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4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 25 2017 at 4:57 PM

WRF  (Premier Login AlexRoberts)
Owner

 
Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.

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Twelfth Man
(Login twelthman)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 25 2017, 9:03 PM 

On a related note, I see Darren Lehmann has announced he will step down as Australia coach after the next Ashes series in 2019. Is it too early to offer him a contract at Yorkshire from 2020?!

 
 

WRF
(Premier Login AlexRoberts)
Owner

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 26 2017, 8:14 PM 

Apparently there were 88,172 in attendance on BoxIng Day.
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Stuart
(Login Stuart129)

Darren L

December 26 2017, 9:37 PM 

Would he not be available for the 2019 season over here, the Ashes will have finished before our season starts.

 
 
Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Over indulged

December 26 2017, 10:29 PM 

After having half a glass or so too many I was pleased to see on my return to sanity that Tom Curran rather than Mason Crane had made his debut in this test match in place of Overton.

Looking at the bowling figures perhaps Mason Crane might have been a better bet in place of Moeen Ali.

Only one day gone and though the Aussies have been kept in check it still looks ominous from an England stand point.

 
 
Twelfth Man
(Login twelthman)

Re:Darren L

December 26 2017, 10:49 PM 

The next Ashes series is over here in late summer 2019 after the World Cup. To answer my own question, it is a little too early to be looking ahead that far, but I hope the club at least try to get him over here, particularly if we still look a long way away from challenging for the Championship.

 
 
Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Enjoying the highlights

December 27 2017, 8:31 AM 

What's that Skippy! A century for Cook, runs for Root and 4 wickets for Broad.

That must be worth a listen, and it is.

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 27 2017, 8:39 AM 

Having returned from Oz in quite a positive frame of mind, following our defeats in Adelaide and Perth, it was lovely to watch our lads play so well in Melbourne today.

All tour I have felt that the only differences between the teams was the potency of their pace attack and the gulf in class between Nathan Lyon and our own part-time offie. In this game, with Starc absent and Cummins unwell, we saw Jackson and Marsh serving up 80 mph tripe; neither would get on a full-strength Yorkshire team, let alone England. (I know there will be those who disagree, but I mean it.)

Even with Hazlewood and Lyon, their bowling today looked toothless, because there was always one end open.

At the start of the tour we were unsure about our batting. Stoneman, I felt, was a good choice, and he has done okay without quite nailing the position down. He has proved a bit vulnerable to the short, fast stuff and to the off-spinner. He should be fine in New Zealand and in England next summer. Sri Lanka? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Malan has been the real find of the tour. Early days, yes, but he has looked the best of all our batsmen in almost every innings; organised, composed, lovely timing, and the best player of the short ball, good against spin. Vince has shown his class, and also his Vaughan-like tendency to play cameos. If he has learned some mental toughness, he can be a fixture at no 3 for the future.

Bairstow's position is surely now beyond doubt. The decision to bat him at 7 was ludicrous.

It has been our bowling that has disappointed so badly, and that was partly self-imposed by the non-selection of Stokes and a specialist spinner. Would Leach have done better than Ali? We will never know.

Until today, Broad has been hugely poor and Woakes is nowhere near Test class, unless it's swinging. Anderson has been steady and had the class to exploit the pink ball in Adelaide and the cracked pitch in Perth. Unfortunately he was lacklustre with the new ball a couple of times. Woakes, too, did well in that second innings in Adelaide.

It says much that Craig Overton, who is only 3rd/4th seamer for Somerset, was our best bowler in Perth. But his desire and competitiveness provided what Anderson, Woakes and Broad 2017-version seem to lack. Stokes has it - perhaps too much of it! - and Curran showed some of the same in Melbourne. I seem to remember a rugby man writing that 'an ounce of ginger is worth a pound of ability' - and that's true in cricket also. Listen to Sir Geoffrey talking about Kevin Curran.

Four years ago, I came home from Australia in despair after the wheels had totally fallen off. If you remember, they dropped Root, Prior and Panesar, brought in such unlikely names as Borthwick (as a bowler!) and Rankin...that was an utter shambles. This has not been.

I believe the batting is now just about sorted, with Stokes the final piece.

Anderson is fine for England, not sure about abroad, and Broad needs reminding that he is not undroppable. It's time to forget Finn and Woakes (outside England) and if Wood isn't fit now, forget him too. Bring in the new, Jamie as well as Craig Overton, and perhaps two Currans, plus whoever comes through out of the 20-year-olds who, apparently, include a couple of 90 mph lads that I've not seen.

Pick a proper spinner, two for Sri Lanka, and we're done. If they prove good enough, which we won't know until they're picked. Leach, Bess and Crane, for me. Adil has had - and not quite taken - his chance, though it should be remembered that he is younger still than Swann was when he started.

Perhaps that's England's real problem - too many options.


 
 
Twelfth Man
(Login twelthman)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 27 2017, 8:17 PM 

Thanks Dave. Nice to read some positive opinions on England for once. The press, ours as well as the Aussies' seem to be pushing some sort of "panic! English cricket in crisis!" agenda but I don't get that impression at all and it's good to know that someone has seen the tour in the flesh shares that opinion. We all know this team's limitations but there is potential there. Naturally I worry about the post-Anderson world which will have to be faced eventually but I hope there is enough coming through, from the likes of the Overtons and the Currans, Porter and Garton, to make it a smooth transition. I like Ali as an ambassador and as a person and on his day with everything in his favour je can cause problems with bat and ball, but I would like a proper spinner with Championship pedigree to be given a go at some stage. Looking into a crystal ball a Test team of the future may look something like:

Stoneman
Jennings/Hameed
Livingstone
Root
Malan
Bairstow
Stokes
An Overton/Woakes/a Curran
Porter
Garton
Leach


    
This message has been edited by twelthman on Dec 27, 2017 8:18 PM


 
 
Egham Tyke
(Login Davetyke)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 28 2017, 8:03 AM 

A master class from Cook today while the shot selection of others including Root and Bairstow left a lot to be desired. Plus, some poor umpiring decisions again though why Malan didn't review only he will know

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 28 2017, 8:33 AM 

That's fairly close to my own 'Future XI' - post Cook, Anderson, Broad.

Let us hope Hameed comes back strong from his 'second season' blues, and Jennings is very much a Cook clone in physique and method, and possibly in desire.

Livingstone played one of the best innings I saw last summer (Somerset at OT), but he looks a bit loose for number 3; quite Bairstow-like, in fact. Lawrence at Essex and also Browne (yet another leftie) might be worth a look. And there's Joe Clarke at Worcester, who would be my choice, I think, if Vince doesn't fit the bill.

Lots of young English-style fast-medium bowlers around, Coad and Porter to name but two, to go with Roland-Jones and Woakes, and I like Stone, now with Warwicks, and Saqib from Lancs also looks good. It is said that Garton is fast, rather than fast-medium, but I have not seen him, nor Northants' Gleeson, which probably puts me level with the England management! Jamie Overton is the fastest I saw last summer. Will Fisher make the transition? If he stays fit he could be in contention very soon, faster than Porter & Co, and potentially an all-rounder.

The radio commentators mentioned a young Asian spinner from Surrey (or was it Middlesex?), as well as Leach, but I know nothing about this player - not even his name. I do think Bess has star quality, though. A real good 'un.

Lots to be optimistic about - on the field. It's the administrators who frighten me.

 
 
Dwight_Schrute
(Login Dwight_Schrute)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 28 2017, 8:41 AM 

Maybe Ravi Patel? Took a bagful in Somerset shootout last game of the season.

 
 
Guest
(Login EastYorkshireTyke)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 28 2017, 9:34 AM 

Amar Virdi

 
 
Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Amir Virdi possibly!

December 28 2017, 9:43 AM 

Amir Virdi is in the Lions squad, off spinner from Surrey.

He's only played 3 First class matches so it might well be a case of England clutching at straws, again, in their search for a class spin bowler.

There's no shortage of names being floated up there and as per usual that becomes a problem as the various pundits and coaches try to push their current favourites into the limelight and into the selectors minds.

 
 
Brian
(Login NewBrian)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 28 2017, 10:01 AM 

Mr Virdi needs to hit the right notes in the county game first, surely, if his elevation to the international stage isn't to have a sad ending. He isn't much of a batsman or fielder, apparently.
Where are these spinners we urgently need going to come from? We haven't produced one since Swann, and he seems to have been a one-off. And the ECB attitude reeks of complacency if this is to be taken at face value.
http://www.espn.co.uk/cricket/story/_/id/21858552/english-game-good-shape-ashes-loss-tom-harrison


ps excellent effort on a more familiar pitch at MCG with a reminder of Cook's class. Hard to believe he went so long between Ashes tons. Bowling much better too... so far.


    
This message has been edited by NewBrian on Dec 28, 2017 10:03 AM


 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 28 2017, 10:03 AM 

Yes, it was Virdi. The radio pundits said he gave it a rip, which is encouraging. I'm tired of seeing opposition bowlers turn it square when ours can't turn it an inch.

I thought Ali was doing okay until he failed at Headingley last summer, allowing Brathwaite and Hope to win on a spin-friendly pitch, and that was when we started hearing this rubbish (from management) that Moeen was our second spinner - so they had to pick an equally useless first non-spinner to achieve this.

If he could get on the side, on merit, as a specialist batsman then it would be okay. He's nearly good enough, but not quite, I would suggest. I agree with the comments that he is a good man, and a fine ambassador - but so are loads of people who don't even play cricket. I really wanted him to do well, but he hasn't.

 
 
Dwight_Schrute
(Login Dwight_Schrute)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 28 2017, 12:01 PM 

The second spinner claims came before South Africa series, that's why Dawson was bizarrely selected too.

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 28 2017, 9:01 PM 

Watched all the last session this morning and I think that's the streakiest test 50 I have seen since Tino Best or Paul Allott as Briad scored most of his runs stood in square legs pocket! Fair play though to stand tall against the peppering he got and Cook did little to protect him and happily took the singles on offer.

Plus if the catch at third man was visible to the umpires 70 yards away then it's surely fair to expect them to spot the odd inside edge from a bat only 22 yards away. A shocker from Dharmasena to give it as a soft out on the pitch where the element of doubt favouring the batsman seems to have been forgotten.

Cook is a machine and batted beautifully. Well done him. Hoping for a good first two sessions tonight and we may win this one

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 29 2017, 7:05 AM 

I'm sure you've got the order of events right, Dwight. The only 'spin' in this England team comes from the management!

Thwarted by rain today. Woakes answered my moans by putting in his best spell of the series; perhaps he's a WRF reader. Radio commentators mentioned both Garton and Jamie Overton as two potential fast bowlers; they also spoke of the lack of 'mongrel' in our Stokesless side.

Good to hear the Barmy Army giving Jackson the Bird yesterday. Everyone hates the English, even when we're nice, so we might as well not be.

 
 
Brian
(Login NewBrian)

Re: 4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

December 29 2017, 10:14 AM 

Don't see Livingstone as a Test prospect; Garton too wild on this tour, but apparently has pace, which is what we need. Lawrence and Clarke worth a go. Certainly feel Jamie Overton's time is near, fitness permitting. Porter lacks the pace, I feel. England don't like Leach. Calls will grow for Coad, but Fisher might also see the door opening.

 
 
 
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