a poor ball. all part of cricket. the playing/missing is more in the luck category for me. 

not sure i'd agree all those would be playing ahead of archer, especially after the world cup. the admin pushed him through to be available and there has been a real push for him to play. speed is incredibly valuable. but i wonder about him long term. walking off after four balls with a cramp? anyone see lillee or stokes or botham or any other of the great many competitors in the game doing that? 

i'd agree that stokes was magnificent (he owed them after playing the worst shot of the series when batting at crucial time), but no way on earth would i rank it ahead of the spell by hazlewood. that was utterly epic. one of the great ashes spells by any standards. it might turn out to be the spell which wins us the ashes. 

both sides are suffering from t20 and one day cricket. it is killing batting styles. roy should be dropped. he can't play the red ball game. buttler has problems, as does bairstow. and we have a bunch who would not have ever been considered for selection when we were at our peak. the batting of both sides has shown just how far ahead of everyone smith is. his concentration and application amazing. 

i'd be happy to see root continue as captain. i say that as an aussie. i think he is a very average captain at best. and i think it impacts adversely on his batting. for his sake, as much as it would hurt, losing the captaincy would help him get back on track. don't see it mid-series. 

for us, not sure what they will do. hardly matters if we win here. but smith will be back. warner will stay for now. but harris, khawaja, wade and head are all thin ice and one must go. i might put khawaja to opener - he has done it successfully before. what a shame joe burns is not here. head has a massive technical issue with balls between bat and pad. how many times? wade did score a crucial ton first test but not much since. i really do not know. perhaps a shame pucovski is not in the squad. be a perfect time to blood him, if we win here. 

looking forward to a big night where we put the final nail in the coffin. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JohnS said:

Coming up to the 3rd day of the Third Test and I must say, I can't recall too many test matches like this one. No...not because of controversies, or lack thereof, but rather due to the difficulty of batting on that pitch at Headingley, Leeds. We've lost 26 wickets in two days...yes, two days!

Australia are currently 6/171, ahead by 287 runs after Australia were sent in on Day 1 and dismissed for 179. Joffra Archer was excellent in picking up 6/45 but Australia responded with being dismissed for 67 in a session, Hazlewood collecting 5/30 and Dave Warner redeeming himself from Lord's by taking 4 excellent catches and making 61 in the first innings.

Below, I aim to be objective as possible and remove any bias from my writing, in other words, despite being Australian, I aim to be neutral and write from a cricket lover's perspective.

Some points from hereon in to consider...

  • No team has being bowled out for less than a 100 at Headingly and gone onto win in over 100 years.
  • To win, England would require to score the highest total of the match in the 4th innings. I can't locate exactly how many times this has been down in test cricket but from memory I think it is definitely no more than 15 times (including two matches in a row in the 1997-98 West Indies-England series in the Caribbean)...in a total of more than 2350 test matches thus far. Statistically speaking, England have less than 0.1% chancing of winning this game.
  • Despite this, I genuinely don't think that the skill and ability between the teams is much different. I think they are very close in regards to quality.
  • So why the difference in form thus far this series? After viewing Day Two from Headingly I could easily see that England a mentally tired as the end of August is the end of their season and players simply look they need a mental break. You can say they are professional and they should get on with it, but what about Mark Wood, Olly Stone and Gregory Leach? These three bowlers would be playing in front of Joffra Archer and look what he's done for England in two tests! James Anderson coming back for the fourth test is likely, but the problem is not bowling.
  • You could see from the misfields yesterday that England are playing below their peak, not to mention the drop catches from Bairstow and Root. Make no mistake, it's extremely difficult to bat on that pitch, Wade made 33 and collected some quality boundaries but two of his boundaries were from misfields that cost 3 runs each extra when they should have been singles. Prior to his dismissal he had gone 1 hour scoring 7 runs.
  • Marnus Labuschagne's 74 and 53 not out is like twin centuries (in this game). However, he was dropped on 14 by Root at 1st slip, saved from an lbw review not called for on 16 from Jack Leach that would have been given on referral, saved by a no-ball from Stokes when caught behind off a feather-nick on 35 and dropped from a beautiful in-swinger around the wicket by Bairstow on 42. In-between all this, he needed 134 deliveries to reach 50. This is the type of batting needed on this wicket as it is seaming prodigiously.
  • Ben Stokes was the best bowler of the match thus far, despite Archer's and Hazlewood's bag of wickets. 2/32 of 16 overs doesn't do justice to how well he bowled in the circumstances. He bowled a great eight-over spell, and 4 balls into a new Archer spell, Stokes had to come back on as Archer left the field due to cramp.
  • I think Joe Root will be sacked or forced to resign as captain after this test if England do not win, which I believe for the reasons stated above, is unlikely.
  • Steve Smith will come into the Australian team for the 4th test but who do you drop? It can't be Marnus Labuschagne. Marcus Harris? This would require Khawaja to open. Or do you drop Khawaja as Head and Wade have both made scores in the test series and Khawaja has not. What an interesting problem!

Great write up John. 

To me the greatest point of frustration (as a non bias party) is how bad the batting has been generally (not including Khawaja, Smith or Labuschangne).  The 20/20 skill set looks to have has such an erosive impact on the players willing to stand at the crease and just dig in.   I've been particularly impressed with Labuschangne, really gritty, and happy not to look particularly flash.   The bowlers from both teams have been exemplary (bar Moeen),  and there collective quality really has shown up the majority of the batsmen to be sufferers the new attention deficit disorder generation. 

how is it that bowlers like Hazelwood, Broad etc can present the discipline to put the ball on a length, but the batsman cant show the backbone and determination to leave well alone. 

It's great for England that they've won the world cup, but as a fan off the Ashes, I think its definitely had a negative impact on the only form of the game I enjoy. 

I agree, Joe Root, seems to be ill fitted to captaincy, and he might actually enjoy his cricket more, if he was back batting in his preferred slot. 

I hope they don't drop Khawaja on Smiths return, I feel it would incredibly unfair.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The batting for England is an embarrassing shambles and we are about to lose the Ashes because of it. I am still in disbelief at the dismissals yesterday, Root got a good un, maybe Bairstows (funny when you are on a bad trot you keep getting them). The others however where simply disgraceful, what the hell is the batting coach telling them? Its no coincidence that the two guys who have looked the most impressive and solid (Smith & Labuschangne) have one thing in common, they leave the bloody ball superbly. When it's outside off stump and you have been out 4 times nicking to the slips (and you are fighting for your test career, yes you Jason Roy) don't sodding well play at it, let them bowl all day there. Its called test cricket, its supposed to be a test, work out the answer and apply it. They are either too stupid, too stubborn, or simply not good enough to do this it seems (maybe depressingly it is a combination of all 3). Even worse is that the cupboard is bare, there are no promising English county players knocking on the door to open the batting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So can someone explain to me why everyone is still so insistent another stand of 160 odd tomorrow is still such a far flung prospect.   I get the fact that England have been largely useless with the bat, but although it took lots of grit today, have they not just broke the camels back?   the bowlers should be knackered, it doesn't appear to be spinning, the pitch doesn't appear to be breaking up, fast outfield etc.

By no means am I saying it's more likely than not likely, but in doing what they did today, I would feel like the majority of the weight has lifted. Like they should step out tomorrow like it was eminently achievable...............famous last words,  I can hear the clatter of wickets already

I guess what I'm saying is achieving final day scores more of a mental thing? or is it usually the degradation of the pitch?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has to do with how a batsman builds their innings. If they can get to 20 then they are "in", so-to-speak, and they shouldn't get out unless they have a loss of concentration and they get themselves out, which happens due to their patience been tested. This doesn't happen all the time, good bowling can still get you a wicket, but if a batsman makes 20 they should go on.

The problem with this traditional way of playing the game on this wicket is that it's very, very hard on this wicket to feel you are "in" as a batsman. Have you noticed how when one wicket falls in this game another follows soon after? This is why Ben Stokes played the way he did at the end of Day 3, its because he knew that if he got out then England would have potentially collapsed.

In this game Australia were 2/136 in the first innings and 4/164 in the second innings so while 3/156 seems like a strong score, all that is required on day 4 is for the first wicket to fall, which it will with that seam movement off that pitch. If England get to 300 it would be like scoring 450 or 500 on a flat wicket, that's how monumental it would be.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely speechless after that. I thought it was going to be all over by lunch today!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes sport makes fools of everyone, could never imagine what I have just seen!!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what an advert for test cricket. Roll on Old Trafford, I think both teams will need the break after that emotional rollercoaster.

i do not think that a single performance absolves a terrible English team, but it shows them they can do it when needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the key think about this win, is that a bit like snooker. The most devastating frames are the ones where the oponant needs just one more red and the trophy is theirs.....then you snatch it away. I don't think that will be the case for this Australian team, but it is going to be a huge psychological blow landed for Root and his men. Old Trafford is going to be interesting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   1 member

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.