The Thumpers and the Bunnies

On waking up this morning it was a relief to see that it was all over.

Five Tests, Five Thumpings, Five Limp Displays.

Australia were good. I’m not sure if they were better than we thought they were going to be because there were signs in the summer that they could form themselves into a competitive enough unit. As it was they were focussed, committed, and a country mile better than England. Mitchell Johnson eviscerated his previous Ashes demons and bowled accurately and fast. Brad Haddin proved immovable, whilst Steve Smith and Chris Rogers were the most impressive of the lot. I have a suspicion that even a Kallis-lite South Africa will be too much for them in their next series, but until the next Ashes – best of luck to them.

Our spinner gone. Our number three batsman gone. Our ‘attack leader’ looking as potent as a baked bean. No hundreds from any batsman bar a young all-rounder in his second Test, whose average of 34.87 in the series was not really good enough for a number 6 batsman yet at the same time by far and away the best thing we can take from the tour.

“Pomnishambles”.

A year or two ago it was claimed that England had an almost boastful depth. Michael Vaughan famously said that we had the first (Swann, Broad, Anderson, Bresnan) and third (Tremlett, Monty, Onions, Finn) best bowling attacks in the world. Of those 8, only Broad and Onions are still bowling consistently near to their best.

Ashes smashes are often cleansing for the soul and for the team. Retirements after such beatings (and now also during) are not uncommon. The present is grotty, but the future is actually exciting. England no longer have a settled XI and that to me is exciting. Anyone who has a good start to 2014 would be in with a great chance of playing against Sri Lanka and India next summer. Nick Compton, James Taylor, Ravi Bopara, your time is now.

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About wrongunatlongon

I'll muse on various subjects, mainly involving willow, leather and grass. My natural instincts is to heap as many compound adjectives as I can to sporting natterings. If you like, then feel free to link :)
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One Response to The Thumpers and the Bunnies

  1. Immediate thoughts:

    Who else can captain apart from Cook? There is no Strauss or Vaughan waiting in the wings, and it is not as if Bell, Prior, Broad or KP had good winters either.

    Flower, Gooch, Saker? The recent selection calls have all been terrible; Carberry (42 in Div2) over Compton (50 in Div1), Tremlett in the First Test, no back up keeper brought on a two month tour, no Onions (wickets at 17 in Div1), Woakes picked at the Oval then not picked to tour, Kerrigan, Borthwick, Joe Root batting everywhere, Bresnan playing unfit, the decimation of the bowler formerly known as Steven Finn…basically everything apart from Stokes hasn’t come off, and even that was another decision which doesn’t really make sense even though he has had limited success.

    Who to come in? I’d like us to go for the experienced performers who’ve done it over the years. South Africa have been formidable recently because the players they’ve brought in are no longer learning their trade; Philander, Rudolph, Peterson, Du Plessis. England have experienced similar with Strauss and Collingwood coming in and performing straight away, the same with Australia and Hussey and Rogers. Therefore I’d like us to take a second look at Bopara and Compton, James Taylor has been excellent for a while as has Onions. Prior must be left to work himself back into form and if he cannot do so then Davies is the next best wicket-keeper batsman.

    Will Australia become number 1? No. Their best and most consistent players are too old. Clarke, Harris, Haddin, Rogers. Soz guys, but this is short term success. Best of luck with Khawaja and Hughes towards the end of 2014.

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