Ashes 2nd Test–Preview

Strauss Vs Ponting

The current Ashes are going to ruin my health. I’m having hectic work schedules and yet I cannot resist getting up in the wee hours of the morning to catch the Ashes live on television. I’m getting to see them live after 5 years – thanks to some sensible telecasting strategy by the cable providers here in UAE who realised that Ashes does have a pretty good fan base in the Middle East.

Add to it that since both teams are evenly matched – one cannot  expect the matches to not run into the 5th day. The first match pretty much a proof of how well matched the teams are ( We will get to blaming the GABBA curator later, though I don’t see much reason to do that either)

Of what I saw, the pitch gave everyone a equal chance, the Aus bowlers just bowled terribly despite having a strong lead of 220; thereby allowing Strauss and Cook to settle in.

With that batting score of 517-1 after conceding a lead of 220, England will enter Adelaide with a score of 1-0 on the psychological front. Aus feeling the heat is showing with Johnson getting the axe – a well deserved one cause he was a serious disaster in the first test. When your strike bowler is struggling and you have left out the next best bowler in the side, you are bound to struggle.

Aus has made amends by getting back Doug Bollinger – now that should add some relief to the beleaguered Aussie attack. One of the reasons Aus did so well last 2 decades was thanks to Warne and McGrath. This Aus attack lacks the variety that the oldies had, and it will continue to struggle till the bowlers learn to strike a balance.

England seem to have less of worries but they will be wary of old war horses Ponting and Hussey who had a good outing at the Gabba. There is nothing to complain on the bowling front except they will be hoping that Anderson and Broad get some wickets.

Aus has lost only one match in the last decade at the Adelaide Oval. Only India managed to grab a victory in 2003-04, therefore it still won’t be easy for England here and neither do they have good memories from their outing here in the last Ashes.

The scene is all set – it’s Aus who has to the running around bit as they need to win the series to take the Urn. England on the other hand have to install it in their hard drive that they will not get a better opportunity to win the Ashes in Aus and hence must aim to win every single match they play.

As Peter Roebuck highlighted in his article , both teams are playing defensive and it might lead to a insipid contest – an anti-climax to all the Ashes madness currently going around. He rightly says we need a bull-fight not a chess-fight.

(Image courtsey: