England Regain The Ashes!

Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

After the awesome Ashes 2005, humiliating Ashes 2006, came another wonderful series. It's always exciting if the last match of the series is the decider, no matter what the format is. Four years ago, England only had to draw the Test to win the series but this time Asstralia had as much chance to win the Ashes as England. Though Australia would be the happier team if the 5th Test was drawn, considering they would retain it. Now let's take a look at individual performances.

James Anderson
Jimmy batted well, bowled well in the first 3 Tests. He was the hero at Cardiff, highest England wicket taker, 26 in England's first innings, very valuable 53 ball 21* in the 2nd innings to help England draw the Test. He opened the bowling in the 1st Test with Stuart Broad and with Freddie Flintoff at Lord's. He liked bowling with his new ball partner, Lancashire team mate. When your fellow bowler is bowling well then you just have to keep it tight, which is exactly what jimmy did. At Lord's in the first innings, he took more wickets than Fred but there was not much difference in the quality of their bowling. A jubilant James Anderson said after the first Test, "Freddie deserves credit for getting Australia out cheaply as much as I do." A 4-for  by jimmy and good bowling by other bowlers got Australia out for 215, this is what set up the road to victory. After the Lord's Test, England were already celebrating, as if the Ashes had already been won. In the 3rd Test, Onions and jimmy ripped Australia apart in the first innings and England scored 376 but rain denied them victory. All of them looked pretty happy during the Test but they had more work to do, which they found out in the 4th Test. Freddie was injured so coach and captain didn't allow him to play although he wanted to play. Coach Petals commented "Flintoff, Pietersen not essential for win." Matt Prior had back spasms five minutes before the toss, so the toss was delayed and he decided to play. England batted first, were bowled out for 102. Jimmy pulled a hamstring while batting in the first innings. Everything was going Australia's way, the momentum was with them. England came out stronger in the 5th Test, needing a win to regain the Ashes. Freddie did play, which boosted their confidence. England scored 332. Jimmy got out on duck for the first time in his Test career. Unbelievable! Australia were bowled out for 160. England declared on 373/9, jimmy not out on 15. England set Australia a record total of 546. Australia were going pretty well at 217/2 but a direct hit from Freddie got rid of Punter. Fred had been stiff in the field, which is what prompted Hussey to call for a run. Hussey was batting for his career but I'm not sure if you can stay in the team after getting your captain out. Australia managed to score 348 in 102.2 overs, Hussey the last one to fall. Jimmy didn't take a single wicket in the last two Tests but I don't think he minds that, winning the Ashes was all that mattered. Before the 5th Test, he had said "This is the one game that matters, it doesn't matter what has happened in the rest of the series. Freddie would want to end his career on a high so we gotta win it for Fred."
Stuart Broad
Stuey was crap in the 1st Test. Scored 19 in the first innings, 14 in the second and took only one wicket in the Test. He didn't contribute much in the Lord's win either, 16 runs, 2 wickets. He was okay in the 3rd Test with 55 runs, 2 wickets but statistics don't tell you much about a player. Some players perform when it matters, some don't. Jimmy and Monty played a big role in the series just by surviving some deliveries and Stuart Broad's  55 didn't help England much. He was pretty good in the 4th Test but I really think a good bowler would get the opposition out cheaply on his day. It was clearly Stuart Broad's day, he scored 61 too but it didn't help England much. He was rather awesome in the 5th Test, 37 runs in England's 1st innings, 5 wickets in Australia's 1st innings, and this time Australia only scored 160. He scored 29 in England's 2nd innings and took a wicket in Australia's 2nd innings. An all-round performance got him the Man Of The Match. He plays all one-dayers, Tests, Twenty-20s England play since quite some time, this performance will guarantee his place for atleast a year lol. I know I criticized him after the 4th Test but I'm not taking my words back. Onions and Sidebottom are still better bowlers than him in Tests. Stuey in awesome in one-dayers, Twenty-20s but he ain't that good in Tests. I guess now he can compare himself to his dad, who scored 3 centuries in Ashes 1986/87, the year Stuart was born in.
I'll reflect on other players in my next post, watch out for it!

It's Not Over Yet

Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

The fifth Ashes Test is just about to start. It's the finale, the match that will decide whether England will go on a bus ride again or Ricky Ponting's dream of winning an Ashes in England will come true. The fourth Test was a disaster, atleast for England fans and cricketers. The Edgbaston Test was the only Test which was evenly matched, Australia clearly the better team at Cardiff, England at Lord's, Australia at Headingly. Though England were slightly ahead at Edgbaston. The last is going to be very special, given that it's the last Test of Freddie's career, unless he comes out of retirement, which is unlikely.
James Anderson bowled well, batted well in the first 3 Tests. He pulled a hamstring in the fourth Test while batting in the first innings. It's very important for a fast bowler to be fully fit because you can't bowl full without strength. Currently, jimmy is the 4th highest wicket taker alongwith Stuart Broad. But he has bowled much better than Broady. England team for 5th Test: Strauss, Cook, Trott, Bell, Collingwood, Prior, Broad, Anderson, Freddie, Harmy, Swann. I'm glad that they have dropped Bopara but they should have dropped Broad too. He ain't good enough to play Tests for England. Onions is a much better bowler than him and Broady doesn't perform when it matters. True, he took 6 wickets at Headingly but that didn't benefit England. When jimmy or Freddie take 6 wickets or even 4 or 5 wickets, the oppostion doesn't score 455. They are the guys who win England matches, Broad doesn't. The match will start in about 11 minutes so I'll give my eyes some rest and then watch the match. Hope England will regain the Ashes, cheers!