Monday, August 24, 2009

Random Ashes musings

- "You can't keep Freddie out of the game" - Andrew Strauss. As the curtain draws closed on Freddie Flintoff's test career, I think the one thing you could definitely say is that all too often Fred was kept out of the game. We've all seen him perform heroics. The guy was more than capable with the bat and ball. But his statistics suggest a player who didn't turn up nearly often enough.

This series, as with so much of his career, he was seen as a talisman. With KP out, he was the teams star player. I know he was carrying an injury but a return of 8 wickets at an average of 52 and 200 runs at an average of 33 are not the numbers of greatness. His career bowling average of 33 and his batting average of 32 also tell the tale of a good all rounder, not a great one.

On the bright side, replacing Fred shouldn't be too hard. Broad is already almost as good and, at 24 years old, can only get better.

- Australia had 6 of the top 7 run scorers. They also had the top 3 wicket takers. Their problem was not good individual performances, it was in not delivering as a team when it mattered most. Australia is most known for its mental strength on the cricket field, so this will be most troubling of all.

- Australia will look forward to Windies and Pakistan touring Oz later this year. It's hard to see them not winning both series. With South Africa hosting England and then touring India, and Sri Lanka and India squaring off against each other...its not that big a stretch to imagine Australia back on top of the heap sooner rather than later.

- Didn't I tell you Shane Watson was a cricketing God?


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