The first test of The Ashes series went underway at `Gabba, Brisbane. The first test of Aussie summers is always played here. The `Gabba pitch is traditionally a very complete pitch. It is complete in the sense that it offers something for everybody. It offers pace and bounces for the seamers, spin for the spinner, true bounce for the batsmen to play some rich strokes. It is obviously remember it for a gritty and rare Ganguly century and his exaggerated show of accomplishment which went onto to become his signature.
Visiting teams and injured members.
I still have no clue of this, but I think of a tour by a team and I think injuries, for example, Yuvraj missing tour to SA and Marcus Trescothick finds playing away from England a precarious situation. I think he should not play cricket outside Lord’s, Head Quarters of ECB. I don’t know what it is but that nothing short of insane. One has to obviously remember that Vaughan and Simone Jones are already there on the list. Micheal Vaughan only churned out century when he toured last. He is obviously been missing.
The Teams; English and the Aussies.
I think the batting order for England is quiet decent in the prevailing circumstances. Collingwood could have been at three, Pietersen at five and Flintoff at six add to the options. It is the matter of being consistent.
The Aussies have packed themselves with 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers. I think if any team can withstand the barrage of these supreme quality bowlers then there is a chance for anyone to extend the test match to 4 innings and 5 days. But as everyone knows that’s something rare. McGrath, Warne, Lee, Gillespie, they were there too last time, but this time Aussies are playing in their own backyard and English have not won a series since 87 (or 89?) .
The First test, dubious record, Aussies in control.
Ricky Ponting made a bold statement and further ads to the good work of Langer and Hayden. He made a brilliant century. He looks like climbing on to top Tendulkar; one can say that at least on current form. If one tends to fine one of the Aussie has superlative years scoring well beyond the benchmark 1000 runs and then seem to loose steam, sufferers could be a list of present Aussie team with bright exception of Ponting. Hayden, Glichrist, Martyn, Clarke, and Langer. It is weird. In the last Ashes which were played in England we had to wait till the fourth Test to see an Aussie hundred, this time round thankfully it is on first.
It is a bit very early to say but the English have always lost the first test at least in the last four concluded Ashes test. I think English will have a very bright chance on retaining the Ashes is they take this test into 4 inning and fifth day. I think this test would be no exception. I would be last one to be surprised in Aussie don’t pull of this test. But cricket is a weird game.
But cricket is a weird game.
India is such a brilliant team* in both forms of the game. The team carried its rich form of bizarre display of batting, ordinary bowling and one shot the batsmen played was to inside edge the ball onto the stumps, clear sign of lack of footwork and excessive bounce, Tendulkar was lucky to survive a leg before appeal. He did not manage for much long. I think India should have batted the second time as well. I am sure even in the second time they would not have come close to a moderate total of 248. Indian bowlers failed to impress with Munaf only managing some respectability in terms of bowling figures. If Indian batsmen find hard times on seamer friendly pitches then Indian bowlers struggle too to get the opposition out. Kumble has to come in at someone’s expense. Dinesh Mongia came in too late. I don’t know if he will score. Kaif was caught of a rising Pollock delivery, not many would have lined up after Kaif to play that one. Tendulkar was bowled so was Dravid. Raina has a lot to prove. I think the way Raina is playing should make Ganguly happy as it increases his chance of making it back to the Indian team.
I hope this performance is not a sign of things to come as the conditions as things only get bizarre, weird and tough.
* Only home conditions apply.