BBC BLOGS - Oliver Brett

Archives for December 2010

Aussies find Beer at bottom of the barrel

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Oliver Brett | 13:35 UK time, Friday, 10 December 2010


Friday was the oddest day of the Ashes so far. England produced their worst cricket on tour, dropping five catches in the tour game against Victoria, and yet there was much more ammunition to question Australia, whose selection policy is beginning to show all the military precision of a campaign managed by Captain Mainwaring.

It should have been a great chance to turn the guns on someone like Chris Tremlett - the man expected to replace Stuart Broad at the Waca went wicketless at the MCG. Instead, Australia's chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch got both barrels.

All he had done for his troubles was to profess his fondness of beer... Michael Beer, to be precise. But the vacuum into which all national spin-bowling talent has escaped since Shane Warne's retirement is not really a laughing matter at all.

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Four other great England wins

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Oliver Brett | 16:09 UK time, Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Tuesday's Ashes win in Adelaide will resonate powerfully as a landmark England victory. Delivered by the crushing margin of an innings and 71 runs, it was the first to be achieved down under with the series still up for grabs since Mike Gatting's victorious tour in 1986-87.

The 2-1 series success from 24 years ago did not release the floodgates for a great run of form from England, in fact it was much the opposite. By the time new captain Nasser Hussain' side were beaten on home soil by New Zealand in 1999, they were ranked bottom of the pile in the Test rankings.

After that woeful summer, Duncan Fletcher was installed as a full-time coach and results have generally been much better since then, despite a post-2005 Ashes blip. The win in Adelaide, which moves England up to third in the latest edition of the ICC's Test Championship ladder, is potentially hugely important.

Since the dawn of the millennium there have been some splendid victories for England on foreign soil across the globe, and here follows a selection of some of the best.

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