Why Australia can win the Ashes

TheGenuineTailender Roar Guru

By TheGenuineTailender, TheGenuineTailender is a Roar Guru

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    Jackson Bird deserves to be selected for the Ashes. (AFP/William West)

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    I’m still undecided as to who will go on to win the Ashes. An away tour for the Ashes against a fantastic, balanced and experienced English side is always going to be among cricket’s greatest tests.

    However, I’m willing to be optimistic, fly in the face of articles written before mine and look for reasons why Australia, the clear outsiders, can win back the precious little urn.

    The batting isn’t as bad as some may think. We’ve been exposed to collapses at times, but as long as a couple of guys manage to dig in and get big runs, as we did against the Proteas, we’ll be able to match the output of the English top-order.

    Michael Clarke has carried us before and he can do it again. Who is to say that Clarke won’t have another huge series? And if he does, look out England. He’s easily the best number five in the world and has led Australia with great distinction thus far in his captaincy tenure.

    Phillip Hughes is carrying a lot of confidence and is a proven run-scorer. If Hughes can continue his recent form for Australia, England will look very silly. They consider him an easy wicket and might get a serious shock when balls they’re used to seeing fly to second slip, start dissecting gully and point as they fly to the boundary.

    Hughes also played most of the county championship last season, where he experienced a great deal of success and gained an inside running on conditions.

    David Warner has been cited as a wicket waiting to happen when the masters of swing in the English pace attack bowl to him. I would argue quite the opposite.

    Warner has played two Tests at Australia’s greenest, and most testing venue for batsman, Bellerive Oval. In those two Tests he scored a hundred and two 50s. On all of those occasions he has tempered his attacking game in an effective effort to dig in, survive the tough spells and grind out runs.

    If Australia faces tricky conditions in England, expect Warner to adapt, work hard and find a way to score runs that may be a step away from his natural game.

    Shane Watson may find himself back at the top of the Australian order. Watson has experienced a great deal of success opening the batting and has done so in England before.

    Watson at the top of the order looks far better to me than Ed Cowan and may be just the right move to balance the team and add solidarity at the top of the order.

    Usman Khawaja is a man in waiting. He has been biding his time and has demonstrated good form in both the Sheffield Shield and Big Bash League. He’s the next man in line and deserves his place now. Four Tests in India may be an excellent way for Khawaja to slot into the side.

    If Khawaja gets the chance, his technique and knack for scoring in testing conditions will place him in fantastic stead to succeed.

    Our bowling can be world-class. If the selectors get it right, we can easily assemble a bowling attack among the best in the world. Australia finds itself in the fortunate position where we have depth in quality fast-bowlers. There’s no reason we cannot out bowl the English.

    Peter Siddle and James Pattinson are unquestionably among the top fast bowlers in the world. They will likely lead the Australian attack and both have been in fantastic form of late.

    Pattinson dominated the start of the Sheffield Shield, was solid against South Africa and then broke down. He now has the opportunity to get some first-class cricket under his belt and then will likely play in India.

    Siddle likewise has been in formidable form, and has shown himself to be a reliable work-horse for any circumstance. When Australia needs a wicket, it’s Siddle they turn to.

    Jackson Bird has been dominating the toughest domestic cricket competition in the world for two years, he’s clearly got the ability to make it in the Test arena and his bowling style will suit English conditions nicely.

    Mitchell Starc is among the most improved cricketers in the world and has a deadly inswinging Yorker at his disposal. I don’t expect him to start many Tests, but when called on, he’ll do the job admirably.

    Mitchell Johnson looks reborn. On his day, he is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous quicks in the world. If we’re lucky enough to see that version of Johnson, England will be well and truly worried.

    Let’s not forget to mention Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris. Hilfenhaus performed fantastically last time he toured England and was the leading wicket taker that series.

    Ryan Harris, who will be busting a gut to make the Ashes, is a very dangerous prospect when on song, which has been pretty much every time he’s worn the baggy green.

    Nathan Lyon is under-rated. Had Matthew Wade’s keeping done him justice, Lyon would have collected a bag full of scalps this summer. He’d be talked of among the top spinners in the world. We would all be confident he will match it with Graeme Swann or Monty Panesar.

    Lyon is always creating chances, is a tight and very economical. He will tie down the English batsmen and then as the pressure builds, they will play false strokes. We’ve just got to hope Wade and his fellow close-in fielders will be ready this time around and snaffle any opportunities that come their way.

    Finally, Australia matched it with South Africa, the world’s number one side, for the best part of a three Test series. It could be argued that Australia outplayed the Proteas throughout the entire first two Tests. If it weren’t for the shambolic selections of the WACA Test, we may well have gone on to win the series.

    Australia did this with a team that carried an out-of-sorts Ricky Ponting and Rob Quinney, the scorer of the most polished nine in Test history.

    If we can match it with them, what’s to say we can’t do the same, or go even one better, against England?

    If the Australians are fit and firing, we can well and truly do a job on the English. I wouldn’t be surprised if Australia is taken lightly and they’ll be determined to make the most of any opportunity that presents itself.

    Over to you Roarers, am I being too optimistic or have we got as good a chance as I think we do?

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    The Crowd Says (41)

    • Roar Pro

      January 26th 2013 @ 7:35am
      aggregated drupe said | January 26th 2013 @ 7:35am | ! Report

      Great article. You are absolutely right. I reckon 2-1 to England in England and 3-2 to Australia in Australia.

    • January 26th 2013 @ 7:47am
      Johnno said | January 26th 2013 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      Good article tail, you nailed it. We got this 1 in the bag.

      • Roar Guru

        January 26th 2013 @ 8:42am
        TheGenuineTailender said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:42am | ! Report

        Haha, I’m not entirely convinced of that just yet. I’m merely presenting a less bleak alternative to some of the other articles we’ve seen recently. We’ve still got a lot going for us. It’s worthwhile remembering that it’s not all doom and gloom.

        • January 26th 2013 @ 1:09pm
          Finny92 said | January 26th 2013 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

          Siddle and Pattinson amongst the best bowlers in the world??…. You been drinking lad?.. The latter has talent no doubt, however he can’t stay fit. Siddle is average.
          “Mitchell Johnson looks reborn” As soon as he comes on to bowl, the crowd will get stuck into him with the song, he’ll crumble.
          “but as long as a couple of guys manage to dig in and get big runs, as we did against the Proteas, we’ll be able to match the output of the English top-order.”
          Our batting is miles ahead, you have one world class bat, we have 4.

          • Roar Guru

            January 26th 2013 @ 1:40pm
            TheGenuineTailender said | January 26th 2013 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

            Maybe you should have a look at Siddle’s figures before you make bold comments. His bowling average just so happens to be better than all English bowlers except Steve Finn. He’s also been a dominant force leading Australia’s attack for 12 months. The ICC ranks Siddle the 5th best test bowler in the world, ahead of any English bowler.

            Pattinson is fit and firing. Took 2-30 odd yesterday for Victoria and is ready to go. He’s had a couple of little injury set backs but is far from injury prone. Let me remind you that Finn had his own injury problems but has overcome them. Expect the same from Pattinson.

            I’m certainly not in favour of Mitchell Johnson being a first-choice bowler for Australia. My favoured attack consists of Siddle, Pattinson and Bird as the pacemen with Lyon as the spinner.

            David Warner averages in the mid 40s with the ability to completely take a game away from the opposition in a session, if, actually no, when, he fires, you should be worried.

            Usman Khawaja will likely come into the side. He is one of the best young batting talents in the world, with a knack for scoring big and important runs in tricky conditions.

            Phil Hughes is making runs for laughs at the moment, you may smirk at his name being mentioned, but bare in mind this is the guy with 21 first-class hundreds at the age of 24. He’s a future great of the game and is destined to succeed, underestimate him at your own peril.

            Then we’ve got the captain. Four double hundreds last year. A Bradmanesque average of over 100 as well. You’ll need to devise a 21st century tactic like bodyline to stop him.

            Your batting is far more fragile than you think. A new opener for one. Not to mention Ian Bell who only makes runs when the rest of the side does. Then Patel? Please.

            Australia has the players, the determination and are ready to go. Now we just need some selectors who’ll actually pick the best XI players we’ve got.

            • January 27th 2013 @ 7:04am
              Finny92 said | January 27th 2013 @ 7:04am | ! Report

              His average vs England is 32.35, that’s pretty ordinary, in the last ashes it was 34.57. If you’re taking Siddle over Anderson then you’re deluded. Finn’s never been injury prone. The time he spent out of the test side was down to the bowlers all performing keeping him out.

              Bird is being hyped up despite having played such a small amount of test cricket against a poor side, he may have talent no doubt, however as he’s untested you don’t know what he’ll be like against quality bats.

              Warner, has talent however we will see how good he is against proper quicks who move it about for long periods. If he succeeds then he will be considered world class.

              “He is one of the best young batting talents in the world” (Khawaja) Based on what exactly? His test record is poor, and he’s only averaging 39.81 in the Sheffield shield, with 1 ton so far. Hardly one of the best young batting talents in the world especially considering he’s 26.

              I’ve seen, he looks to have improved no doubt, however we’ll see what he does when he faces a decent bowling attack, jury is still out on him.

              Clarke’s form has no doubt been world class, however there’s a question with him and the swinging ball, if he doesn’t make runs you’ve had it.

              Bell looks to have gotten over his not turning up against big sides, averaged 65 in the last ashes series. Patel doesn’t play in the test team he’s been dropped for Joe Root who looks a very good bat. Not to sure about Compton as he didn’t do anything vs India, however anyone who averages 99.25 in the county championship must have talent and we’ll see what he does in NZ.

              Cook’s class, KP can take an attack apart for fun, Trott has a fantastic record vs Aus, Prior is the best WK bat in the world atm, Broad & Swann are better bats than your bowlers, Bresnan can bat although with his latest elbow injury which keeps re-occurring I doubt he’ll play.

              You won’t win the Ashes in England, won’t even be close.

              • January 27th 2013 @ 8:31am
                Frankie Hughes said | January 27th 2013 @ 8:31am | ! Report

                You talking rubbish again?

                Steven Finn is a pie chucker. Was ordinary bowler.

                James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird and Pat Cummins are lightyears better than Finn.

                You Poms go on about James Anderson as if he’s a world beater, he’s not. He lives his life in the shadow of the great Dale Steyn.

                Broad, Bresnan, Onions are all pretty averages.

                Ian Bell is still a waste of space. Only gets runs when everyone else does.

              • January 27th 2013 @ 9:17am
                Finny92 said | January 27th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

                So a 6ft 8, 90mph bowler is a pie chucker??…
                Not bad for a pie chucker..
                You’ve not got a clue lad have you?..
                Anderson has been excellent since 2010, Remind me how awful anderson was in the last ashes?? Dale steyn is one of the best bowlers to have played the game, no shame being worse than him.
                Broad averages 28.74 in Eng
                Bresnan averages 19.74 in the ashes
                Onions isn’t near the test team, he’s still a decent bowler though.
                Bell would get into your side.

              • January 27th 2013 @ 9:38am
                Frankie Hughes said | January 27th 2013 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                It’s a Test series not ODIs. Finn is rubbish. Getting smashed around at 4 RPO in a Test. Dire.

                James Anderson’s stats are boosted by the Pakistan match fixing series. He’s a mentally weak bowler.

                Broad bowling 78-81 mph ain’t getting any wickets. Same for Bresnan

                Bell isn’t fit to wear the Baggy Green…

              • January 27th 2013 @ 9:48am
                Finny92 said | January 27th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

                “Getting smashed around at 4 RPO in a Test. Dire.” goes at 3.62 an over.
                If you seriously think he’s rubbish, you’re a clown. He’d get into your side.
                That series was 3 players getting done for bowling deliberate no-balls, nothing to do with getting out.
                Broad has been injured since last summer, and has played through it, but they’ve recently left him out in order to sort him out, hence why he hasn’t played in india much. Bresnan is also injured and keeps having an old elbow injury haunt him.
                Half your current test side aren’t fit for the baggy green. You’re telling me that Bell is a worse bat than the 2 shot Cowan?..

              • January 27th 2013 @ 9:54am
                Frankie Hughes said | January 27th 2013 @ 9:54am | ! Report

                Ryan Harris, when fully fit, is second only to Dale Steyn.

                James Pattinson, when fully fit, is one of the most exciting young fast bowler on the planet – the only other 2 in the same class are Pat Cummins and Marchant de Lange of South Africa.

                Peter Siddle is the most improved Test bowler over the last 18-24 months.

                Mitchell Starc has unbound potential.

                Jackson Bird, Ben Cutting, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus.

                We have the best pool of fast bowlers.

                You can keep mickey mouse bowlers like Finn, Broad and Bresnan

              • January 27th 2013 @ 10:09am
                Finny92 said | January 27th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

                Ryan Harris has played 12 test matches and can’t stay fit. There’s better bowlers, as barely plays. Cummins has played 1 test match and can’t bowl for long before breaking down, his first class average is pretty mediocre tbh, and again he’s only played 4 games @ 33.67. So you can’t say he’s one of the most exciting prospects when A). he can’t stay fit and B). his first class average suggests otherwise.
                Siddle has been bowling against mediocre sides, you’ve played SA twice in that time and he’s averaged 51 and 38 respectively.
                I wouldn’t go as far as “unbound potential” he might be very good however.
                Mitchell johnson is a joke really.
                The same Ben Hilfenhaus that was taken apart by England?
                Cutting & Bird are un-tested at the top level.
                The same bowlers that made your batsmen look mediocre in the most recent ashes 🙂

          • July 8th 2013 @ 7:44am
            EowyMEnglandCookie said | July 8th 2013 @ 7:44am | ! Report

            World Class Poms

            Cook
            Trott
            Bell
            KP
            Bairstow
            Prior
            Swann
            Jimmy
            Finn
            You Ozzies are trying to intimidate us Pommies
            World Class aussies
            Clarke
            …..
            maybe Siddle and Starc
            Broads hatttrick vs India at Trent Bridge yeah sure hes average
            Were u guys on drugs in the 2010 11 ashes?
            Jimmy is the 2nd best swinger in the world to Steyn
            England summer 4 0
            winter 5 0
            you heard it hear first
            Finny92. Listen to him
            PS Im 12

    • Roar Rookie

      January 26th 2013 @ 8:49am
      redbur95 said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      A lot of the players you mentioned have to be in form to do damage. I agree that Australia CAN beat England, but whether they will is another story. However, you did point out a lot of Australia’s main strengths, which do seem up there with the best in the world. Who knows, maybe Australia will beat England. Stranger things have happened.

    • Roar Pro

      January 26th 2013 @ 9:03am
      Brandon Marlow said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      Great point about Nathan Lyon. He is definitely underrated, not only around the world but also here in Australia. I’m pretty sure Lyon was one of the highest wicket takers in the South African series, he actually might have been second on that list only to Morkel so he must not be too bad.

    • January 26th 2013 @ 9:16am
      Varun said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      Fantastic article, I like that you have given Hughes credit and not said that he will get caught out by the swing and stated that khawaja should get 4 tests in India so he can be ready for
      the ashes as he is one of the better players of swing bowling in the country. I also like what I saw from Doherty the other night and we should get him in as our backup spinner

      • Roar Guru

        January 26th 2013 @ 10:55am
        TheGenuineTailender said | January 26th 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

        Hughes is scoring runs for fun at the moment. He scored another ton yesterday for SA. He’s a natural run-scorer and when he gets going he goes on with his starts.

        Khawaja is a must. He should really be playing at least the two longer forms on a usual basis as it is. His fielding and application to his game have improved tremendously and he’s undoubtedly the next most talented batsman Australia has in its ranks. To try and make a place for an all-rounder at the expense is just absurd. Having said that, the way the NSP are going, it wouldn’t surprise me if they go down that track…

        I can’t agree on Doherty. His first-class record is atrocious and if you can’t get the job done in the Sheffield Shield, how on earth are you supposed to succeed in an Ashes series. He’s had a taste of test cricket and failed miserably. One three-for in an ODI shouldn’t earn you a test call-up. Doherty just bowls straight break darts with little variety. In test cricket, a batsman can just wait for the bad balls and put them away, rather than trying to force a shot, which is the only way Doherty gets wickets in one dayers.

        There’s only one spinner in Australia, other than Lyon, who has the credentials to play test cricket, and that is Steve O’Keefe. He’s the only spin bowler in the country with a first-class bowling record that actually resembles that of a front line bowler. Many have put his name forward as the all-rounder, but I believe he makes a great specialist spinner who offers handy runs at eight.

        If it were up to me, O’Keefe and Lyon would be working in tandem during the India series (conditions permitting) with O’Keefe being Lyon’s deputy in England.

        • January 26th 2013 @ 1:07pm
          Keagan Ryan said | January 26th 2013 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

          You mentioned Hughes’ previous experience on the county scene/English conditions, but does this really guarantee he will be comfortable come the Ashes?

          Mike Hussey had record breaking seasons in County Cricket but his Ashes return was underwhelming, saved largely by a career saving hundred in the last innings of the series.

          Great point on Warner too, I think his biggest battle will come against Swann and possibly Paneasar.

          • Roar Guru

            January 26th 2013 @ 1:42pm
            TheGenuineTailender said | January 26th 2013 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

            Surely a big county season is only going to benefit Hughes. I was merely stating that it’s something that’s going for him. He’s had a taste of the conditions and did exceedingly well. We can only now hope that his form continues.

            • January 29th 2013 @ 2:35am
              Finny92 said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:35am | ! Report

              He’s not the first player to have played a year of county cricket and come on a lot.

    • January 26th 2013 @ 10:09am
      Dean said | January 26th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      Yes we can win the ashes but we must get our batting right and stop focusing on half way allrounders. The ODI team should be used to groom Test batsmen for now and after the double Ashes ODI focus should turn to the 2015 World Cup team. Hussey D has shown he wont be needed for either of those. His vulnerability against the short ball rules out a Test career and his age a crack at 2015. I’d actually prefer Test candidates like Khawaja (& Burns?) get some 4 day cricket in in the Shield as prep for India. Is anyone REALLY bothered about these Windies games? The focus for me in those is seeing Cutting get 5 games and some experience, Finch showing he can do it at this level & Maxwell showing he can do anything at all. I know Khawaja is a lock in for India but we should see how urns does for he remainig shield games as he could be a dark horse for the ashes if Cowan is not up to it as you could move Watto to open, Khawjat at 4 nd Burns at 6.

      • Roar Guru

        January 26th 2013 @ 10:56am
        TheGenuineTailender said | January 26th 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        Khawaja a lock in for India? With the current selectors I wouldn’t be too sure…

        • January 26th 2013 @ 9:56pm
          Praveen said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

          I think he will be a lock for India ,and that’s the tour to show what he can do aso we can lock him for the ashes. I am more interested in who gets the second spinner spot. Doherty or O Keefe, you would think Doherty but alot depends on how he bowls in the T20s over the next few days

          • Roar Guru

            January 27th 2013 @ 8:04am
            TheGenuineTailender said | January 27th 2013 @ 8:04am | ! Report

            It has to be O’Keefe. Doherty is rubbish, No tests selection should ever be made on how someone bowls in a T20. Ever. It should be based on first-class performances. And Steve O’Keefe has actually performed at first-class level. Unlike Doherty who’s bowling figures read like Tendulkar’s batting record.

            • January 27th 2013 @ 9:18am
              Finny92 said | January 27th 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

              What’s happened to Hauritz? He wasn’t bad last time I watched him.

              • January 27th 2013 @ 9:49am
                Frankie Hughes said | January 27th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

                He got dropped, then when he was recalled for an ODI he badly dislocated his shoulder.

                He’s playing for Brisbane and he’s still better than Lyon….

        • January 26th 2013 @ 11:43pm
          pope paul v11 said | January 26th 2013 @ 11:43pm | ! Report

          Usi’s got more chance of being a lock for Canterbury Bankstown

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