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    July 15, 2005

    Pietersen prevails and how to beat the Aussies

    So the cat is finally out of the bag. Ending weeks of speculation, Kevin Pietersen was picked for the first Ashes test at Lord's starting next Thursday. To his credit, Thorpe is taking it on the chin and obviously planning to get on with his life.

    It does seem to me like his career is over, on exactly 100 tests. At this point in time, if he doesnt come back to the side, he will be the only one to have played exactly 100 tests. His age, lack of recent form, Pietersen's knocks against Australia in the one-dayers would have influenced the selectors' decision. But I think the proverbial last straw on the camel's back was when he publicised at the last minute a decision to turn out for New South Wales as a coach-cum-player from the next season.

    Andrew Miller flashes back to key moments in Thorpe's career. Surrey coach Steve Rixon reckons that it is highly likely that Thorpe will quit cricket at the end of the season.

    Views from Derek Pringle, Jonathan Agnew, Angus Fraser, Andrew Miller, David Hopps and Rod Marsh.

    Martin Gough feels that England can beat Australia and a few players offer their suggestions on just how to achieve it. Notice that there were no questions posed to members of a certain team who are the only ones to have some clue about beating Australia, home and away, over the last five years. In any case, they were apparently interviewed separately and feel that England's batsmen need to fire and make huge totals to put Australia under pressure.

    I think the bulk of the UK and Australian media seems to forget that it was India who first started proving to the world that the Aussies were beatable, and they did not get this reputation by beating Australia just once. From 1999/2000 when Australia started dominating world cricket like few teams had done before, India and Australia have a head-to-head record of 7-4. Excluding the 1999/2000 series given the state Indian cricket was in then, the record is 4-4. Quite respectable, eh? But no, this is never considered and England's handful of successes against Australia this summer in one-dayers is considered an indicator that England are now ready for Australia and that they have brought the Aussies back down to earth.

    Meanwhile, Gatting and Marsh have a bet about the Ashes and Nasser Hussain warns England's batsmen about playing Warne the bowler and not the myth. He points out that Warne has lost must of the fizz and flipper over the last decade. So pray tell us Nass, how has Warne managed to take 47 wickets in 9 tests giving away 22 runs a wicket, 2.8 runs an over and picking one English batsman up every eight overs?

    Steve Waugh, seems confident that England will run Australia close, a view he had expressed last year as well.

    Peter Roebuck picks Andrew Flintoff to be Australia's bogeyman and manages to sneak in a line about his bowling action.

    A couple of flashbacks: the 1989 Ashes and Warne's ball to Gatting in 1993, which you can watch here.

    Getting sick and tired of the Ashes hype? Ok, Harsha Bhogle feels that the new rules need to be given a chance. I suppose he means a chance to fail or succeed, given the confusion and inherent bias in them.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 10:59 PM |
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    1 sledge(s):

    Well, to be fair, why ask India such a question? They would reply something along the lines of putting pressure on Australia through champion spinners, a commodity in short supply in England.

    Each team has different strengths to play to. So India's way won't work for other nations.

    Cheers

    Scott Wickstein

    By Blogger Scott (18-Jul-2005, 12:12:00 PM)  


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