Ashes Day 1 – Flanelled Fools Flounder

Posted: November 21, 2013 in Sport

Time of death 11:50 am. Watson edges to Swann in the slips.

Big early call? Yep. To me the first session of the first test in the series is critical. In the good old day Aussies would be 1-100. Somewhere in between 1 or 2 down for 80-100 is par for an even session. 2 down or more and less than 80 on the board – the bowling side won the session. But why is this session so important?

In most professional sports there are 3 common factors. The first two are the importance of MOMENTUM AND PERCEPTION. If you hold momentum naturally you wont lose. England had it most of the day after 11:50 am until about 4 pm. Good fightback certainly and that is where perception comes in – so important for Australia to get 300 on board and not 299 for example. And this ties into the third intangible factor – professional sportsmen are not the sharpest tools in the box. Yes there are some exceptions. By that I mean some are really really dumb! . So if Poms roll us for under 300 they will forget they let us off the hook. If we make 300 we will forget our middle order is as threatening as the QLD labor opposition. But the batsmen wont. They will know they blew a golden chance on an obvious belter and the seeds of doubt for rest of series planted. The Pommy bowlers will also know that in any session in future series an Aussie batting collapse may just be around the corner. And they hold the Ashes and have won last couple of series. Australia won the toss and needed to assert authority straight away. They couldnt and now the whole series is at risk. So lets run the slide rule over the players.

Rogers – looked nervous, never settled
Warner – in touch, left balls well. Meek ending sadly
Watson – middled about 30% of shots, never looked in form, more intent on defense
Pup – like Punter, very susceptible early in innings. Expect more short stuff
Smith – useful allrounder but not a number 5. Good for 30-40 runs most times
Bailey – too early to say but dont think we have found Mr Cricket Mark 2 yet
Haddin – seems best when under pressure. Good shot selection
Johnson – naturally gifted player and stroke maker. His bowling usually benefits from good batting
Rest – who cares

Bowlers – Broad and Anderson are a good double act. Think JA is better bowler but Broad got the bikkies today. That happens. Pity though that Broad did succeed from an Aussie point of view because suspect he could be psychologically vulnerable. At present he has the last laugh. Tremlett looks like Captain America. Root provides Warnie with his “charming larrikin” material in the commentary box

So another important first session today but mainly to see if Moustache Mitch can bring the goods with ball in hand. The bowling looks good but you need a big score to defend. And of course there is always the Brisbane November weather to consider later in the match. Australia may yet salvage something out of this game but they really wanted and needed a decisive win which looks very remote at present

One thing the Poms certainly do better than us is the commentary team. Thank Me they bought Bumble out. Warnie is a prize tool but is good in the commentary box. Laconic Chapelli rounds out a useful trio. The rest should just go make a cuppa. Strangely Mr Crickets dynamic personality does not translate well to TV – who would have thunk

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