The Ashes: First test compendium

Well the first test is over and here is a compendium of all of my posts relating to it:

The English team named:

The Australian team named:

Reflections on day 1:

Reflections on day 2:

Considering the drama from day 3 and the issue of Stuart Broad’s conduct:

Reflections on day 4:

The final day equation:

The five lessons from the result of the 1st Test:

The first test player report card:

It was just a brilliant game of test match cricket that ebbed and flowed throughout. With only 3 days to go till the second test at Lords I can hope that it is half as good as the game just gone.

The Ashes: 1st Test Player Report Card

After such a brilliant first test match and with the second test match only three days away, it is time to run the ruler over the performances of each player from both teams.


Shane Watson: 7 out of 10

Dismissed sparring at a leavable ball outside the off stump in the first innings and LBW in his usual style in the second after getting off to a good start. Was a miser with the ball but did not bowl enough to slot into the allrounders roll Australia needs.

Chris Rogers: 7 out of 10

Did the job he was asked to do and showed glimpses in both innings of why he has been tapped on the shoulder for this series.

Ed Cowan: 2 out of 10

Two bad shots and his career is in jeopardy. To be honest they were shots that were indicative of a clouded mind. Will play at Lords but will be on his last chance.

Michael Clarke: 5 out of 10

Got a jaffa from Anderson in the first innings and then wafted at one outside off stump in the second. Never looked set and Australia needs his production to succeed here. Appalling on reviews to DRS.

Steve Smith: 7 out of 10

A solid knock in the first innings was followed by a good ball from Swann in the second innings. Needed to make more his opportunity in the first innings and went hard at a ball that he should have left.

Phil Hughes: 7.5 out of 10

Kept it together in the first innings and had pundits calling him Steve Waugh reincarnate. Maybe number 6 is his position but he looked all at see against Graeme Swann in the second innings and was found out.

Brad Haddin: 7.5 out of 10

A fantastic knock in the second innings probably will do much to mask some frailties with his glove work that have been much made of until his last day stand. Is the old head Australia needs in the middle order but must assert himself more on the field in DRS scenarios.

Peter Siddle: 7 out of 10

8 wickets in the test match was a solid return to form for Siddle. Lionhearted in the second innings and, despite his limitations, continued to lead the attack wholeheartedly when others were starting to wilt.

Mitchell Starc: 6 out of 10

Wayward when we needed him to be on line but is a top order wicket taker and did so in the first innings albeit with a bit of luck. Will need to work on his control for the second test.

James Pattinson: 6.5 out of 10

Read the comments on Starc. Same rules apply to Pattinson. Last wicket heroics with Haddin get him the extra half a point.

Ashton Agar: 8 out of 10

The statement that this was the best Ashes debut ever is hyperbole: Bob Massie wins that battle by the length of the straight. Still though this was an excellent start for the young man.


Alistair Cook: 7 out of 10

Solid with the bat without being outstanding and marshalled his troops well when things were going pear shaped on day 5. Was excellent on his use of DRS.

Joe Root: 4 out of 10

Looked a little out his depth at the top of the order albeit scratched out 30 in the first innings. Looks a long term prospect for England if they don’t bugger him up.

Jonathan Trott: 5 out of 10

Looked like he was serenely going on his way to another hundred in the first innings until he played a shocking shot off Siddle (he was not the only one) and got a bad decision in the second innings for a golden duck. Will play a major part in this series at some point.

Kevin Pietersen: 7 out of 10

Is there a better player of the straight drive in the game of cricket? Love him or hate him Pietersen’s second innings 64 was an important precursor to the Bell / Broad partnership that changed the game.

Ian Bell: 9 out of 10

A career defining hundred in the second innings. It was a brilliant innings without which England would not have won the game.

Jonny Bairstow: 6.5 out of 10

Is another player of the future and will be better for this test match. His first innings 37 was vital batting with the tail to get England over 200.

Matt Prior: 5 out of 10

Out to two woeful shots but showed wonderful intent in the second innings when he went hard at the second new ball and got England on top. His glove work was exemplary and his work advising Cook on DRS decisions just as good!

Stuart Broad: 7.5 out of 10

Forget the sore shoulder and the controversy of not walking: this was a solid all round performance from a much maligned player. A quick fire 24 in the first innings when things were going haywire and a staunch 64 in concert with Bell in the second inning in the match winning partnership from number 8 where match winners. 2 key wickets in each innings show his value in this England team.

Graeme Swann: 7 out of 10

A dear in the headlights with the willow but tied up one end for the English while Jimmy Anderson worked his magic. Big wickets at the end of day 4 turned the match the way of the Poms.

Steve Finn: 3 out of 10

Over 5 runs an over in the first innings and then targeted by Brad Haddin the second. Was just too inconsistent with length and line and was the obvious weak link in the English attack. Will struggle to keep his position for the next test.

Jimmy Anderson: 10 out of 10

Just a brilliant performance from one of the best bowlers in the world. He was a class above any other bowler in this game. His 13 over spell to start day 5 was the match winner. A worthy man of the match.

The Ashes: Day 2 reflections

What an amazing first two sessions of cricket overnight at Trent Bridge. I held on to watch the Starc hatrick ball and then shuffled my way to the land of nod. The remainder of the post tea session seems to have seen the way many expect this game return to type with England grinding Australia down. Still it was a day for fans of cricke to savior. Here are my 5 talking points:

Agar the Magnificent

What an effort from A Agar! OK so he is clearly not a number 11 batsman but under pressure in one’s first test that was a mighty display from this young man. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though: he was picked to bowl for Australia and has a massive job to do now

Hughes: the effective crab

Phil Hughes produced the innings many of us have been waiting for: he was patient and assured when all around him was in the eye of a cyclone of indecision. When Agar came to the crease he assessed his ability and went with him. That said, Chanderpaul aside, is there a more bespoke method in the whole of cricket?

Finn: the great provider

I have followed many English cricket fans in my couple of years on twitter and blogging and the consensus regularly is that he will take wickets for you but he can be mightily expensive. Last night’s display was woeful and set the tone for Australia’s comeback. Absent a bag of wickets in the 4th inning that wretched 4 over spell may see him out for the next test.

DRS: again in the news

Whether the decisions (Agar’s stumping and Trott’s LBW) were right or wrong the system is flawed because it is still capable of 100% accuracy. You will never convince me that there is a better system than letter the umpires make the decisions on the field.

Australia’s other batting: what happened to leaving the ball?

Australia’s dismissals largely have a similarity about them that is concerning: we seem to have lost the ability to leave the ball outside off stump. This must be rectified because Jimmy Anderson is just going to destroy us with swing if we do not get this right!

All in all: another day replete with Ashes moments. What will day 3 bring?

The Ashes: my Australian XII

After much debate, at home, in the office, on this blog and on twitter I am finally prepared to nail my colours to the mast and name my Australia XII for the first test. I am naming twelve players here because I have no clue about how the Trent Bridge wicket is going to look when M Clarke goes out for the toss of the coin.

In batting order:












Faulkner (12th man)

I have written earlier about why I think Cowan should be selected ( ), why I think Nathan Lyon is a must for the team ( ) and why I think Peter Siddle must not be in the side (see my twitter feed). Smith has proved himself both in India and on tour to date and has earned his spot. Haddin replaces Wade: this should have occurred as soon he was available and Australia needs his experience in the team.

Faulkner is a player of the future and if there is a green top then I would like to have his ability with the willow in at number 8 and in that scenario Lyon will miss out.


I wait with bated breathe for the naming of the team. Only one sleep to go!