A Year of Thinking Positively.

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A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:26 pm

Or, more accurately, countdown to the Ashes of 2005.

It is forbidden to dream. If you do, someone will come along an make you look a fool. Glenn McGrath will tell you that only the weather can can stop Australia from winning 5-0. Jeff Thomson will tell you that the destiny of the Ashes is written in the stars for all time. In 1997, England thought they had a chance, but were made to look ridiculous for hoping. It gets so, the role of England in the contest, is not to hope. Not even to challenge. To fulfil their role as hapless stooges. The Washington Diplomats, to Buchanan's Globetrotters. I bet he even says that.

But really, England haven't won the Ashes for eighteen years. There are people crashing cars who weren't alive when England last won. It has to happen sometime. The nature of the contest is that over 25 days the best side wins. Flukes are unlikely. But, surely it can happen one day.

And this England team is one that ends long sterile runs of failure. Home and away to West Indies. In Pakistan. In Sri Lanka. Hell, we're even 1-0 up in South Africa, and we should have won in Durban after following on. Eight wins in a row, and it should be nine...

If we won just one more Ashes, that would be enough for me. And if it happened now, I wouldn't complain. Can it happen this time? Will we be looking back on this for years to come and gladly reminiscing on turning over the Australia of Warne, Ponting, McGrath and Gilchrist?
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:06 pm

In South Africa at the moment we have:

Trescothick
Strauss
Key
Vaughan
Butcher
Thorpe
Flintoff
Collingwood
Read
G.Jones
Hoggard
S.Jones
Anderson
Harmison
Batty
Giles

There's Ian Bell to consider.

These are players to go on the disastrous A team excursion to the Duleep Trophy last winter.

Alex Gidman
James Tredwell
Kadeer Ali
Simon Francis
Michael Lumb
Sajid Mahmood
Graham Napier
Matt Prior
Graeme Wagg
Bilal Shafayat
Kevin Peterson
Ed Smith
Steve Kirby
Scott Newman
Shaftab Khalid

Any bolters there? Peterson did well. Prior made a score, but we're strong with keepers, with Read and Jones (but which!). It's hard to see anyone breaking into a winning side.

These players are going to Sri Lanka in March, and will be able to make a case there.

Ian Bell
Rikki Clarke
Richard Dawson
Alastair Cook
Paul Franks
Alex Gidman
Jon Lewis
David Harrison
Owais Shah
Vikram Solanki
Graeme Swann
Sajid Mahmood
Matt Prior
Michael Powell

Outsiders, who have played in the last two years not on A duty.

Anthony McGrath
John Crawley
James Foster
Richard Johnson
James Kirtley
Martin Saggers
Chris Silverwood
Kabir Ali

Farewell, Bicknell, Craig White, Nas, Alec, Ramps, Goughie, Cads. Maybe some nutter in the press will be asking for one of these after we lose at Lord's.

I think we're looking for those in South Africa not to get injured. Or not get injured until the end of the series. Good luck to the lads in Cape Town. It's a year since we lost(in Colombo). What can go wrong?
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:01 pm

And how about the Aussies? This is the sort of team the Australians could put out next summer, with averages since 2001.

Matthew Hayden 61.4
Justin Langer 50.2
Ricky Ponting 62.5
Michael Clarke 48.5
Damien Martyn 52.1
Simon Katich 41.1
Adam Gilchrist 52.8/
Brett Lee 38.4
Shane Warne 25.0
Jason Gillespie 27.1
Glenn McGrath 20.5

At least Steve Waugh won't be measuring out his 1000 yard stare this time round. But if Michael Hussey comes, we could be bollocksed. Some are saying Stuart Clark could be a goer for them. The scampering, metrosexual looking Michael Clarke could be a bit annoying. And the Aussie back room team will be currently designating where the line should be drawn that they refuse to cross.

Maybe the days when the second best team in the world was Australia seconds has gone, but would England even beat this team?

Rogers/Hussey/Jaques/Lehmann/Hodge/Symonds/Haddin/Clark/Kasprowicz/McGill/Tait.

Though if Tait plays, we could win on no balls.

Who is Sean Watson?
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:17 pm

Dispiriting to see South Africa score so many today at Newlands. Not much you can do about Kallis, but 76 for Boje is a worry. Last thing we want next summer is Lee and Warne sticking around after we've fired out the top order. Harmison is bowling like a wet blouse. He's complaining about being away from home. Maybe we can play the whole of the Ashes series at the rec in Ashington.

Nice 3-fer for the King of Spain. Wickets for Freddie. He looks pretty quick now.

No worries for the Aussies, 2-0 up on the Pakistanis before Sydney. Lehmann has been dropped. Sean Watson makes his debut. Big hundred for Ponting. McGrath on fire.

Maybe they'll fall apart in NZ in March. Warne get arrested for sending salacious text messages to sheep. Or Buchanan will make them swim there.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby shankycricket » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:44 pm

That Pietersen chap looks quite talented. Played an unbelievable innings in a Duleep Trophy match the other day. Is he an outside bet for the Ashes?
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby rich1uk » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:48 pm

shankycricket wrote:That Pietersen chap looks quite talented. Played an unbelievable innings in a Duleep Trophy match the other day. Is he an outside bet for the Ashes?


nah think we would be best staying away from him , looks like a bit of a troublemaker , whistles too much for my liking
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:59 pm

The only certainty about the middle order is that Thorpe and Freddie will be at five and six. Rob Key, Ian Bell and Butcher are ahead of Pietersen (your spelling is right). He's not even England qualified until after this Test series.

The whistling is a normal Afrikaans habit. It'd be a bit intolerant to pick him, knowing his background and personality, and then ask him to become something he's not.

Ramps?
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby rich1uk » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:05 pm

one thing for sure , we need to get off to a good start , if we lose the first test then cant see any way back in the series
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:18 pm

That's what Ponting said. Win the first Test and let the English press do the rest.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Gingerfinch » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:25 pm

rich1uk wrote:one thing for sure , we need to get off to a good start , if we lose the first test then cant see any way back in the series


Unless one of their players treads on a ball.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Aidan11 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:34 pm

We're doomed.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:09 pm

Dr Robert wrote:
rich1uk wrote:one thing for sure , we need to get off to a good start , if we lose the first test then cant see any way back in the series


Unless one of their players treads on a ball.


I'm not sure sod's law works for Aussies.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:56 pm

England lost at Newlands, with only a run a ball 42 from Steve Harmison to bring relief from the misery. Bowled out by Charl Langeveldt and Nicky Boje, who wouldn't get into the Australian... well, don't exaggerate, just because you've lost for the first time in over a year. Well done. At least Gojo and Gilo dug in for a while. Can we reverse the momentum at the Wanderers next week? Some are saying Anderson for Jones there. I'm not so sure.

And the Aussies completed the whitewash of Pakistan last night at the SCG.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:08 pm

Aussie First class averages are headed by Michael Bevan (97.6). Is he coming back? Also, not mentioned above but averaging over 50, Dominic Thornely, Jason Arnberger. No me neither. And Marcus North. And for bowlers, below 25, Nathan Bracken, Joe Dawes, Brett Dorey, Mick Lewis, Andy Bichel. I don't think we have to worry about that lot. At least Shane (not Sean, or Brad) Watson reminds me more of Marilyn Monroe than Keith Miller.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:14 pm

My life time England eleven is:

Gooch
Boycott
Vaughan
Gower
Thorpe
Greig
Stewart
Botham
Fraser
Willis
Underwood

That eleven wouldn't beat this Australian team. At least Thorpey is still around.

The burden of optimism isn't familiar to me.
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