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England fans sense change as Aussies are trounced

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Tom Fordyce | 07:46 UK time, Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Adelaide, South Australia

Just after lunchtime on Tuesday, an enormous tropical storm grabbed Adelaide between its teeth and didn't let go for the next five hours.

Thunder rattled windows. Lightning stabbed down. Rain came in so hard that you could barely see across the road.

If you could, it wouldn't have been a surprise to spot the England team dancing through the puddles like Gene Kelly. Two hours earlier, under a bright blue sky, they had taken the last six Australian wickets for 66 runs to complete an innings victory with the sort of down under dominance that many England cricket supporters thought had died with Wally Hammond.

In the preceding 55 years, England had won just two Tests at the Adelaide Oval. It has been a quarter of a century since they last won a match in a live Ashes series in Australia, and eight years since they won any Test here at all.

Australia had not lost at home by an innings since the great West Indian side of 1993 punished them in Perth. They have only ever once lost by a bigger margin in Adelaide in Test history. They must now win at least two of the remaining three matches to have any chance of regaining an urn they used to almost own.

But this was about something more than just statistics, remarkable though they were.
Since their last successful Ashes campaign away from home 24 years ago, England have grown accustomed to defeat after demoralising defeat to Australian teams that were fitter, faster, angrier and plain old better at batting and bowling.

In that time they have been thrashed, humiliated, laughed at and patronised. There have been false dawns, dog-day afternoons and long dark nights of the soul, none worse than the mortifying 5-0 whitewash of four years ago.

To be present when the roles finally switched was like watching the world turned upside down.

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Australia were eight wickets down and waiting to be put out of their misery when I received the following text from a cricket-loving mate sitting in front of the television in his lounge in Solihull in the west Midlands.

"For years I have dreaded turning on the TV in the morning to see yet again that the Aussies have hammered us into the ground. This is a reversal of the very sweetest kind."

Across Britain, thousands of people were staying up late or waking up with exactly the same sentiment.

At the ground itself, there was an air of exultant incredulity as England completed their transformation into Australia and Australia morphed meekly into England of old.

Mike Hussey succumbed to the sort of suicidal shot that was once the classic calling-card of a dispirited English batsman. Brad Haddin wafted disconsolately and was caught behind. A succession of tail-enders trooped to the middle and then trudged back with stooped shoulders a few minutes later.

Around the Oval, Australian fans stayed away as they did not want to witness the trouncing. Instead a ring of waving St George's flags and cavorting tourists celebrated the win. In the middle, as the top of Peter Siddle's middle stump pinged back from a Graeme Swann corker to end the procession, 11 men in white shirts and navy caps, frozen for one tiny moment with arms stretched out and mouths wide open.

There are three matches in this series still to come. The wounds from Ashes history are so deep that any form of celebration or eulogising triggers a fearful reflex - this can't last, it's too soon, it'll come back to bite us on the behind.

It could of course still all go wrong. But something about this tour feels different. As the same friend texted me again with sleepy disbelief, "We were brilliant and they were outclassed in every department."

It wasn't bleary-eyed boasting; in his news conference half an hour later, Australia captain Ricky Ponting said almost exactly the same: "They've out-batted us, they've out-bowled us and they've out-fielded us this entire game."

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This was an England performance where everything possible had gone right, from the moment Jonathan Trott brilliantly ran out Simon Katich in the very first over of the match through James Anderson's dismissal of Ponting for a golden duck and Kevin Pietersen's imperious double-century to Alastair Cook's diving catch to snatch the key wicket of Michael Clarke on the penultimate evening.

On an outfield that a few hours later would be doing a decent impression of a boating lake, it was fitting that even the denouement was timed to perfection.

For Australia the opposite was true. The batsmen failed. The bowlers toiled. The fielders first dropped catches and then stopped even calling and running for them.

You almost (almost) felt sorry for them. England, feeling sorry for Australia?

That the fall of wickets on the final day was 6-66 was a suitable reflection of the hellish nature of Australia's display.

The week they have before the next Test in Perth won't feel like long to come up with some answers. Simon Katich has already been ruled out with injury, meaning Phil Hughes, dropped on the last Ashes tour after England successfully exploited his weakness to the short ball, will almost certainly have to be recalled.

Xavier Doherty can surely not be picked again, while Marcus North and Doug Bollinger are also perilously close to the chop. Ben Hilfenhaus, one match after being dropped, could find himself back in favour by default.

There's even a chance Mitchell Johnson might somehow find his way back into the team.

England too have lost a stalwart to injury, Stuart Broad's abdominal strain ruling him out of the rest of the series. But in Chris Tremlett, Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan they have more comforting reserves in waiting than Ponting and Australia.

Those three will now have an unofficial bowl-off in the three-day tour match against Victoria in Melbourne, which starts on Friday. Before then, England will enjoy this victory and the deluge that followed.

"It's either a fitness session or a few beers," said Strauss, when asked about England's evening plans. "I think it's the latter."


Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Outstanding performance from the whole team. Very happy turning on the telly this morning!

    Keep up the good work lads and put it out of sight in Perth.

  • Comment number 2.

    A well earned victory by England with everyone playing their part.A great shame to lose Broad as he has bowled beautifully in the two test thus far,without the wickets to show for it sadly.Hussey in his big hundred at Brisbane said Broad was the most difficult to play.I would suspect Bresnan will play as so not to weaken the batting side of things,although a nasty,fired up Tremlett at Perth wouldn't be fun to face.

    The crucial thing to do now is what all the great sides do when they have a team under pressure,keep them there.

  • Comment number 3.

    A fantastic performance by England and a deserved victory. Now we need to keep the pressure up. I think Sir Geoffrey said it best on the podcast when he pointed out that there's no great difference between the sides when they are playing well, but Australia aren't playing well, or at least didn't in this match. I am sure they will fight their way back into it, we just have to trust this England side can cope with that when they do.

  • Comment number 4.

    The most complete performance by an England side that I have seen in 25 years of following them (generally, 25 hard, tortuous years). I made a comment on one of these blogs prior to the series starting that I felt that not enough emphasis was being placed on the relative fielding ability of the two sides and, impressive as our bowling and batting were, I feel that it was our work in the field on the first day that contributed most to this result.

    The energy, intensity, enthusiasm and huge skill shown by all 11 players on day 1 hastened the disappointing total set by the Aussies. Our lads were also quick to demonstrate quite ostentatiously that they were a unit, a team. That is a valuable message overseas. The performance in the field liberated both the batsmen and bowlers. It will continue to be crucial on decent batting tracks. Congratulations to all.

    Broad will be a significant loss and will give the Aussies a glimmer of hope and optimism. It is easy to forget how little momentum can count for in an Ashes series - remember 2009? Any optimism must be tempered with circumspection. Australia won't get worse. Except they have lost Katich! For now though, lets just enjoy the moment.

  • Comment number 5.

    Without sounding complacent, I actually thought it looked really easy in the end. Looking forward to Perth, and seeing who will come in for Broad.

    I'm not worried about England falling apart in the next test. Even if they do, there's something about this squad that would make me back them to return even stronger. But beating the aussies when they're down is definitely the preferred option

  • Comment number 6.

    Have enjoyed your daily blogs Tom good work. Of course it helps when England are doing well and I get to remember the good things they'd just done!

    Is perfect too strong a word to use when describing this performance? I don't think so, I'm struggling to find anything that could have gone any better. Even the bad weather decided to stay away perfectly in the morning and only arrive after the result had been finalised.

    I suppose you could say we didn't get off to the perfect start after Strauss left that straight one. I was certainly a little nervy at that point, but Cook and Trott soon showed me I couldn't have been more wrong to feel that way. A terrific score from Pietersen was just what every England fan wanted to see as well. Collingwood is certainly the one who's not at the same level as the rest of the top 6, however the rest of the top 6 are playing some fantastic stuff at the moment. He didn't do well in the first Test but got an alright score here so I don't think it's anything to worry about too much. Hopefully he'll play in the warm up Friday and find a bit more touch.

    Big shame about Broad, personally I'd go for Tremlett after seeing the way he bowled in the warm up but I think they'll pick Bresnan for the batting aspect. I still think our line up is strong enough to replace Broad with a pure bowler, I mean the tail's only had to bat once in this series so far anyway and Broad was out first ball in that one. But I understand the argument.

    Anyway onwards and upwards. I've never known an Aussie side to be facing so many headaches over who to pick and how to improve things, great to see isn't it :)

  • Comment number 7.

    4-0 England. Excellent.

  • Comment number 8.

    Scarily easy in the end. They rolled over like new born puppies wanting to be tickled on the belly!

    Hussey played a shot that was never on, and after that they seemed to have no stomach for the fight whatsoever.

    Now let's not let our foot off their throats, so to speak!

  • Comment number 9.

    Crucial that we got this win, both because Broad is now out and because of the impending rain. To skittle them so conclusively in double-quick time was, if anything, yet another big psychological point in England's favour.

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other for the Aussies regarding the break before the Third Test. On the one hand a chance to regroup and think a little may be appreciated. On the other, it'll really allow the doubts to bed in too. I think they'll go cap in hand back to Hilfenhaus, unsure about Johnson.

    The absolute worst thing to happen, of course, is for England to go and lose the very next Test and immediately hand momentum back. The 2009 Ashes saw us flirt with messing everything up before that amazing Fifth Test, let's not do that please and instead push the advantage home further. Go for victory in the Third Test!

    Comiserations to Broad. Felt there was a big Ashes Test performance of two due from him but that won't happen now. Tremlett my choice for replacement, in form and pretty like-for-like, but have to see how he gets on in the three-dayer.

  • Comment number 10.

    My red eyes are drawing a few double-takes this morning but boy, was it worth it! Utter dominance from start to finish and it's hard to imagine that England won't win at least one more match if they keep playing like that. Such a tonic after so many years of fragility and collapse to actually feel this confident!

    Speak up Mr Shango!

  • Comment number 11.

    I've probably put the mockers on it by searching for the last time Australia didn't win a Test in a home series, but I've done it anyway... realistic possibility?

    (For the record, they drew all three Tests against New Zealand in 2001, but the last time they lost a series without winning a test was in the 1970/71 Ashes)

  • Comment number 12.

    Definitely not feeling sorry for the Aussies! Would they be feeling sorry for us if we'd lost? We'd be hearing their crowing and condescension from here! Fingers crossed we can maintain form and team spirit for the next three Tests.

  • Comment number 13.

    What a win!! We hammered them ..... and it feels good to say it. It feels even better because I don't think it's a flash in the pan. On the contrary, I think we're going to do this to them again, and hopefully in the next test.

    I'm gutted for Broad, and he will be missed by the team because he is capable of getting on a roll, taking wickets in clusters and turning matches. But, he's not as big a loss now as he once would have been with the bowlers we have in reserve.

    Glad of a few days off to catch up on some zzzz's!!

  • Comment number 14.

    A big well done to England for this win. No messing about today as they knew the weather forecast was not in their favour. Wrapping up 6 wickets in 90 minutes was excellent work. Now they should rest up a bit before preparing for the next test when the Aussies will be going all out to show they are not pushovers. The battle is won, not the war.

  • Comment number 15.

    Australia 6-66 on the final day, England batting for 666 minutes....has Strauss sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for an Ashes win?

  • Comment number 16.

    I had to be up at 6am UK time this morning to work, but I was worth staying up. My plan was to follow the first hour and see what happened and then go to bed. Never did I imagine that Australia would struggle even to see out that first hour. Last night the most optimistic of predictions seemed to be that 4 wickets would fall before lunch and most people seemed resigned to rain saving Australia but, in the end, we had a full session to spare before the rain arrived and that with one of a three-man attack out of the tour.

    Before the tour Australia were favourites, when the Testa started we expected it to be close and after 2 days of the 1st Test the Australian fans were contemptuously dismissing England as useless. Right now it is hard to dismiss the feeling that instead of the 1-1 or 2-1/1-2 that most people expected, 0-3 looks a lot more likely. It´s nice to enjoy an Ashes series in Australia so much.

  • Comment number 17.

    Oh, and great work so far on the series Tom. A breakout performance perhaps
    Australia 6-66 on the final day, England batting for 666 minutes....has Strauss sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for an Ashes win?
    If he has then that is his choice and I refuse to condemn him for it. Though if he did, just what did the Australians do for a decade and more of dominance?

  • Comment number 18.

    Lets give credit to Ponting for being man enough to say that England were by far the better in every department.

    I am not a lover of him and his grumpy attitude and I do now wonder if he is the right person to be leading The Aussies. However I suspect he has to stay there by default. Some are saying the significant changes need to be made in the starting 11 for the Aussies but what are the options? Unlike England they have no deoth in reserve. This if itself is disappointing as it will lower the standard of the competition. If England win in Perth the series is dead and whilst I am sure that England will continue to press forward competition is healthy.

    If one looks at the overall state of the game at present England seem to be number one and that is great, but we need to maintain that position. Looking at some of the players on the fringe we can do so. Just look at Briggs. He will be a great understudy to Swann in the next year or two.

    Enjoyed the win enormously but hope The Aussies do not lie down and roll over, but I fear Ponting is leading a beaten team.

  • Comment number 19.

  • Comment number 20.

    It's hard to think of a more complete performance by England in a recent Ashes test. The Edgbaston and Oval tests in 1985, or the innings win in Melbourne in 1986-7, perhaps, when I still had my whole life in front of me.
    Pity my elder son's form teacher this morning. 21 nine and ten year olds to deal with, and - he's Australian.
    Impossible not to feel desperately sorry for Broad. I hope they pick a replacement based on who is the best bowler, rather than the conservative pick of Bresnan for the sake of his batting. In a team based on a four man attack, you need to pick your four best bowlers rather than your best eight batsmen. No problem with Bresnan playing if his bowling performance over the weekend merits it, but if he is picked, I hope it's for the right reasons.
    Personally, I think the best bowler for Perth of the three candidates is probably Tremlett, but the most exciting replacement for Broad would be Shahzad.

  • Comment number 21.

    I was thinking on the way into work this morning:

    • Innings victory
    • Batsmen making a bowling attack look impotent
    • Abject batting collapses
    • Captain bereft of ideas
    • Can’t buy a wicket
    • Hostile press and public
    • Panic selections backfiring spectacularly
    • Rubbish spinners getting flayed to all parts
    • High hopes laying forgotten in the dust

    It’s all so very familiar on an England tour to Australia. It only looks odd because I’ve never seen it from this side before.

  • Comment number 22.

    Brilliant to watch, wasn't it! Siddle's face as he turned and saw the ball crash into his stumps was something along the lines of "how the **** did you do that?!?"

    All the credit to England and Andrew Strauss in particular but all the blame must lie with Australia's selectors. It was not their bowler's fault - two of them in particular are simply not good enough, like lambs to the slaughter.

    Bollinger and Doherty coming on to bowl at KP, all I could think was "good, more runs coming then!" and as for Doug's batting... I'm glad he and Siddle saw the funny side, cos he was as out of his depth as I have seen a batsman at any level.

    Even desperately out of form, Mitchell Johnson is twice the bowler that Bollinger is so he has got to come back. If they really don't have anyone else to spin it better than Doherty, they could always use North and Watson a bit more? Along with Harris, these two were ok, if unlikely to get 20 wickets.

    I really don't see how we can lose the Ashes from here. I know these sound like famous last words, but I think the leadership and the majority of the players are humble enough to make sure we don't beat ourselves in the last three matches.

  • Comment number 23.

    Guys we need a reality check. We got lucky to lose the toss and therefore batted when conditions were at their most benign. Without a couple of lucky run outs and some dubious decisions Australia would have posted a much bigger total. Strauss and Collinwood are out of form and if Hussey hadn’t dropped Trott we would have been all out for less than 250. Negative declaration from Strauss. Katich was injured and a few more dubious decisions allowed county trundler Swann grab a few more cheap wickets. Now all of a sudden we are world beaters !

    On the other hand - Ned Kelly! Rolf Harris! Jason Donovan ! Germaine Greer ! Paul Hogan ! Can you hear me Paul Hogan ! Your boys took one hell of a beating !

  • Comment number 24.

    We got lucky. Plain and simple. And Collingwood still has to prove himself.
    Sorry Papa, I got there first.

    Well played the boys!!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    Second actually Robert.

  • Comment number 26.

    This isn't even a contest at the moment. The Aussies are abject. Surely they've got better bowlers than the pitiful pie chuckers we've seen so far.

  • Comment number 27.

    We got lucky. Plain and simple. And Collingwood still has to prove himself.
    He could use a score, it is true. Though the player rating no.19 linked to give an interesting take on his match:

    "Did his job with the bat, chipped in with the ball, held some crucial catches and made a very solid overall contribution."

    On the whole I'd say that was fair. He made his average score with the bat but wasn't needed again, and didn't actually screw up overall, and with the way those above him are batting he might not get much of a chance to be aruond long enough to make one either, but there's no reason to worry about him just yet.

  • Comment number 28.

    England.....unstoppable..? ....They certainly have that air about them.
    Having stayed up through the night for the first 2 Tests and watched England for 40 years this last match was the most complete performance I've ever witnessed.
    As a team.....inspiring.
    I think the seeds of this team were planted in the 2005 Ashes, the attitude was right then, if not all the skills, now the skills are in place through the team, and everything else has fallen into place at the right time.
    As ever in life, it's about things coming together at the right time, to make something great.
    They could be the no.1 team in the world soon.

    Let's enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Comment number 29.

    Perhaps the only surprise here is that prior to this series some were still holding Australia up as a team as if it were 2005, when all the signs of decline could clearly be seen. Perhaps as England supporters we couldn't believe that the England team was capable of being so dominant and that some confirmation was needed. I suppose that is a fair assessment considering that England have often failed to show the ruthless consistancy that the top teams of the past have shown, but finally they seem to be putting it together.

    All the signs are there that Australia will find it tough going from here and that it will require a major reversal of fortune for them going forward to stop England now. History suggests this is unlikely. Australia have problems from top to bottom in their team selection. Injuries to batsman, others out of form, so much falling on the shoulders of Hussey and Haddin, makes you wonder where a score of 500 is coming from. Then there is the bowling which some of us have been saying for a long time is a pale imitation of what went before with the glory days of McGrath and Warne. They have no international class spinner and pace bowlers that lack the consistancy of the past or class. More chopping and changing for the next Test, 2 or 3 changes (including Katich) I would expect? This is like England in the 80's, and shows why keeping a team together if you believe in the players you have is the right answer if you want to win. England look like a team on a mission, Australia look the exact opposite, down, defeated and simply not good enough. England had years of that, perhaps it is now Australia's turn?

  • Comment number 30.

    If I think back to Wednesday last week all the talk was:

    Batter's paradise
    Swann out of form
    England's trouble getting 20 wickets
    Astralian rearguard action
    Question marks over KP.
    The trouble getting Punter out

    What on earth happened over the last five days?

    Great blog Tom, and some great and truly astonishing stats in there. It seems like England are intent on re-writing the record books on this tour.

    Feel sorry for Broad, though.

    Has Strauss said anything about his dismissal, by the way?

  • Comment number 31.

    #21, in 1985 the Australian team was weaker than this and riven by internal disputes around the rebel tour of South Africa and the enduring fallout from Kim Hughes' tearful resignation. And in 1987 Australia had a fearfully inexperienced bowling attack (9 caps between the 3 seamers).

    This has to be the best win for a long, long time.

  • Comment number 32.

    Steak and Ale Pie wrote:
    if Hussey hadn’t dropped Trott we would have been all out for less than 250.
    Shoulda woulda coulda. Whatever. We weren't. We posted a huge total. Lucky run outs? Good run outs. Like always, you've got to be clinical and Trott was and I was very impressed with the coolness of all three English players in the second run out. Give credit where it's due.

    county trundler Swann

    Dear Lord, you muct be Papa Shango's brother. I hope he's not going to coem on hee this morning becuase all he's talked about is how the Aussies would flay Swann all around the park. And he got a 5-for. He's a top quality spinner. Enjoy it while the going is good. Such negativity! Papa Shango's humble pie must taste delicious.

  • Comment number 33.

    Dame Nellie Melba! Clive James! Rupert Murdoch! Sir Donald Bradman! John Howard! Barry Humphries! Kylie Minogue! - can you hear me, Kylie Minogue! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!

  • Comment number 34.

    Strauss and Colly out of form?

    On tour so far, Strauss averages 53, Collingwood 43. OK, compared to 111 for Cook, 110 for Bell, these are poor...but hardly out of form!

    Even in the tests, Strauss has one century in 3 innings. Colly got 42, and was out to a dubious decision that would have been given not out if he'd bothered to review it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Steak and Ale, some people do not recognise irony (or WUM send-ups).

    Mind you, you have given them a lot of suggestions for possible excuses!

    I'm just wondering when was the last time that we actually beat Australia genuinely. In 2005 we only won because McGrath was injured. In 1987 they made bad selections. In 1985 it was the rebel tour. In 1981 it was Packer and injuries. In 1977 and 1978 it was Packer.

    Did they have an excuse in 1972???? I can't really remember that series, although it became legendary.

  • Comment number 36.

    after the 1st test i commented and said the team who could learn how to take 20 wickets would be the side who will triumph in this series. to think australia have now taken 6 wickets at the cost of 190 runs each and england have take 20 wickets at an average of 28 shows the difference between the 2 sides.
    batting wise we have to be confident, the lads look all in good nick. people may criticise strauss but he did get a ton in the 1st test and who was our last captain not to let the strain of the job effect his form??? strauss has shown so far under his captaincy he can handle the pressure and i hope hes captain for at least a few years yet.
    as for australia have they got 11 players who can make a go of it? hilfenhaus to me has to play in the 3rd test, he impressed me in 2009 and knows how to put our batsmen under pressure. but it says a lot when the only things i was worried about on day 5 were michael hussey and the rain!
    im still not confident of winning though despite all this because im so used to us getting stuffed down under and im too young to remember us winning a series there.

  • Comment number 37.

    I doubt the England selectors will feel that they need Bresnan in for his batting. The runs have been piled on in the last two innings, and Broad was barely needed for his bat. The bigger doubt is still (despite this morning) getting 20 wickets on potentially flat pitches, so I would be amazed if they picked the replacement bowler on any other basis. They can be conservative, but not THAT conservative.

  • Comment number 38.

    Sorry Steak, hadn't seen your post!
    Tragic news for Broad....awful for such a young player to miss out on a tour to least he should fit and raring to go when we snatch the World Cup next year.

    Well, why not?

  • Comment number 39.

    Westmorlandia, I think that we go for the bowler who shows best form against Victoria, although nominally Bresnan is the like-for-like replacement for Broad. I suspect though that it will be Shazad who, curiously, is still with the squad, although not formally a member. Shazad has though played just one Test, which worries me a little with Finn also rather inexperienced.

  • Comment number 40.

    Great blog.

    Am loving every minute....although you're absolutely right. As an English cricket-mad fan the fear that it could still all come crashing down around us in the third test is very real. Take nothing for granted.

    But I think, with AS and AF leading the way, we are finally in a position where the team are able to control themselves mentally so they start from scratch again. Cooke's ton in the second test proves how far they have come in that important area of the game.

    Will be interesting to see who replaces Broad. A bit of steeple bounce and pace from Tremlett is surely the foil for Anderson.

    Come on the boys!

  • Comment number 41.

    Congratulations to England. I am so proud of their performance having sat and watched many dismal performances in years past. The experience of having endured that spell now makes this success all the sweeter, especially as it is the culmination of a strong upwards trajectory in performance over the last few years now.

    Hats off to Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss; the calm mood, realistic expectations and supreme confidence they have instilled in this team is a joy to behold. With all elements of the side performing to a high level in every aspect of the game it really looks as if this is a true unit punching to the maximum of its weight. This calmness and belief, as well as the ability to win the key moments, is having the psychological effect on the Aussies that we would recognise as what we have suffered from in the past.

    I have every faith that the management of the team will keep everyone's feet on the ground and make them realise that hubris is dangerous. The ruthlessness of England really shows how well prepared they are to return some of the maulings we have experienced in recent times. As much as I would love to just regain the Ashes Down Under, wouldn't it be great if we stamped all over them (in the sporting sense) and came away with a real epoch-making result in the order of 2,3 or even 4-0? Ambitious yes, but based on that performance, why not?

    Australia are too proud to be that bad again, but I still feel that England have more to give so they can deal with any resurgence. Respect to Ponting; his humility in what was undoubtedly a crushing defeat demonstrates he is not the pantomime villain that he tries to portray on the field, especially as it seems in marked contrast to the infantile response of a sizeable chink of his countrymen, based on the comments on the major Australian papers' websites. Worth a read; they are quite funny because they are so self-defeating. Again spookily familiar...

    Very sad for Stuart Broad but I wish him a speedy recovery and thank him for his thoroughly professional efforts especially given the awful year he has had to endure; we appreciate it.

    I'm so giddy with excitement it is incredible! Come on England!!!!

  • Comment number 42.

    Where's Papa Shango's assessment of England's undeserved, lucky performance?! Or is he over on David Bond's blog eulogising about the FIFA decision STILL?!?

  • Comment number 43.

    One thing that no one has mentioned is that Australia have now lost 4 of their last 5 Tests - the other being a draw - when was the last time that they had a sequence like that???

  • Comment number 44.

    @35. Stargazer said:
    "I'm just wondering when was the last time that we actually beat Australia genuinely. In 2005 we only won because McGrath was injured. In 1987 they made bad selections. In 1985 it was the rebel tour. In 1981 it was Packer and injuries. In 1977 and 1978 it was Packer."

    Only won in 2005 because McGrath was injured? Only in the 2nd Test. We outplayed them in every game but Lords but even then showed signs of things to come. Also, have you forgotten 2009?

  • Comment number 45.

    Nice post Monkey!!! Context is everything. Yes, I remember 2009 very well. Apparently we won in 2009 due to dodgy umpiring decisions :-).

  • Comment number 46.

    Not sure there have been too many posts congratulating the English fans in Oz. They have been amazing. Remember the England team has done pretty well in recent Ashes series at home: the great thing is that the 2010/11 matches now feel like a home series for our team and confidence is soaring. One small request - please pick Tremlett for the next test at the WACA: some Freddie-like chin music for the Aussie top order will make my day!

  • Comment number 47.

    First of all, congratulations to England for such a comprehensive drubbing of the Aussies I've ever known since following cricket as a child. Our score was almost worth 3 Australian innings with still 5 wickets to spare from our only innings?!! Can it get any better!!!

    Two things, one, can't believe where Swanne's been before these last two years? He is truly a class bowler and he is someone who rescuing the dying art of classic off-spin bowling. He looks quite matured now and hope he carries on for another half a decade at the least.

    Two, guess this brilliant innings from Pieterson and the key wicket of Clarke to boot will stop KP-bashing army from accusing him of lack of commitment for the country and questioning his place in the team.

    Great effort boys and can't wait till 15th Dec for a WACA WACA....

  • Comment number 48.

    #19. Hilarious:
    Ryan Harris To shamelessly plunder a gag from a Twitter exchange (thanks Juan), Harris bought a new bat for this Test and has just put it eBay with the condition as "brand new". The poor guy went home with a king pair but he shouldn't be too disappointed. He was the only Australian bowler that emerged from this mess with his pride in tact. Bowled quick and without luck at times and deserved better than his two wickets. Should be the first flinger picked for Perth. Has that rare commodity - ticker. B

  • Comment number 49.

    This was hardly "Lucky" as a few have said, this was hard work, commitment and self belief, something England have lacked for the last 2 decades. (despite winning home Ashes series).

    Australia's woes lie clear and simply with the players, blaming the selectors is pointless, if all you have to pick from is dross, then that is what you get on the field.

    The dominance of Australia over recent times has now been overturned, and I would argue that whilst England have improved, Australia have imploded to the point where England were at, at there worst.

    How well would this England team fare against Warne, Waugh and there contemporaries?

    Notwithstanding that there are 3 tests to play, I predict England will win the series, and obviously retain the Ashes, what remains to be seen is if Australia can come back and make a fight of it?

    One sided competition is no competition at all,

  • Comment number 50.

    Stargazer - I'm glad it's just not me.
    Remember it was the South Africa 2nd XI that won in 2009.

  • Comment number 51.

    Tom - I know you're English and I know England are doing better that Australia so far... but I have to say this as an Australian. Adelaide doesn't get tropical storms. In fact the whole state of South Australia doesn't even touch the tropics...

    Focus on the cricket...

  • Comment number 52.

    Neil, by Day 5 Australian fans have voted with their feet in both Tests, which has made it just like a home Test for England. It has been an interesting contrast with England where grounds have usually been full even when England have been losing heavily.

    It's interesting to recall that the last time that England have looked badly off the pace in any Test series was the loss to South Africa in 2008, when we went down 2-1 and were lucky that it was that close. In 2009 we lost to the West Indies away after a chaotic build-up, but still looked the better side for most of the series.

  • Comment number 53.

    I'm sat here, at work, knackered, but feeling great for having witnessed probably the most complete English test match performance in years. We've seen the signs over the past 18 months, but now there is a swagger about this Englan team that we only associated with the great Australian teams of the Waugh/Waugh/Warne/McGrath era. It doesn't matter whether the Aussies are in form, out of form, or in the case of Doherty and Bollinger, just out of their depth, the performance over the last 5 days (set up to a lesser extent by the great performance in the second innings at Brisbane) would have troubled most of the top test teams around.

    I'm keeping my feet on the ground, as we've still got a long way to go in the series, but if anyone had told me at the beginning of the series that we'd have the Aussies not just on the back foot, but rocking more than a Jenga tower in an Indonesian earthquake, I'd have laughed in your face.

    I expect the Aussies to bring Phil Hughes, Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson and Hilfenhaus in for the WACA test, and for England to bring Shahzad in for the unfortunate Broad. Shahzad has that 'X' factor that people go on so much about, and should the groundstaff at the WACA decide to give a greentop for the test, then Shahzad is more than capable of doing what is required, as well as being able to swing the ball both ways in later overs.

    I finish work in less than an hour, so I'll be going home to have some sleep, as well as watching the highlights (of which there are a lot).

  • Comment number 54.

    Has anyone ever seen a test match where the barmy army have celebrated as wildly as that?? Absolutey amaing to see! When Swann's third wicket (North) reviewed on screens and cameras pan over to the hill - great moment!!

  • Comment number 55.

    Sorry Stargazer, I missed the subtlety of your post!

    Can't use dodgy umpiring decisions this time as an excuse, the decision review system is working nicely. Clarke reviewing his dismissal after smashing it off the face of the bat to short leg was laughable and shows their desperation!

  • Comment number 56.

    The best thing about this emphatic win, is we get Bragging Rights for the next 5yrs.

  • Comment number 57.

    One small point of order Monkey - Clarke didn't refer his decision, England did as the umpire gave it not out. I don't make a habit of defending Aussies but in this case he wasn't in the wrong.
    Your overall point was valid though. Rolf was probably unlucky to be given out in 1st innings but i don't think he was due for a big one if his 2nd effort is anything to go by.

  • Comment number 58.

    Where is the one who shall not be named this morning? Great all round performance by England. Another performance like that and the Ashes will be safe by christmas.

  • Comment number 59.

    As comprehensive a victory as it could possibly be. 20 wickets to Australia's five. Two centurions to Australia's none. But the only result that counts is 1-0. We could even retain the urn in Perth.

    The dominance of England is reflected in the marks out of 10 for each side:
    England marks out of 10
    Australia marks out of 10

    Swann soars as England stroll - Adelaide, Day Five

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm not going to add too many more words regarding the various performances and outcome of this Test as all you had to do was follow it to realise that England outplayed Australia and all the comments reflect this. Whilst it was "gracious" of Ponting to concede this he did not really have much of a choice. I doubt he would still be captian if he had suggested that England were lucky or that it was a close run thing.

    What I cannot understand is why so many England supporters say the same thing - that they almost (almost!) feel sorry for Australia. I am sure that they some are being completely honest and are not saying this tomgue in cheek which makes this even more perplexing to me. I sometimes wonder if some of us (England supporters) actually prefer being perpetually thrashed by Australia and, if so, is this some sort of reflection on our national psyche? Does this have anything to do with our unique Public School system and our overdeveloped sense of fair play?

    All I can say is this - when the roles are reversed (which is most of th etime!) the Australians do NOT feel sorry for us or anyone else. They do not even hint that they do. There was a time not so long ago when it was "suggested" by some of their media that The Ashes as a tournament should be stopped as it was no longer an equal contest and that Australian fans could not be bothered to turn up to watch because they already knew the inevitable outcome. I can see their point of view! Now they are keeping away because they do not want to see their team beaten so badly. Frankly, I would be delighted to see our own media in 10 years time echoing the same sentiments but I know this will never happen because the bloody-minded Australians WILL bounce back as they always do.

    Finally, I am delighted for the Barmy Army. There is not a better bunch of supporters anywhere in the world in any sport. They followed England and will always do so through thin and thick and they deserve all the plaudits for being there for every delivery at every Test match. Maybe they more than any other single factor highlight the difference between our nations - we are "better" losers as well as "better" winners whilst the Australians are neither gracious winners or losers. I look forward to more photos of Ricky Ponting looking like he's chewing a wasp or two.

    Regards, Joe.

  • Comment number 61.

    If the Aussies pick Hughes for Katich, surely it's got to be Tremlett or Shahzad? Stick it up his grille a few times and we can get at Ponting...

  • Comment number 62.

    Not a surprise to most English cricket fans that we haven't seen the re-appearance of all those who said that England would get caned 5-0 again.
    This was a deserved victory, listen to seasoned commentators like Mr Agnew, England outplayed Australia in all departments - even RP acknowledged this, I have a new respect for his after-match interviews!

    I would just like to hear from a few people that said this would be another walk-over for the Aussies, let's see what happens in the next 3 tests.

  • Comment number 63.

    You're right Steak, Clarke didn't review his dismissal. But the fact that he didn't walk (although he thought about it), knowing full well that a review would make him look rather silly, meant he was only hoping for a no-ball miracle (by a spinner). DRS did it's job and reversed a howler, which is what it's for.

  • Comment number 64.

    I'm born and bred British and from Birmingham but I still feel this isn't an England side.

    This is an English side bolstered by a primarily South African batting order. Okay Cook might not be but he's as unpredictable as the weather which at the moment is fairly predictable: cold.

    South Africans are known for their love of flat wickets, even if this side tries to make itself known as an English side. I fell in love with an English side that failed 9 times out of 10 but always put up a fight. To see a clinical ruthless England side after all these years just makes me think there's too much foreign blood in the team.

    It's just not English.

  • Comment number 65.

    Hi Tom,

    Just a minor quibble: the West Indies side of 1993 were not great by any stretch of the imagination. They had two great bowlers and a young Lara. In that series, rain saved them in the first, they were thrashed in the second, escaped with a draw thanks to Lara in the third, then won by one run in the fourth. That result gutted Australia, and Ambrose destroyed them with one magic spell on the paceman's paradise that was Perth.

  • Comment number 66.

    andy1005 - now that's funny!

  • Comment number 67.

    Good sentiment but rather sums up 20 years of hurt and I think we all need to remind ourselves of that. Even if you look at KP's roots, he has played for England for 6 years now and during the National Anthems he sings GSTQ at the top of his voice (Trott too for that matter). The team have a great team ethic and every member fights for each other. So what if KP & JC like flat wickets. I beleive they would have played well even if the pitch was a minefield and the overall result would have been even more damning!

  • Comment number 68.

    congrats to the england team...
    KP is the real hero in the crucial win against aus.

  • Comment number 69.

    I tried very hard to find out when this storm would start in Adelaide.I could not understand how the bookies could be making an England victory Evens. BUT the bookies had done their homework they knew that all Australia had to do was to get to lunch or just after to save themselves.However with the dismissal of Michael Clark from the last ball the night before, all the fight was taken out of the Australian side. It is very rare to see an Australian sports team capitulate, like this one has.A terrific performance from England.Andrew Strauss and his team have done us proud!!

  • Comment number 70.

    woeful display by a battered and bruised aus team.There's players still in the side that should have been discarded years ago.Selectors need to give themselves an uppercut. Is this the best side we can produce? The mind boggles.they should all be sent to england.

  • Comment number 71.


    A bit like Harmy's dismissal of Clarke in 2005 at Edgbaston. I think that was the last ball of the 4th day and it was a beauty which ended up being very significant. A little bit of history repeating....

  • Comment number 72.

    Feel sorry for will be cold day in Hell when that happens! Australia have spent virtually 20 years enjoying the juxtaposition of a number of exceptional players, some of the finest of all time. During much of that period England have struggled to field match winning teams, lacking in particular an incisive bowling attack. Slowly, slowly though, things have improved! Nasser Hussain stopped the rot. Michael Vaughn instilled a winning mentality and, over the past five years a really good side has emerged.

    In essence, teams some and go...and there isn't really that much you do about it. Structures in the sport, coaching etc are important, but it's timing, it's the maturation of key players and even a hefty dose of luck that make the real difference. It's really important to recognise that! In the bad times be patient and loyal. In the good times, enjoy it but never forget that it will all change again soon enough!

    Australia however has built an enduring national myth out of its cricket team. One that involves an all-round superiority, never say die, dynamic, fearless and bold attitude. A parallel narrative also emerged involving general English degeneration, social malaise, moral decline etc., exemplified by expressions like "pasty-faced pie-throwers". The extent of this brittle egoism was evident by the time of the 2003 rugby world cup when the prospect of the pathetic Poms actually winning provoked such a hurricane of xenophobia and undisguised insults, that the host nation had to be gently reminded to look up the word "host" in the dictionary!

    Watching Australians facing up to the reality that they are, in fact, mortal after all is very funny, and all the sweeter for the years of patronising insults casually thrown around by folk who had drunk far too deeply at the well of self-delusion. It's probably unlikely that England will go on to truly thrash Australia in this series as there are far too many twists and turns left. But England will now be very hard to beat. Let's enjoy it while it lasts. Don't get ahead of is after all just a game. Buy our opponents a beer and just smile inwardly. The worst thing in the world would be to mirror the insulting triumphalism that we have been subjected to for so long!

  • Comment number 73.

    Firstly, Tom, your musings have an air of genius about them (Rachel Stevens my particular favourite). Have loved reading them each morning and the debate that ensues.

    Secondly, clearly SteakandAlePie and Robert_Marks sense of irony is lost on some, jcb211 take note. They are simply poking fun at a certain regular poster who has been conspicuous by his absence this morning.

    Finally, congratulations to England on one of the most professional and comprehensive Test victories you are ever likely to see. We've waited over 20 years to see this reversal of fortunes. Settled England with more than adequate back-up for the unfortunate Broad, runs and wickets all over the place, Australia in disarray making knee-jerk changes in selection and an innings victory that was brutal in it's efficiency. I'm off to read the Aussie papers to further broaden the smile.

  • Comment number 74.

    So it's 3.15 am, I wake up and tune my bedside radio to R4 LW, nothing; I go donwstairs to the radio I know is on R4 LW, a strange programme from the World Service, "What is happening?" I ask, I go to the digital radio and find 5Live Sports X and there it is scrolling along on the radio screen, "Ashes Highlights: England win by an innings and 71 runs". I listed to the highlights and the pod cast until my alarm went off upstairs at 5.00! (I think it was 4 times round). After all the years of listening to us lose and being gracious afterwards, my brain would not quite except it - we had won; we had won in less than 2 hours; we had won before lunch; before the rain; before the Australians could claim any respect or find any excuses. KP played like a dream! Cook batted brilliantly. Is Strauss the best England captain since Mike Brearley? (Apologies to Vaughan). Does life (at least cricket life) get any better? We are beating the Australians, in Australia, and handsomely. I also remember when an Australian official said they were thinking of pulling out of the Ashes because we were not of the standard to play Tests - I could be very rude at this point but all I will say is "Now you know how it feels". When Australia come back (and they will, hopefully in about 10 years, when winning has become a habit for us) perhaps they will be a little more gracious.

    Now I can sleep properly till Perth.

  • Comment number 75.

    England are only looking good because the Australians these days are so poor.

    If the Australians had McGrath, Warne, Waugh, Border, Bradman, Ponting*, Skippy the Kangaroo and Kylie in their side, England would be exposed for the weak side that they are. Geoff Boycott's grandma could bowl this lot out.

    *I say Ponting because the genial, reasonable man I saw being interviewed can't possibly be Ponting. He's clearly been replaced with some kind of alien plant-monster.

    And Swann? Bah, he's not even a county trundler. Jim Laker must be spinning in his grave (fnar fnar fnar). I don't see Swann's face on any fast food advertisements, do you? And that's how you know a spinner is TRULY great.

  • Comment number 76.

    I don't agree with Boycott as I do not agree that the two teams are of equal ability, qualified by the statement that one team is playing well and the other isn't. That is simply not the case. England are now better than Australia and even if Australia hit form, they are not better than England.

  • Comment number 77.

    Wonderful stuff. Old codgers like me will remember the 1993 series where the Aussies twice posted 600 for not many declared and bowled us out twice cheaply to win by an innings with half their players not even needing to put on their pads. This goes a long way to heal those old wounds.

  • Comment number 78.

    Very tired after 5 days of staying up to the early hours watching the cricket. Made the decision last night to watch the first half hour and then listen to a little on the radio before sleeping, but the cluster of wickets meant I had to listen to the end. Well worth it to hear England finish them off so comprehensively and ensure the Prior miss didn't haunt us for too long.

    Now they have got the first win out of the way, they no longer have to fear not winning a match with the danger of Australia pinching a 1-0 win. Psychologically, the Aussies have been hammered into the ground a little bit further, and Broad's replacement will be coming in with the team confident and performing well. Pity the Australian's drafted into their team for the next match. All those bad memories for England of using over 20 players each series, and sometimes more than one captain, look like they could be repeated for the opposition for a change. Realistically, they will have to make at least two changes, if not three, for the next match, so they're not remotely settled.

    I think Ponting will probably hit a good score at some point during the series but at least England have the lead now, and know that if they draw the remaining matches, the Ashes will be coming home.

  • Comment number 79.

    I honestly believed that, although England are clearly the better side, the Aussies would escape with a rain affected draw! Cannot tell you how happy I am that they didn't get away with it.

    Now, England all you have to do, now you have kicked the Aussies down, is rub their face in the dirt - No Mercy in Perth!!!

    P.S. Ponting's bemused Pob like face on the paused video at the top is brilliant!!

  • Comment number 80.

    I love the blog - entertaining but not overly smug (well maybe a little but that is finally diserved). For me the beauty of this victory lie sin the fact that this is now a consistenly well performing England team - something we have not been able to say for a long long long time. Well done guys, professional and clinical performance!!!

  • Comment number 81.

    one more performance like that and the Ashes will be back in England

    Australians look shot to pieces and in disareay. Their bowling attack is less intimidating apart from Harris who posed one or two problems

    As for their batsmen only Hussey seems able to occupy the crease long enough with Haddin

    Watson makes starts but fails to convert, Clarke has a dodgy back and North is a rabbitt for Swann

    They are thinking of recalling Hughes who they bragged and made noise as their new weapon until Harmison and Freddie exposed his technique with some short pitched deliveries in England. I expect Tremlett could test him if the bounce at Perth is like the old ground people remember

  • Comment number 82.

    Justin Langer made a fantastic point in his blog. He talks about the importance of having 11 good players in the team instead of two superstars. I think that is the difference between this English team and the teams we have seen fail in the previous attempts.

    England of previous years had this superstar complex where there were a group of okay players, and then there was Kevin Peiterson and Freddie Flintoff. It must have been rubbish for the other 9 players knowing you were considered a side act relative to them.

    I think Pieterson's slump in form that saw him dropped from the ODI side has brought him back down to Earth. He looks much more settled in the team and his team mates look happier to have him there as one of the lads instead of this superstar who was above the rest of them.

    As a result this is a very balanced team of 11 players, and you can tell by the genuine friendship and team spirit you can see between them. I'm sure this has a huge affect on the form of the players and that it is no surprise that all 11 players are in great shape.

  • Comment number 83.

    Very happy, but not ready to gloat yet (well gloat to the full) as we haven't won the series yet or retained the ashes. 3 more tests still to play.

    I still think the Aussie's batting can produce a high score, but if I was an Oz I'd be very worried about their bowling options - I'd be tempted to bring back Johnson. At least if he does fire it would be of highenough calibre to hurt.

  • Comment number 84.

    P.s. We must always be aware of the injured Animal that is Australia. I don't think they are ever truly beaten until the final bowl of the final over of the series. We need to keep the pressure on!!

  • Comment number 85.

    Firstly, congrats to England on a comprehensive and deserved victory. To those saying that its only because Oz are so poor, the fact is that you can only beat what's in front of you.

    In terms of Oz players and supporters reaction to victory and defeat, I have to disagree with both Joe (post 60) and Anglophone (post 72). I'd agree that they do like a bit of banter when winning (ok, maybe an understatement), but I've always found the vast majority gracious in defeat. There was far more tribalism demonstrated in England's 2005 victory than in any by Oz, but the Oz public applauded England's win in a tight fought and exciting series. Equally, whilst off topic, I totally missed the "negative" reaction to England's rugby world cup win despite living there (and supporting England in the final, Shhhh). They like to win and hate to lose, but Ponting's reaction to this defeat was typical aussie in my excuses, they played better and we've got to stop talking about improving and just do it.

  • Comment number 86.

    #73, I think that a lot of Australian fans were gloating prematurely after 2 days of this series and felt that Days 3-5 were just a flash in the pan. This though has been a wake-up call that they are in a real battle. It also shows what a difference just a couple of players and a bit of confidence can make to a side because we are basically playing the same Australians as were here in 2009 (Hauritz and Hughes are still available for selection) and I can't think of an Australian retirement since then; while we have renovated the attack and it shows!! In 2009 we had Fred, but we haven't even missed him (not a single "if only Fred were available..." post) - the only references have been to pedalos. And most of the same batsmen who were humiliated in 2006 are still in the England side.

  • Comment number 87.

    I'm going to miss these blogs over the next week or so till the 3rd Test starts. It's been a while since you could have a good debate with people over what the highlight was of an England win in Australia! Let's hope there's no more injury dramas on the horizon and we can keep the momentum going.

    As for sympathy for Australia, they've got to watch one of the great cricket sides for years with some of the best players to grace the game. No way am I going to sympathise with them after the misery they've given us over the years. OK I'll be fair and say I do sympathise with Doherty a little, he couldn't have been more out of his depth. However I only sympathise a little because when he looks back at the record books in years to come he'll be able to say he was the one who ended KP's magnificent knock and took his wicket...I just wouldn't look too closely at the runs column though if I was him!

  • Comment number 88.

    The burning question now is, IF we win in Perth, will someone be able to get an Ashes-retaining victory DVD out in time for christmas?

  • Comment number 89.

    There is no denying this is a powerful England batting team and congratulations on the easy win. Its hard to blieve the Oz team
    didn't provide a decent opposition. Lets hope they improve and at least provide the fight so lacking in Adelaide. Though the English batters have been superb the bowlers Swann, Anderson and Finn have knocked over our batters with ease. Our bowlers (apart from Johnson) aren't going to knock over this England batting line up cheaply. So we need to score runs. So for Perth I'm for Hughes for Katich, Smith for Doherty, Johnson for Siddle.
    At least that extends the tail batting. Also we may !!! win.
    Given Englands solid team it is hard to see Oz winning the series.

  • Comment number 90.

    Its typical Englnd do well against the Aussie when their are no Aussies around. For years there have been Aussies at work, in the pub, behind the bar and now I don't know a single Aussie.

    Plus my work colleagues couldn't give a fig about cricket!

    Still, I'd rather wallow in victory in isolation.

  • Comment number 91.

    Well worth staying up last night to watch us knock over the longest australian tail i can ever remember. Well played to the lads although i agree with #90 that not being able to gloat has made this series slightly less fun.

    Only 2 causes of concern for England thou. Broad out for the series means that bresnan, Tremlett or shahzad get a chance. And i really mistrust 2 of them as i dnt believe they are international quality.

    2nd cause of concern is Hussey.Keeps getting runs against us showing how bad some aussie batsmen are performing. If Ponting finds a bit of form then i could see the last 3 matches being drawn due to a lack of time (however i still believe this australian team could never take 20 wickets on flat pitches in Australia)

    Hopefully Tremlett replaces broad (like for like) and we get a 3-0 whitewash but felt i needed to include some english negativity due to the absence of everybodies favorite comedian (Papa Shango whom just so happens to disappear once swanny gets a 5fer)

  • Comment number 92.

    Brilliant performance over 5 days.Totally professional.
    How can you even consider feeling sorry for the Aussies?!?
    Foot on neck and don't let go until we have thrashed and completely demorilised them 4-0.
    Ponting is not looking so good as a captain now all the Aussie greats have retired.
    I totally respect him as a batsman but he is like a mardy kid when things go against him.
    Come on England!

  • Comment number 93.

    Simply fantastic, how proud was I to see the 3 lions on those shirts ... well done chaps loads more of the same please .... It wasnt disappointment I could see in their eyes today..... it was fear !!

  • Comment number 94.

    I just thought I'd check out the last of the comments before getting some sleep and came across OzJocks post #85. Mate - it's not clear if you are an Aussie who wants to be English or an English bloke wanting to be an Aussie so I'll assume the former. From my own personal experience the common Aussie idea of friendly banter generally boils down to being told to go and do things to myself I would not be able to do and on the VERY few occasions I've been in Australia when England had beaten them at ANYTHING I've not really been able to have a rationale and sensible discussion. Remember what Robert Key said about Aussie sledging? You're not reknowned for your wit for very good reason - it's a bit too basic!

    OzJock - maybe your circle of Aussie friends are more middle class, mature, professional and living in the UK which helps explain why they have acted the way they have and I accept that in 2003 some of the Aussies in Germany at a Medical Congress were gracious in defeat after losing the Rugby World Cup final. You disagree with my comments and with Anglophones but I'm making mine based on what has been said to me by Aussies in Australia and not by Aussies living in the UK. There seems to be a difference between them and your saying you do not agree with us does not alter the fact that we feel that way and continue to do so.

    I would like to see England make Australia "grovel" to quote Tony Greig in this series and forever and frankly I hope to pay out in full with cold beers to all my Aussie friends if England win the series 3-0.

    I'll include you in this bet as well as long as you're not gracious in defeat as I won't be gracious in victory should we manage to achieve this!

    Cheers, Joe.

  • Comment number 95.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 96.

    And papa shango once again spouts tripe, hurrah all is well in the world!

  • Comment number 97.


    It is of course possible that we get a different impression here but it's fair to say that English cricket teams have been on the end of of some remarks over the past 20 years that would only qualify as "banter" if you lacked any sense of empathy or indeed, self-knowledge. You simply cannot say the the things that have been routinely trotted out over recent years without expecting resentment to build up . Even now, visitors to Test grounds are invited to "Dunk a Pom" on the way in. All very light hearted I'm sure, but how would people feel if the reverse were applied (sunburnt man in hat with corks shooting his mouth off) outside Test venues here. It just isn't any way to treat visitors with any semblance of respect.

    I would admit that most Australians were very gracious in defeat after the 2003 RWC (with the notable exception of the then Prime Minister who looked like he was chewing a lemon and just about threw the cup at Martin Johnson). It was the build up during the tournament that left most of us Poms staggered by the vitriol coming from the local media and the demonisation of the English team by anyone who could grab a microphone for long enough. Australian journalists routinely asked team coaches whether "they hated England?", routinely demanded that the team be barred from the contest for ludicrous offences and, with the final due, encouraged people to demonstrate outside the team hotel so that "the Poms don't get any sleep!"

    Now we all have our tabloid papers but this was taking the standard claptrap to new heights. In it all I detected a hysteria that seemed to stem from a fear of a cherished national myth of "pathetic Pommery" being punctured. It was a moment when after years of character assassination I started to feel a certain admiration for Douglas Jardine of bodyline fame and a recognition that, it wasn't the tactics that outraged Australian public opinion so much as the deep fear of an Englishman who knew what to do to win, and wasn't afraid to do it.

  • Comment number 98.

    By the way can you let me know your insights into how the next Test will go, I want to bet on the exact opposite happening as early as possible so I get better odds

  • Comment number 99.

    England bowlers, batters, fielders and fans are having a great time so far. Congrats to the winners and all the best to the two sides in the remaining encounters.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 100.

    Before anyone reacts, just remember what he said about winding-up England fans being "like shooting fish in a barrel" :-D.

    The best part of today, for me, was finishing it off so fast with only 3 front-line bowlers. The news that Stuart Broad would be flying home *must* have given the Australians a huge lift and even then they barely made it to an hour before lunch.


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