Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Battle for the Urn

English media, if not their public, are convinced that their side has a genuine chance of winning the Ashes back from the Aussies. This also seems to be the prevalent opinion among experts in and outside the game. Lately, nostalgic reminiscences have begun to flood the sports pages in leading English dailies, most of them dating back to about two decades ago when England last won the Ashes. Ah the good old days! Can England bring back the glory days? How much of a chance do they have against a marauding side that has swept all before them even while not being at their best? Make no mistake, the Aussies are as motivated as the England side – for, in the eyes of fans back home, losing the Ashes will almost certainly undo all the glittering achievements of the last few years. I agree with Ian Botham’s assessment that not selecting Kevin Pietersen in the test side was a blunder. The Ashes may prove to be the making of Ian Bell, and the selectors may have the last word in the matter, but it was a typically defensive step from the English establishment. Pietersen may or may not succeed if selected and he does have the odd weakness, but you cannot think about shielding talent when you are about to challenge the most ruthless side in cricket. And although the performances against Bangladesh count for nothing, England does look a solid side capable of at least causing some headaches for the Aussies. Smart money is, of course, on the Ashes staying Down Under. - NK


Blogger shakester said...

um, it might be a ytad unfair to term Pietersen's ommission as 'shielding talent'. The selectors' take (for right or for wrong), seems to be that however ready Pietersen may be for Test cricket, Bell is more so. And really, I don't see there being anything wrong with that. It really is a choicefor the more 'deserving' over the 'potentially more talented'.
His chance shall come- and sooner rather than later, I suspect.
(and if the Aussies' marauding ways continue, much sooner)

8:33 PM  
Blogger Gameboys said...


I think the England selection panels under David Graveney have done a great job over the last few years. However, I still think England are too conservative when it comes to blooding youngsters. Pietersen is a potential match-winner, and I'm not sure Bell is. Bell may prove to be a solid test batsman, in which case KP will have to wait.

- NK

2:13 PM  

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