It was good to see that last night the Australians put the upstart English back in their box
, prior to the Ashes series that begins on 21 July. Only seven more sleeps ‘til the first Test. Of course, this is only pyjama cricket and is of no real importance, save to the bank balances of those concerned.
A few of things to be said about this
one day series*; Gillespie bowled quite decently last night (though he shouldn’t have dropped that catch), and so the Australian selectors are faced with a quandary as to what fast bowlers to take into the first Test at Lord’s. It is good to see Ponting and Gilchrist (he really shouldn’t have dropped that catch, either) back in form. Gilchrist’s ability to deal with the English pitches — the ball coming onto the bat a bit more slowly and with less bounce — could be quite important in allowing Australia to post bigger scores than the English. And then you add JL to the mix… Steve Harmison has looked awesome so far (especially that spell at Bristol), but last night he was mauled by the Australians, coming away from the game with the second worst ever one day figures for England (apparently part time bowler Derek Randall’s gentle lobs got him the worst ones ever). Harmison is very good, and is not to discounted, but he is not the bee’s knees like Glen McGrath. Kevin Pieterson has to play in the Tests (though please bat him at 6). He is great to watch and just makes the game exciting — you know something is going to happen when he is there. Sort of like whenever Chris Judd gets the ball for West Coast. Where do you fit Mike Hussey into the Australian Test side? He is so untroubled by the English conditions and attack it is disturbing. If Hayden or Clarke don’t make runs in the first Test, I would bring him in straight away for either of them (and if any Victorians say anything along the lines of, “what about Brad Hodge?”, just laugh and say “who’s he?”). In fact I would seriously consider dropping Clarke right now. And finally the new one day rules have got it wrong — they do confer an unfair advantage on the side that has won the toss, not that this had any real effect on the best of three series. This can be easily changed by making the teams name their twelve players, toss the coin and decide who’s batting first and then decide who’s playing.
* I have to say them here because I could ramble on about this all day and no one will listen to me in real life.