Sunday, January 14

Ashes 2006-07: Review

There's nothing much left to say. England had lost before the start of the series itself - in its own mind. When a team can think of Ashley Giles as a batsman, it indicates how woe begone is the team. Right through the series, Flintoff's captaincy was defensive and pathetic, to say the least. Wrong field placings for Monty so many times, wrong bowling selections at the wrong time, strange team selections (starting from the squad itself), and careless profligacy from many batsmen.
Strauss - it's time he, the great player he is, matures himself, curbs his tendency to slash outside the off stump everytime, and takes up the responsibility of being an opener. Bell - he cannot afford to go into his shell every now and then; the game is to score runs, not to simply stay there, boringly. Cook - the only one who didn't used to get out in a profligate manner, and showed maturity always. He has to work on his game when it comes to the corridor of uncertainty. Collingwood - is maturing, and playing beyond his abilities. So, cannot find fault with him. Pietersen - he was easily the best batsman and player for England in this Ashes, but he is a god. Don't think gods are expected to make 70s and 80s. Flintoff - the big let-down both with bat and ball, and captaincy. He bowled well, but didn't get enough support from other end, and luck from above. And battingwise, I thought he lacked some match practice, and that in Australia, he and Collingwood should have swapped their batting numbers. Geraint Jones and Chris Read - both the wicketkeepers - were dismal. The bowling was only good in patches, with Hoggard and Monty shining occasionally. Australia didn't have to do much except play their natural hard, aggressive game, and they were the winners. Besides Ponting, Hussey and Stuart Clark were the stars for them - and future matchwinners.
Hats off to Australia for winning it 5-0!

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