ASHES: The big talking points from day one

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

By Ronan O'Connell, Ronan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

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220 Have your say

    Australia's Steve Smith, right, and Phillip Hughes. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

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    Can Alastair Cook make runs without the cut shot? Why did anyone doubt Siddle? How much weight rests on Chris Rogers’ shoulders? Will Australia’s wicketkeeping woes continue?

    No cut shot, no Cook?
    English skipper Alastair Cook is famously proficient off the back foot, slicing the ball through point and gully when given just the slightest of opportunities.

    But New Zealand’s bowlers proved in their recent Tests against England that, if deprived of his pet cut shot, the supreme opener is fallible.

    Australia’s opening bowlers, while far from accurate in their initial spells, did manage to starve Cook of anything short and wide yesterday.

    The Englishman repeatedly was guilty of feeling for the ball outside off stump while playing with his blade in front of his leading pad.

    Mitchell Starc, who was gaining significant swing away from Cook, squared him up twice in one over. On both occasions it was seam not swing which undid Cook, who ill-advisedly pushed at the deliveries in an anxious manner.

    Cook could do worse than to study the approach adopted by his new opening partner Joe Root, who despite being just 22 years old gave his veteran compatriot a blueprint for negotiating the swinging ball.

    The youngster played each delivery as late as possible, waiting for the swing to reveal itself and illuminate the intended path of the ball before committing to strokes.

    Time after time, Root struck the ball right under his nose. It wasn’t attractive but it was productive.

    Cook’s comparative impatience at the crease, seemingly provoked by his scoring drought square of the wicket, saw him gift his wicket to James Pattinson by flashing at a full delivery and edging behind.

    The question now is whether Australia can replicate this strategy throughout the series and, if so, how will Cook adapt?

    Will Australia’s keeping woes continue?
    It was a tough chance but one which could have swung the game further in Australia’s favour.

    Kevin Pietersen, restless and rusty at the crease, tried to flick an errant delivery from Peter Siddle to the fine leg boundary.

    The contact the ball made with Pietersen’s blade was so fine that it flew well within reach of Aussie ‘keeper Brad Haddin who dove to his left but failed to touch the ball, which dipped under his left glove.

    The ball did appear to nosedive shortly before it reached Haddin but, nonetheless, it was the sort of opportunity which Australia has to grasp if they are to cause an upset. Fortunately for the Aussies, Pietersen made only 14.

    A veteran gloveman, Haddin has been recalled to the side at the expense of the youthful Matthew Wade to add experience to a green outfit and, seemingly, to improve the standards behind the stumps.

    Wade played some fantastic Test innings for Australia but was a liability as a ‘keeper, frequently missing straightforward chances, particularly off spinner Nathan Lyon.

    With England able to rely on keeper Matt Prior’s neat skills with the gloves, Haddin must match the efforts of his opposite number. But is he capable of doing so?

    Never write off Siddle
    Many Roarers have chided Peter Siddle, labelling him unworthy of a berth in the Aussie starting XI.

    I could almost sense their exasperation last night as the burly Victorian began his Ashes campaign in inglorious fashion, serving up a buffet of half volleys which were devoured by Ian Trott.

    Siddle entered the Test in discouraging form, having laboured through the Australia A and tour games, and upon being handed the ball by Clarke promptly released the pressure built up by Pattinson and Starc.

    He leaked 27 runs from his first four overs as Trott and Root steered England into a solid position. Luckily for Siddle, his skipper Michael Clarke has greater faith in him than many Roarers.

    Clarke switched Siddle to the opposite end which proved fruitful immediately as he castled Root with a sparkling delivery which curved away late to beat the opener’s outside edge.

    Following the lunch break, Siddle once again bounded to the crease with ceaseless endeavour.

    Pietersen signalled his intent by thrashing a full ball from the Aussie quick through the off side for four. Undeterred by the big South African’s aggression, Siddle persisted with his full length and next ball teased a lazy drive out of Pietersen.

    Soon after Siddle drew an uncharacteristically loose stroke from Trott, who thrashed at a wide swinging delivery and inside edged the ball back on to his stumps.

    Siddle returned to the crease later that session to account for Ian Bell and Matt Prior, both of whom slayed Australia in the last Ashes series.

    After being dismantled in their opening spell of such a momentous series, many bowlers would wilt. Siddle, however, showcased the tenacity and persistence which makes him a guaranteed starter in any Aussie Test team.

    He may not be the most gifted bowler in Test cricket but never will Siddle yield. He has gotten more out of his talent than any international paceman of the past decade. Would you argue with that claim Roarers?

    How much weight rests on Chris Rogers’ shoulders?
    Rarely has a batsman in just his 2nd Test assumed so much responsibility.

    With Shane Watson undependable, Ed Cowan still battling to adapt to Test cricket, Phil Hughes perennially vulnerable, and Steve Smith unproven, Rogers is under monumental pressure to hold the batting together along with Clarke.

    As the top order crumbled around him yesterday, Rogers looked assured and unhurried in overcast English conditions with which he is so familiar.

    Unlike Cowan, whose fatally ambitious swipe outside off stump appeared indicative of an anxious and muddled mind, Rogers rarely strayed from his natural strengths.

    The 35-year-old was unlucky to be adjudged LBW for 16 to a ball which looked to be sliding down leg side but which Hawkeye showed to be shaving leg stump.

    Rogers has made a career of playing within his limitations and grinding out runs. He won’t thrill the aesthetes but is a sturdy performer who rarely gifts his wicket. In English conditions against a strong pace attack such circumspection is crucial.

    But just how high can our expectations be of a Test rookie who hasn’t played international cricket in five years?

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

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    The Crowd Says (220)

    • July 11th 2013 @ 4:51am
      Sal said | July 11th 2013 @ 4:51am | ! Report

      Cowan and Clarke sitting in a tree *ducking* …..

      • July 11th 2013 @ 8:57am
        Top Secret said | July 11th 2013 @ 8:57am | ! Report

        Clarke copped a jaffer. Cowan’s shot was rubbish

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2013 @ 9:39am
          Mantis said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

          Yep, nothing Clarke, or anyone else, could have done about that ball.

          • July 11th 2013 @ 10:02am
            Top Secret said | July 11th 2013 @ 10:02am | ! Report

            It would have done bradman in im afraid

            • Columnist

              July 11th 2013 @ 11:42am
              Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:42am | ! Report

              It was so good the commentators were speculating whether Anderson had EVER bowled a better ball.

              • July 11th 2013 @ 12:33pm
                MervUK said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

                the problem for clarke is anderson keeps bowling these too him, he has him 8 times now?? I know they dont get on, probably helps focus jimmys mind

              • July 11th 2013 @ 2:33pm
                stevedeanski said | July 11th 2013 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

                Agreed… and if it weren’t for Cowan’s shot, Clarke wouldn’t have faced this ball. Grrr Cowan.

    • July 11th 2013 @ 5:07am
      Bee Bee said | July 11th 2013 @ 5:07am | ! Report

      If only some of our more talented players could learn to scrap like Peter Siddle. He reminds me of Forrest Gump. Knock him down all you want he’ll just keep running and trying and never take criticism to heart. He’s like the Anti-Gen Y. These young fast bowling guns complimented by Peter Siddle could be a revelation this series. Don’t be surprised if they take games apart with both bat and ball. England will be serving up dust bowls by the third test. Its the only way to stop these blokes. By the time the Ashes come to Australia England will be living in fear. Expect a green-top Gabba, A cracked up WACA, Pot holes on the MCG and lots of x-rays for English batsmen.

      • July 11th 2013 @ 7:23am
        nickyc said | July 11th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

        Should be fun watching Aus bat on those wickets as well!

        Can I put in word for Brad Haddin who I thought did pretty well considering some of the dross he had to keep to early on. One ball to a right-handed batsman was so wide that he had to try and take the ball to the right of first slip. The possible catch he missed was one of those that either goes in the glove or doesn’t and could have been missed by anyone.

        First time I’d seen Starc. His swing was pretty easy to read as it goes from the arm rather than late in the delivery. Thought that it was his movement off the pitch which was his most impressive attribute. Also surprised by Agar’s run-up which is unusual for a left-arm spinner. Have there been any suggestions about changing it to help generate more spin?

        • July 11th 2013 @ 9:31am
          Harry said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          “The possible catch he missed was one of those that either goes in the glove or doesn’t and could have been missed by anyone” … not by a really top class keeper such as Ian Healy or Alan Knott. Haddin’s glove work remains poor to average and IMO has never been good enough to be a test keeper. Haddin also conceded 4 byes of the spinner through poor footwork/not sharp enough. Ball sprayng around? Nothing that any competent club keeper has to handle every weekend.

          • July 11th 2013 @ 10:25am
            Scuba said | July 11th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            Harry, there’s a lot of people on here who were baying for Wade’s blood who forgot just how terrible Haddin’s glovework was in his last Test series in Australia. Because they won’t admit they’re wrong, expect to see a lot more posts about how “difficult” the dropped catch, missed stumping, etc was…

            Unfortunately, the “performance” from the top order last night showed that we really don’t have the luxury of picking the best keeper, and so get left with semi-competent keepers who can bat, rather than a specialist keeper who can bat a bit.

            • July 11th 2013 @ 10:39am
              Harry said | July 11th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

              Chris Hartley has shown he is an excellent wicketkeeper and a competent, determined number 7 who can make runs in difficult conditions. He would be my choice.

              • July 11th 2013 @ 6:11pm
                ChrisB said | July 11th 2013 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

                Can I ask if you’ve ever seen him in a longer form game?
                I suspect many big up some of these guys on hearsay rather than direct observation.
                Not doubting his talent, but unlikely to get his first chance past 30 years of age.
                The last 2 dominant teams have had batsmen-keepers, Dujon and Gilly. Now Prior and AB are continuing the trend. Pure keepers are like the dodo

              • Columnist

                July 12th 2013 @ 6:26pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | July 12th 2013 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

                Hartley could well end up getting a Test debut.

            • July 11th 2013 @ 10:57am
              Sideline Comm. said | July 11th 2013 @ 10:57am | ! Report

              If we did have the bats, Scuba, who would that ‘keeper be then?

              • July 11th 2013 @ 9:01pm
                Scuba said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

                Paine or Triffitt (who I confess I haven’t seen keeping to spin)

          • July 11th 2013 @ 11:03am
            Disco said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:03am | ! Report


            • Columnist

              July 11th 2013 @ 11:44am
              Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:44am | ! Report

              If Haddin has a poor series, Hartley could well come into calculations for the return series given Lehmann’s intimate knowledge of just how neat his glovework is. More likely though they will just go back to Wade.

              • July 11th 2013 @ 1:28pm
                Bearfax said | July 11th 2013 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

                I agree that Wade will probably come back. These days test sides are looking to optimise their run scoring and the role of wicket keeper has more and more become a glove man who bats.

                No longer the Wally Grouts or Oldfields of yesteryear. Teams are looking for the next Rod Marsh, Healey or of course the master batting-wicketkeeper Gilchrist. Wade is still in his mid 20s and promises to possibly be a batsmen who can reach a mid 40s average in tests in the next few years. Hartley averages in the low 30s and is over 30 so that may be about his best batting average.

                Hartley may well be a superior gloveman. But would you choose a better wicket keeper who may get you that extra wicket now and then and save you a few runs per game, or a batsman wicketkeeper who will get you on average an extra 30 odd runs per game but may not save you a few runs behind the stumps and perhaps an occasional wicket. I suspect, given Wade will probably improve his wicket keeping, they will chose him

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2013 @ 3:25pm
            DingoGray said | July 11th 2013 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

            It’s a pity we can’t mix a bit of Wade & a bit of Haddin’s DNA together……

            Wade foot work and glove work is alot tidier than Haddin’s standing back to medium pacers…..

            Yet Haddin foot work and glove work is far more polished standing up to the stumps….

            They both also bat ok…..Maybe combining their powers we would come up with a superstar!!!!!

            Yeah i know, wishful thinking!

      • July 11th 2013 @ 12:41pm
        Johnnotoo said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

        unless CA has changed, that won’t happen. Look at our test pitches, Gabba and WACA included, in recent years. They’re built for 5 days of cricket, not fast bowlers. Maybe it’s the drop-in pitches, I don’t know, but I haven’t seen a hard/fast Gabba test pitch since the mid 1990s.

    • July 11th 2013 @ 5:47am
      John said | July 11th 2013 @ 5:47am | ! Report

      Today will be remembered as the day of the discards. The players nobody wanted were the ones who stood up. Siddle did what he did best – he fought. Rogers did what he did best – he played slowly and soundly, valuing his wicket. Smith did what none of us expected – he occupied the crease and scored runs. The day’s only six was off his blade.

      The others? Time will tell for the bowlers as they’re young. I hope Warner enjoys South Africa. Watson needs to occupy the crease and score runs – in that order. Cowan is on borrowed time.

      I wonder. if everyone performs the same way in the second innings, do you drop Cowan and select UK? or do you give these guys two tests then bring back Warner?

      • July 11th 2013 @ 5:57am
        Paul said | July 11th 2013 @ 5:57am | ! Report


        I think you are right about Cowan. He may get a 2nd test to prove if he is ready to stand up – depends on if we lose this test or not. I think if Hughes bats himself into some form, he could go to 3 and UK could come in at 5-6 and ease his way into the game. To throw him in at 3 could be a disaster as well. I don’t believe that Warner deserves a spot just yet.

        • July 11th 2013 @ 6:25am
          Ads said | July 11th 2013 @ 6:25am | ! Report

          The amount of runs Watson, Rogers and Cowan made today suggests that dropping 2 of them for both Khawaja and Warner may happen at some point this series. Rogers valued his wicket? Who cares, he made less than 20. Get Jordan silk in and he could have done that and got experience and we might have a decent cricketer in 3-4 years. Rogers making 20 is a massive fail. He needs to perform immediately given his age, he cant be persevered with for more than 2-3 tests.
          I stand by my many comments about Cowan being a rubbish cricketer. And all I can say is thank god, Lehmann didn’t have the same opinion as all the Warner spruikers on this site, can you imagine if Warner or Hughes had come in at 3 for 20 something today. Good odds that we would have been 4 for 20 something.
          Obviously Clarke and Lehmann had little faith in Hughes in that situation and dropped him down to 6.
          Still think we might get a first innings lead, the English batting performed about as well as I thought it would, 2 unproven batsmen in Root and Bairstow and another who has struggled in Ashes cricket (Bell). It was always going to be about Cook and Trott.

          Some people have been comparing the current side to the 1989 touring side, at least that squad had young players like Waugh, Taylor, boon etc, if they had failed at least they would have come back with 5 tests under their belts. The current side has Rogers, Cowan, Watson and Haddin. If this side wins the series, great, vindication for the selectors, if they lose but do well then what, half the side may retire in the next 24 months anyway. if they lose and lose badly then what have we learned? That Rogers, Watson, Cowan and haddin are not good enough to be in an international side? I think we already know that.

          • July 11th 2013 @ 6:32am
            Paul said | July 11th 2013 @ 6:32am | ! Report

            Absolutely agree about getting a young guy into the team. We have 10 Ashes tests in short time – stick him in there and say “Son, you have the whole series to perform. Go and have fun.”

          • July 11th 2013 @ 9:19am
            Ads said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:19am | ! Report

            Rogers got his highest test score good effort by the old man!

          • Columnist

            July 11th 2013 @ 11:46am
            Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

            I know its early days but Smith really looked an improved player against the moving ball. Both Finn and Anderson were in great rhythm yet Smith was largely untroubled. I love the way he plays spin…taking Swann downtown just 3rd ball was fantastic and let Swann know he was in a real battle.

        • July 11th 2013 @ 12:25pm
          Varun said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

          If we lose the game then Cowan wot get a second test as not should he as he had enough chances, khawaja is ready, I was very impressed with smith, he looks tighter

          • July 11th 2013 @ 1:07pm
            Rob Barrow said | July 11th 2013 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

            Agree 100% Varun on both your statements.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 11th 2013 @ 7:48am
        josh said | July 11th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        If you’ve following the Shield , you’d realise Smith has become a consistent scorer of runs. So it isn’t a shock, much like Cowan’s duck isn’t a shock. I hope CA haven’t booked Warner’s ticket to South Africa just yet.

        • July 11th 2013 @ 8:05am
          A Mans Not A Camel said | July 11th 2013 @ 8:05am | ! Report

          Agreed – Smith has form, Smith has performed – Cowan, just one disappointment after another. Smith to 3, Hughes to 4, Clarke to 5, Warner to 6.

          • July 11th 2013 @ 9:00am
            Top Secret said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

            Cowans average of 32 is not good enough. Not even close.

            • July 11th 2013 @ 9:15am
              B.A Sports said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

              Since the 09/10 summer against those awful Pakistan and West Inidan sides, Watson is averaging just 30! Mathematically, and given he is Vice Captain and a “leader” is even worse.

              • July 11th 2013 @ 9:49am
                Simba said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

                Watson is no longer Vice Captain.

                Haddin is.

            • July 11th 2013 @ 10:55am
              Bearfax said | July 11th 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

              Its now 31.83 TS. Getting beyond a joke. Even if Khawaja struggles for a while to get runs, its better than having this fellow, who in 20 tests has rarely should more than a stubborn resolve

              • July 11th 2013 @ 12:28pm
                Varun said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

                No doubt bearfax, cowans time is coming g to an end and UTK will be better at 3, watch how Rogers values his wicket, that’s what the others need to do

            • Columnist

              July 11th 2013 @ 11:48am
              Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

              Cowan’s shot was beyond atrocious

          • July 11th 2013 @ 11:24am
            Australian Rules said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:24am | ! Report

            Did AMNAC just say “Smith to 3”..?

            For the Lords Test, I’d have Hughes at 3, Clarke 4, Warner 5, Smith 6, Haddin 7.

            • July 11th 2013 @ 11:29am
              A Mans Not A Camel said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:29am | ! Report

              Haha yes I did 🙂

              Lets face it, with the batting collapses he’s basically batting at a standard 3 anyway, but, unlike those above him, he’s holding his own there. Give him a shot, I don’t think it’d be a disaster at all.

              • Columnist

                July 11th 2013 @ 11:50am
                Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:50am | ! Report

                The way he played yesterday he looks like he’d relish the challenge of batting 3. No need to rush him though keep him middle order and let him prove himself first.

              • July 11th 2013 @ 12:17pm
                Avon River said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

                Smith at 3 would be inconsistant with the limitations of his technique…..but that criteria seemingly only applied in recent years to a guy I want disclose but lest just call him Brad.

              • July 11th 2013 @ 1:15pm
                Bearfax said | July 11th 2013 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                I would leave Smith at 5 or 6 for the time being. Helps him settle in. Too much pressure and he may falter. He’s developing into a very fine batsman and at present 5 and 6 is where he can do the most damage.

        • July 11th 2013 @ 8:42am
          Matt F said | July 11th 2013 @ 8:42am | ! Report

          100% correct. Anyone who has followed domestic cricket over the last few years knew that Steve Smith was developing very nicely. Of all of the young guys who have been dropped recently he’s probably worked the hardest at fixing his technical issues and, while still early days, it seems to be paying off.

          • July 11th 2013 @ 9:00am
            ChrisB said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

            No, but according to many on here you can never improve. If you struggle at 21 that’s it, no chance you’ll get any better. Your cards are marked for all time.
            Unless of course you’re victimised by selection conspiracies.

            • July 11th 2013 @ 11:30am
              Bearfax said | July 11th 2013 @ 11:30am | ! Report

              No. If you’re 30 + its unlikely you’ll improve much as you’re at the peak of your game. That’s why selecting Cowan is folly while selecting Rogers has merit. As for the kids, Smith, Khawaja, Warner, Hughes. Silk, Burns, Maddison, etc they are all in the early to mid 20s. Still plenty of development to come. Said it before …we expect too much from our young batsmen. they’ll get there but they are all developing and learning their trade. By the time they are 30 we should see the best of them

              • Columnist

                July 11th 2013 @ 12:02pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

                Which one of silk, burns and maddinson do u think will debut first bearfax?

              • July 11th 2013 @ 12:29pm
                A Mans Not A Camel said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

                I think Burns Ronan, if only because he’s young, and, well known to Lehmann

              • July 11th 2013 @ 1:42pm
                Bearfax said | July 11th 2013 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                Depends on the need I suspect.

                Burns lost ground recently because he went off the boil and didnt even make the Australia A side so you can see what the selectors are thinking. Both Silk and Maddison are there. Mind you I think Burns is a fine batsman and could easily in the next shield season be a stand out. But if the present batsmen fail, Silk and Maddison have the front running, at least for the 10 tests against England.

                At this time, if a failure occurs I dont think they will want to risk Silk too early if possible, especially as an opener. So for me, at this point in time, if a position needs to be filled, Maddison is the one I think most likely to be chosen. He’s also got his nose in front because of a couple of recent outstanding centuries and both are now playing in the Aus A side again so they have the opportunities to impress again.

                Of course by next year if none have been chosen their ranking may change completely. Silk could have an outstanding shield season and demand selection in a very fragile top of the order batting line up. Timing is of course everything and all three just need to be scoring runs at the right time.

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2013 @ 3:28pm
              DingoGray said | July 11th 2013 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

              Smith has shown significant improvement since he’s dropped the bowling the discipline from his game!

              He’s an out and out batsmen now…And continues to improve…..Lets hope he continues to improve!

    • July 11th 2013 @ 5:52am
      Paul said | July 11th 2013 @ 5:52am | ! Report

      On Brad Haddin, all I can say is that he needs to make runs. I don’t think he was “brilliant” with the gloves – the 2 catches he took were pretty standard. He needs to bat better than Matthew Wade. They have very similar averages (Wade 34.5, Haddin 35.5) Here’s to hoping.

      Siddle and Pattinson were great once they got through the first hour. A bit erratic beforehand but really rose to the challenge. Very happy for them both,

      One concern was that 152 of England’s 215 was from boundaries. We need to do something about that.

      Chris Rogers? Well, we have to give him some time and see if he gets over first innings jitters. He did look nervous. Don’t know about Cowan and Clarke – they weren’t there long enough to tell if they were nervous or not!

      Steve Smith once again proves the pundits wrong. Coming in earlier than expected, he has been solid and looks every bit a Test Cricket batsmen – unlike the 4 guys above him!

      • July 11th 2013 @ 8:39am
        Felix said | July 11th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        The boundaries figure makes it look like there were plenty of loose balls, but the outfield was insanely quick and the ground isn’t large. There was definitely money for old rope there but it was a case of beating the in-field yielding good results too.

        • July 11th 2013 @ 9:01am
          Top Secret said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          anything that beat the infield generally went for ffour. even ian bell hit a few boundaries, thats how quick the outfield was.

          • July 11th 2013 @ 9:18am
            Disco said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

            “Even Ian Bell”?

            • Columnist

              July 11th 2013 @ 12:07pm
              Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

              Bell batted fluently after some early graft.

              • July 11th 2013 @ 1:56pm
                Ray Charles said | July 11th 2013 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                I think the amount of boundaries had a lot to do with Clarke’s attacking field placements.
                Love him or hate him, you don’t get Cook and Trott playing those types of shots with defensive fields very often.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2013 @ 3:32pm
          DingoGray said | July 11th 2013 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

          “The boundaries figure make it look like there were plenty of loose balls”

          That’s because there was heaps of loose balls! Australia overall didn’t bowl well.
          There would be no way Lehmann would be happy with the way Australia used the new ball.
          Australia did benefit from a very very aggressive England!

          You will not see that again in the 2nd innings…..

      • July 11th 2013 @ 9:20am
        Ads said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        How many fumbles and drops did Haddin have last night? He must have let go 10 or 11 byes….

        • July 11th 2013 @ 1:53pm
          Ray Charles said | July 11th 2013 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

          8 of them were in the gully region though!

        • July 11th 2013 @ 7:42pm
          Pete B said | July 11th 2013 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

          Exactly. The minimum height or an Australian keeper from now on should be 12 foot.

    • July 11th 2013 @ 6:23am
      Me too said | July 11th 2013 @ 6:23am | ! Report

      Clarke was out to a brilliant ball. Cowan was out to nerves Just a stupid shot to play. Well done to Siddle.

      • Roar Pro

        July 11th 2013 @ 6:31am
        A View From the Top said | July 11th 2013 @ 6:31am | ! Report

        I really wish Jimmy would use balls like that on people like Cowan. We can’t have our best bat facing that, what a gem

        • Columnist

          July 11th 2013 @ 12:11pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          Yeah save those balls for our tail enders please Jimmy!

          • July 11th 2013 @ 12:37pm
            The boule said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

            We don’t have tail Enders. We are just batting arse about. Agar and Stark to open next innings!

      • Roar Rookie

        July 11th 2013 @ 7:58am
        josh said | July 11th 2013 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        Cowan was out cause he averages in the 30’s. He’s not test standard.

        • July 11th 2013 @ 9:30am
          Top Secret said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          Cowan wasnt out cause he averages in the 30s, Cowan was out cause he isnt up to test standard.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 11th 2013 @ 9:37am
            josh said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:37am | ! Report

            Which is why he average’s in the 30s.

            • July 11th 2013 @ 10:03am
              Top Secret said | July 11th 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

              thats better…

            • July 11th 2013 @ 10:34am
              CrossIT said | July 11th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

              So does Shane Watson… begs the question doesn’t it.

            • July 11th 2013 @ 12:30pm
              Varun said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

              He averages 30 after 20 straight tests, not good enoug

              • July 11th 2013 @ 1:08pm
                Rob Barrow said | July 11th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

                And uncle Arthur can’t save him this time

          • Columnist

            July 11th 2013 @ 12:13pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

            It will be interesting to see how Cowan bats second dig after that horrible shot. I reckon he won’t play a shot in anger!

        • July 11th 2013 @ 9:51am
          Simba said | July 11th 2013 @ 9:51am | ! Report

          At least Cowan went out before he had the chance to run 2 or 3 of his teammates out.

          Good result I say.

      • July 11th 2013 @ 12:37pm
        Avon River said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        But Clarke got himself caught on the crease again. Niether forward or back and then opened right up and left falling forward searching fall the ball rather than playing it under his nose.
        Most batters are of course vulnerable early before they get their feet moving.

    • July 11th 2013 @ 6:24am
      Robert said | July 11th 2013 @ 6:24am | ! Report

      I thought Cowan was in the side at 3 because he was an opener and could apparently handle the swing.I know it was only one ball but that was a terrible shot.At least Clarke got out from a cracking delivery.As for Smith,we should pass judgement after his innings.This is the very reason Australia have been struggling,because too many players have been getting starts,not going on with them and we say they deserve to be given another chance.Its time to start being tough on these players

      Comment from The Roar’s iPhone app.

      • July 11th 2013 @ 6:39am
        Paul said | July 11th 2013 @ 6:39am | ! Report

        “This is the very reason Australia have been struggling,because too many players have been getting starts,not going on with them and we say they deserve to be given another chance.”

        By that logic, Watson should have been dumped years ago. In India, Steve Smith showed, with little opportunity, that he could make runs when the rest of the team struggled (except for that 99 Starc made in the same innings that Smith made 92.) If a guy batting at 6 can make 50-75 when the rest of the team has failed, I see that as a win. If we were 4/500 and number 6 comes in and makes a scratchy 15, then I think his position may be a cause for concern.

        • July 11th 2013 @ 10:01am
          Jayvan Collins said | July 11th 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

          Really? That is belittling test cricket a touch with that comment Paul… A batsmen coming in at 4/500 is generally trying to push the scorin rate and take risks… not form a complete innings that in most instances takes most of a day.

          A guy battin at 6 who can make 50-75 and keep the team in the game when the team and innings has fallen around him is a hell of a lot more valuable to a side.

          The problem here is that far too often our 5/6/7 is batting under ridiculous pressure and have no choice but to score runs just to keep Australia in the game.

          Here is to hoping that we don’t get rolled, our bowlers then get spanked and the media/captain/coach have a whinge about how the bowlers let the game go in the second innings (when the fault lies with the batsmen not putting pressure on the opposition).

          • Columnist

            July 11th 2013 @ 12:15pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

            It’s great that Smith has been given a crack after being one of the few to show fight in India.

          • July 11th 2013 @ 12:48pm
            Johnnotoo said | July 11th 2013 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

            good comment Jayvan
            I see great potential in these young fast bowlers, plus a couple more who aren’t there
            batting stocks are thin

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