Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Ashes - 2

So, tonight's the night it all kicks off. I don't know about you, but I'm almost trembling with expectation. I hope I'll be able to pick up the ABC broadcast online, but if not I'll still cope by watching Cricinfo (feverishly refreshing the scorecard every 10 seconds or so).

As far as the cricket itself is concerned, I feel quite confident about England's chances. If the batsmen don't get nerves when McGrath and Warne have the ball in their hands, we're capable of posting some decent scores. I have a feeling Strauss and Pietersen especially will like the Aussie conditions. And Geraint Jones, too, should justify his selection with a couple of decent scores. Let's just hope he doesn't drop too many behind the stumps. With the bowling, I hope Monty gets the call ahead of Giles (unlike Aggers), and that the others can stick the ball on the spot enough to put pressure on the Australian batsmen. Harmison should do well in Brisbane if he can put his balls in the right place (so to speak).

The most important thing is to remember this is a five match series, with plenty of time to ebb and flow. So although momentum will be gained by the team that wins in Brisbane, the loser will have time to come back (remember 2005). The schedule is punishing, with 5 games in six weeks. This should stand in England's favour, as Australia's aging warriors (six 35+ year olds) will find their fitness levels harder to maintain.

My prediction is a 3-1 win for England (how bold!), but if the whole thing is even half as tense as last time, it will be a great series.

"Come on you Pommie Bastards!"

1 comment:

Matt Biant said...

Nice prediction Chris! Very optimistic - have you lost the plot? I sincerely hope 3-1 is the outcome, but the Poms have not won a series down under by the same margin since 1954-5. Jim Laker took his 19 wickets more recently than that!! Disregarding the farce which was the 1978/79 series (blighted by WSC), if England are to pull this off by such a margin this really would be history in the making, surpassing their heroics of Summer 2005. Nothing short of victory in the first test is required, otherwise we may be back to the usual story...

I'm not a betting man, but I too will back Flintoff's "Fighters" to hold onto the little urn, 2-1 however. I'll give you odds of 10 denarii at 6-1, if England win 3-1...what will you give me?

Come on England!!!

P.S. Did you check, I will be tuning in online to watch live streaming on this website - not sure if you can get in Portugal, but I do not see why not as it is online - surely you can get Sky Sports there too?