A lot to learn about England from Windies Tests
I love the management of English cricket. They do things well. Ground management, team management, television coverage, sponsorship, image, grassroots to county systems – everything is in place.
They left James Anderson and Stuart Broad out of their last match against the Windies, and brought in Graham Onions and Steven Finn. The latter took six of the eight wickets to fall.
They dropped a lot of catches and left a lot be desired in the field too (Finn should have had five), but the essence of this game is that England can throw eight or nine quicks at you and make you pay.
Two new balls in a day’s cricket and they stuck to their task on a bouncy, somewhat up-and-down track. Chris Tremlett would have taken six.
Nonetheless, there are weaknesses for Australia to exploit.
Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and the ‘keeper Matt Prior are flagging. Graeme Swann is only a force if you let him attack you, and England’s fielding can be exploited.
Australia needs to pick six quicks to tour England. They have 10 to choose from at least. The ‘keeper’s role should go to Matt Wade. Tim Paine should be his deputy, and should be considered as a bat to replace Ricky Ponting or Mike Hussey if they fail.
There are 12 who can fit into the batting roles. Take your pick.
Jon Holland (left-arm orthodox) and Nathan Hauritz (off spin) should be the spinners for England, with young James Muirhead from Victoria to go to bolster his leg-spinning experience.
The Windies are improving and would be a force with one more quick and Chris Gayle in this side. Sunil Narine fits, the Adrian Barath-Kieran Powell opening partnership is developing nicely, the ‘keeper, Denesh Ramdin, is a great little all-rounder and Windies cricket, while it takes some baths from Mick Holding and co, is strong and developing.
They need some proactive coaching however.
The Ashes journey begins
The Australian cricket team have left Australia to begin their tour of England, with a mission to reclaim the Ashes.
Australian captain Michael Clarke and his teammates were optimistic about their chances before jetting off.
Click here to hear the thoughts of our Australian cricket team as they left for England.
Looking to join The Roar team? We're searching for an experienced Group Sales Manager to lead our team in Sydney. Yes, this does mean you get to work with the site all day long! If you're a digital media sales star, we want to hear from you. Apply now.