The phrase With every respect… is one of those that often crops up in those social media lists of What English people say; and what they really mean! As in: With no respect whatsoever…
But it really is with every respect that we have to disagree with Charles Dagnall here:
As Martin Woodward quickly pointed out in reply, a draw would leave England needing to win the T20 series 2-1 – something which they only just managed against New Zealand last winter; and which seems a very tall order against the World Champion Australians.
The truth is that the Test is Do Or Die for England – if they win it they will have the momentum, and the prospect of nicking a result in one of the three T20s to retain The Ashes becomes realistic. And let’s be in no doubt, it would be “nicking”: T20 is the Australians strongest format, thanks mostly to the power of their batting, and a 3-0 victory for the Southern Stars is more-than plausible.
So winning the Test has to be England’s aim and (last years crumbling defeat to India notwithstanding) they have some reasons to be hopeful. Winning a Test isn’t about crashing your way to 250 at a Strike Rate of 100 – it’s about taking 20 wickets, and it is England that have the sturdier bowling attack.
Not only are they stronger, England’s bowlers have more red-ball experience than the Australians. All domestic cricket in England was red-ball until this season (Australia’s top-tier domestic competitions have long been all-white-ball) and England have the only bowler in either side who has played a significant amount of competitive red-ball cricket this season – Kate Cross, who has been playing men’s league cricket with some success.
But there is also one key thing standing in England’s way: the pitch! There have been 3 (men’s) county champs games played at the Spitfire Ground this season, two of which were high-scoring draws; plus a tour match where Australia Men made over 500 in their first innings. It goes without saying that if England are going to get a result, they need a bowler-friendly “result” pitch! (So please… someone forward this article to the groundsman at Canterbury!)
* Of course if England lose the Test, they could technically still retain The Ball** by winning all three T20s; but honestly… see above – Charlotte Edwards is more likely to walk on the moon!
** As everyone on this site knows, the Women’s Ashes trophy is not an Urn!
Yes think Lottie will be having a few sleepless nights this week. Of course weather could also play a part an overcast muggy swing friendly conditions would be a god send.
We can but hope.
Forecast is favourable. But have to hope the Aussie women play swing bowling as badly as their male counterparts, but I doubt it!
I can see where Daggers is coming from though…in the sense that we’re behind in the series and drawing would end the losing streak…and as a one-off result, a draw would be perfectly respectable. It’s also not bad in the sense that we lost to India a year ago.
But you’re right in the context of the series, we might as well go or the win, as a loss would not be much more use than a draw. We would still have to win the T20 series either way, just 3-0 arther than 2-1. Neither seem that likely.
Regrding the pitch, I don’t know if it will be a new piece of the square or the same as they’ve been using, so can’t be sure but I hope there’s at least something in it for us.
Didn’t know that factoid about the trophy being a ball (you learn something every day). Take that one on the chin, it looks bad for me. Corrected me previous error now though. Goes to show previous coverage can’t have been that hot, or I’m less observant than I thought. Possibly a bit of both.
Yeah…I meant a draw would not be much more use than a loss…obviously. Can’t edit comments on here.
Looks like Barry could get his wish – forecast for Canterbury next Tuesday is for showers but 24 degrees. Could shorten the game. Things could change, of course…