Cricket- the sport not the insect

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It seems that Warner is only in the Australian team for his catching.................looks like Broad cannot not get him out ! Labuschagne century can't
be too far away. Australia seem to have found their number 3. That man Smith still difficult to move. The wind definitely had an effect on the bowlers. A quick wicket for England probably puts them ahead in the game especially with Australia's middle order not firing of late. Be nice to see Paine get some runs.
 
Catches win matches. England have had good chances against Smith and Paine. No balls don't help. Smith seems to be heading towards a double century. England's bowling has been a bit patchy. Australia in a good position with five wickets in hand.
 
Not much to say on Smith other than simply incredible. Can’t ever recall an opposition player having this kind of series in England.

England made to rue missed chances again with sloppy fielding after lunch. Paine dropped and then Smith out off a no-ball would have left the Aussies 270/7.

A fair amount of showers forecast tomorrow but Saturday and Sunday look fine, can England bat for 2 days and take it to the Oval?
 
Not much to say on Smith other than simply incredible. Can’t ever recall an opposition player having this kind of series in England.

England made to rue missed chances again with sloppy fielding after lunch. Paine dropped and then Smith out off a no-ball would have left the Aussies 270/7.

A fair amount of showers forecast tomorrow but Saturday and Sunday look fine, can England bat for 2 days and take it to the Oval?
England didn't need the cameo by Starc and Lyon. That must have rubbed the salt in. With the weather unless England collapse dramatically, the odds look pretty good for another draw. The pitch seems to be playing well although Lyon could be key for Australia especially seeing how much spin some of the English bowlers were getting. The English bowlers don't look in good shape. A few injury concerns it seems. Once again Broad is their backbone. Archer just looked tired.
 
If Lyon's head is on straight I can see him getting a few here.

TBH I was worried that Archer might have gotten into Smith's head, but wow, he is something else. Maybe the most dominant sportsman in the world atm?
Always difficult to compare, in football Ronaldo and Messi have been worlds apart from the rest for a long time, while Hamilton has had most of it his own way for a while in F1, granted with a very fast car.

Smith definitely the number 1 in the world at this game, I don’t even think Kohli is capable of this sort of form away from home.
 
Good innings from Burns, his best so far in terms of how confident and in control he looked. Seemed to get a bit tired towards the end and made a few errors before his wicket. Shame he couldn't get a century but has confirmed himself as the most impressive opener this series.
 
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Thought Australia bowled well and came back strong after the Root/Burns partnership.

England must get past the follow on and it obviously goes without saying the longer they bat tomorrow, the more likely the draw as Paine won’t want to give England a sniff of a run chase after Headingly.

Going off for bad light saved England under the grey skies and floodlights. Weather looks ok for the last 2 days but the new ball is looking huge for the Aussies.
 
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Good innings from Burns, his best so far in terms of how confident and in control he looked. Seemed to get a bit tired towards the end and made a few errors before his wicket. Shame he couldn't get a century but has confirmed himself as the most impressive opener this series.
Labuschagne is similar. I thought he was heading towards a century as well. Neither player is easy to get out but they both seem to lose concentration after they have done all of the hard work. Good to see Paine get some runs. Head and Wade are playing like they are still in a 20/20 game. Talk about throwing your wicket away. They want to be careful as Australian selectors don't need many excuses for changes these days. Alex Carey is in the background watching as are a few others. Khawaja might just be the first. Labuschagne won't be going anywhere as he is showing the older batsmen what consistency is. Warner needs a big score to get his confidence back but Broad can't stop getting him out. This series will be crucial for the test careers of some of the batsmen on the margins of regular selection. England also will have a few changes in mind.
 
Feared that Englands sloppyness on Thursday could come back to haunt them. Aussies should have been 270/7 and the 1st innings scored may not have been too far apart.

Now 46/4 in the 2nd knock but you would think this lead even of 300 will be enough on this wicket, which is deteriorating a little more than Leeds.
 
Feared that Englands sloppyness on Thursday could come back to haunt them. Aussies should have been 270/7 and the 1st innings scored may not have been too far apart.

Now 46/4 in the 2nd knock but you would think this lead even of 300 will be enough on this wicket, which is deteriorating a little more than Leeds.
Yes the uneven bounce will be a worry for England. Lyon's bowling has gone off. Usually he is pretty consistent. Better performance by Starc with the second new ball and Broad continues to dominate Australia's top order. Left handers don't seem to have a clue at the moment against the new ball with Broad. Missed chances rued by England for sure. Labuschagne couldn't get going this time. Head's position has to be on shaky ground. Warner has had a horror series so far.
 
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Looking very likely that the Aussies will gain their first Ashes series win in England since 2001. Cummins with a great first over proving why he is the number 1 in the world.

A lot of England fans on social media slating the team, but I still maintain that there is very little between the sides, apart from the genius that is Steve Smith. Of course there are players who have underperformed, but the same can be said of the Australian side.
 
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Looking very likely that the Aussies will gain their first Ashes series win in England since 2001. Cummins with a great first over proving why he is the number 1 in the world.

A lot of England fans on social media slating the team, but I still maintain that there is very little between the sides, apart from the genius that is Steve Smith. Of course there are players who have underperformed, but the same can be said of the Australian side.
Smith and Cummins have been the difference, in that order. Take Smith out and the bowling is still good enough to compete, as we saw in the third test, but without both I doubt there would be a contest.
 
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Smith gets out on a reverse sweep to Root and a 20/20 shot pushing the score along so he is basically getting himself out at the moment ! Cummins first over was a beauty. i agree that both sides are close, they both have major batting weaknesses. Take Broad out of the English team and Smith out of the Aussie team and you would have a totally different series. The day to day inconsistencies have kept it interesting but neither team will go down as one of the better Ashes teams. I wonder what this Australian attack would have done on home soil ? The weather has had an impact as well.
 
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Yes this Aussie attack is a proper handful back home, and they’ve shown they can more than match England over here, something which hasn’t really been the case since 2005.

For England a period of rebuilding is needed, just like after the World Cup in 2015, Morgan and the staff completely rebuilt the one-day set up. There are players who are great in limited over cricket, but are found out at test level.

Archer has been very good, and should go well down under next year, England also need guys like Mark Wood and Olly Stone fit, who can hit the deck hard and bowl 90+mph.

As for the batting, England desperately need another opener, Burns has done ok but I don’t think Denly or Roy are the answer. Bairstow and Buttler have been well below par, but perhaps the writing was on the wall at the start of the summer when they were asked what would they rather win Ashes or World Cup, they answered World Cup.
 
Was much closer than I thought it was going to be. England taking it until the final 50 minutes of play. Just shows how huge those late wickets were on Day 3 and 4.
Yes that 7th wicket took quite a while. As often happens a change in the bowling is enough to shake it up. Cummins was huge for Australia in this test. Bit tired of hearing it's only Smith and no one else. Australia's bowlers probably had one mediocre day in the Third Test which cost them the match on a better batting pitch but apart from that the bowlers have been pretty consistent. I actually thought Australia lost the Third Test on the fourth day by bowling too short for too long. As you said the first two wickets by Cummins were crucial in securing this win.
 
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Yes that 7th wicket took quite a while. As often happens a change in the bowling is enough to shake it up. Cummins was huge for Australia in this test. Bit tired of hearing it's only Smith and no one else. Australia's bowlers probably had one mediocre day in the Third Test which cost them the match on a better batting pitch but apart from that the bowlers have been pretty consistent. I actually thought Australia lost the Third Test on the fourth day by bowling too short for too long. As you said the first two wickets by Cummins were crucial in securing this win.
Yes the bowling has been very good and have done their jobs well, and I think England couldn’t have done much better with the ball either, Broad and Archer have made up for the loss of Anderson to some extent.

Interestingly looking at the batting averages it makes strange reading. Obviously taking Smith out, Stokes and Labushagne are averaging 59 and 58 respectively, Burns on 40, then it’s a big drop down to Root on 30, with no other player averaging more than 27 (Starc did make a 54* from his only innings of course). The 3 openers tried for the tourists have averaged just 9,11 and 11 again from a total of 16 innings played.

Without Smith we probably would have had 3 tests like the Headingly one, with next to nothing between the sides, he’s been out of this world.
 
Yes the bowling has been very good and have done their jobs well, and I think England couldn’t have done much better with the ball either, Broad and Archer have made up for the loss of Anderson to some extent.

Interestingly looking at the batting averages it makes strange reading. Obviously taking Smith out, Stokes and Labushagne are averaging 59 and 58 respectively, Burns on 40, then it’s a big drop down to Root on 30, with no other player averaging more than 27 (Starc did make a 54* from his only innings of course). The 3 openers tried for the tourists have averaged just 9,11 and 11 again from a total of 16 innings played.

Without Smith we probably would have had 3 tests like the Headingly one, with next to nothing between the sides, he’s been out of this world.
Both teams have to sort out their opening batsmen and the middle order. Labuschagne and Smith at 3 and 4 are obvious. If Warner fails in the fifth test they could do worse than drop him but after securing the Ashes he might get another chance in the their next test series. Warner looked good in the first half of the World Cup then his batting went off and he carried that form into the Ashes. I think Anderson is probably done as far as Ashes series go. England need someone younger and less injury prone now. i think Australia will retain their side going into the next test. Can't see them resting Cummins for Pattinson or Siddle and they will be hungry for a 3-1 series win I think. I think Burns has a future, as for the captaincy I think England will keep Root there for the moment. Never known the Australian team to have so many left handed batsmen, certainly worked in Broad's favor. Still not convinced that Head and Wade will be permanent fixtures in the test team, to me they are more suited to 20/20 and ODI games and I think Australia would prefer an all rounder or two. Marsh was handy but too inconsistent. I think Khawaja will end up back in the team later. Harris needs runs to keep his spot.
 
Both teams have to sort out their opening batsmen and the middle order. Labuschagne and Smith at 3 and 4 are obvious. If Warner fails in the fifth test they could do worse than drop him but after securing the Ashes he might get another chance in the their next test series. Warner looked good in the first half of the World Cup then his batting went off and he carried that form into the Ashes. I think Anderson is probably done as far as Ashes series go. England need someone younger and less injury prone now. i think Australia will retain their side going into the next test. Can't see them resting Cummins for Pattinson or Siddle and they will be hungry for a 3-1 series win I think. I think Burns has a future, as for the captaincy I think England will keep Root there for the moment. Never known the Australian team to have so many left handed batsmen, certainly worked in Broad's favor. Still not convinced that Head and Wade will be permanent fixtures in the test team, to me they are more suited to 20/20 and ODI games and I think Australia would prefer an all rounder or two. Marsh was handy but too inconsistent. I think Khawaja will end up back in the team later. Harris needs runs to keep his spot.
I'm really not sure that Australia does need an all rounder. Their tale is unusually strong, with Starc, Cummins, Lyon, Hazelwood and Siddle all capable of contributing runs.

I'd even say that Starc and Cummins are bordering on bowling all rounders - ICC rankings have them ranked 6th and 8th all rounders in tests - averaging low 20's with the bat.

Think back to Australian dominance in the 90s and 2000s, the only real all rounder who played a lot of tests in that period was Symonds
 
I'm really not sure that Australia does need an all rounder. Their tale is unusually strong, with Starc, Cummins, Lyon, Hazelwood and Siddle all capable of contributing runs.

I'd even say that Starc and Cummins are bordering on bowling all rounders - ICC rankings have them ranked 6th and 8th all rounders in tests - averaging low 20's with the bat.

Think back to Australian dominance in the 90s and 2000s, the only real all rounder who played a lot of tests in that period was Symonds
That's true but Wade and Head aren't cutting it as test batsmen. I suppose as you say we have enough bowling depth to do without. Maybe in India they would be happy to have extra bowlers with the extreme conditions.
 

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