The Ashes 2019 – The Oval blog


The Ashes are safe and sound, but there’s a series still to be won. Tim Paine seemed singularly focused on this fact in the moments after victory at Old Trafford.


As well as they rebounded after Leeds, Australia still has plenty of issues to mull over. Should Pat Cummins be put on ice after stellar service through the first four Tests? Is there any danger we could get an opening partnership to reach 20? How is Nathan Lyon’s spinning finger holding up? How best to set ourselves up for the southern summer?


And what of England? Surely some batsmen’s careers could be on the line should they fail again. Will Joe Root endure as captain?


Only a maximum of five more (late) sleeps to go. Much to play for. What do you reckon, Knackers?



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  1. I’d pick Khawaja to open. He’s averaged twice some of the others. And we need to get him back in form if we can. In for Harris, who hasn’t taken his chances. But the question of openers for the summer back here will remain very much up in the air.

    Warner has the record to earn another go, but I’m worried about his state of mind. You’d hope there’s some elite honesty in the discussions about that within the camp.

    Cummins said the tank was pretty empty at the end of Old Trafford. He certainly looked a little weary in the last session. A rotation there might be due for preservation’s sake.

    England have gone with the same squad. Steady as she goes? Or just no depth?.

  2. JB, for the Poms, I think it’s a case of no depth. Methinks they’ve invested too much in the shorter forms of the game in recent years as well as tinkered too much with county cricket to the detriment of the full monty, ie Test cricket.

    I’d also like to see Khawaja open but with Harris (the possible future), and give Warner a message that, for all his record shows, no-one is exempt after such poor form. But I can’t see it happening. The selectors must be lamenting the omission of Joe Burns from the squad.

    With the bowlers, rest Cummins for sure and possibly Hazlewood too. Pattinson and Siddle would do a sterling job.

  3. Can’t wait! Cricket aside, I’m spoiling myself in my latter years: now have a tele in the bedroom (as well as lounge), with Foxtel IQ4. With the heater on in cold Melbourne, jump into bed at 8pm, raise the newly-purchased adjustable queen bed to a comfortable sitting/lying position, tele onto the cricket, and last as long as possible. Record the remainder of the match, and the following evening, jump into bed, watch the remainder of the previous day, and so it goes, day after day. Don’t miss a minute. Love Test cricket!

  4. In spite off the reasons given, I can’t really fathom the selection of M Marsh. A bit tough on Head. Let’s hope Cummins doesn’t get exhausted to the point that he gets injured again. Our summer Test season is less than three months away – spread the load.

  5. Colin Ritchie says

    I thought Cummins may have been rested and Pattinson brought into the team. I don’t mind M Marsh coming into the side as it provides an extra bowler. The Aussies struggled at times to get the required wickets in the 2nd innings of the 4th Test and had to rely on “trundlers” to try and get wickets. And his batting can be handy as well. I hope he grabs his chance with both hands! Looking forward to it!

  6. I love your optimism re M Marsh, Col, but can’t share it. I hope I’m wrong.

  7. Marsh would seem to be cover for Cummins. Which suggests Cummins should have been rested. They obviously rate him essential. From Cummins’ point of view, having missed 6 years of his test career, he probably wants to play very test he can. Perhaps he’ll need protecting from himself?

    Interesting decision to send them in. Perhaps also to take the pressure off Lyon and his troublesome finger?

    Let’s see if it works.

  8. Bizarre surely with Siddle the supposed workhorse picked there was no need for Marsh and also give the bowlers more rest,2 all

  9. Pitch it up Siddle!!

  10. Another reason for sending them in could have been to protect Warner. If so, wrong motivations driving tactics.

    Oh, dear! Siddle having a shocker this morning session.

  11. Boy oh boy. Signs aplenty we’re not switched on this morning.

  12. Colin Ritchie says

    This is your lucky day Joe Root!

  13. First 4 Tests weight for age lead ups. With the Ashes retained this game reverts to handicap conditions. Siddle 4kg penalty for Old Trafford win.
    This is the Melbourne Cup isn’t it?

  14. Mitch Marsh – you beauty!

  15. Playing Siddle came back to bite them on the bum. With Marsh selected, surely Starc should have played instead of Sidds. Anyway, great to see junior Marshmellow taking wickets – hope he can make some runs too.

    Hope the Aussies can rap up the final 2 wickets quickly so that Warner can attempt to rid himself of his horror trot . Can Smith keep up his good form – we’ll soon see.

    Jan – Mitch Marsh – you bloody beauty

    Mrs Fisho was pleased I came to bed as soon as the morning session completed.

  16. A bit of chat today about MR Marsh and the “haters”.
    He bowled well.

    I am one who could not understand why he would be selected again.
    And I retain that view.
    I cannot understand why he was selected.
    That is no reflection on MR Marsh as a person, nor on his resilience, nor on his bowling figures last night (one of the hazards of declaring a selection success based on a one-off performance is that it fails to consider what ANOTHER player could have achieved if given the same opportunity. e.g. would MA Starc have taken 4 wickets if he had been given the same opportunity? 7 wickets? We’ll never know).

    Rather my view is a reflection of an opaque and inconsistently applied approach to team selection over years now.
    Probably what MR Marsh experiences as Ill will would be better directed at selectors.

    I think that there is a roaring sense of injustice that MR Marsh has been given so many opportunities to perform whereas others have not. And the others may have performed better – we will never know.

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