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Australia regain Ashes : 3 ummm .... zero.
December 17, 2006 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Less than 16 months after England claimed the Ashes, Australia reclaim them in three straight test matches. With England's main opening batsman pulling out of the contest due to "stress", and their captain refusing to delay a knee operation so that he would be available, it never really appeared to many that they wanted to face a rematch. Questions must now be raised about what happened to their astounding reverse swing. Chin up lads - at least you and your world-touring Barmy Army can all play with your trumpets again.
posted by DirtyCreature (61 comments total)

 
Ha ha ha ha ha!

Excuse me while I gloat for a minute.

Warney too old eh? Shallow batting and bowling ranks eh?

Let's go for a clean sweep. Crush them.
posted by wilful at 9:34 PM on December 17, 2006


Hmmm, anyone want to buy some boxing day tickets?
posted by mattoxic at 10:07 PM on December 17, 2006


For those unfamiliar with the game of cricket, all you need to know is that the umpire hops on one leg if the score is 111.
posted by tellurian at 10:11 PM on December 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


As much as I LOVED the last Ashes series, reigniting my fading interest in Test Cricket as it did, I too, beg your indulgence while I say: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
It's almost hilarious that The English team thought they had even the slightest chance of not losing on this tour. Australia lost the last series not because England played especially well, but because Australia played uncharacteristically sloppy cricket. The Australian cricket team just doesn't make that sort of mistake twice.
And - we've seen some cracking cricket in the last few weeks.
posted by bunglin jones at 10:12 PM on December 17, 2006


Bugger.

bunglin jones, you forget that we are the masters of self-delusion. Just look at our elevated expectations for our football team...

Personally, I thought the best comeback to the "too old" jibes pre-playing would've been to draw on the example of the 2003 England World Cup team. Although this comeback (winning) is obviously much, much better
posted by djgh at 10:19 PM on December 17, 2006


Australia simply does not lose at home. Maybe we doctor our wickets better than the subcontinent, maybe we're used to the conditions, but there was never any chance in hell we'd not regain the Ashes.

I hope the triangular is entertaining.
posted by wilful at 10:28 PM on December 17, 2006


SUCK IT YOU POMMIE BASTARDS WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

*gets more drunk*
posted by cheaily at 10:32 PM on December 17, 2006


I hope the triangular is entertaining.

The way NZ are playing at the moment, we won't give you much trouble. (You can completely discount England - they're not a one-day team at all). Australia in the final, probably against NZ, but either way, it will be a walkover for you.
posted by Infinite Jest at 10:57 PM on December 17, 2006


Despite my previous hahaha-ing, I really wouldn't have minded who won The Ashes. It would have been nice to see the fifth test played out as the decider, but The Adelaide Test and even the last few days at the WACA have shown again why Test Cricket is a uniquely and sometimes bewilderingly entertaining way to play sport. For example, I loved that when I went out last Thursday night, the Barmy Army crew were celebrating in the bars near my house - celebrating a single day's play with the sort of enthusiasm and gusto that' usually reserved for the victorious finish of any other sports match. And being English cricket fans, I guess they'd have drunk as much as possible, knowing that suffering the painful misery of a hangover would probably be (and did, in fact, turn out to be) the most appropriate way to experience watching your team face the Australian attack at the WACA.
posted by bunglin jones at 11:02 PM on December 17, 2006


If only Australians were as gracious in victory as they were in defeat.

Murdoch and time zones have prevented me seeing much of this series. Hopefully the next one in England - when the Australians will be without the superhumans Warne and McGrath - will be more of a contest.
posted by MrMustard at 11:17 PM on December 17, 2006


Newsfilter
posted by johnny7 at 11:22 PM on December 17, 2006


It's a shame that the poms didn't pull through in one of the earlier tests and draw the result out to the forth or the fifth test but bunglin is right, the series has been both fascinating, entertaining, and full of incredible twists.

I'd just love to know why Monty wasn't playing from the beginning.
posted by Mil at 11:28 PM on December 17, 2006


I really hope that on the hopefully distant day that Shane Warne dies you Aussies erect a mile high gold statue of the man.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:34 PM on December 17, 2006


Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by pitying us English
posted by athenian at 11:51 PM on December 17, 2006


If only Australians were as gracious in victory as they were in defeat.

Check out the first thread linked to in the FPP, if you want to see some "gracious" Australian reactions to losing the Ashes. There are still people here for whom this Ashes win won't really matter as much as the fact that "we were robbed" or "the poms cheated" or some other shit they dream up to make themselves feel better about losing the last series.
posted by bunglin jones at 11:57 PM on December 17, 2006


If only Australians were as gracious in victory as they were in defeat.

I'd like to graciously accept this victory on behalf of Australia... [sniff]... There's just so many people I'd like to thank...
posted by dubious at 12:33 AM on December 18, 2006


As an Australian fan I was both thrilled and bemused by England's selection policy.

I know I'm not the only one to ask, but how does Giles, who was a marginal test player at best, return to the side from injury without proving his form, at the expense of Panesar? Why bother playing five bowlers if your fifth bowler is rubbish? (Collingwood and Pietersen can always give you a few overs if your main four need a rest) Why take the captaincy off Strauss and further burden an injured Flintoff? Most wouldn't have Jones as keeper either, but I haven't seen enough of Reid to make a call.

Every time I saw the England team named before a test I was relieved that it wasn't six batsmen, Reid Flintoff, Hoggard, Panesar and Harmison. And bat Pietersen at four while you're at it.
posted by markr at 12:38 AM on December 18, 2006


Why do we need to be gracious when we're so freakin' awesome? (Yes, I said "we", because as a deluded cricket fan I somehow think I helped take Australia to victory in The Ashes)
posted by liquorice at 12:51 AM on December 18, 2006


athenian: "Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by pitying us English"

Alright. Here is a HUGE tip for English fans. You need to get over your fixation with "stars" like Warne and now Petersen. The secret of Australia's success can be found in the lyrics to the TISM song, "The Parable of Glenn McGrath's Haircut" :

"Its the c@nts with the bad haircuts that you've got to watch out for.
There's never been a popular teenager yet who's done rat's with their life.
Its the f@cking dorks that give it a real go."


C@nts like Langer, Hussey and Stuart Clark.

It's the haircuts.
posted by DirtyCreature at 12:54 AM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


For those unfamiliar with the game of cricket, all you need to know is that the umpire hops on one leg if the score is 111.

No wonder I still haven't been able to figure this damn game out (not that I'm trying overly hard, of course...)
posted by antifuse at 1:14 AM on December 18, 2006


where to start? Why no Panesar? Why pick Jones, when Read had done little wrong in the summer? Why no proper warm up games?

However, even if we had prepared better and picked our best side, I don't think it would have made much difference.

Well done to the Aussies, they were totally ruthless. However, I think the next series will be interesting. The probable absence of Warne (I know he claims he may play), and definitely McGrath, two of the best ten bowlers ever to play the game, should even things up. Though, I guess someone will tell me there's a couple of young Thommos in the academy.
posted by johnny novak at 1:17 AM on December 18, 2006


markr,

I agree with almost all of that. Particularly the point about five bowlers. There is no point playing five bowlers if the fifth is no any good.

Mind you, I still can't understand why Symmonds gets a game over either Jacques or Voges.
posted by johnny novak at 1:21 AM on December 18, 2006


markr - The selection policy was indeed a mystery. Fletcher appears to have his favourites, and will stick with them almost regardless. The absence of Simon Jones was another big blow.

All that said, England were comprehensively outplayed in all but a couple of sessions. Australia have dominated world cricket for a long time now and the recent Ashes upset looks like being a mere blip.
posted by MrMustard at 1:25 AM on December 18, 2006


by the way, look at Hussey's test average (this includes the Perth game). I know he's only played fourteen tests, but he's on course to be the first player to get remotely close to the Don. And if he continues to play like he did in this series I don't doubt he will.
posted by johnny novak at 1:27 AM on December 18, 2006


Mind you, I still can't understand why Symmonds gets a game over either Jacques or Voges.

I don't think anyone can understand that. Certainly he is a favourite of Ponting's, which can't hurt. It appears that Jacques is seen as an opener, although he hasn't made any runs since those centuries against England in the tour games, so that doesn't help his cause.

Presumably they really, really want to find an allrounder in preparation for the loss of McGrath and Warne (having those two means you don't need extra bowlers). I don't see Symonds having a tight enough technique to make consistent runs at test level. I hope I'm wrong though.
posted by markr at 2:10 AM on December 18, 2006


DirtyCreature - I can barely believe you linked back to a thread in which you made a complete arse of yourself time and time and time again. Very bold.
posted by MrMustard at 2:24 AM on December 18, 2006


MrMustard: "DirtyCreature - I can barely believe you linked back to a thread in which you made a complete arse of yourself time and time and time again. Very bold."

Cheer up old bean. There's always 2009.

*Quiet chuckle*
posted by DirtyCreature at 2:35 AM on December 18, 2006


Marcus Trescothick doesn't really suffer from stress - those mental episodes he gets are precognitive visions, and he had the sense to steer well clear.
I took a bit of heart from the performances of the younger English batsmen. Some fantastic stuff from Australia of course, and well done.
posted by Abiezer at 2:37 AM on December 18, 2006


I think it's now officially time for the English to invent another sport they can suck at. Cricket, football and rugby are simply not enough.

As far as Warne's retirement goes, they say you're only as young as the person you feel, so he's probably somewhere in his early twenties on previous form
posted by bangalla at 3:09 AM on December 18, 2006


Newsfilter

Or Sportsfilter maybe?

Simon Barnes sums it up nicely for me in the Times today:

It has become one of those unmentionable things. When England lose a match in any of the leading sports, every possible reason for failure is debated except the most important one of all, that the opposition played better. So hear a shocking truth — there is no rule in sport that says the opposition are not allowed to do so.

And that has been the truth of the matter. England have made mistakes, and we shall come to them in due course as the series continues to unravel, but the fact is that Australia won because they are better at cricket. They played better when it counted.

Defeat is not entirely a moral failing of the England cricketers and their coach. England have been up against three of the best ever to play the game: Ponting is in the form of his life and McGrath and Warne, in their declining years, are better than most other bowlers at their peak.

Grit your teeth and admit it, it has been a privilege to watch them. If you didn’t feel enriched by seeing this trio in action over the past three matches — three men on a mission to set things right after their defeat in England in 2005 — then you don’t really have sport in your soul. Only partisanship, and that is a poor thing on its own.


Fifteen months after Geoffrey Boycott joyfully squealed "Bad luck! Bad luck, you Aussies!", there is nothing to be said other than "Well done. Well done, you Aussies."

Now would the brighter sentence-formers among you please decamp to Sportsfilter at once and contibute to resting that site's slide into an American-sports-only argument forum?
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 4:51 AM on December 18, 2006


Whilst I can't deny England have been utterly thrashed in this series, I think the accusation the OP levelled at Michael Vaughan is wholly unjustified.

He had his operation in July, and it was so serious he still isn't back to full fitness and able to play. What is he supposed to do, hobble around for 6 months hoping he won't do any further damage to his knee, which would almost certainly be career ending?
posted by bap98189 at 5:26 AM on December 18, 2006


Hehehe: Dirty Creature. That thread Mr Mustard linked from last summer still makes me smile - best example of sore losership I think I have ever seen. I thought he was going to bring up the Hundred Years War at one point. I'm not much of a one for gloating personally, but I made an exception in the face of that tantrum. Indeed, you only sing when you're winning.

Well done Aussies, we were totally tonked, and didn't look like winning a match, let alone the series at any point. Got on top in the odd session here and there, but to be honest the biggest downer for me was the utterly weak capitulation second innings at Adelaide.

Some awesome performances, not least Hussey and (Stuart) Clarke who are class, but old. For me though the most exciting player from the series will be Michael Clarke - finally started scoring the runs that he always looked like doing. Best player to watch since Lara IMO.

Be interesting to see if Australia persist in their dead rubber syndrome, and lose one or two of the next matches. There is still a SMALL amount of competition for Aussie places, so I guess they might just manage to stay competitive. It would be a travesty given that the diabolical England sides of the 90s were still only being beaten 3-1 or 3-2 by the best Australian side in my memory, under Mark Taylor, for this one to be whitewashed.

I think there are more positives for England from this series than Australia. Flat track bullies like Hayden and Gilchrist look far more likely to keep their places for a while longer - they're already past their best. Ditto Warne (averaging 40 this series, and getting closer and closer to a disrepute charge with his appealing in every match) and McGrath. Find it unlikely that Jacques is going to come into the side and turn out to be another Hussey, and Haddin or Ronchi another Gilchrist. For England, hopefully we should see the back once and for all to the tedious wicketkeeping debate - probably involving the shitcanning of both Read and Jones, in favour of Davies (or maybe Foster for a little while). We know that Flintoff shouldn't be captain, and Fletcher has contributed everything he ever will. Even better, Bob Woolmer will be out of contract next spring - nabbing him would be perfect.
posted by bifter at 5:27 AM on December 18, 2006


Can't believe that you have to pass a little test to register for SportsFilter. Fortunately, the international version was pretty straightforward.
posted by MrMustard at 5:36 AM on December 18, 2006


Mind you, I still can't understand why Symmonds gets a game over either Jacques or Voges.

Ponting probably lost a bet to Symonds while they were both drunk. Still, with Symonds in the Aussie squad at least there is still one pom celebrating winning the Ashes today.
/dirty creature
posted by bifter at 5:42 AM on December 18, 2006


It all went down the crapper on the last day of the 2nd Test. I'm still trying to figure out what the hell happened.
posted by afx237vi at 6:18 AM on December 18, 2006


So this was some sort of soccer championship?
posted by octothorpe at 8:15 AM on December 18, 2006


The Barmy Army and co needn't have wasted their money flying all the way out to Australia. They had been there all along.
posted by DirtyCreature at 8:40 AM on December 18, 2006


Apparently this thread has something to do with "English baseball."

*ducks*
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:35 AM on December 18, 2006


They lost because they couldn't bring the lovely English weather with them. So they were in effect, down a man from their summer victory.
posted by srboisvert at 11:11 AM on December 18, 2006


That would be the same 'lovely English weather' that saved Australia in the Third Test in 2005, would it?
posted by MrMustard at 11:34 AM on December 18, 2006


They've garble warble fashes!!

And suddenly there's a Chesterfield sofa on the pitch.

But that's Somebody Else's Problem, so I'm going to the bistro for some Italian.

look out for white robots
posted by zoogleplex at 11:36 AM on December 18, 2006


Now would the brighter sentence-formers among you please decamp to Sportsfilter at once and contibute to resting that site's slide into an American-sports-only argument forum?

If there is one thing I've learned in my time on the intertubes, it is that sport cannot be discussed in the company of Americans. It's just too much effort wading through the American sports.

That would be the same 'lovely English weather' that saved Australia in the Third Test in 2005, would it?

The way gloating works, is that you get to do it until the next ashes. You've had 18 months of "It would have been 3-1 without the rain" now you have to give it up.

Back on topic:

I'm actually hoping perhaps McGrath and one of the openers retire right now. Giving us two dead tests to blood say Rogers/North/Jacques and Mitchell Johnson.
posted by markr at 12:36 PM on December 18, 2006


The way gloating works, is that you get to do it until the next ashes. You've had 18 months of "It would have been 3-1 without the rain" now you have to give it up.

Yeah, but we only had 18 months - you get two and a half years. How is that fair?!
posted by afx237vi at 1:22 PM on December 18, 2006


The way gloating works, is that you get to do it until the next ashes. You've had 18 months of "It would have been 3-1 without the rain" now you have to give it up.

And there was me thinking we just had 18 months of Australians blaming it on the umpires / weather / injuries / preparation / ICC / ball / bowlers' choice of sweeties (delete as applicable).

Seriously, well done Aussies - a thoroughly deserved victory (there - it's not so hard, is it? :-) )
posted by bifter at 1:47 PM on December 18, 2006


Quite seriously, I believe England have played better during this series than the previous Ashes and 3-0 doesn't do them justice. One or two held chances and a few better decisions could have made the outcome very different.

I still believe England "cheated" their way to the Ashes after the first test last year. A lot of anecdotal evidence adds to the view that their strike bowlers used sweets to make the ball reverse after only 15 overs. The Manchester crowds were also definitely abusive, racist and generally disgusting. Yet there was all this talk about the fear of racist tirades against Panasar in Australia. On the contrary, there was a genuine affection towards Monty's enthusiasm in the Perth crowd and a strong desire to see him perform well even when after he was tonked all over the ground. Our only part aboriginal bowler, Jason Gillespie was however constantly racially abused as a "gypsy" and racially disgusting things were said about his mother.

It's time to have a look at yourselves England. Either I am both a sore loser AND a sore winner, or something innate in your country's collective psyche/moral consitution is keeping you from your full potential.
posted by DirtyCreature at 2:28 PM on December 18, 2006


One team wanted it more than the other is my view.

As others have pointed out, some good emerging talent in the English team should see them right for the future.
posted by Wolof at 3:36 PM on December 18, 2006


The big question is, who is the second best test team at the moment? England and Wales? India?
posted by wilful at 5:03 PM on December 18, 2006


India at home.
posted by Wolof at 6:17 PM on December 18, 2006


^
The ICC says England, followed by Pakistan and then India. The latter, of course, are completely woeful away from home, hence their lower ranking.




(Yes, that was tongue in cheek, I did see the result from S Africa. But historically, India have been poor outside the subcontinent).
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:08 PM on December 18, 2006


markr - Erm, pointing out that the rain helped Australia in the 3rd Test in England is hardly 'gloating'. And you'll notice I stayed completely out of the thread confirming England's victory. Too busy celebrating!

DirtyCreature - Once again, you're comments are laughable. 'Anecdotal evidence' of cheating? That's handy. 'Abusive crowds' in Manchester? Have you ever been to an Ashes Match in Australia? And if Gillespe was called a 'gypsy' it was certainly far more to do with his ridiculous 'haircut' than his aboriginal heritage. The 2005 series was probably the greatest Test series of all time with wonderful cricket, incredible tension and, throughout it all, and amazing sense of sportsmanship between the two sides (the Flintoff and Brett Lee moment at the end of the Edgbaston Test summed it up for me). It says so much about you that you can't see that.
posted by MrMustard at 11:07 PM on December 18, 2006


MrMustard: "DirtyCreature (the Flintoff and Brett Lee moment at the end of the Edgbaston Test summed it up for me). It says so much about you that you can't see that."

Oh is that like the moment where Ponting was hit in the face and floored by a bouncer and nobody from the England team came up to see if he was ok? (Oh and the list goes on but I'm not bothering this time around).

I guess calling your mother a white trash c*nt because she's white is perfectly acceptable too?

It's over dude. You lost. Your team came crashing down in a foul, stinking heap. Your "heros" were exposed for what they really are. You shouldn't have got sucked into the media hype, tickertape parades and the MBEs and you wouldn't be so sore right now. See you and your South African/Asian imports in 2009. Bring your trumpet.
posted by DirtyCreature at 1:12 AM on December 19, 2006


I still believe England "cheated" their way to the Ashes after the first test last year. A lot of anecdotal evidence adds to the view that their strike bowlers used sweets to make the ball reverse after only 15 overs.

So what sweeties were Bangladesh sucking when they beat you earlier that same summer? Did Australian customs confiscate the England team's supply of Murray Mints on the way into the country this year, and that's why it couldn't be replicated? How does the supposed importance of sugary saliva gibe with well-known gum-chewing ball-polishers like... er... Matthew Hayden?

The Manchester crowds were also definitely abusive, racist and generally disgusting.

I agree with this in general, if not the specific examples you give (and it's utterly pathetic for privileged, developed world white males to whine "racist"). I think one look at Jason Gillespie, and the origin of the "where's your caravan" chant is pretty obvious. Thankfully there are far fewer of the off-season football fans that jumped on the bandwagon last summer still hanging round making tits of themselves. Also bears pointing out that if obnoxious crowds = evidence of cheating, then no Australian home test since the mid-60s has been won fairly.

racially disgusting things were said about his mother.

What next? Racist players?

Either I am both a sore loser AND a sore winner

I think careful reading of the Metafilter threads from the last two Ashes series should give an easy answer to that question.

something innate in your country's collective psyche/moral consitution is keeping you from your full potential.

Can't argue with the psyche point, and you'll struggle to find many over here that don't agree. WTF does "moral constitution" have to do with sport, if it even exists outside of undergraduate post-rationalisation?
posted by bifter at 1:28 AM on December 19, 2006


You don't get it do you DC? We actually don't mind losing. Deep down I think we like it a bit (a lot?) It's part of that "national psyche" thing you so helpfully lectured us on.

Won't find any English cricket fan deluding themselves that they lost cause of the meanie Australian players were sucking turbocharged sweeties, or the nasty crowds said rotten things about Monty's mum. We're crap at sport. We know it. Every now and then, against all odds we beat a country that's better than us: either one that seems to have more natural talent (Pakistan), better mental strength (South Africa), massive population advantage (India) or just one that spends more cash per-capita on sport than any other (Australia). ;-) Then we can feel a bit pleased for a while, but we know it isn't right and it won't last long.

Personally I hope we continue to play the game hard, as it makes the metagame of sports discussion so much more fun. Besides which, who could argue that rearranging Punter's features would not have a net-positive effect? I personally think that Freddie was telling Brett Lee "up yours you floppy haired streak of piss - I'm buying the umpire a pint tonight", but knowing what whinging arses Aussie cricket fans are, Brett Lee knew better than to give them fuel for their continued undignified self-immolation.

See you in 2009 - bring your zimmer frames and your pet pom (if he lasts longer than the rest of this series). :-)
posted by bifter at 1:39 AM on December 19, 2006


bifter - You forgot the whining about getting run out by a substitute fielder. Classic stuff.
posted by MrMustard at 2:47 AM on December 19, 2006


whinging Aussies!
posted by johnny novak at 5:24 AM on December 19, 2006


and you won. I don't get it.
posted by johnny novak at 5:25 AM on December 19, 2006


Yay we won! I felt this was the ideal opportunity to tell everyone how my friends and I ran into the Australian cricket team at a bar in Brisbane during the Ashes 2 years ago. Conveniently, I was so drunk I didn't know about it till we discussed it a few days later. And then I was pissed!
posted by jacalata at 6:43 AM on December 19, 2006


I wish you wouldn't bring football into it bifter. These were spectators who'd paid (big) money to go and watch a cricket match. I think that makes them cricket fans, whether they also go to football or not.
posted by squealy at 8:54 AM on December 19, 2006


Shane Warne to retire. Ball of the Century - Warne's first ball against England. Is there anything that points out YouTube's shortcomings more than this? During the TV news broadcasts tonight I was treated to many replays of this breathtaking bowl. Watching it on YouTube I wouldn't have any idea of what's occurred.
posted by tellurian at 4:57 AM on December 20, 2006


4-0 within 3 days.

The quote I love most is from the diehard English fan on a messageboard who had previously ridiculed Andrew Symonds, and now says : "I don't care whether Symonds scores a triple century and retires with a test average over 60. He will never be a test match-standard player as far as I'm concerned."

Yes indeed lads, you better keep that upper lip stiff as possible - because the lower one seems to be dragging on the floor right now.
posted by DirtyCreature at 11:17 PM on December 27, 2006


5-0... that is all...
posted by dubious at 10:06 PM on January 9, 2007


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