The Australian papers were saying on Saturday after day-1 of the Adelaide Test that England has a new tactic in the battle for the Ashes – boredom!
The first two days where the most boring two days of Test cricket I have ever watched in 16 years at Adelaide Oval. Why can’t the English bat with some style? A reasonable score per day at Adelaide is 300 runs and I’ve seen 400 from 90 overs once and regularly seen teams score over 350 but England’s measly 58 runs in the first session was appalling. By the end of the day the crowd were applauding singles and people were predicting a draw already!
But I admit that it was not all England’s fault. Australia weren’t attacking. To start with Glen McGrath is clearly not 100% fit and the Aussies would have done better to take Shaun Tait instead on his home wicket. Ponting’s field placings were all wrong from the first ball. Lee bowling with only two slips for ball one and two men on the boundary? And the Warne bowling around the wicket to Pieterson all day who continued to simply pad the ball away. The crowd went wild whenever he got bat to ball!
Ponting has to go as captain. He buckles at the slightest pressure. Take today for instance. Australia was doing well chasing 551 on England’s first innings and was scoring at a much faster rate than England. It was day 4 and what Steve Waugh and Darren Lehman (in domestic cricket) would have done was declare 100 runs behind and force the opposition to set a target and have a chance at a result. I’m actually worried that England may just bat all day and set Australia 200 from 10 overs! That’s just not cricket. Ponting’s batting average has skyrocketed to just below 60 from about 52 when he took over the captaincy but I think Michael Hussey may be a better man for the job. But Australia doesn’t have a habit of sacking or dropping Australian Test Captains – it’s a job for life!
A few snaps of life at Adelaide Oval. You can find a personal account of my weekend at The Indolent Server.