Jul
27
2013

Australia can build in these Ashes

Not even the most ardent Australia fan can see any hope of the Baggy Green reclaiming the Ashes this winter after a disappointing second Test gave England a near-unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Coaching dismissals, infighting, a disregard of DRS tactics and poor on-field performances have all contributed to Australia’s current plight in England. Ahead of the third Test at Old Trafford many cricket betting punters are predicting a 5-0 series whitewash reminiscent of 2007.

Indeed, it doesn’t look good but thankfully Michael Clarke has some blocks from which to rebuild this wrecked order. The first is our bowling attack. Although unable to capture Joe Root in the second innings at Lord’s, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle are improving. The team showed they can put pressure on England – the hosts were 30-3 on day two of the second Test after all – but maintaining that pressure requires steel and experience.

Siddle certainly has but Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Ryan Harris are still rusty. Their knowledge of bowling to England in Test situations will develop as this series progresses and fans who bet on cricket should view the reverse series Down Under as far more competitive because of it.

Never mind these Ashes; the next one is where the money’s at.

Ashton Agar, meanwhile, continues to impress. While he proved a power hitter in the first Test his spin on the Lord’s turf almost earned him wickets and he came away with a respectable average for a 19-year-old debutant.

The green shoots of progress are there if you look closely and the 98-run partnership of Usman Khawaja and captain Michael Clarke shows this middle order has spine. Given a few corrections and time – for let’s face it, we should now see this as a development series before the real Ashes later in the year – Australia will start picking up runs and wickets against an England side that have relied on big performances from a handful of players.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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