The Ashes 2015 – First Test, Day 4: England Crunches Aussies

Australia’s much vaunted team have been humbled by England at Sophia Gardens.

The home side continued their attacking cricket and late in the afternoon of day four crushingly defeated Australia by 169 runs.

Australia will go to Lords shattered with changes to the team their only chance of redemption. Some of which may shock.

If it had been a boxing match England would have won 11 of 12 rounds, in a display that would have made Lennox Lewis proud.  It was a total team effort with every member playing some part during the game be it with bat, ball or fielding.

It was a very impressive display that will make Australia think for the second test at Lords commencing next week.

The pitch should certainly not be blamed for Australia’s pathetic effort in the fourth innings. The only players who could hold their head high today where Mitchell Johnson (77) and David Warner (52).

For England, every bowler contributed by playing their part. Broad and Wood bowled exceptionally well with the coup de grace performed by Moeen Ali in the last over before lunch when he got the defiant David Warner lbw for 52. Warner had looked completely safe and his wicket was the turning point for both teams.

Still, Australia were in it at 2/97

So bad did the loss of Warner affect Australia that they lost 5/65 in the second session through inept batting. The bowling was tight but the batting was lose; Smith, Voges and Clarke all got out from poor shot selection

Shane Watson’s career was at stake and he battled manfully but did not take control. This was his chance to consolidate his place once and for all but he failed, only registering 19. Mitch Marsh must take his place at Lords. There are no ifs or buts. Time has run out for the coodabeen champion.

The English team cannot be praised enough. They attacked from ball one and except for a brief period when Mitch Johnson was in control, did not revert to defensive tactics. It was a team effort at its best.

It won’t happen but I would make four changes for the match at Lords. Watson – passed his best; Starc – injured; Voges – lack of runs; and Haddin for Carters.

Hadddin’s omission might surprise but I think his continuing aggro is not helpful to a young side and nothing will be lost by playing Carters at seven.

Besides Carters, I would include Mitch and Shaun Marsh and Peter Siddle. With Starc injured they need a bowler who can contain and attack at the same time. Siddle fits the bill and although Coach Lehmann won’t agree, all out pace is not the answer.

Marsh the younger surely will replace Watson, and Marsh the older could possibly replace Voges who would be a little unlucky.

England won’t make any changes. As I have said, it was a great team effort and although Lyth and Cook did not perform that well it was still a fine performance.

England outplayed Australia in all departments and in particular their fielding was exemplary.

My highlight of the day? The fact that we were able to get a running commentary of all the AFL games played back home.

A rest day tomorrow but the chance to watch the Wimbledon men’s final in the daytime.

About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    G’day Bob

    Enjoying following your travels. I’m envious.

    Interesting question re composition of pace attack for Lords. For mine, I can’t see a lineup of Hazlewood, Johnson and Siddle getting it done (unless there’s some juice in the wicket – which is highly unlikely).

    If Siddle is to come in, I reckon it has to be for Hazlewood, which would be a tough call. I think we have to risk Cummins (and I acknowledge it would be a significant risk). I think the hope that Mitch J is going to blast them out is looking like an extremely long straw.

    Cheers

  2. Keiran Croker says:

    Bob, do you mean Peter Neville, not Carters?

  3. Great report Citrus. Aussies certainly have some thinking to do but big changes would not be the answer. Watto must go. Haddin must go. But the rest stay (for now). Hazelwood was a positive in my view. He will improve.

  4. Peter Flynn says:

    It has been raining in Cardiff for 9 hours now.

    Can Hazelwood back up?

    Cummins massive risk.

    Sidldle was gone in Adelaide.

    Watson has had his main technical flaw exposed for 10 years.

    Warner missed a ball that a half decent park cricketer would have played competently to mid wicket.

    Clarke is troubled by Broad.

    Voges doesn’t have a cut shot.

    Haddin is gone.

    Johnson bowls shite in England. Cue the song. He’s left. He’s right. He bowls a heap of shite.

    Starc is injured.

    Smith doesn’t rate Ali.

    Lehmann is delusional.

  5. Bob Utber says:

    Yes I meant PEter Who?
    Spent time last night with some of the team and entourage
    Still she’ll shocked and rightly so. A bit cocky beforehand
    PJF is a sore loser.
    Why is Terry Ryan the meteorologists not a member of the team.. We new it was going to rain bu t the entourage and players didn’t,t?
    PJF is a sore loser particularly when t he Cats lost

  6. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Citrus Bob the aussies were pathetic but far more importantly is how proud you must be of
    Patrick Dangerfield we all new what a gun player he is but just gut wrenching watching him last night he was magnificent in every way

  7. Bob Utber says:

    Thanks Rulebook.
    Watching some footage last night I wept. Fortunately I was a

  8. Bob Utber says:

    Able to seek solace from members of the cricket team I was trapped wasn,t I?
    Enjoying the cricket but felt I should have been in Subiaco with Patrick, Mardi and the boys.
    A wonderful performance by and as Michelangelo said to me a day for putting away the critics pen.
    Patrick is a special young man who gave his all for all to see.

  9. E.regnans says:

    Citrus,
    Thanks so very much for your daily stories of news, insight, opinion and local observation from the UK.
    Refreshingly honest and thoughtful reports every day.
    And funny.
    Love it.
    I’m more than a little envious.

    All the best to you and yours in the wake of P Walsh’s death.

    It’s hard to know where to turn after this defeat.
    Your proposed changes seem fair enough.
    I wonder about the balance and wicket-taking ability of an attack containing both PM Siddle and JR Hazlewood. Too similar in style and method?
    It really requires a horses-for-courses mentality for selection.
    Pick on form rather than reputation.
    Pick someone who can swing a Duke ball, for instance.
    How is Ben Hilfenhaus going up there at Nottinghamshire?

    On that – how is it that Kookaburra and Duke balls are so different?
    Surely we should have an international standard ball.
    In its absence, all wicket-taking records are not equal.

    Thanks again. Enjoy your rest day & happy travels to London Town.

  10. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Bob while the result of the game was totally irrelevant,Dangers 1st q was incredible he literally was the bus conductor who yelled every body aboard and carried the crows we will never no what would have happened if he had not got inj and then to watch after the game was the most shattering thing I have ever seen.
    This test to me was over confidence arrogant and inadequate by captain,coach and management to get bowled out in 70 overs was pathetic,Watson and Haddin must go

  11. With Starc being under an injury cloud, and Watson almost certain to be omitted for M Marsh, i see a recall for Siddle. Sure he will add experience to the line up, but his form in the UK is poor. Do we go for his experience or Cummins potential? A quandary for sure.

    Glen!

  12. Luke Reynolds says:

    Loving your reports Citrus. Agree changes have to be made. Not sure about P.Siddle anymore, have been a big fan but think he may be past it. ER’s Hilfenhaus call is a good one, sadly he is out injured for the next 6 weeks.
    If we’re faced with a similar type pitch for the second Test, I’d love to see us take a chance on Fawad Ahmed…

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