I don’t want to be negative, I hate to say “I told you so” (especially since this game is far from over) but day three showed us why Australia is always the best in this Ashes series , the favorite is.
Both teams have batting formations that are fragile – everyone knows that – but the hosts have Steve Smith, immovable objects, and a quicker bowling attack. These two factors are absolutely critical.
While speed isn’t everything, it’s very useful in clearing the tail. If there’s one thing low-level players can’t handle, no matter how well their Willow handles it, it’s extreme speed and mysterious spin. And neither did England.
Let’s take a look at how post-up movement (or lack thereof) affects this game. England led 246-4 but were eventually beaten by more than 300 runs. Australia trailed 209-7 but managed to climb to 328. This, my friends, is the game. right there.
It might have been different if Anderson hadn’t been injured – he prematurely canceled the attack after a brilliant second with the new ball – but when did the England Ashes get injured?
Unfortunately, our lack of a real cadence doesn’t change as the series progresses. It’s a problem we’ve had for years, and unless the pitch provides some support for our approach, it’s going to keep hampering the team’s prospects.
Attacks in Australia, on the other hand, have always been in the minority. Lower level hitters and even some of the smaller top players don’t like it and can’t handle it.
England still have a chance of winning this Test. It’s not all doom and gloom. With the possibility that Root or someone else will be completely blinded, we’ll be betting Australia’s total will be challenging.
The problem is that’s all it takes – a blind man. Australia’s tempo attack is horrible, especially now that Gabba’s wickets are getting faster and faster, it’s going to be a hell of a challenge.
In the final hour, Root and Stoneman cling to a grim death that could be the blueprint for Day Four. We can only play and pray as best we can.
Even if we manage to get Australia in the 800, one doubts Steve Smith will catch them all alone.
the next day
I forgot how much Ashes’ jet lag affected my ability to work. Only two days into the series and my biological clock is completely screwed up. I don’t know what day of the week it is – Thursday? Friday? Saturday? Exactly two hours later, I have an important meeting at work. damn it.
The subject: a cricket match in what has to be the most surprising Test match for Brisbane in years. I really think we hit some breakthroughs and we really have to make money on a relatively mild pitch (not the easiest pitch to score though).
So when I woke up to see our lows knocked down, I was really disappointed – six wickets down for a paltry 56. Our top order does so much hard work and actually gets nothing.
I don’t think the 300 are doing well in this situation – no matter how incompetent Australia’s batsmen are – and I worry about what Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood will do to us on the pitch with more speed. A lot of our players seem uncomfortable with the short ball. Why Moeen beat Bairstow I’ll never know.
Still, it’s great that England are still in the game. Our bowlers were very good early on and we showed that the Australians are also vulnerable. I can’t see too many draws in this series!
It’s a shame that Steve Smith is a big jerk…I mean he’s too good to be annoying. In Australia, the average age is now over 70 years old. This is amazing. We’re going to have to fire him in the morning because (a) I can’t stand watching him bat and (b) he has a penchant for getting Dad to win hundreds of games in Australia.
Having said that, I wonder if gabba restaurants offer both the humble pie and the usual cartilage and onion pie? Shaun Marsh proved to be the perfect foil for Smith – let’s call her Beauty and the Beast – and looked like a very capable Test 6. So what’s all the fuss about?
Now that Vince, Malan and Marsh are all running in this game, shouldn’t we fans give the selectors a little credit and admit we were wrong? No fucking it all.
First is good. Hello James Vince. You earn more than 30. In fact, you earn three times as much as you normally would. You’re obviously a bit silly when it comes to getting out of hand — I don’t think we can have it all — but you played well. It’s a good reminder, as if we needed one, that our pickers are geniuses. I don’t speak ill of her. Um.
Then there’s Mark Stoneman. What an impressive Ashes debut. He looks compact, aggressive and composed. His passing is so good, his pitching is so good it makes his scalp tingle. I think he surprised a lot of Australians.
And now, bad news is inevitable. The 196-4 score is not bad on paper. But it could be a little better. It’s not your typical Gabba wicket – it’s slow and lacking in rhythm, especially in the morning sessions – and we haven’t budged (yet). We probably didn’t have a better chance to have a great first game in this series.
While I’m relieved that our hitters aren’t knocked out, and certainly it’s encouraging to see our two lesser-known hitters playing well, I also have a slight sense of foreboding. Gabba’s pitches have largely undercut Australia’s formidable speed trio, but we still found it hard to hit