June 2, 2005

Phoenix from the Ashes

June 02, 2005 Posted by Vijay 2 comments
Aussies beware. Because coming up against them would be a new resurgent English side in the Battle for the Ashes in 2005 in England. The recent performances of England have seemingly gone unnoticed and people are still giving no chance for England to win the Ashes this time around either .However the Aussies could be in a for a real surprise.

For starters England comprehensively beat the Windies 4-0 in their away series, then whitewashed the Kiwis in their home turf and gave a similar treatment to the Windies soon after. Critics may argue, that the Windies team is one of the weakest in the international scene. But what has to be taken note of is the clinical way and the huge margins of victories registered by England against both the Kiwis and Windies.

If there were any doubts whether England indeed were becoming a new force in international cricket, their 2-1 victory in SA is proof enough to discount such thoughts. It has been a new England side, who have been inspired by a bowling sensation called Steven Harmison last year and a new batting sensation called Andrew Strauss who was unstoppable in South Africa. A worrying factor for the Aussies could be that, despite the low key performance of Steve Harmision in the Test Matches in SA, England came out comprehensive winners in the 2 Test Matches. This is more to do with a new found self belief and confidence due to the emergence of Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones and the astute captaincy of Michael Vaughan. This belief has spilled over to the one day arena too for England , who were still underperforming in the one dayers , despite their brilliant performances in the Test Matches.

Each of the past 3 seasons have thrown up match winners for England, and new ones at that. Stephen Harmison in the West Indies, Andrew Strauss in England and SA, and now in the ODI’s its someone called Kevin Pietersen who is South African by birth. Pietersen has been a revelation, with his big hitting against the South African attack , and has already struck 2 centuries in very quick time against the Proteas. It seems England is having a bench strength which it can boast of being one of the best in the world right now.

If there is one area of concern for the English, it has to be their bowling department. Barring Steve Harmison who has been out of sorts in SA lately, there doesn’t seem to be another world class bowler like a Gillespie or a Kasprowicz that the Aussies have. Another vacuum is the lack of a quality spinner, in the England ranks, though Giles is a hard trier. This is where the Aussies have the upperhand. Apart from a world class batting line up which has Gilchrist coming at no.7 , they have the services of a certain Mr. Shane Warne who holds the world record for most number of Test scalps. If there is one person who can make the difference in this year’s Ashes it has to be Shane Warne, who has always fared superbly against the English. But, with Andrew Flintoff, determined to recover from his ankle injury, in time for the Ashes , things certainly are looking up for England. This time around the Ashes could really go to the wire and one wouldn’t be surprised if the English can clinch the Ashes after 18 long years, and maybe change the monopoly in world cricket which is Australia.


Aslan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aslan said...

I hate cricket..