9 December 2013

England's latest self-destruction confirms fall from grace

Photograph from Wikipedia Commons

England's lower order inevitably folded amidst a flurry of feeble shots parallel to those played by their more heralded team-mates yesterday. The biggest worry for Flower, Cook and the beleaguered batting line-up is that they can't put together an acceptable innings on pitches flatter than the Dutch landscape, and against an Australian side who hadn't won a Test in nine before this series.

The shot that Cook played yesterday morning set the tone for a disappointing effort at batting for two days, but it was the way they subsided to a successive first innings collapse that will worry Englishmen the most. 

25 November 2013

Why England can still retain the Ashes despite their deficiencies

Photograph from Flickr

England took a battering from a bunch of fired up Australians over the weekend and have a mountain to climb if they are to regroup and retain the Ashes, especially after the loss of top order mainstay Jonathan Trott. Harsh words were sent in England's direction from both on and off the pitch and it could be these that spur Alastair Cook's men back into action. 

Anyone who thinks that England are going to be thrashed in this series are deluded, but it is certain that they are going to have to work hard to keep hold of the precious urn.

England rock Trott will be sorely missed

Photograph from Wikipedia

For decades England trialled multiple top order batsmen for the vacant number three role, from county run machines (e.g Mark Ramprakash and Graeme Hick) to young prodigies (e.g Rob Key and John Crawley), but all failed to meet the demands of being the first man in after the new ball in Test match cricket. 

But then came the answer to the woe; the latest world-class South African-born batter Jonathan Trott. For the four years since his Ashes-winning hundred at the Oval in 2009 he has been the glue that has given the England team their greatest level of stability in many a year.

Video of the Week: 25/11/2013

Just a standard striker's tackle according to Roberto Martinez...