Ashes 2010: Australia vs England, 3rd Test, Perth – Preview




WACA, Perth

WACA, Perth

I must admit as we enter this third test, there are few who give the Australian’s any hope. This is based on major weaknesses in their team being exposed by a very good English side and the curious choices by their Selectors and the lack of belief or stability in the team.

So here is my Preview looking at the hosts.

Australia

Likely Team: Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus and Michael Beer.

I must admit when I wrote that side. I find it hard to fathom how steep the decline of Australian cricket has been of late. There is little to be enthusiastic about in this team from any aspect of the game.

Starting with the batting, it was great seeing a very fine player in Michael Clarke return to form in a very decent 80 in Adelaide though the rest of the batting is a huge worry. Mike Hussey has been a revelation in this series, but all us observers of Hussey are waiting to see how long it lasts. For at 35, we view it as just a brief return to his glories of the past, rather than an announcement that he is back. Shane Watson has been decent, though as an opener it is very note worthy to get to 50 odd, but an openers role is to get big scores. This has been one of the big differences in the sides. For the English openers have scored big, whereas the Aussie openers have got out between 50-80.

A huge worry for the Aussies is the loss of their batting ‘rock’ in Simon Katich. He has been replaced by Phil Hughes, who has talent, but a gaping technical deficiency in regards to the short stuff and his wafty shots outside off stump.

Then there is Ricky Ponting…

Who granted is a very fine player, but when his team has most needed him he has been a failure as a batsman. In this test for his team to have any semblance of a chance, He has to perform! The rest of the batting is made up by the keeper/batsman Brad Haddin, who has been excellent.

Then Steven Smith, who is likely to come in at 6, I shouldn’t be so cynical of Smith, for granted he has talent and might in time be a test standard player, but right of now he will be a dead man walking in this standard of the game.

Then the bowling which in truth has been pure toiletry…

Starting with Smith, who has come in for Marcus North, who granted was a very average Test batsman, but was at least threatening with his off spin. I’m sure the English with the announcement of Smith being in the side with his club cricket standard leg spin, will arrange for a chauffeur driven car to go pick him up every time he has to bowl. For they will rip him a new corn shoot!

The rest of the bowling is made up of the big hearted Ryan Harris, which has the potential to be a threat.

Ben Hilfenhaus, who has the potential to have a profound impact on the game with his swing and seam delivered with pace.

The curious selection of Michael Beer, who is a club cricketer – averages 40 in his few first class outings. So the wisdom behind his selection is curious to say the very least.

Then there is the man we call ‘Jono’ (Mitchell Johnson)…

Who if chosen, well he might do well, but more likely than not will be in the same chauffeur driven car as Steven Smith will be in. For he has no right to be in this team for his form is nonexistent, his confidence is zero and his benefit to the opposition is huge. He has not been that dreadful.

To me I can’t see this bowling line up getting 20 wickets.

The biggest concern for the Aussies, aside from the chief of Selectors Andrew Hilditch is the back room staff. They have shown throughout this series that they have had zero planning in regards to the English batsmen and fields to certain players. This has in effect has made a bowling attack that is average to be kind and rubbish if I’m honest even more impotent. Then it has brutally exposed Ricky Ponting’s rather amateurish Captaincy.

All in all it will probably greatly help the English retain the Ashes.

England

Likely Team: Andrew Strauss, Alistair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett and Steven Finn.

There are few concerns for the English with then 1 up in the series and in possession of the Ashes.

In the batting there must be mild concerns over Paul Collingwood, but again with the dominance of the other batsmen and the impotence of the Aussie attack. They can carry him.

In regards to bowling Stuart Broad is out and in truth this might actually benefit the English with Chris Tremlett his likely replacement and a very fine bowler indeed.

They are looking like a very confident and composed unit in all regards to the game and will be hard to beat from here

The Pitch

The Media will say the Perth pitch will be fast and bouncy, like in the old days, but in truth it’s been a good 25 years since that has been the case. It has become very like the Adelaide Oval pitch, where it very much favours batsmen

Prediction

Australia to show more fight, but to be ultimately outclassed due to the weaknesses in their lineup and to lose the game by the 4th day.

Duly letting England retain the Ashes and instigating a huge fall out in the Australian cricket team.

Tim Holt

Author:

Hi All, I’m an old gent having been born in 1953 in Derry, Nth Ireland. I learnt my love for cricket during my time in South Africa in between 1964-66. My hero as you can see by my profile picture is 'Chandra'! I am a qualified journalist having worked in Radio and papers across the Globe. Though I’m currently a teacher, who is on extended medical leave due to my heart not agreeing with the Irish past time of drinking copious amounts of Whisky! I have many tales to tell in regards to a lot of sports having played both Football and Cricket professionally. I hope you enjoy a few I share with you! Regards and Peace to All Tim

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