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Ashes 2nd Test player ratings

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Tom Fordyce | 06:01 UK time, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Adelaide, South Australia

With the day-long thunderstorms finally clearing away after England's record-breaking innings win over Australia in the second Test, I've put together the traditional post-match ratings.

See them only as a launching-pad for your own opinions. I won't be offended. For long.


Andrew Strauss - 7
Under normal accountancy rules an opener who made only one run in the match could expect a lower rating. Strauss, though, deserves his numbers for the way he led his side to the most impressive performance from an England team overseas many could remember. Along with coach Andy Flower he has forged a unified, focused and successful team, his leadership both on and off the field a lesson in performance under pressure and attention to detail.

Alastair Cook - 9
Could his Test place really have felt under threat just a fortnight ago? His remorseless accumulation of runs in this series has statisticians digging out the records from luminaries like Waugh, Hammond and Bradman, the 148 he scored in England's only innings here the rock around which a winning position was established.

His current series average is 225. Even if he is out for a duck in every remaining innings, he will still finish with an average over 50. Just to stick a cherry atop the pie, he also took the fine diving catch that dismissed Australia's key man Michael Clarke to the last ball of the penultimate day.

Jonathan Trott - 9
His brilliant run-out of Simon Katich with a direct hit from square leg in the very first over of the match lit the fuse for the demolition that followed, and his stubborn 78 with the bat helped take England from a precarious 3-1 to a dominant 176-2. Averaging 121 for the series, part of an England batting order that is in danger of sending Australian bowlers to the knacker's yard.

Kevin Pietersen - 10
Sitting around with your pads on for 11 hours while your team-mates pile on record after record would monkey with most players' minds. Not the glamourpuss of the team. His 227 was not only the highest score of his Test career but also his most complete innings, a brilliant mix of concentration, style and blazing bravado.

In itself it was enough to guarantee him the man-of-the-match award. That he then broke the key partnership of Clarke and Hussey just when Australia looked like they might wriggle clear with a draw was almost laughable. Loved every second of the adoration and attention, and deserved it entirely.

Paul Collingwood - 8
That might seem a high mark for a man who only scored 42, and failed to take a wicket with the ball. But Collingwood's contribution was key to England's win - not only for keeping the scoreboard ticking over with seamless speed after the eventual dismissal of Cook, but for his routinely remarkable catching at slip as Graeme Swann ran through the Australian order. Also picks up big bonus marks for running out of the England dressing-room in just his pants as the rain hammered down on the final afternoon and pulling off a textbook slide along the sodden covers.

Ian Bell - 8
In danger of becoming the forgotten man in the deluge of England runs, which would be harsh in the extreme. Once again batted beautifully for his silky-smooth 68 not out, pinging the ball to all parts, and travels to Perth with an average of 144. Only the successes of the men above him in the batting order have prevented him from scoring more.

Matthew Prior - 7
Now looking every inch a Test stumper, the only blot on his form the last-day spill of Hussey off Swann which turned out not to be as important as he might have feared. Stood up to his spinners well, held on to everything else and biffed the ball around with abandon in his brief cameo on Monday morning.

Stuart Broad - 7
Might not have bagged the wickets he hoped for, but his control was integral to England's plan as they squeezed the life out of the Australian innings. His 1-39 off 19 overs in the first innings was followed by 0-32 off 11 in the second, a complimentary contrast to the figures shipped by his Aussie equivalents. Gutted to be ruled out the remainder of the tour with a torn abdominal muscle, but has played his part.

Graeme Swann - 9
On a wicket that his opposite number got tonked on, Swann made maximum use of the disintegrating surface and bowlers' footholds to rip the heart out of the Australian second innings, including the prize scalp of Ricky Ponting. Has now taken 10 five-wicket hauls for his country, the best return for any English tweaker since Derek Underwood, and answered the critics who wondered whether his finger-spin would be an effective weapon on Australian pitches.

James Anderson - 9
His four first innings wickets included possibly his best single burst in Test cricket, when he saw off skipper Ponting for a golden duck and then removed his vice-captain Clarke in his very next over. More expensive in the second innings as he pitched the ball up looking for swing and nibble, but beat the batsmen for fun on the final morning before dismissing a demoralised Haddin and then a hapless Harris for a king pair.

Steven Finn - 8
Went for runs on the first day, but came back to bowl a fine spell on the penultimate afternoon - finding reverse swing, showing miserly control and getting rid of the well-set Watson. Triggered the final day collapse with the key wicket of Mike Hussey, surprised by the extra bounce, and with Broad's absence from the rest of the series should continue to develop at pace into an integral part of the England attack.


Simon Katich - 4
Run out without facing a ball, he stayed out in the stands by himself while his team-mates sat and watched the carnage from the balcony above. Crippled by Achilles pain, he then fielded on one leg and ground out a gritty 43 before limping out of the series injured. If it's the last Test match he plays, it wasn't the send-off he would have hoped for.

Shane Watson - 6
Much like a friend of mine in nightclubs, he looks full of confidence and form early on but never goes on to convert. His biffing 51 in the first innings was matched by 57 in the second, full of front-foot plants and muscular drives, but he failed to push on to the big score that his side needs. Looked tired when bowling; if it wasn't for the lack of alternative openers, he would surely be better utilised coming in at six.

Ricky Ponting - 1
Snaffled for a golden duck in the first innings and just nine off 19 balls in the second, in between he spent two days watching his bowlers get flayed to all corners and must now pull off quite some turnaround if his charges are to regain the Ashes. Laudably honest about his side's deficiencies afterwards ("We were out-batted, out-bowled and out-fielded"), he looked so downbeat that some travelling England fans almost admitted feeling sorry for him.

Michael Clarke - 6
Part three of that spectacular first 10-minutes collapse despite a fantastic record at the Adelaide Oval, he battled back with a cavalier 80 on day four to give his side brief hope. Beside himself to be dismissed by the part-time tweak of Kevin Pietersen, he then stayed put at the crease when everyone but umpire Tony Hill knew he was a goner.

Mike Hussey - 7
Not so much the backbone of Australia's batting as its only bone. Saved them from humiliation on the first morning until wriggled out by Swann, he looked like he might just be able to do the same on the final day until an out-of-character slog-pull off Finn sent a top-edge down James Anderson's throat at mid-on.

Marcus North - 3
To English eyes he is a solid batsman who made big runs in the last Ashes series in Blighty. To Australian eyes he is a symbol of the mediocrity that now runs through the national side. Blew a decent start on the first day with a misjudged open-faced edge, and was trapped in front by Swann's straightener on the last. Only the lack of decent alternatives can keep him in the side come Perth.

Brad Haddin - 5
Scorer of a brisk half-century with his old pal Hussey, he spilled a straightforward chance down leg-side to Trott off Harris but made some amends with a sharp inside-out snag to finally see off Cook. Failed to offer any resistance on the final morning as Australia lost their last six wickets for 66 runs.

Ryan Harris - 7
The pick of his side's bowlers, he was the only one to offer any real menace at any time and - injuries allowing - should have greater success on more responsive wickets later in the series. Statistically impossible for him to do worse with the bat too, as he became only the second Australian in Test history to bag a king pair. Ouch.

Xavier Doherty - 0
Picked to take the wicket of Pietersen, and did exactly that. The only problem was that, by that point, Pietersen had already scored 227 runs. In the two matches that will surely constitute his Test career, he shipped 306 runs at more than four an over for a mere three wickets. Run out in calamitous fashion on day one, he missed the chance to return the favour against Trott and shuffled off for five in the second innings. Australia's very own Richard Dawson.

Peter Siddle - 1
Has six wickets in the series, all of them coming a long, long time ago on the first day in Brisbane. Probably guessed it would be downhill after that hat-trick he took on his birthday, but not that the descent would be so long or steep. Match figures of 0-121, his sole positive contribution was producing a future "What Happened Next?" moment when he deflected the ball back on to his own stumps without the bails being dislodged.

Doug Bollinger - 2
The Rug started brilliantly with the early dismissal of Strauss, but lack of fitness and accuracy meant that it soon became a case of hell toupé. Ran out of puff as Pietersen smacked him all over the old ground; would have been pulling his hair out if he hadn't paid so much for it.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I think you've been very harsh on Richard Dawson.

  • Comment number 2.

    I can only agree with DrRichie re.Richard Dawson...

    I had heard a rumour about the Collingwood streak, but to have it confirmed by someone else is good.

    Doug the Rug deserves another point for being on the end of the best sledge of the test, when Jonathan Trott told him to 'Keep his hair on'...

  • Comment number 3.

    You wrote

    "Ricky Ponting - 1
    ...he looked so downbeat that some travelling England fans almost admitted feeling sorry for him."

    I think you meant to write:
    "Ricky Ponting - 1
    ...he looked so downbeat that some travelling England fans admitted almost feeling sorry for him."

    Important distinction, me thinks ;-)

  • Comment number 4.

    Wow, three hair/wig references in just over three lines. Such amazingly varied, biting and original wit.

  • Comment number 5.

    Surely Doherty should pick up one mark for having the coolest first name of the Aussies!

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree with all but Ryan Harris. Think Harris would deserve a 7 given at least an average batting performance, but a number 8 landing on a king pair I think should lose at least 1 mark

  • Comment number 7.

    Tom – Are you sure you’re not just baiting He Who Must Not Be Mentioned by giving Collingwood an 8 ? Not sure how you were are able to give 3 different marks to 3 of the Australian bowlers, Siddle, Bollinger and Doherty.

  • Comment number 8.

    Bit harsh on Katich. Blameless for his 'diamond' duck, and then batted pretty well in the second innings on only one leg.

  • Comment number 9.

    Have only read the English (/SA) ones but...
    I agree with your initial comment that Cpt Strauss did not earn a 7. i think 5 would be as high as i would go. I also think the rest of the scores are a bit high.... If you give KP 10/10, what will you give Swann when he takes another 5 wickets in the 3rd test and somehow scores 200+ with the bat? (which is obviously going to happen)

    Ok so my example may be wishful thinking, but i do think you have scored them all too high.

    Now to read the Aus scores....

  • Comment number 10.

    Tom, I think you are being a bit harsh on Siddle. At least he ran in and gave it everything, which is more than can be said for Bollinger - for whom the champagne turned flat very early.

    I agree with you on Ponting. I have witnessed England being ritually smashed by Australia for the last 20 odd years, but I do have some sympathy for Ponting. First he is a truly great batsman who perhaps deserves better than having to captain this bunch of also-rans and secondly, he comes across very well. Yes, he gets grumpy at times, but can anyone blame him?

    With England, you are maybe a bit over generous on Colly, but as #7 says perhaps there is an ulterior motive for that! You were also kinder to Strauss than we were - he gets five out of five for his captaincy, but not much for his batting. This time!

    Who would you bring in for Broad? Tremlett seems the best option and could do very well at the WACA in particular. Bresnan can't play in a four man attack and Shahzad is perhaps not quite there yet.

    2nd Test Marks out of 10: England & Australia

  • Comment number 11.

    England about right

    harsh on Katich... I don't rate him but he can't lose six points for one error, lot of fielding and a gritty 2nd innings knock with a dicky achilles

    harsh on Watson... despite conversions, two half centuries should get him a seven - he can take a point off Harris (bowling wasn't that good, plus a king pair)

    Doh Boy... You can't give him nothing, he turned up!! Should also get a bonus point for looking like his Mum's confiscated his favourite toy for the whole match - quality!

    @icelandic-superlion - "Wow, three hair/wig references in just over three lines. Such amazingly varied, biting and original wit"... said baldy!

  • Comment number 12.

    Yeah I agree, a bit harsh on Katich; called for a run that wasn't on and batted on one leg. A lot of heart shown there.

    I had a cracking weekend in Adelaide. Brilliant cricket, gorgeous ground, KP's century and double century all in one day, and the best steak I've had in a long time: Gaucho's Argentinian restaurant on Gouger Street. If anyone is ever there, go. You won't need to eat meat for a week after.

  • Comment number 13.

    Dont see how Harris can end up with the same score as Broad.

  • Comment number 14.

    Strauss a 7?? Way too much.

    He is a batsman, and failed with the bat.

    His decisions were not really inspired, more his players were incredible.

    I would give him a 4.

    Oh, and KP deserves his 10. Imperious.

  • Comment number 15.

    So you're saying Eng were great and Aus were pathetic? i think one of those is true, but not both.

    Good ol' English media - you wait until they beat us in the next test. I expect this hype for Football, not Cricket

  • Comment number 16.

    I really fail to see how Prior gets such high marks after a drop and Collingwood's place would be in jeopardy if he were not part of a winning team. In fact there there is still a case to move Bell up one and bring in an additional bowler especially with the injury to Broad.

  • Comment number 17.

    I think the question of Broad's replacement is an interesting one, given the control he has been offering. I think Tremlett would be the natural choice given the type of wicket normally seen at the WACA but would he give that control that we need?

  • Comment number 18.

    we look good but how do bell,and colly get 8 and watson and hussey get less.we want to celebrate the easy win fairly-no need to be biased.

  • Comment number 19.

    Interesting ratings by Tom. England played as a team whereas their opponents did not. KP was outstanding and made a huge contribution in this historic win. 10 out of 10 for KP and 8 and 9 for many others shows that it was indeed a team effort. Congrats.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 20.

    always such an outpouring of gloating etiquette on these pages.

    Personally, my marks are:

    England 110 Australia 8

  • Comment number 21.

    Great achievement there is managing in one sentance to be harsh on both Dawson and Doherty!

    Dawson was not that bad, rather unlucky and limited and thrown to the wolves I admit but hardly his fault.

    Doherty was not only thrown to the wolves but was also wrapped in a coating of bacon and had a sign saying free lunch hung on his neck. The guy actually performed as many expected, he was just never first class quality to begin with. To give him a 0 is extremely harsh when he performed as well as he could do.

  • Comment number 22.

    18. At 09:02am on 08 Dec 2010, southspur wrote:

    we look good but how do bell,and colly get 8 and watson and hussey get less.we want to celebrate the easy win fairly-no need to be biased.


    I think Bell deserves his 8. He batted confidently and was only stopped from getting more runs by the declaration. Probably agree with you on Colly, although his contribution of 42 was useful and he held his catches (and catches win matches). Hussey probably deserves 8 as well. If not for him Australia wouldn't even have been in with a sniff, but I don't think Watson looks an 8; for an opener he just isn't converting his 50s into 100s.

  • Comment number 23.

    What has Richard Dawson ever done to you!?

  • Comment number 24.

    Cook deserves 10, but then again Pietersen probably deserves 11! A bit blinkered I think. Over scored Colly and Strauss. Harsh on Katich most definitely and Watson should get a 7.

  • Comment number 25.

    I feel pretty sorry for Ricky Ponting. Yes he batted poorly in this match and is going through a bad trot but all batsmen do - any player with a Test average over 50 doesn't become a bad batsman overnight. What is causing him a problem is that, up until, say, 18 months ago he was captaining a very good, highly talented side which was winning. In March last year they hammered SA away in the two 'live' Tests they played. Since then they lost a very close series in England 2-1, and from there beat lower qualty teams (Pak, WI, NZ) up to the India series, which perhaps hid their lack of quality. Now this has been exposed by two of the best sides in the world, India and now England.

    He has always had an 'out' in the bowlers - when he first started it was Warne/McGrath, then Brett Lee. Mitchell Johnson looked to take up that mantle for a while but as his form has dropped, so have Australias results and there is not enough quality in the bowling department that you expect anybody to step up to the plate. Without a go-to bowler who can make something happen, a captain looks impotent and desperate when they try something new (although 3 men on the square leg boundary is too far, I suspect). It doesn't make him a poor captain. Vaughan was a good captain but was helped by the presence of Flintoff. Strauss is a good captain but is helped by the presenec of Swann. Ricky Ponting now has the same problem that Mike Atherton had when he was England captain, in that he can set any plan in the world but he doesn't have the bowlers with the necessary quality, speed, consistancy or guile to carry them out. Ponting is now having to work much harder in the field to try and get something to happen using limited resources. That has to hamper your ability to concentrate when batting at 3.

  • Comment number 26.

    I think you've been generous to Strauss - I don't think this win required great genius from the captain, it was just a case of having players superior to the opposition in all aspects of the game (and I am really struggling with the concept of saying that about an England side in an away Ashes test - perhaps 20+ years of watching the Aussies steam-roller us has left permanent mental scarring).

    Collingwood should probably be pushed down to a 7 - 42 runs and a couple of catches is no better than you'd expect from a solid pro in the context of this match.

    Difficult to know how to rate Bell's performance - looked in the sort of form that could have yielded a big hundred if we'd had time to bat on, but didn't get the opportunity.

    Also I think you've been a mark generous for each of our seamers - Anderson had 1 great spell but was less effective in the 2nd innings, and neither Broad nor Finn really had a big enough impact on the game to merit marks showing good and very good performances. All played well enough throughout with occasional outstanding moments.

    Regarding the Aussies -
    Katich probably merits 5 - the run out was just one of those things.

    Watson - agree that he shouldn't be opening. Keeps getting starts but doesn't convert them to the sort of scores that change matches. If the Aussies had more openers, he'd be playing at 6 in a Collingwood-esque role of batsman that bowls. For this performance, I think his rating is about right.

    Hussey perhaps should drop 1 mark for the poor dismissal in the 2nd innings, which effectively ended any Aussie resistance (and who really expected them to capitulate so easily?)

    Harris may have been the pick of the Aussie bowlers, but considering what else they had, that's not saying much. Batted at least 1 spot too high, although at least he's in good company with his king pair - the only other Australian to have had that (dis-)honour is Gilchrist.

    Even as an England fan, I hope Australia sort out some of the deficiencies in their bowling, sufficient to at least pose a challenge to England. I wouldn't mind though if they wait till after we've guaranteed at least retaining the Ashes.

  • Comment number 27.

    A bit harsh on Ponting. Much as I love to see an Aussie skipper praying for help, I feel he's now experiencing what Atherton often did - great player surrounded by a less than great team. However anyone who says they're not enjoying the collective Australian hand wringing is a liar...or an Australian.

  • Comment number 28.

    I think your England points are fair. It is hard to disagree when all units function as one in such a fashion as they did.

    Harsh on some of the Aussie plays me thinks! Collectively they failed but there were some good individual performances.

    Katich - gained a lot in my book, to perform like he did in the obvious discomfort he was in is testament to his mental powers. Facing the England bowling attack getting into the 40's, a real fighting performance that deserves more credit.

    Clarke - give him a 7, nowt he could do in his 1st innings dismissal, it was a jaffa. 2nd innnings, great form!

    Hussey - this guy is a legend, another really gutsy effort while all around him collapsed. A 10 for me, what else could he have possibly done, more than he did.

    Haddin - you have dinged a keeper big time for poor batting. He is a keeper who bats, as is Prior. He dropped one, so did Prior. He has scored alot more runs than Prior also!

    North - well if you are going to give XD a fat 0, then give one to North too. He has offered nothing to Australia for two tests now.

    XD - poor chap; he is only the one Aussie I feel sorry for. He should not be anywhere near a national team, he has been thrown under the bus by Ponting and co.

    On another note Fordyce, some excellent blogs from you through the series, great reading, thanks.

  • Comment number 29.

    It's not often I laugh out loud at blogs, but you got me with a double whammy there, Tom. First this:

    "it soon became a case of hell toupé."

    Then, just as I was regaining my composure, this:

    "would have been pulling his hair out if he hadn't paid so much for it."

    Top class!

  • Comment number 30.

    I think Strauss maybe a 6, for decent captaincy, would be a bit fairer.
    Katich maybe a 5/6 for a gritty 40 odd but all those saying the run out wasn't his fault I have to disagree there. He must take at least half the blame as there was quite clearly a single.

    The Collingwood issue is the one that I have the biggest opinion on, and lets be very clear it's all about opinions.
    Having someone like Colly in the side does so much more than you perhaps see in terms of bare stats. He brings a massive amount to the changing room I believe, he's a gritty experienced fighter who the younger lads appear to look up to and I also believe that he helps Strauss massively.
    Add in an average of 40, outstanding hands and the fact that he gets runs when they matter most, admittedly to himself as well as the team. I just don't understand the constant pressure from the public for his place.
    The Aussies would give anything at present to have someone out of the Collingwood mould.

    Finally Tremlett for me in Perth, but I think they'll give Bresnan the nod who I don't think will let us down.

  • Comment number 31.

    I too think this is very harsh on richard dawson, he wasnt as bad as this guy.... also he coached me and hes such a nice guy...

  • Comment number 32.

    For Marcus North, you say "To English eyes he is a solid batsman who made big runs in the last Ashes series in Blighty."

    Really? I see North as a walking wicket and a totally ineffective bowler. This is probably the cue for some big runs now...

  • Comment number 33.

    Generally I would agree with the ratings but disagree on the following players.
    Strauss - 5 As was said about Ponting two years ago I could have captained this England team to victory! I would only have contributed 1 less run as well! He still leans towards over-cautiousness
    Katich - 6 Oh that all the Aussie batsmen were that gritty.
    Doherty - 1 Got to give him a point as he tried his heart out.
    Collingwood - 5 His catches were important, his batting not so.
    Broad - 5 Did very little although the injury hampered him late on.

    Love your blogs but the Bollinger/Hair puns are getting a bit tired. Don't overplay your hand or I'll start to wig out!! Sorry, I just had to!

  • Comment number 34.

    High marks overall. Like a previous poster said reminds me of the football media overhyping wins to go on and slate poorer performances.

    That said it was a magnificant performance. KP, Cook, Swann and Jimmy deserve all the praise they get.

    I also think that our most in form batsman is Bell. He's looked a different animal over the last year or so (I think our woeful batting this summer would have been different had he been fit) and is wasted at 6. I'd much rather see him striding in at 5 with Morgan at 6, but I've never been a fan of Colly.

  • Comment number 35.

    Oh and you forgot one rating. Papa Shango must get 20/10 for keeping these discussions going for much longer than they otherwise would do.

    But actually it would be quite hilarious for the pap-meister to come on here and post his ratings. Swann would probably get 2/10 for only getting 2 REAL batsmen out etc etc

    I can't believe I have actually posted this. Aplogies to all.

  • Comment number 36.

    In fact there there is still a case to move Bell up one and bring in an additional bowler especially with the injury to Broad.

    Quite the opposite actually. Without Broad the tail lengthens already, are you really advocating taking out a batsman in those circumstances?

    A five bowler attack for England requires at least two bowlers who can bat properly, most likely Broad and Swann.

    Far better just to bring in Tremlett as a straight replacemetn with the ball.

  • Comment number 37.

    "Only the successes of the men above him in the batting order have prevented him from scoring more." (on Ian Bell)

    He was also unlucky in the first test with Siddle's hat-trick. Bell was coasting towards a ton before that happened and ultimately it left him with nowhere nearly as much time at the crease as he might have had. It might be worth moving him up to number 5 as the previous poster suggests.

  • Comment number 38.

    "Apologies" for my typing too

  • Comment number 39.

    agree with most of those. Here's my blog and England ratings:

    Feel free to comment

  • Comment number 40.

    It's interesting to make a comparison with the player ratings made by the Sydney Morning Herald.

  • Comment number 41.

    " 15. At 08:51am on 08 Dec 2010, TimmyNorfolk wrote:

    So you're saying Eng were great and Aus were pathetic? i think one of those is true, but not both.

    Good ol' English media - you wait until they beat us in the next test. I expect this hype for Football, not Cricket"

    Mate, this is the first time since 1986 that England have beaten Aus by an innings. Yes England were great, and as a team effort Aus were really bad. They had a couple of oustanding performances (Hussey with the bat and Harris with the ball).

    And as for hype - If the result was the other way round, do you think the Aus press would be "restrained" in their analysis.

    Justin Langer summed it up beautifully - and he was a an Aussie batting legend and should know a thing or too about TEAM cricket -

    Tom don't worry about bias - I've only ever seen England win the Ashes 4 times in my lifetime, and had to suffer the Aussie crowing for too long.

    Don't have any issues with the marking, esp Colly - Gets 8 for the streak on its own, lol

  • Comment number 42.

    Agree with #36 to an extent. If we were one-nil down with one to play then there would be an argument for playing the extra bowler. So our line-up would be top 4 as is, Bell, Prior, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Tremlett, Finn. But without Broad and the fact we are in front and only having to draw the series to retain the Ashes they are not going to start messing about with it too much. I'd like to see Tremlett play the next test as it looks on current form that we have more than enough batting already, without having to include Bresnan at number 8.

  • Comment number 43.

    Despite my comments regarding Collingwood’s marks above on the previous test match people’s suggestions regarding his position in the team are misguided. A successful team must have balance, it is not simply picking your 6 best batsmen, a wicket keeper and 4 bowlers.
    First of all from the batting point of view you need batsmen with different qualities for different scenarios. In the past we had Graeme Thorpe. Now if he went out to bat at 280 – 3 you knew he wouldn’t score any runs, but make that 28 – 3 and he would. He scored tough runs and was gritty. I am not suggesting by the way that Collingwood is as good a batsman as Thorpe, because he isn’t (Thorpe is one of England’s most under-rated batsmen).
    Also if you are playing 4 bowlers and then you have to a reasonable 5th bowler amongst your batsmen, particularly in Australia. 4 bowlers cannot bowl 200 – 230 overs in a test match (FACT as our dear friend says). None of our current batsmen can bowl. Please do not suggest Pieterson, as he bowls self-acknowledged pies. Useful experiment for a couple of overs, but not a 5th bowler. Trott doesn’t bowl and for some reason Bell appears to have given up his bowling (I remember him being a reasonably tidy little swing bowler in his youth). Strauss and Cook don’t bowl at all.
    So anybody suggesting Morgan as a replacement for Collingwood does not understand the real demands of Test cricket. I rate Morgan highly and would love to see him playing for England. Unfortunately for him Bell and Pieterson are in such good form, he can’t get a look in. The only alternative to Collingwood in the squad is Bresnan. It would be a plausible argument to suggest replacing with him and moving Prior up to 6. However I believe this would lead to both Prior and Bresnan batting one position too high.
    Therefore as much as I hate the principle of “bits and pieces” cricketers, Collingwood is necessary for the team. Of perhaps greater concern is that none of the batsmen currently in the wings can fulfil the role of 5th bowler (with perhaps the exception of Bopara). What happened to batsmen who could provide a few useful overs in the manner of say Gooch or Trescothick? (Little trivia fact is that I believe Gooch was the last man to open both the batting and bowling for England, but then again I may be wrong).

  • Comment number 44.

    I think everyone is being very unfair on Strauss. Yes, he only scored one run, but he only had the one chance to bat in the game. He got a duck in the first innings in the first test and look what happened in the second innings!

    I think he captained the team very well, making all the important decisions, making the right bowling changes at the right times (eg Pietersen on day 4), setting fielding traps that came off - the dismissal of Watson in the first innings, for example - and timing the declaration to perfection.

    He well deserves his 7 in my view. Looking forward to Perth - let's win these ashes before Xmas!!

  • Comment number 45.

    Good chat as always. I'm persuaded about bumping up Katich a mark now - he was batting on one leg, after all, and did show a lot of guts. And I've also been harsh on Richard Dawson - take this as an official retraction. Sticking with 7 for Strauss because of his captaincy, as explained above.

  • Comment number 46.

    Go easy on Dawson - Tanya Aldred says he's better than Swann...

  • Comment number 47.

    # 15 Timmy Norfolk

    We're talking about an innings defeat here. This means that one team has totally outplayed the other.

    So the answer to your question is yes. England were great and Australia were bad.

    An innings defeat of this magnitude would be equivalent to a 6-0 defeat in football or a 50+ winning margin in rugby.

  • Comment number 48.

    Boikey – You’ve let yourself down, you’ve let your family down.
    If you can’t help yourself wear a pair of boxing gloves until you can learn self-control before typing.

  • Comment number 49.

    In line with a longstanding obsession of mine with the vital importance of number three in any England cricket team, I noted the 9 given to Trott and the fact that no-one else seems to have thought him worthy of any mention.

    Only when England get a "proper" number three do they build up the kind of confidence that the current side is showing: and a three really shows his value when-as has happened twice in two tests one of the openers goes for a duck. We have seen what can happen so easily with the collapse of the Australian side- suddenly 3 wickets down with none of the board.

    The worrying thing from way back to at least Chris Tavare is that such a player may get "promoted" to open-- leaving Three a "barn door".

    In a previous upturn in England's fortunes three hardened Surrey players- Butcher, Thorpe and Stewart- provided a backbone- and I would suggest that in this batting line up Trott and Collingwood are very important in that sort of way.. And perhaps Kevin Pieterson learned something by watching his team-mates just occupy the crease and wear the Aussies down. That is aggressive cricket as well- as was shown in the famous Headingly Test when the combativeness of both Ian Botham and Geoffrey Boycott was crucial in the batting effort.


  • Comment number 50.

    Re: Colly/Hussey différence. Huss had a match-affecting impact in only one sense: he miss-cued Finn to mid-on in 2nd inns. Perhaps that awful gaff figures in Tom's scoring system. Colly is innocent on that front.

    Punter & Pup must be having nightmares about thé Big Ben stunt. Could we have a blog (Tom, are you listening?) on Ashes psychology? The Big Ben stunt failed. England waited until arriving downunder to riposte. England's refusal, for whatever reason, to attend that Gala lunch before thé warm-up games was straight out of Waugh's famous text on the subject. Thé snub said: 'We're not hère to socialise and eat prawn sarnies'.

  • Comment number 51.

    Harsh assessment on Katich and he deserves a better score than 4. Not blameless for the run out but neither was he entirely at fault. Trott is given credit for the fabulous throw and I think it should be left there.
    As for his second innings and fielding, he stood up to be counted when his country needed him despite the achilles injury. I'm sure he won't recall the test fondly but he can hold his head up with some pride whereas others should be ashamed. I wish him a speedy recovery and I hope he does get a chance to play test cricket again despite his age.

    And Ponting deserves a 2. He won the toss remember and did the right thing by choosing to bat. Plenty of others have got that wrong in the past.

    How has Australian cricket gotten into such a state? It appears as if England have learned from Australia over the past 20 years and Australia have learned everything they know from England. Isn't it wonderful!!!!??

  • Comment number 52.

    #48 - you're right, but I've apologised. Twice actually. Fact.

    What more do you want?

    If it's any consolation, I agree with your post #43. Quite insightful.

    I have often thought of Collingwood as a bits & pieces cricketer, more suited to one dayers, even when he makes a ton and silences the critics. But you're right he does fulfill a key role given the other players we have. And since 2005 we have proven (fact!) that it's not wise to chop & change the team too much.

    Three other reasons to keep him in the team - (1) if it ain't broke don't fix it (why change a winning team?) (2) Broad, whilst perhaps not a true all rounder, is a bowler who can bat a bit, so his absence means that we can't afford to drop a batsman who can bowl a bit (esp if we choose Tremlett) and (c) he did make a few runs in his last innings.

    Am I forgiven now?

  • Comment number 53.

    46. At 10:12am on 08 Dec 2010, Nick Beresford wrote:

    Go easy on Dawson - Tanya Aldred says he's better than Swann...
    At that point (when he was playing for England) 90% of us would have probably agreed. A couple of years can make a huge difference.

  • Comment number 54.

    only 9 for swan what does he have to do get the recognition he deserves as englands consistently best player he had one ordinary match and you tried to write him off do you watch cricket?

  • Comment number 55.

    Generally agree on the ratings but probably a couple of marks too high for Doherty

  • Comment number 56.

    Just read the Sydney Morning Herald ratings. The ratings had me laughing and worth a look.

    BTW, interesting to see that the Aussies have now risen (yes, I said risen) to #3 in the ICC rankings. All because Sri Lanka couldn't beat the weather and the West Indies, apparently.

  • Comment number 57.

    Actually you're wrong about Ryan Harris, it isn't statistically impossible to do worse with the bat, at least he managed to face two balls for his two dismissals. You can get run out from the non-strikers end at least once (or even twice!) so he could go at least two notches worse. What kind of brainless, incompetent-muppet would get himself out without facing a ball though...

  • Comment number 58.

    at 46/53

    Thats probably the best misjudgment I have ever seen!

    I take your point hackerjack that Swann was poor 3 years ago, but still had promise. The fact she quotes him as a wet-nursed bowler is just fantastic and some definite humble pie is needed for Tanya. He has always showed promise in my opinion!


  • Comment number 59.

    Re Colly - This guy is a backbone player for England: Nuggity runs in the same vein as Thorpe (yes Thorpe was far better, but sorry but he has retired now), great athletic fielder (only Jimmy A is better) and can bowl more than just "a bit". On a day 4/5 pitch his off-cutters can be just as lethal as a full tweaker, but more importantly he can bowl to contain and thus build pressure which benefits the strike bowler at the other end.

    Most importantly - ne never gives up, head does not go down. He is the ethos of team spirit around which a touring party is built. He's not flash, but he is very important.

  • Comment number 60.

    The Richard Dawson reference was actually a typo by Tom. He actually meant Richard Dawkins. It is a little known fact that Xavier Dohery is a militant atheist.
    The slightly lost look he had on the field was due to Shane Watson’s assertion of the importance of non-adaptive processes in evolution.

  • Comment number 61.

    Boikey apologises twice for reasonable post, Clarke apologises for not walking and Tom, on behalf of the British Broadcoping Castercation, retracts statement on-line. How the world Spirit has advanced. Me, if I so much as make a typo or one of those irritating French characters I self-flagellate until a mildly tingling sensation sets in!

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi all- new on here today.
    Wonderful to read the comments and the insightfulness (is there such a word?) I generally agree with the points awarded, but would it be possible to have scores for all the umpires as well? I am sure that would create some discussions

  • Comment number 63.

    Having read through the Aussie papers it's refreshing to see that the cricket journalists are making a good fist of the novel sensation of having to be balanced, and even go so far as praising some of the England players. Reading the comments from the public though is great fun. Plenty of gallows humour and a great deal of moaning about the quality of the current Australian line-up. The prevailing mood however is that England haven't played well so much as Australia have performed abominably!

    It's reassuring to see that the average Aussie punter won't go so far as to credit the England side with actually being much good...most stating that "their granny could hit a ton against the current Australian attack!" Some habits die very hard indeed but I suppose that when you've been fed a 20 year main-course of triumphalism, on top of an appetiser of long-standing, ill-defined grievance, it's hard to come to terms with the fact that your players are, in fact, mortal after all!

    From anger we go to denial...the journey unfolds!

  • Comment number 64.

    Steak and Ale

    Absolutely right about Collingwood - he may not be a glamorous and flamboyant middle order stroke player, but for the last half dozen years he's been a vital component in the England machine. With the bat, he's the guy we want coming in if we're at 30-3 and the ball is moving all over the place - low backlift, soft hands and good adjuster mean he's our best 'bad wicket' batsman. There are times when scoring 75 in 4 hours is vital, and Colly has been our man for that. At the moment this role looks a little redundant because the other batsmen are going so well (and Trott to some extent does a similar shoring up job at 3 if we lose an early wicket) and because the Aussies have a toothless attack.

    For bowling, I also wonder why Bell doesn't bowl any more - he looked to be potentially as good a fill-in seamer as Collingwood. However, given the current setup of the team, having Colly chip in with 10 overs for 40 in each innings is helpful in the context of the 3 seamers + 1 spinner attack we have. OK, he's unlikley to run through a team unless conditions are really in his favour, but he can chip in with occasional wickets and is unlikely to release the pressure on the batsmen by allowing them too many easy runs.

    I do think Pietersen is slightly under-used as the spin bowling equivalent, although he is a bit the opposite in that he will bowl some loose stuff but then produce a real jaffa.

  • Comment number 65.

    Richard Dawson once got 4/134 in a test

    Can't see Doherty ever getting near that

  • Comment number 66.

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

  • Comment number 67.

    #66 - "Doherty did ok". WHAT???? Are you completely stark raving...

    Oh, it's you Papa.

  • Comment number 68.

    Does that mean Doherty goes on to the ever increasing list of better spin bowlers than Swann then Papa?

  • Comment number 69.

    66. At 11:09am on 08 Dec 2010, papa shango wrote:
    Doherty did ok, the pitch only became helpful when Swann came on to bowl.

    If 1-158 in 27 overs is OK, then 5-91 in 41 is surely the best bowling performance ever. FACT!

  • Comment number 70.

    Do not think the scores mean much to either side,
    should remember a wounded Ozzie is a dangerous beast! that needs putting out of its misery!

  • Comment number 71.

    #59 - Robert. I agree with you about Collingwood, but the reality is that he only bowls "a bit", even if he "can" bowl more. For example, 7 overs out of 180-odd in this match. But perhaps you're right that he would bowl more in different conditions

  • Comment number 72.

    Great blog and some acerbic comments for poor Doug the Rug !! thought Katich deserved at least a 5 for bravery in the 2nd innings and though Seter Piddle tried hard enough for a two !!

    On the whole, accruate.

  • Comment number 73.

    #66 Papa and his v short memory

    1st innings
    Swann - 29.0 2 70 2
    Doherty 27.0 3 158 1

    Doherty got KP only once they had got into 20/20 mode on Day 5 when the pitch was turing big.

    Swann day 1 on a flat deck and he manages to get 2, and admits to bowling "like a child"

    KP did better, and he openly admits he throws puddings!

    "Doherty did ok..."

  • Comment number 74.

    Sorry, stats did not come out there

    1st Innings comparisons
    Swann 29 overs, 2 maidens, 70 Runs, 2 Wickets
    Doherty 27 Overs 3 maidens, 158 runs, 1 wicket

  • Comment number 75.

    " 40. At 09:54am on 08 Dec 2010, Twiddlepin wrote:
    It's interesting to make a comparison with the player ratings made by the Sydney Morning Herald."

    Thank you for posting this link Twiddlepin - really interesting to see how the Aussie's score the players. I think there is always a natural inclination towards slight bias for one's own team, and certainly the Aussie reporter writing these ratings is guilty of that - there are some questionably high scores for one of Australia's worst performances in living memory. However, their appraisal of the English performance was very selfless and reflects a lot of what Tom has written. Referring to Cook as being regarded as Joe Average before this series to becoming "one of the best test batsmen in history" is no small comment from an Aussie cricket pundit!

    I have to agree entirely on the comments on Jonathan Trott - not nearly enough praise. I think true no. 3 batsmen are hard to find, and I rate Trott to be one of the best in the world at what he does. Outside of Cook (and possible Pietersen if he continues in form) I predict Trott will finish the series with one of the best averages of either side. He stabilises an innings - his ability to 'drop the shutters down' on any momentum created by an opening wicket falling shows a lot of integrity. Happy with his mark definitely.

    As to Strauss, I think I have to agree with most of the criticism - you have to take his batting and captaincy in equal measure, and whilst the latter can't be questioned, in this match, he couldn't have batted worse. Therefore by definition he shouldn't get above 5 - obvious praise to his captaincy though.

    Now Collingwood - poor old Colly. I have to admit to finding your rating of him overly generous as he was pretty average. However purely on the grounds of his partly-naked 'kid on a dance floor' slide, I advocate giving him 10!! Love hearing this sort of stuff - though it'll never top drunken Freddie stealing a pedalow.

    I think there are several ways to take the ratings - either purely based on the one match (i.e. the max/min are only understood within the confines of that one game), set against the context of the series (hard to do until the end), or against universal test cricket markings (hard to do when you consider the history involved). I think match by match is fair enough, and leaves room for more debate and input.

    With this in mind, I think it's very hard to justify ratings for any Aussie above 5, if their ratings are understood in the context of England's performance. Closer ratings would imply a closer outcome - this was a crushing defeat when the odds were against England and given there were no decisive performances from any of the Aussies, should they be getting high scores?? This to me would undermine entirely the result, and indeed the deserved ratings of the English bowlers, and top order batsmen.

    Hussey 7, when Bell gets 8? Somethings not quite right with that. The fact that Clarke could have potentially saved the match for Australia, but instead fell victim to Pietersen's part-time spin, actually makes his failure even bigger - not to mention stopping in his exit from the pitch.

    An opening batsman not being able to convert, or being able to to hold out an innings? That's a problem Bangladesh should be facing, not Australia. Totally agree - Watson is a glorified number 6 puncher.

    If I were being picky, I'd bump Bell up to 5, drop Collingwood for Morgan to give the lad a chance, and put Tremlett in for Broad.

    As an aside, slap on the back to all on here - really enjoy reading your posts (even P _ _ _ - S _ _ _ _ )

  • Comment number 76.

    there si so much stick given out about how poor the azzies are and they dont compare to the steam roller of the late 90's but that team had four of the best cricketers of all time in it
    we are on the other hand not giving the england players as much credit as they deserve. Cook Pieterson, Strauss and maybe Bell are all very high class test players, all have averages in the 40's with KP and cook both nearly 50 and both will end up over 50, which is right up there all time.
    collingwood has an average in the 40's too but maybe world class isnt there BUT his grind, dtermination, and defo world class fielding is of the higest order in any era.
    bowling wise ANderston right now is as good as any era fast swing bowler and the late developer of swann is accumulating wickets as fast as anyone in test cricket right now.
    so give the lads more credit rather than saying hey beat a mediocre auzzie team.. its all they can doo beat them,,and how!!!

  • Comment number 77.

    Agree with the ratings for the most part, but don't agree with the sensationalist maths on the averages of Cook and Trott, at least not in the Test Series. Maybe they made hay while the sun shone on the warmup games, but on the 3 innings that England have played in the Ashes test in Brisbane and Adelaide, I calculated an average of 150 (235+67+148+450? divided by 3)for Cook and 81 (29+78+135=242) for Trott. Mighty fine figures anyway and I expect they will keep it up.

    With Australia running scared and changing their lineup every match, not to mention with an injury to Katich forcing their hand, I see at least one more England win which will guarantee the Ashes staying at home. Unless Australia buck up their ideas, they may well end up with nil on the series board.

  • Comment number 78.

    sorry that should have been 235+67+148=450

    my bad

  • Comment number 79.

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

  • Comment number 80.

    Strauss looking almost Brearley-ish in his Captaincy

    i.e. doesn't matter if his own batting falls apart so long as he gets the best out of the talented individuals and makes them play as a team.

    (Also took a few decent catches btw)

    0 rather harsh on Clarke - a man who scored 80 after all.

  • Comment number 81.

    RoverOnTour, the averages carry over from a not out innings.

    So Cook effectively had one innings for 383

  • Comment number 82.

    Once again, great work Tom. I think you're spot on with the England marks. All this 'criticism' of Strauss would hold sway if we were used to beating Australia by an innings but we're not and regardless of the merits or otherwise of this aussie team I thought he led us superbly to a historic victory. Perfect declaration and excellent management of the bowlers in the second innings being vital in pursuit of victory. Yes, he's there to bat but a captains job is never easy (unless you've got Warne and McGrath).

    I feel sorry for Bell, the guy is in the form of his life and has even got Warney referring to him as 'The Terminator'. He just can't get enough time at the crease (or partners in Brisbane 1st innings) to get the big score his majestic batting deserves. It's a far cry from those American Pie jibes. I think he has to bat at 5 in Perth.

    Prior can definitely improve which is good for us but can someone please give him a new cap. The sweat stained one he wears atm makes me feel nauseous!

    The bowlers worked well as a unit keeping the pressure on with very few easy runs on offer. Broad will be a big loss. He may not have taken wickets but his economy rate was excellent and he gets under the opponents skin which can lead to lapses in concentration. Swann is my hero, as long as he keeps taking 'easy 5 fors' I'll be happy.

    Australia on the other hand were poor, very poor. One interesting question is whether they are just out of form or whether we have made them look out of form. I believe the latter with many of them entering this series with averages in the high 40's/early 50's. Our bowlers have risen to the challenge so far and their bowlers have gone missing.

    Katich may deserve another point for soldiering on, especially with regard to batting but surely his stubborness was counter-productive in the field and may have worsened his injury. Watson is an almost nailed on 50 and an almost nailed on wicket soon after, nothing special bowling and a plodder in the field - 6 is generous. Clarke 6 is about right. Out for nothing first innings, but it was a peach of a ball, and gave away his wicket at the end of day 4 'trying to get off strike' but he did give them a chance of saving the game. Hussey 7, a tad generous. He triggered the collapse on the final day playing a poor shot. If that was Pietersen he'd have been hammered for it. Harris 7 is very generous. He was the pick of their bowlers but 620-5, come on and a king pair to boot. More like 5 I'd say. Others scores spot on.

    This is not gloating or triumphalism, just reflections on a very convincing victory. But remember it's only 1-0. Tell yourselves there's a long way to go yet. The aussies will definitely come out fighting and fired up in Perth so we need to wipe the slate clean and play as if it's 0-0 and a must win game. Roll on next week (and well done getting to the end of that if you stayed with me)!

  • Comment number 83.

    Hi Papa!! Before the series you were critical of Swann and Cook, two of our stand-out performers, and declared without a doubt that England would be one-nil down by this stage.

    We should have a rejig of this team who are underperforming by only beating Australia by an innings and more on a flat track (it's so unfair the Aussies had to bat on a minefield). Key should be brought in to stabilise the top order. Bring back Tufnell - him v. Warne should be a frightening tussle. Pattinson should be put in for Anderson, whose paltry display only saw him remove Ponting and Clarke in the opening overs, when Australia should clearly have been 6 down. KP has just got to go - he's a walking wicket. Bring in Afzaal there. Mascherenhas should come in for Broad, who has really gone off the boil since his injury.

  • Comment number 84.

    #83 - you forgot Mahmood

    #82 -

    "Hussey 7, a tad generous. He triggered the collapse on the final day playing a poor shot. If that was Pietersen he'd have been hammered for it."

    Very true indeed. Hussey's rash shot illustrated very starkly the importance of not giving away yuor wicket. Look what happened to the rest of them once he was out.

    "But remember it's only 1-0. Tell yourselves there's a long way to go yet. The aussies will definitely come out fighting and fired up in Perth so we need to wipe the slate clean and play as if it's 0-0 and a must win game."

    Even truer. Let's celebrate this pasting (for that is what it was), but it only counts the same as a 1 run win. We need to start again from scratch and not let compacency creep in.

  • Comment number 85.

    Hussey desrves at least an 8, if not a 9 for his batting, especially in the 1st innings.Dont forget he scored those runs off our world class bowling attack rather than Harris and the pie slingers.But he did drop an easy catch and threw away his wicket in the 2nd innings with a careless shot......
    And I agree Collingwood deserves his extra mark for his slide in the rain LOL!

  • Comment number 86.

    #79 Papa

    "Doherty not ready for test cricket" Tim Jenner, Aussie Spin Guru -

    Enough said

  • Comment number 87.

    oops, sorry that should have read Terry Jenner, Shane Warne's coach

  • Comment number 88.

    Kapnag, thanks for the clarification.

  • Comment number 89.

    One thing to remember before we get too triumphant is that Australia are unlikely to play so poorly again this series.

    In Watson, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey and Haddin they have the basis of a good batting line-up. OK, Punter is yet to fire, but he won't go through the whole series as a bunny - he's way too good a player for that. OK, there are issues with the opening positions and 6 (where Watson should be batting, and which would suit his 50 and out each innings better than opening does).

    There are a few more issues in the bowling department -
    Mitchell Johnson is their one really penetrative bowler, but his performance in the 1st test was awful, and consistent with his form over the last few months.

    Harris looked OK in this match - at least he kept going while all around was disaster.

    3rd seamer is entirely up for grabs - Hilfenhaus, Siddle, any young promising guy?

    As for picking a spinner, perhaps we should lend them Monty so he can get a game. Replacing Warne was always going to be difficult (especially with MacGill retiring very shortly after), but I dion't think anyone expected it to be THIS big a problem.

  • Comment number 90.

    Does papa Shango know anything about cricket after all he was a phoney witch doctor gimmick from the WWF

    Doherty is nowhere near the class of Swann. Even Hauritz is better than the rubbish that Doherty produces - averaging over 40 in first class cricket per wicket

    If Swann was in the Aussies side he would be the star bowler in the same way Warne was and still is according to some desperate Australians who want him back !

  • Comment number 91.

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

  • Comment number 92.

    #77 - there's nothing sensationalist about Tom's maths, that's the standard way in which batting averages are calculated. It's runs per dismissal, rather than runs per innings (which is what most people assume). An average of 50 doesn't mean you score 50 runs every time you bat, it means you score 50 runs before next being dismissed (on average, obviously). Those runs could be spread across several innings.

    Over the course of a career it's rare to find batsmen averaging even in the high 50s, but it's quite common over the course of a test series to see averages above 100. All it takes is one or two 'not outs'. When SA played a two-match series against India in 2009/2010, Hashim Amla finished with a series average of 490!

  • Comment number 93.

    Ponting deserves more for his honesty.......out batted....... out bowled and out fielded.
    The problem with rating Australia soooooooh poor actually suggests therefore that the marks for England are too high!! An excellent performance against non hopers isn't much to write home about really is it?

  • Comment number 94.

    #89 dummy_half

    Totally agree. Aus have a good batting line-up that will probably fire at Perth, but only up to 6. And that is where their problems lie - "6 out all out" is the phrase that ian Chappell used about England in the '90s, and that is Australia's problem right now.

    Only Hussey seems to be able to form a back-bone to support the very fragile tail, unless they bring back Mitchell Johnson; that's where their other problems lie - The bowling.

    They need to take 20 wickets and in 2 tests running have failed.

    Yes they are a wounded animal right now and we should not be complacent, but I just don't see them beating England with both a bad tail and weak bowling.

  • Comment number 95.

    papa shango wrote:
    #83 you make yourself look a but stupid with those comments.


    the irony!

  • Comment number 96.

    91. At 12:22pm on 08 Dec 2010, papa shango wrote:

    #83 you make yourself look a but stupid with those comments.

    papa... pot... kettle... black!

  • Comment number 97.

    5. At 08:07am on 08 Dec 2010, stewz1970 wrote:
    Surely Doherty should pick up one mark for having the coolest first name of the Aussies!
    Yes, he does. Unfortunately he loses one for having pretentious parents

  • Comment number 98.

    Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please ignore he who's name should never ever be mentioned again. Let him continue with his ridiculous, absurd, daft comments. He has all the maturity of Kevin the teenager, but none of the charm. He's shown that he can't be reasoned with, and that he is your typical pub bore who will disagree with anybody merely for the sake of it.

    I know its tempting to reply when you see him post something outrageous, but we all need to show team work in sending this guy to Coventry for ever.

  • Comment number 99.

    As i scrolled down through the comments, I found myself increasingly worried. However, to my relief, I saw that, at #66, papa shango finally entered the arena. Phew. You write a helluva blog, Tom (and I'm glad you bumped Katich up, but papa sure knows how to make a worthwhile comment.

    Loving the series so far, and I think the sign for me that we're doing well is that I found Trott's 78 to be disappointing. I mean, who doesn't get a ton, these days?

  • Comment number 100.

    Loved this on Twitter: Just landed in London it's freezing and was welcomed by press and photographers asking am I making a comeback ? What have I missed ??? - Shane Warne


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