Tag Archives: The Guardian

Aussie cricket commentators have been a breath of fresh air on air

England’s victorious Ashes campaign was compelling enough in its own right to make sleep deprivation a palatable hardship. But for older cricket fans, who remembered the meagre fare of the BBC’s haphazard live screening of tours in the 1980s, the myriad opportunities to follow it seemed like a paradise, to paraphrase Philip Larkin, we dreamed of all our lives.

Alongside the over-by-over coverage, the internet has opened up the possibility of listening to commentary streams from Australia to complement Test Match Special’s excellent coverage, particularly during the shipping forecasts. And those tuning in to ABC, particularly its Grandstand Reflections end-of-play wrap, will have discovered rich baritone voices and fresh, quirky insights.

Full story: The Guardian

 

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Filed under Ashes 2010/11

Andrew Strauss lights up the grey Sydney skies

It was a day for skittish left-handers at the crease. Mitchell Johnson, employing the long-handle, whacked 53, resuscitating a flagging Australia innings just as he did in Perth. And, of course, there was Andrew Strauss.

No, this is not a misprint. We are talking about Strauss, the same dependable, stolid, sensible Strauss, who, when asked about Kevin Pietersen‘s mishap with a Lamborghini in Geelong earlier in the tour, said: “Well, I’m sure I wouldn’t want to captain a side who were all like me.” Strauss knows he can be a bit boring and predictable

Full story: The Guardian

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Filed under 5th Test - Sydney, Ashes 2010/11

Australia find the formula to dismantle England

Harris ripped through the English batting in the second innings to help level the series.

Afterwards Mitchell Johnson sat quietly alongside a grateful skipper. Ricky Ponting‘s gratitude would not extend to giving his fast bowler an ashtray. Unlike Harold Larwood, Johnson has not won the Ashes for his captain, at least not yet. Nor, I suspect, does Johnson smoke. But his intervention in Perth means that the Ashes series is not just smouldering; it is ablaze. Boxing Day in Melbourne could be quite an occasion.

Johnson did not say much. His captain did the talking. “Mitch’s spell was unbelievable; it was one of the all-time great Ashes spells; amazing for him, brilliant for the team.” On Ponting went. “It has transformed him. It has transformed how you [the assembled press] talk about him and how they talk about him in the England dressing room. This will have them thinking seriously about how to play him throughout the rest of the series”.

Full story: The Guardian

 

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Filed under 3rd Test - Perth, Ashes 2010/11

England scent victory

As England retired to the dressing room earlier today , they knew that ultimately, the fate of the second Test match lay in the weather. Rain knocked an hour from play after tea, and they knew the prognosis. But if the winning of this Test always looked a race against time, then from what proved to be the final ball of the day they would have seen a glimmer. It brought a wicket, but not just any wicket. Michael Clarke is, along with Mike Hussey, the best player of spin in the Australian side and had made 80 yesterday, with the end in sight, when he succumbed, not to Graeme Swann, declared the best spin bowler in the world, but to Kevin Pietersen who began his cricket life as an off-spin bowler only to become a master batsman instead. Australia finished the fourth day on 238 for four, with Hussey on 44 and the deficit still 137.

Full story: The Guardian

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Filed under 2nd Test - Adelaide, Ashes 2010/11

Strauss and Ponting lock horns over Anderson ‘sledging’

England‘s inspirational fast bowler Jimmy Anderson sparked an angry on-field dispute between the rival captains Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting after one of his finest displays overseas spearheaded a brilliant start to the second Test for the tourists.

Ponting complained to Strauss at the close of play that as England captain he had failed to manage Anderson’s sledging against Australian batsmen.

The flashpoint came when Strauss seemed not to curb an exchange between Anderson and Brad Haddin, as much as join in to protect a fast bowler whose insecurities have been well chronicled but whose bowling craft, at 28, is blossoming by the day.

Strauss loyally waved aside Ponting’s public protests, suggesting that he had no right to complain just because he had suffered one of the worst days in Australia’s recent Test history. The result is bound to be a stepping up of tensions as England seek their first series win in Australia since the mid-80s.

Full story: The Guardian

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Filed under 2nd Test - Adelaide, Ashes 2010/11