Archive for July, 2013

Anderson wants Ashes whitewash

James Anderson says England are now targeting a 5-0 series victory against Australia ahead of next week’s third Test at Old Trafford.

England have never completed a whitewash against their Ashes rivals but the cricket betting suggests their prospects look good this time around, as after only scraping home in the first game at Trent Bridge, Alistair Cook’s men cruised to a 347-run win in the second encounter at Lord’s.

It means a draw in Manchester will see the hosts retain the Ashes for the third series in a row following the successes of 2009 and 2010/11. Anderson wants more though and admits it would be disappointing if they didn’t win the series outright.

The paceman was part of the team that lost 5-0 to the Aussies in 2006/07 and hasn’t forgotten the way some of the Baggy Greens celebrated following their triumph.
In contrast to those days, the current crop of Australians are widely regarded as one of the weakest teams of the last few decades and some punters who bet on the Ashes have questioned the credibility of England’s opening two victories.

However, Anderson says he feels no sympathy for his side’s opponents and is now looking to turn the screw and complete a famous whitewash in the remaining three Tests.

“I don’t really feel any sympathy, to be honest,” the 30-year-old said. “Our job is to win games of cricket. We want to win the series 5-0 and we will be doing everything we can in each game to
win.

“Memories like losing 5-0 have helped us since then. It’s not a great place for a team to be, being on the end of one of those defeats, so everything we focus on is trying to win every game and hopefully if we keep doing that we will be in a good position at the end of the series.”

July 29, 2013 at 9:50 am 3 comments

Awful Aussies display true colours

So England have a clear 2-0 advantage in the Ashes after the easy second Test win over Australia at Lord’s but the clash will be remembered more for the total ineptitude of the tourists rather than an outstanding performance from Alastair Cook’s men.

The Aussies’ display in the closely-fought first Test at Trent Bridge gave heart to the travelling fans that, actually, they could compete with England after all. Even punters who bet on the Ashes had begun to move away from bold predictions of 5-0 thrashings. However, those hopes came crashing back down to earth in London, being well beaten over four days, with all sorts of questions hanging over the side – again both on and off the pitch.

Their battling effort in the first Test has all but been forgotten now because Australia were simply dreadful at Lord’s. There were errors everywhere you looked. Some of captain Michael Clarke’s decisions were baffling, time and again they gave away cheap wickets while, with the ball, their attack lacked spark and control to really trouble England – who were able to play well within themselves to secure another win.

The off-field issues that have dogged the tourists for the past six months or so are all too evident again amid claim and counter-claim of a split in the camp and a major fall-out between Shane Watson and Clarke.

They looked a ragged, disjointed outfit lacking in belief and togetherness at Lord’s.

Clarke again wasted reviews only to again find his side on the receiving end of some highly debatable umpire decisions, both when reviewing and when they had used them all up, while luck was again not on the Baggy Greens side.

But, leaving the merits or otherwise of DRS aside for another time to focus on Australia’s very evident problems, it is fair to say this is a team that is now staring at a series whitewash unless they can somehow regroup and bounce back quickly for the third test at Old Trafford, which starts on August 1.

So far, not very many Australian players can hold their heads high over how they have acquitted themselves in England, with only youngster Ashton Agar and bowlers James Pattinson and Ryan Harris playing anywhere near the level needed to win an Ashes series.

Clarke’s leadership, too, is being rightly questioned and the ongoing accusations over fall-outs in the camp – even if they are publicly denied – means it appears there is something rotten in the squad. And that is clearly not helping them out on the pitch.

Unless an unexpected recovery is forthcoming in the next few weeks, the Australia cricket betting suggests England will keep the Ashes without hardly a challenge – a sign of just how far the Aussies’ stock has fallen in the past 18 months.

July 25, 2013 at 10:08 am 2 comments


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