Thursday, 25 November 2010

England's bowlers need to wrestle back momentum

After what has felt like decades, Ben Hilfenhaus finally got the Ashes underway on the stroke of midnight last night, and two balls later the skipper was back in the hutch.

Not the best of starts then, but after his departure Trott and Cook, though a little nervy at times, didn't look in too much trouble, Hilfenhaus and Johnson gave them little to worry about and I was in bed before Doherty got a bowl. Obviously I therefore missed the first big moment of the series, the Siddle hat-trick. He was by all accounts the only one of the seam bowlers to hit the right length and he's got six wickets in his pocket as reward. So what is the lie of the land?

England's total is below par, probably by 100-120 runs, but all is not lost. A wicket before the close of play would've been terrifically helpful, but twas not to be and Katich and Watson will reappear tonight. England are capable of bowling out Australia for under 300, they're as liable to lose wickets in bunches as we are these days (though we should probably not expect another three-in-three), all it takes is a little bit of magic.

Broad and Anderson have to come out willing to attack, all guns blazing, because we need to wrest that momentum back and show them what we're about. Their batting is full of good players and a great one, but we've got four cracking bowlers in our ranks.

What we don't need is blazing sunshine and sky high temperatures; another day like today would be nice please, a bit of cloud, a bit of a breeze, and a comfortable 25 degrees or so.

Two things are absolutely critical for tonight: firstly, an early wicket to get the tails up, if the partnership sails towards the hundred mark heads will begin to drop. Secondly, Ponting has to have his wings clipped early on, preferably by a short ball to feed the speculation that his ability in that area is firmly on the wane.

If both of those things happen, and they're 60-2 or so, its game on and England need to move in for the kill.


greyblazer said...

For that to happen both Broad and Ando have to pitch it up. I was perplexed by Jimmy bowling back of a length to Katich. The pitch has tennis ball bounce and it is difficult to drive.

Saker may have to show to all the bowlers the length that Siddle bowled.

GreenJJ said...

Totally agree, and how many times have we said that?! Anderson dropping short is daft, fuller is more natural for him and he must've seen the damage Siddle did - and the lack of damage from the bowlers who didn't hit that length. I thought Broad looked ok though, he could be the dangerman tonight.

greyblazer said...

Even Broad leaving a few deliveries to Watson was on the shorter side but Anderson being a swing bowler should pitch it up. The batsmen can easily defend on the back-foot because of the tennis ball bounce on offer. If England lose this match the batsmen have to be blamed as few of them got starts and got out. Teams touring Australia should realise that batsmen can leave more deliveries on length in Australia because of the extra bounce and today someone like Cook could have done the same.

Anyway the weather forecast doesn't exactly look great as most are predicting it would be partly cloudy and there is only a slim chance of a shower or two.