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Ashes player ratings - First Test

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Tom Fordyce | 15:41 UK time, Sunday, 12 July 2009

I sense there's some excitement out there about England's performance in Cardiff. And a whole heap of talk about Australia's. What an incredible match.

You might well disagree with the numbers I've dished out, but that's the point. Get stuck in and knock yourself out. I still can't believe what I've just seen...


ENGLAND

StraussAndrew Strauss - 4
Got a start in the first innings before being foxed by Johnson's slingy bouncer and gloving to slip, but didn't even get that in the second. So disappointed with the top-edged cut off Hauritz that cost him his wicket in the second that he remained rooted to the spot for several seconds. Lacked inspiration and imagination in the field as his bowlers toiled.

Alastair Cook - 3
Two poor shots, two cheap dismissals. His bat was well away from his body on the first day, his front foot planted on the fourth. Technical problems to resolve.

Ravi Bopara - 4
Never looked comfortable even when scoring quickly on the first morning. Could have been out to Johnson's slower one before exactly the same delivery did for him again. Unlucky to be given out lbw by Billy Doctrove on Saturday - the ball was going over the top of the stumps, and Doctrove had turned down plumb shouts until that point - but was playing round his front pad.

Kevin Pietersen - 6
England's most fluent batsman on Wednesday, but the manner of his dismissal will anger traditionalists for years. Horrible misjudgement against Hilfenhaus as England fell apart, leaving alone a straight ball that lacked any real danger. Not the performance he wanted on the biggest stage of all.

CollingwoodPaul Collingwood - 9
Typically dogged knock early in the match as part of England's best partnership of the match with KP, although he gave his wicket away with a loose prod outside off. Hung around with immense determination for 345 minutes as his side somehow escaped - was heartbroken with the manner of his dismissal at the death, but did more than any other man to save the match.

Matt Prior - 6
Decent first innings flash and dash before a loose drive cost him a bigger score. One of his best matches with the gloves, but a poor choice of shot in the second innings cost England dear. If you're going to bat at six, you have to bat with the a number six's discipline.

Andrew Flintoff - 6
His fiery spell against Phillip Hughes was the most menacing period England managed with the ball in hand, but it was all too brief - his final figures were 1-128. Cheered to the rafters by the Cardiff crowd for everything he did and looked to be getting back into form with the bat, yet unable to exert a direction-changing influence on the match.

Stuart Broad - 4
A chastening experience on his Ashes debut. Spanked for 129 runs off his 32 overs, struggling to find a length and line that worried the Australian batsmen. Much has been made of his character, attitude and potential, but he struggles to take enough wickets or exert enough control at the moment.

Graeme Swann - 4
Possibly England's biggest disappointment. Went into the match as the leading wicket-taker in Tests this year but failed to claim a single scalp in three days of toil, ending with a return of 0-131. His solid batting will keep him in the team ahead of Panesar.

James Anderson - 9
For all the talk about him being ready to lead the attack, he had only one spell where he looked genuinely dangerous - dismissing Katich with a trademark inswinger and following up with one slid across Hussey. For the rest of the time, he failed to halt the Aussie advance. So much for the bowling. For his epic 21 not out off 53 balls, for holding his nerve when most had lost theirs, he goes straight up to a nine.

Monty Panesar - 7
Out-bowled by Nathan Hauritz. Got the prize wicket of Ricky Ponting, but only after he'd stuck 150 on the board and arguably thanks to Ponting's first error. Still no sign of the bowling progression that he's been said to be making, and now the man most likely to make way for another seamer at Lord's - but if he doesn't play another game all summer, they'll never forget that last-wicket stand. Was that Chris Tavare in disguise?

AUSTRALIA

Phillip Hughes - 5
In his brief innings, we saw both the good and bad in the young opener. There were the trademark cuts and back-foot drives, but also a weakness against the short ball angled into him. A tale in progress.

Simon Katich - 9
A man who knows his own limits and plays within them beautifully. His innings on the second afternoon and evening began to take the game away from England. Looks twice as happy and twice the player he was four years ago.

Ricky Ponting - 7
Four years ago in the first Test, Ponting wore a bouncer from Steve Harmison on his cheek. The only thing he wore on his face in Cardiff for four and three-quarter days was a big happy grin, but then came that incredible last stand. Wonderful chanceless knock of controlled aggression to grind England into the turf, but his captaincy will now come under further fire for his tactics on the last afternoon. Why was Johnson given so many overs when he was so clearly making zero headway?

Mike Hussey - 5
A rare Aussie failure with the bat, but took a sensational diving snag in the gully to dismiss Cook on the first morning, the first wicket in the series, and what appeared to be a key one to see off Colly at the very end.

Michael Clarke - 8
Lovely fluent innings as Australia turned the screw, his footwork as quick as Michael Flatley's and his strokes through the off side so easy on the eye.

Marcus North - 9
Seen as a county workhouse before his Aussie debut, he took the game out of England's reach with an uncomplicated but punishing century on Friday afternoon and Saturday. All the concentration and application in the world, and two tons in three Test knocks tells of a man moving up the ranks.

Brad Haddin - 9
Near-faultless behind the timbers, devastating with the blade. On the evidence of this match, a fitting descendent of Marsh, Healy and Gilchrist.

Mitchell Johnson - 6
Not the mortal danger many expected in England's first innings, although the slower ball that got rid of Bopara was a beauty, and the one angled in that trapped Cook lbw on Saturday afternoon began England's second demise. Struggled badly with his line on Sunday afternoon as Australia saw the win slip away.

Nathan Hauritz - 7
Slated before the series began, he took three wickets in the first innings and then made a mockery of those predictions by finding turn and bounce on Sunday to send the England skipper back to the hutch. Out-performed the much-vaunted combination of Swann and Panesar by a country mile.

HilfenhausBen Hilfenhaus - 8
Only in the side because of injury to Brett Lee, he found wobble where England's bowlers found none. Got rid of Cook and Collingwood on the first day; came back on the last to take the key wicket of Pietersen. The sight of that off stump cartwheeling backwards was the moment that England feared their fate was sealed.

Peter Siddle - 7
Aggressive and hard-working, his spell late on the first evening nipped an England revival in the bud. Found in-dip to castle both Flintoff and Prior, and then came back to end Collingwood's brave resistance.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Ratings are a bit high for Monty and Jimmy for me. Yes it was a game-saving partnership at the death but they're in the side as bowlers and simply neither did well enough

  • Comment number 2.

    I think you've been too generous with your scores for the England players. Collingwood was really the only player on the team who performed to the required level over the course of the whole match.

  • Comment number 3.

    ANDERSON ON 9?!


    WHAT ARE YOU ON?!

  • Comment number 4.

    Anderson 6, Panesar 5, the rest I can't really argue with. Down to the best pick for man of the match being Collingwood or Haddin, not Ponting.

  • Comment number 5.

    Ponting didn't captain too badly...his fields were always inventive and he had plans for every bowler, sadly he had a bit too much faith in Mitchell Johnson but apart from that I think hs captaincy was excellent

  • Comment number 6.

    I'd better dive in to defend my numbers for Jimmy and Monty before we get any more capped-up incredulity - they were on four each until that 69-ball last stand. Take their final readings as a reflection of their batting and nothing else.

    Fair?

  • Comment number 7.

    Bizarre scores for Anderson and Panesar, who were poor at what they are in the team to do.

    As for their batting, they performed well enough - but really, they were just in the right place at the right time, with just enough time having been lost to weather and light throughout the test for them to hang on.

    Overall I'm bemused at how some are acting as if England just pulled off some kind of famous victory.

    Face it - Australia scored as much in one innings as England could manage in two. England were TERRIBLE, and spent most of the match being humiliated by an Aussie team who are no great shakes themselves.

  • Comment number 8.

    How can you possibly give 4 to Graham Swann?
    He played a big part in saving the match for England and he scored 78 runs for once out.
    He more than made up for his bowling but I believe he was unlucky not to get at least 3 out LBW.

  • Comment number 9.

    Now that is what I call TEST cricket!

    England 4/10. Aussies 8/10.

    What changes for the next Test for England. Lords will be another batting track so I'd drop Panesar and bring in Harmisson.


  • Comment number 10.

    Congratulations England. No changes can be deemed necessary for Lords.

  • Comment number 11.

    .Take away the 9 you say you eventually gave to Anderson for batting, 4 for Anderson before his batting??? How come!!!!
    He was the most economical bowler and took more wickets than anyone else......and that cant be argued with. How does Freddy get a 6 for more expensive bowling and only one wicket, and if Anderson hadnt got any runs (actually he got 26 in the first innings as well)you would have given him a four???
    I know none of our bowlers covered them selves in glory but four would have been shocking!!!
    God you gave Mitchell Jonhson a 6, now he was shocking.....

  • Comment number 12.

    Most of the ratings I think are fair, Panasar and Anderson a little high, but your reasoning reflects the general reasoning of England selectors, coaches and pundits that the tail must way.

    Even during the 2005 ashes people were ripping our tail for being unable to bat, but boy could they bowl!

    Now, here we are, 4 years later with a tail that can bat, that not only saved the match (and thus got England off to a better start than the last 2 ashes, despite us playing worse) but also saved us humilation in the first innings, the problem is they no longer seem to be able to take wickets!

    Take Panasar for example, even when he was taking regular wickets he was being derided for his feilding and batting, he improved both, and at the same time stopped taking wickets, he spent way too much time practising batting and fielding to eek out a few extra runs and not enough time bowling, the rest of our bowlers aren't much better, your comments about Swann keeping his place because he was batting sum up the situation.

    Does anyone actually think this current line up could take 20 wickets? Not when bowlers are picked for their batting they won't!

    Pick the best bowlers, let them bowl and tell the batters they'd better get past 400 without the bowlers and we'd be getting somewhere. It won't happen though, too many people want to see a bowler who can hit a quick 30 and who cares if he cant take any wickets!

  • Comment number 13.

    While I appreciate ratings are subjective...

    How could anyone in a team that was nearly thrashed by an innings be given anything over 6???

    The bowlers should be in the 1s and 2s for their dismal performance (over 600 runs conceded Tom did you miss that?) and the batsmen should not be much higher with the honourable exception of Collingwood who showed some grit. Or did you miss their performance as well?


  • Comment number 14.

    Is that the worst performance since Hulk Hogan played Mr. Nanny?

  • Comment number 15.

    I'd put Colly as man of the match definitely.

    Listening to the reactions for every ball that was faced by Jimmy and the Montster I'd agree that they were worth more than 4 each. They were as others said woeful with the ball.

    Interesting to hear Anderson described as the "senior batsman" when they were out there.

    Nice to see no 'rabbit in the headlights' stuff from Monty.

  • Comment number 16.

    Monty is 10, firstly he is not a batsman and played so many balls at death is certainly big thing...Top order should draw some sense from him.

  • Comment number 17.

    Yeah sorry Tom, 9 for Anderson and 7 for Monty is silly, no matter how elated we are with the draw.
    Also, if their ratings are due to their batting (which I agree should come into account), then isnt it a bit harsh on Swann to get 4? Unbeaten 47 in first innings and priceless 31 in second makes him our second highest scorer after Colly and surely worthy of at least a 6.
    But lets not quibble over mundanities! Im off to watch the Great Escape and not get what Steve McQueen was making such a big deal about. Harmo in for Monty at Lords and someone try tempt Michael V out of the shortest retirment in history

  • Comment number 18.

    collingwood's innings amazing held the aussies back this game has shades off adelaide 06 onlt we managed to hold them off. all the other england batsmen should take note and learn from collys batting and bring in harmison for the next test at least

  • Comment number 19.

    I dont understand the selectors. Monty Panesar, as much as we all love him, has bowled very averagely all year and quite frankly shouldn't have been anywhere near that test team. Steve Harmison and Graham Onions have taken lots of wickets all year, what more is a bowler supposed to do to get in the side?

    On the ratings i'd suggest Andersons 9 may be a little generous but he did just battle his heart out with the bat so fair play to the lad. I don't think the Aussies fear him with ball in hand though.

  • Comment number 20.

    Good show by the boys at the end, and hats off to Paul Collingwood. Stella performance.
    If they don't bring in Harmy (the man Ponting picked out as the Aussie's no. 1 threat), then I will further despair over England's chances.
    We had a lucky escape, let's face it.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Do not compare Hauritz bowling figures with those of Monty. The point to note is Panesar should have been bowling at the time he was batting.

  • Comment number 23.

    Slightly odd Ratings If Kp gets a 6 for a match total of 77 runs why did Swann get a 4 for a match total of 78 runs and a not out. I understand Swann was in the side as a bowler and was poor but its only fair you take into account both areas of peoples games.

    Anderson again bowled poorly but contributed well with bat and maybe deserved a 6/7

    Also another point if we were to base any changes in the side on the player ratings then cook is first to go then broad/Swann. Ditch panesar broad and bring in onions and Harmison

  • Comment number 24.

    What an escape! That's test cricket. So much is mental, and hopefully with the Lords test coming up so soon, the Aussies will be down and we'll be up enough to get the first win there since 1934 (a shocking statistic). Sounds harsh, but I hope that Monty's heroics don't keep him in the team - he bowled poorly, and has been doing so for a year, and shouldn't be in the XI.

    Harmison is incredibly frustrating and mentally weak, but the pressure is now off him somewhat, as nobody expects England to win after this insipid performance; plus the days when we built him up as England's Curtly Ambrose are over, and nobody expects much from him personally. He's playing at home, and has been in great form this summer, so I think he might just be able to relax, use his natural talent and pace, and do some damage.

    Finally, wonder if the ECB's been on the blower to Banger Trescothick...?

  • Comment number 25.

    6 for Flintoff? What are you on, man? Flintoff deserves a 1 AT BEST - his attitude was atrocious. Shaking hands in congratulation on conceding 100 runs while bowling? Ridiculous! And that's a senior player. Did anyone notice the grim determination on the aussie faces at all times??? Drop Flintoff - overated, overweight and a too high opinion of himself. Give him a free pass to the pub and get someone in who is actually bothered about the ashes and not living on past glories!!

  • Comment number 26.

    Had to leave the house for one of those dreaded Sunday walks with 9 overs to go. I am absolutely delighted that we managed to save the match. There are certain England players and I totally agree with the scores above who have to have a long hard look at themselves over the next few days and let the management and the captain know if they can't do better for the rest of the series-Stuart Broad, Prior and KP in particular. Monty should feel himself very unlcuky to get dropped for Lords now and I hope this is what we need to launch us into a test match at a ground where we have not beaten the Aussies for decades. It might be the home of cricket we need to make it the English (and Wales) home of cricket.

  • Comment number 27.

    Broad won't be ditched. If the English team had lost, he might have been. I imagine the only change will be Panesar for Harmison or Onions.

    The ratings look pretty right although 9 for Anderson looks a bit high next to Colly. Colly even bowled ok unlike the rest of the English attack.

    I would have given Colly MOTM. He stood firm in both innings and was completely solid today. Fine, fine effort. He was the only one who seemed to realise it was still a batting pitch apart from Anderson and Panesar.

  • Comment number 28.

    Tom Fordyce gets a 3 for his player ratings! Howzat?!

  • Comment number 29.

    Its been said that the match has been draw, so now England need to work way harder and I think they need to bring in Harmison for Broad and they should give Onions a chance for either Swann or Panesar.
    Also Bopara should open with Strauss and Owais Shah should come in at no. 3.
    Flintoff should get one chance at no 6 or 5, so he can get a bit more confident in batting.
    Hard Luck or should I say bad luck for Australians, they worked really hard; Ponting captaincy was almost great except for he didn't give more overs to Hilfenhaus, who was bowling exceptionally well and picked up 3 wickets.
    As for ratings I think 9 for Anderson and 7 Panesar is okay, since they battled for 69 minutes against Australia, where top order went for cheaply. As for Swann he didn't picked up any wickets but he batted termendously well, and should deserve atleast 5 or 6.
    For Ponting I think he got his confidence back, and should deserve 8, with a brilliant 150 and for the almost win.
    If it wasn't for rain, Australia would have been 1-0, so can't really mock Ponting for his captaincy effort.
    Overall exciting Test Match, good luck to both teams.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think I would knock a point of Colly, Anderson and Monty, but remember that Jimmy batted well twice in the match, and I do think he bowled with spirit, even if he didn't have that much success. Colly did a good job but 9 is too much. 8 is a deserved mark for him. I'd mark KP down an extra point for giving his wicket away in the first innings. And I am not sure what Mitchell Johnson did to deserve his 6.

    Hopefully England can regroup and put on a better show at Lords now.

  • Comment number 31.

    England were poor and the bowling was especially disappointing but, at the end of the day, it was the failure of the Australian bowlers, twice, to deal with the England tail, which determined the final result.

    For England, the way forward is pretty clear: either Graeme Onions or Steve Harmison will replace Monty Panesar at Lords and give a better cutting edge. It is just possible that both might play with Broad getting a rest too, but the most plausible swap is Harmison for Panesar. For Australia, the options are more limited: their batting looks magnificent, but unless you can take that 20th wicket, you don't win, as England discovered twice in the Caribbean.

  • Comment number 32.

    Don't know what the excitement is about. We struggled to survive on a pitch that the Aussies found little trouble with. We came very close to an innings defeat and more. Doesn't bode well for the summer if this is the best we can do.

  • Comment number 33.

    Right. Stubborn rearguard action needed from Fordyce. Good point about Swann's batting in comparison to KP - and although in his primary role he failed, I agree that I've undermarked him. RememberRandall - if you're not a Notts fan then I'm Ben Dirs.

  • Comment number 34.

    crackedrock - drop Flintoff? I think you've been smoking too much of your name.

    gerrardswhiskers - a Sunday walk with 9 overs to go? Good god man, who wears the trousers in your house?! :)

    Maybe we should play eleven bowlers at Lords - they bat better than the top order...

  • Comment number 35.

  • Comment number 36.

    Funny game this. Thing is, right now England are on a high and the Aussies will feel like they lost. We have the chance to come into the next test with some good morale, and all this one really proved is neither side have very good bowlers for those conditions, but the Aussies have the better batting. What was interesting is how poor some of the Aussie bowling actually was today. Though also how ineffective Swann & Panesar were.

    I think if we get conditions with some movement off the seam, maybe a few clouds about, something more to the liking of Anderson & Broad, and IF - a big IF - Harmy comes back and bowls near his best for a spell or two, we will see a very different result next time out. Oh, and full marks to Vic Marks who said on Day 1 this would be a draw!



  • Comment number 37.

    Cricketing stargazer - good point about the Caribbean tour: England were the better team and yet lost. Could the same thing happen this time around?!

  • Comment number 38.

    What a load of rubbish, forget all these player ratings...means nothing...at the end of the day this is a HUGE RESULT for England after the last 2 days...team effort even tho top guns failed. If England had lost they would be chasing the series throughout.
    If I were to make any changes it would be ..Onions for Panesar, drop Pieterson, make him think about his responsibility to the team, give Bell a chance and get the bowlers to bowl at top of off stump...

  • Comment number 39.

    Darth_Blader, personally, I would prefer Australia to think that they really won, that they are as good as they think that they are and to ignore the fact that they only took a handful of wickets in the two innings combined (most England batsmen actually gave their wickets away).

    Yes, the Caribbean tour is an interesting precedent. 3 wickets were the difference between 1-0 and 1-2 and nobody should forget it.

  • Comment number 40.

    It was clear that the ball was barely swinging, when it did Jimmy got 2 quick wickets. He is a dangerous bowler in swingin conditions, ask the top 7 of the New Zealand order.

    We didn't bowl well, we batted without decent application. End of the day, both sides could have batted 700+ with the right attitude, no bowler was particularly great.

    Whats a refreshing change is it was Australia not finishing a side off, we showed some real grit from 70-5 with 2 sessions to go, its great that we managed this. Now get some swinging conditions and some faith in the likes of Jimmy and Broady and we will be able to win, as long as we keep our focus.

    And while many aussies will make statements about England celebrating the draw, someone should remind them of Old Trafford 2005...

  • Comment number 41.

    By the way, Tom Fordyce, thanks for doing rankings for the Australian team. Most bloggers don't bother.

    And I agree about Ben Hilfenhaus. Nothing to show that this is only his fourth test match.

    Darth Blader, how many series can you compare this one to? 2005 is wearing thin already. How about none? It will have it's own rhythm and flow just like this game.

    Honestly, if there are many more endings like this I'll be hospitalised before the series is out.

  • Comment number 42.

    crackedrock - Are you serious? Any Australian will tell you that they would only take two players from Englands side and thats Fred and KP so lets not drop them hey! And the implication that Fred doesn't care about the Ashes makes your whole post laughable.

    I'm an Essex fan but Cook worries me, is he really good enough against the top sides?

  • Comment number 43.

    Tom if you were the sole selector picking a team for lords(barring possible injuries) would you pick harmison or onions or both or neither? Who would make way for them if you did?

  • Comment number 44.

    6 for KP ? The man is either the best Batsman in the side (in which case why is he still being allowed to hide at #4?) or he isn't (in which case he is just a load of hype).
    It is time for KP to prove his greatness or to forever be just a talented but ultimately flawed player.


  • Comment number 45.

    I would suggest that when we look back at Panesar and Andersons batting this afternoon, you may agree with Tom. That is very likely to have a large baring on where the Ashes ends up, providing England improve .....

  • Comment number 46.

    You know, OldRegret, I'd been listening to the Middlesex game rather than the Test most of the time having given up on the match on Thursday evening fearing what would happen (see my post when Tom Fordyce asked which scenario I thought was most likely). Mind you, the last 90 minutes today were just utterly riveting. It's odd that, having done the supposedly hard bit in both innings, Australia just could not dismiss the England tail either time: it is not a failing that we have seen from them much over the years.

    Had England lost it would have been hard to see them getting back into the series. Now, there is just a chance that it could be a lot closer than we feared. I cannot believe that England will bat or bowl so badly twice and, as it did for the West Indies in the Spring, just avoiding defeat will give the players a lot of self belief. Roll on Lords!!!! Australia haven't lost there since 1934 and a sequence like that has to end some time, hasn't it :-).

  • Comment number 47.

    cant believe the celebrations at end from players for getting a very lucky draw the performance from most of team especially bowling attack was embarrasing lucky bret lee wasnt there or it would have been over early

  • Comment number 48.

    "get someone in who is actually bothered about the ashes and not living on past glories!"

    Hmmm, a fair point, but on that basis, I'd have Onions rather than Harmison any day. As soon as Harmison gets back in the team, he'll have the same old attitude that he's a permanent fixture. He's had countless chances and wasted them all, letting him wear the shirt again would show how weak the ECB really are

    And despite his batting heroics, it's back to the practice nets for Monty and bring in Rashid I feel, although not for Lords, which usually is a batsman's paradise (ergo England will get a woefully under par score, as in the first innings here)

  • Comment number 49.

    Quinny i actually thought Englands celebration was muted in comparison to Australias in the old trafford game in 2005-the entire australian balcony erupted after they survived that test. England realised they were not really at the races in this game but are still level

  • Comment number 50.

    Swann needs a 6. He bowled badly but against 7 left handers in the Aussie line up there was much more there for Monty than him to utilise. His batting alone helped save the game - twice. I was a bit miffed that Strauss mentioned Anderson, Colly and Panesar in his post match interview but didn't stick in a word for Swann's dogged effort. I think he'll get more value for his bowling at Lords and I think he is a tough character, much like Ashley Giles was, and will just go on to the next game without too much baggage about his bowling. He's a good honest player. 6 for me.

  • Comment number 51.

    job done.

    regroup and sort it out and lets win the next.

    Please please please beat the ozzies.

  • Comment number 52.

    As some one who actually was at Edgbaston ( all five days ) in 2005 all I can say is the last hour of the game today at Cardiff reminded me of the nail biting end to that game.

    Clearly this is not the Australian side of that day or the one in 2006/7 which I witnessed at the MCG and Sydney.

    Australia did not have Warney to finish the game today ..but the low point to me was the sending on of Englands 12th man with the phyiso was that really warranted ?

    This Australian side is not great( YET ) but England are rebuilding and far too late to compete in this Ashes campaign.

    Congrats to Colly though he earned his MBE today and the Ozzies cant take that away from him...shame the other batters could not contribute more ..plus I felt every ball Swanny blocked with his body .at least they with Monty and Anderson tried - so thanks lads see you at Edgbaston

  • Comment number 53.

    KP on a 6?? The greatest English batsman was outdone by Collingwood. Threw away his wicket in both innings when he was the one to build a big innings. The whole stort is England rely to much on him.. Seems to me the rely to much on the likes of Collingwood, Prior, Swann and Broad to actually do their part...

    For me KP no more than a 4. He is proving to be the Mat Le Tissier of Cricket.. Waste of talent..

  • Comment number 54.

    Mind you, for all the moaning - it was bloody gripping entertainment!!

  • Comment number 55.

    Pietersen should be dropped. I am sick and tired of seeing him play for himself and not the team. This ludicrous situation will continue until he is brought down a peg or two.
    My team for lords..

    strauss
    cook
    bopara
    bell
    collingwood
    prior

    flintoff
    broad
    onions
    sidebottom
    anderson

  • Comment number 56.

    Very very true Mathna!!

  • Comment number 57.

    In consideration, giving Anderson 9 is something of an insult to Collingwood, whose defence of the un-defendable position he found himself and in rallying the rear guard was gong territory. But that is forgetting he also did his job in the first innings and ended with bowling figures that rather shamed the bowlers. Given a better keeper than Prior, or more flair from his Captain he could well have ended with another 2 or 3 wickets in his 9 overs.

    Don't think I'd penalise Jimmy by more than a point though as he performed well with the bat and by was no means the worst of the bowlers.

    Then none of the bowlers actually performed badly compared to the batsmen, most scored better than the batsmen too, so the first four batsmen loose a point across the board!

    Which brings us to Pietersen: Six for turning up on Wednesday?
    Sunday's effort doesn't even count as a cameo! So knock two points off for being a lame brain!

  • Comment number 58.

    Apart from Colly, I don't think anyone can be pleased with the performance of what they are primarily in the side for. All looked very nervous at the whole Ashes hype, and they will all do better now they are in the contest properly. I simply can't see that many players doing as badly next time, so do not advocate changes except Monty for Onions next time.
    A telling moment for me was when Siddle and Broad had a shoulder barge in the middle of the pitch. They look a right pair of competitors to me, and I look forward to them squaring up again!

  • Comment number 59.

    I cannot begin to see what KP did to deserve a 6 compared to Strauss or Bopara. He showboated a few runs in the first innings and threw his wicket away twice - the second time in an unforgiveable situation. Frankly, he gets the lowest grade on the team, and I'd almost be tempted to drop him for one game just to put a dent in his "I'll never be dropped because I'm God and the media reminds me of it everyday" attitude. This is clearly hyperbole, but I really think the England team needs a coach who'll give them the equivilent of Alex Ferguson's Hairdryer treatment - KP is in the team to be a serious batsman but he acts like the snickering teenage in the back row of science class who's always given special treatment by the PE teacher.

    I think the whole Test Match selection procedure needs to be rethought to be honest - not too long ago England used to fail in ODIs and 20/20 because they fielded the Test team, but right now I think we've spun around to the opposite, we field the ODI team for Test. Evidence the comment that Swann will keep his place for his batting - pick the best spinner in County Cricket for a Test match, I don't care if he knows which end of the bat to hold (that used to be Monty, but on current evidence it isn't him either). Sexy shot-making and semi-threatening bowlers who can bat a bit are not what England needed in this match.

  • Comment number 60.

    What an escape! It was always possible but our woeful all round performance really did not warrant a draw which in all honesty is as good as a win.

    I believe the team needs a huge shake up. As Agnew said, we were outlcassed in every department and I don't think we have the players to beat Australia if we play 5 bowlers. I really feel that we should opt for 4 bowlers and then utilise part time bowlers, as the Australians have done so well for years.

    My starting line-up would therefore be:

    Strauss
    Cook
    Bell
    Pietersen
    Collingwood
    Prior
    Bopara
    Flintoff
    Swann
    Harmison
    Anderson

    With Colly, Bopara, Pietersen and Bell all being able to provide 3-4 overs of something different if required.

    It would give England sufficicent strength and depth in batting to ensure that we can post 2 good competitive scores and hope that wickets at Lord's, Headingley and the Oval can proivde added assistance to our bowlers.

    Panesar is not a good enough bowler and although he is a hero tonight, come Thursday he doesn't deserve a place in the team. Broad had a poor game with the bowl and I think he is not quite ready to play the Aussies. Why Harmison wasn't selected for this test, I'll never know - some people haven't dropped the demons from 1 ball in Brisbane and whilst England were getting pasted around the park, he took a five-for! Roll on Thursday.

    Cheers, Steve

  • Comment number 61.

    As much as this sticks in my craw....bring in Ian Bell for Cook. Onions for Monty, Harmison has proved on countless occasions that he's not fit to wear the shirt.
    16 backroom staff eh?...I'm sure they're earning their money (not!)..
    Strauss is playing the game as if he was at Eton....we need a winner, not a sportsman...KP for Captain!
    Finally, I hope Lords is not another lifeless flat track, designed by the ECB/MCC to get the full 5 days, otherwise it'll be last years South Africa game all over again

  • Comment number 62.

    harmison has had many, many chances- mentally he is not up to it, this aussie batting attack would take him apart.

  • Comment number 63.

    dylansvilla, I had the distinct impression that the winner in the Harmison v Australians contest in the Lions match was not the Australians...

  • Comment number 64.

    "If you're going to bat at six, you have to bat with the a number six's discipline".

    How Much more should this apply to Pieterson at No 4
    His pathetic showboating shot put England in this position. Making 60-70 on this pitch was not good enough and if he had shown a little more discipline we would not have been put under so much pressure and would not be celebrating that our tailenders got us out of a hole twice (never thought i would say that about Englands lower order).

    For me its
    Strauss 4
    Cook 3
    Bopara 3
    Pieterson 5
    Collingwood 9
    Prior 7
    Flintoff 6
    Broad 4
    Swann 4
    Anderson 6
    Monty 5 (should have been lower but that last bit of batting was incredible)

  • Comment number 65.

    Well I say bravo for giving Anderson a 9. We are well used to him getting 5s and 6s and being told that he is just too inconsistent even when he's been the best bowler on show. 9 is rather generous but I'll take it on this occasion.
    But as for what The Hand Of Hidden Forces says:
    "As for their batting [Anderson and Monty], they performed well enough - but really, they were just in the right place at the right time, with just enough time having been lost to weather and light throughout the test for them to hang on."
    Words fail me! Just in the right place at the right time? They faced 83 balls between them. Anderson survived more than 18 overs and Panesar over 11. The key word is "survived" - while all the proper batsmen got in and got out as if they didn't fully understand that to secure the draw they had to prize their wickets and not give them away. All except the hero Collingwood, of course, the real star of the innings.


  • Comment number 66.

    Tom,

    Giving KP a 6 is hypocritical. If you're going to score Monty and Anderson higher because they performed heroically above their level of duty to save the game, the you should give KP a score reflecting how he performed in relation to HIS ability; I think 2 is fairer. Regardless of top scoring in the 1st innings he should have done better, he looked like a bored teenager in the field, and his 2nd innings performance was woeful, especially as yesterday on your blog I predicted him to save the game. So for letting me down, I say 2.

    I also predicted Colly to save the game, and I'm glad he did his bit. He is the only England batsman who you can rely on not to gift the Aussies his wicket. Apart from Monty of course...

  • Comment number 67.

    Pietersen 0.

    He needs to be dropped. We don't need players who play for number uno letting the team down. I would rather 10 Collingwoods rather than one Pietersen.

  • Comment number 68.

    Only Darth-Blader has realized the real reason for this debacle when he said "So much is mental". England are about as mentally tough as a piece of onion paper! They came out like swash-buckling pirates ready to demoralize a perceived weakened enemy only to be really shown how to do it by being put to the sword themselves. Mental toughness is something you can't teach overnight, so I suppose we just soldier on. Strauss is highly unimaginative, Cook and Bopara will find out through the series how good they really are - I suspect not very good at the top level. Pietersen, two awful shots, are he and Prior brain-dead? Collingwood - need 6 more like him. As for the bowlers, I'm sorry Monty but you have to go for Harmison, why was he not picked for the first Test? Onions should be given a go early in the series for the schoolboy Broad, keep Jimmy and Swann (who else is there?) but look no further than the derided Hauritz if you want to know about mental toughness. McGrath was wrong but we will still probably lose 3-1, winning the last Test when the pressure is off, as we usually do!

  • Comment number 69.

    Your ratings for England show that your not up to the job ! Don't blog anymore on cricket please or if you do at least be honest and put realistic scores in , no England player deserved more than 4.

  • Comment number 70.

    cricketing stargazer...that partly proves my point, the fact that there was no pressure on him to perform says it all. aussies were warming up in that game, everything to lose, nothing to gain...different story in test match.

    like i say harmison has had many many chances and been proven to be not good enough.

  • Comment number 71.

    @67

    Spot on. He always has, and always will, play for himself. His comments after his first innings fiasco were typical. A testosterone-fuelled numpty - a criticism I have been posting on the 606 borads for many a year.

  • Comment number 72.

    You mean, Steve Harmison needed to bowl badly for the Lions to help England's cause?

    Anyway, I suspect that the selectors will go for Onions, who is far and a away the leading wicket-taker in First Class cricket this season (the only bowler with more than 50 wickets). Steve Harmison is some way behind in 2nd, although he is closing in on 50 in the current match and Liam Plunkett is a distant 3rd. He would be my dark-horse pick.

  • Comment number 73.

    As much as I'm incredulously biased towards England, some of these ratings are very wrong.
    KP a 6??? He was pathetic and then tried to make excuses for one of the worst test dismissals I've ever seen, and the second innings was hardly a stunning delivery either. Could be a great batsman, but his ego gets in the way, just look at Ponting, who when questioned in the presentation played down his 150. Personally I've have given Prior more than 6, because from what I saw he didn't make any mistakes with the gloves, for which he has been previously slated, and scored a 50 first innings and was dismissed by a decent delivery. Swann should be, as many have said, more than a 4, I would say probably 6/7. Can't give Jimmy or Monty that high for being able to defend, we may all be delighted, but that's what they should do every innings. So really we should be questionning why they can't apply themselves in this manner everytime. Plus Monty was poor with the ball, and Jimmy needs it to swing, which he demonstrated when it does, he is a world class bowler, but otherwise is ineffective.
    As for the Aussie ratings, all very fair as they played well as a team but Johnson a 6??? I would have said a 3/4, he bowled very poorly and certainly was nowhere near the supposed 'greatness' tag he came with. He was their weak link.
    Next match:
    Strauss - perhaps this match is the kick in the teeth he needs, particularly regarding his captaincy on the field.
    Cook - out, maybe Bopara to open and Vaughan to be coaxed out of retirement, he seems to rise to the big occasions.
    Bopara - another chance as a first ashes test can be fairly daunting.
    Pietersen - somebody please tell him to sort out his ego and play for the team, or he has to get ditched.
    Collingwood - inspired, although he always seems to need situations similar to today's to produce the wonder innings.
    Prior
    Swann - given his batting I'd move him above Flintoff, which may allow Flintoff to feel less pressure and find some rhythm.
    Flintoff
    Broad - like Bopara, needs another chance.
    Anderson - arguably the worlds most reliable batsman!! needs the ball to swing but if it does, beware Aussies.
    Panesar - personally I'd still love to see Hoggard brought back, but I guess with Jimmy as well it puts too many eggs in the swing basket, so either Harmison or Onions. Prefer Onions but maybe with so many Ashes newbies feeling the heat maybe Harmison is the man to be a short fix.

  • Comment number 74.

    I think Broad should be dropped for Harmi next test, all very well being able to bat but he's meant to be taking wickets primarily and isnt doing so. If it was upto me Harmison in for Broad would be the only change I'd make for Lords.

  • Comment number 75.

    it just shows his ignorance and puerility when at the age of 28 he hasnt even worked out what decorum, integriy and doing the right thing is. Australia will work him out this series and show him what he is. A player potentially as good as sir viv richards but who will never will be because of his personality, self delusion and attitude.

  • Comment number 76.

    I think Tom now agrees that he got both Swann and Anderson wrong.
    Bit unsure about Ponting's low score though......
    Overall, yet another match where the Aussies determination, aggression and downright will to (nearly) win completely outshone England's - I don't know how they do it, but they do it time and time again. Doesn't seem to matter who they pick, they always out-fight and out-passion English players (with a few notable exceptions in my lifetime anyway). For such a relatively small country you HAVE to admire them for that.....

  • Comment number 77.

    Larry-the Lamb (post 13)plus other posters...nearly being beaten by an innings means jack. England fough for a draw, and got it. It's an 11 man game, and the bowling team have got to take all 10 wickets. The Aussies didn't. Look in the scorebook. Nothing else to be said.

    Rookster.

    PS, Tom, couldn't agree more with your ratings

  • Comment number 78.

    Was there for the 2nd day and found bowlers to be lack lustre,Freddie only one with fire in his belly.
    English batsmen need to take heed of the likes of Katich,barely remember a shot but got a ton with no problems.Monty now fields well and didn't look in any trouble fighting for the draw.
    Freddie must lead attack and Harmi must come back for next test, we need some agression. Aussies took 19 wkts whilst we took 6!!
    Can't wait for next England game in wales..well done Cardiff

  • Comment number 79.

    Strauss failed to take any initiative in the field and the England bowlers only managed 6 wickets s a result. Pietersen played for himslef not England - why a 6? The spin duo strategy failed too, but Panesar was the more troubling of the two.

    Ponting got 19 wickets in a rain reduced match (the real reason England managed to hold on was the time lost on days 3 and 4) with only one spinner (interesting how the pitch suddenly spun when H. was bowling). Ponting worthy man of the match - for his captaincy.

  • Comment number 80.


    Think Swanny deserved more than 4 after his performance with the bat,the bloke is more or less an all rounder, but overall the scores were fair.
    Was this not a typical start for England in the Ashes though? Surely we can't play as bad as we have in this game again.The only thing that worries me is that England seem to have the same old problem's, the top five batter's have failed again to put in a score on a batter friendly wicket where four Aussies basically took the game away, the bowler's constantly bowl down the leg side whereas even an average Oz bowler does the basics well,apart from Johnson in this game and we seem to rely too much on K.P. and Flintoff to change the game.
    I would think about bringing Rob Key in at 2 in place of Cook and put Onion in for Broad who seems to have lost his way recently.I would remind K.P. of his team responsibility's and get the whole team to grow a spine and actually look like they dislike the Aussies and want to win by showing them footage of Siddle bowling at Swann.

  • Comment number 81.

    Fabulous rear guard by Colly & the tail, but England will need to step up in the next game if they want to compete in the series. Anyone else think that KP looked like he was auditioning for the next 'striclty come dancing' with his leave alone? A perfect cha-cha IMHO.

    Still - in the last few series we've lost the first test ... watch out Aussies!

  • Comment number 82.

    England has demonstrated why are the number-1 Test team in the world - India is second - England thwarted a weak Aussie bowling attack and Aussie bowing incompetance was on display

    England batsmen proved why they are the best in the world - I have often said Collingwood is the world's premier batsman and fieldsman = he prove dit in ample terms - Aussies were also struggling to handle Panesar in thsi Test - Aussie sneed to improve their ability to play Swann and Panesar

    Overall England held the upperhand throughout this match - way to go england

  • Comment number 83.

    I think given Strauss followed Collingwood into the chicanery of clearly wasting time by unusual means the Australians have taken this relatively well - the Silver Ferns accused Collingwood of being a cheat. Frankly I'd sack him if only for his continuing passive captaincy without him being exposed so badly today. BTW what other countries do or have done does not interest me, just my own - it's irrelevant.

    Even ignoring his gamesmanship positive cricket is playing to a goal not playing shots with high risk and low tariff values and prattling about playing your natural game. England are like vast mantra chanting machine that takes the one liners they repeat as analysis, knowledge and strategy not as useful reminders and no more.

    Also Strauss would be advised to keep his mouth shut rather than making sad pathetic excuses/insulting people's intelligence like the batters were not briefed on the rules before they went out! He's effectively saying we had to stretch the rules as we were incompetent and did not realise how cricket matches end - does he want to us to think he's totally incompetent?

    Compare Ponting's response with the Lions - we did not lose because of that. The self righteous sanctimony of our sporting media in blowing up single acts in games and obfuscating losing behaviour is just silly.

    On what we can control it was poor performance on a total draw wicket. The top 4 batsmen all reeked and I am not sure we can rely on Prior, Flintoff and the tail on wickets with a tad more for the bowlers. Our bowlers had frighteningly little penetration. Nice to see the central contracts had the players super fit only Broad, KP and Flintoff went off for injuries.

    Hopefully England can pick up from here and now they can play underdogs again. I'd take out Panesar whose record like Harmison's suggests he needs fast bouncy wickets and his favourite grounds like Trent Bridge and Old Trafford are not on the agenda this year. He's the one mule in the field and normally an automatic out. Also one of Broad or Anderson. I'd then bring in Onions and Sidebottom to give us a different angle plus as the tests are back to back we can shuffle our pack as no one stands out and treat it like a 5 game series rather than wear out the same bowlers game in game out.

    Hopefully nice that Panesar's career as somewhere near a first choide finished on a relative high. He has the right attitude just not the ability and with his fielding and batting a negative he needs to improve an awful lot to stay around the team surely bar injury and this time next year he might be 3rd choice spinner.

  • Comment number 84.

    Just watch. England will go into the sheds & come out full of soul searching & great intent. The Aussies will go into the sheds, work out what went wrong & deal with it.

  • Comment number 85.

    Despite his lack of success bowling I think Swan's rating is unfair onloy a 4 given he actually batted with aggression and bravery in his innings and gave the score a bit more respectable for England doing what KP failed to do to the Australian bowlers in both innings

    People seem to forget he came out with average of 79 ! from the match with the bat.

    KP's rating has divided opinion but where as in the past he has gotten away with it due to the bowlers taking the wickets or other batsmen hiding his failures on flat wickets . This time it almost cost England the match.. you are not gonna get many favours from the Australians this series... I hope we don't see any more of that first innings shot otherwise there will be calls for him to be dropped for failing to bat responsibly in the situation

    Collingwood despite his critics has proven again what a fighter he is .. he is not as gifted as Pietersen but he slugged it out which would have impressed the aussies

    I am also a bit concerned about the top order failing badly and especially Bopara deciding to flash at everything outside the stumps

    Panesar for his bravery will be dropped for Onions or Harmison for the 2nd test as someone needs to back Flintoff in the attack.

  • Comment number 86.

    OK Jimmy & Monty are in as bowlers but in 99 of any previous 100 tests that would be 1-0 the Matildas. To me they saved an unsaveable game. So respect to Jimbo (50 innings, no quacker) and Monty (and thus Colly, his batting buddy) The questions to be asked mainly involve Cook,Bopara & KP.

  • Comment number 87.

    The way England players reacted at the end of the game was if they had won the whole tournament. This was a very poor performance. The weak spinner of Australia performed better than both "key to victory" spinners of England. The England team is considered a superior test team. I laugh at that.

    The press builds up the team so much. And like the English football team they never perform.

  • Comment number 88.

    My ratings:

    Strauss: 4, batting was dissapointing.
    Cook: 3, never got going.
    Bopara: 5, got a start, but got out.
    Pietersen: 5, looked alright, but played two ridiculous shots.
    Collingwood: 9, Match-saving knock, good innings in 1st innings too.
    Prior: 6, played well but nothing special.
    Flintoff: 6, had an off-key match, but wasn't awful
    Swann: 6, batted well, bowled averagely but was unlucky with LBW's.
    Broad: 3, bad match, bowled woefully and batting wasn't great.
    Anderson: 7, good batting, saved the game, arguably our best bowler!
    Panesar: 6, decent batting under pressure, bowling wasn't too good.

    Rather generous ratings, but I'm in a good mood as we saved the match.

    Lords next, one change for me. HARMISON FOR PANESAR. Feel panesar wasn't at his best, pitch at Lords won't do him favours, plus harmison is better batsman too.

  • Comment number 89.

    Shouldn't the cricket headline be:

    "Outclassed England scrape a draw."

    For most of the match, they were hardly defiant - if not for a rain interruption they would have lost.

  • Comment number 90.

    Despite what most people think Monty Paneser is the only true world class spinner in England.

    He has a natural inkling to take wickets, something I have not seen in an English spinner for decades.

    What he needs to do is not overthink his game, forget about variation and other peoples opinions and just back himself, because if he does that the wickets will come due to his natural ability.

    He is a bit like Tim Henman and I fear that overthinking will ruin his career.

  • Comment number 91.

    Poor bowling performance but not from the spinners. When are an English team really going to give their spinners a chance to do what spinners need to do. Don't chop and change them, give then long periods to build up pressure. Monty was especially poorly utilised I thought. The 3rd day, before lunch, Monty takes Ponting, and Broad not Swann is brought on at the other end when we needed men around the bat. This has been the malaise of England cricket ever since I started watching the game. I can't even remember a more spin friendly wicket in England or Wales.

  • Comment number 92.

    IMHO KP should be batting at number 3 , the position that most test playing countries bat their best batsman ..........and as KP thinks he's our best batsman , then that should be his position .

    Strauss worries me , in that he doesn't appear to be a natural leader .......he got the job by default and doesn't impress ....give the job to Colly .

    As regard to the ratings , then KP overrated ......Swann underrated ....

    And as for the next test , Onions in for Monty (sorry Monty), KP batting 3 , Bopara 4 and Colly as captain (although it isn't going to happen )

  • Comment number 93.

    The double standards on here and general whining about the unfairness of the result are music to our ears. Surely, the same people who vilified England when twice the West Indies escaped with are draw in similar cicumstances in the Caribbean can't be the ones vilifying England for escaping now... can they?

    What happened to the mantra: "you have to take 20 wickets to win a Test"?

  • Comment number 94.

    If I was Kevin Pietersen I would quit if the man scored 200 evertime he batted people on here would still not be satisfied.

    He is an unorthodox player who scores runs by the shed load and has done from the word go. He got out to a poor shot in the first innings. Was he alone in doing this no he wasn't so did Cook Strauss Bopara Collingwood and Flintoff. In the second he misjudged a delivery Cook strauss Bopara Priorall played poor shots.

    The thing that struck me was Collingwood's dismisal today. I like Colly he is good at grinding it out.His innings was heroic and he was out playing a poor shot. If that had been KP he would have been crucified at that stage in the game with 40 minutes go.

    We have one set of standards for KP and a much lower set for everybody else. The other batsmen know they can play poorly or play stupid shots to get out as KP will either score lots of runs or top score with out a century and get slated by the media while no other batsmen is mentioned for their mistakes.

  • Comment number 95.

    Aussie ratings:

    Hughes: 4, saw flashes of goodness, but not enough.
    Katich: 9, near flawless batting, careful but got big runs.
    Ponting: 9, led from the front, 150 and inventive captaincy, one problem, they didn't win!
    Hussey: 4, batted poorly, took a great catch which saves his rating.
    Clarke: 7, so close but yet so far, good batting and average bowling, good.
    North: 9, ashes debut, unbeaten century, says it all.
    Haddin: 8, great batting, good keeping just not quite perfect.
    Johnson: 4, got a couple of wickets in both innings, but line was woeful in 2nd.
    Hauritz: 8, answered his critics with brilliant bowling and important wickets.
    Siddle: 7, good fiery bowling, didn't get rewarded.
    Hilfenhaus: 7, got the ball to swing and caused big problems.

    Debate: Stuart Clark in or out? What about Brett Lee if fit? Problems for Aussies, hard to let go of hilfenhaus, he did a good job. Not Siddle, probably. Maybe Johnson? Give your opinions.

  • Comment number 96.

    England 60/110. 6/11
    Australia 85/110. 8.5/11

    Team of the match: Australia.
    Aussie player: Ricky Ponting.
    England player: Paul Collingwood.

    In Paris for Lords. C'mon England!

  • Comment number 97.

    Right - let's have your line-ups for Thursday. You're somehow chairman of both sets of selectors - who's getting the nod, and who the old heave-ho?

  • Comment number 98.

    Given mine Tom, what do you think?

  • Comment number 99.

    oh dearie me! aren't you all rather missing the point, yet again?

  • Comment number 100.

    I'm uneasy about people being too critical of KP - yes he gave his wicket away, but he still top scored in our first innings. The other batsmen have got to take on board the gritty determination of Collingwood and try to grind innings out at the moment to compensate for a maverick talent. KP has the ability to destroy the opposition and change the course of a test match, but he will always frustrate by playing in ways that are audacious if they come off, but look terrible of he gets out. We nearly lost this test through a combination of lack-lustre bowling, unimaginative tactics and tentative batting. Let's hope we break the Lord's voodoo by playing with confidence and passion.

 

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