4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

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4th Ashes Test l Australia vs England at Melbourne (Match Thread)

Joined: December 28th, 2003, 2:48 am

December 25th, 2017, 4:57 pm #1

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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Joined: September 12th, 2014, 6:27 pm

December 25th, 2017, 9:03 pm #2

On a related note, I see Darren Lehmann has announced he will step down as Australia coach after the next Ashes series in 2019. Is it too early to offer him a contract at Yorkshire from 2020?!
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Joined: December 28th, 2003, 2:48 am

December 26th, 2017, 8:14 pm #3

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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Apparently there were 88,172 in attendance on BoxIng Day.
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Joined: April 23rd, 2014, 9:55 pm

December 26th, 2017, 9:37 pm #4

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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Would he not be available for the 2019 season over here, the Ashes will have finished before our season starts.
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Joined: September 7th, 2015, 9:28 pm

December 26th, 2017, 10:29 pm #5

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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After having half a glass or so too many I was pleased to see on my return to sanity that Tom Curran rather than Mason Crane had made his debut in this test match in place of Overton.

Looking at the bowling figures perhaps Mason Crane might have been a better bet in place of Moeen Ali.

Only one day gone and though the Aussies have been kept in check it still looks ominous from an England stand point.
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Joined: September 12th, 2014, 6:27 pm

December 26th, 2017, 10:49 pm #6

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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The next Ashes series is over here in late summer 2019 after the World Cup. To answer my own question, it is a little too early to be looking ahead that far, but I hope the club at least try to get him over here, particularly if we still look a long way away from challenging for the Championship.
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Joined: September 7th, 2015, 9:28 pm

December 27th, 2017, 8:31 am #7

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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What's that Skippy! A century for Cook, runs for Root and 4 wickets for Broad.

That must be worth a listen, and it is.
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Joined: October 17th, 2013, 8:44 pm

December 27th, 2017, 8:39 am #8

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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Having returned from Oz in quite a positive frame of mind, following our defeats in Adelaide and Perth, it was lovely to watch our lads play so well in Melbourne today.

All tour I have felt that the only differences between the teams was the potency of their pace attack and the gulf in class between Nathan Lyon and our own part-time offie. In this game, with Starc absent and Cummins unwell, we saw Jackson and Marsh serving up 80 mph tripe; neither would get on a full-strength Yorkshire team, let alone England. (I know there will be those who disagree, but I mean it.)

Even with Hazlewood and Lyon, their bowling today looked toothless, because there was always one end open.

At the start of the tour we were unsure about our batting. Stoneman, I felt, was a good choice, and he has done okay without quite nailing the position down. He has proved a bit vulnerable to the short, fast stuff and to the off-spinner. He should be fine in New Zealand and in England next summer. Sri Lanka? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Malan has been the real find of the tour. Early days, yes, but he has looked the best of all our batsmen in almost every innings; organised, composed, lovely timing, and the best player of the short ball, good against spin. Vince has shown his class, and also his Vaughan-like tendency to play cameos. If he has learned some mental toughness, he can be a fixture at no 3 for the future.

Bairstow's position is surely now beyond doubt. The decision to bat him at 7 was ludicrous.

It has been our bowling that has disappointed so badly, and that was partly self-imposed by the non-selection of Stokes and a specialist spinner. Would Leach have done better than Ali? We will never know.

Until today, Broad has been hugely poor and Woakes is nowhere near Test class, unless it's swinging. Anderson has been steady and had the class to exploit the pink ball in Adelaide and the cracked pitch in Perth. Unfortunately he was lacklustre with the new ball a couple of times. Woakes, too, did well in that second innings in Adelaide.

It says much that Craig Overton, who is only 3rd/4th seamer for Somerset, was our best bowler in Perth. But his desire and competitiveness provided what Anderson, Woakes and Broad 2017-version seem to lack. Stokes has it - perhaps too much of it! - and Curran showed some of the same in Melbourne. I seem to remember a rugby man writing that 'an ounce of ginger is worth a pound of ability' - and that's true in cricket also. Listen to Sir Geoffrey talking about Kevin Curran.

Four years ago, I came home from Australia in despair after the wheels had totally fallen off. If you remember, they dropped Root, Prior and Panesar, brought in such unlikely names as Borthwick (as a bowler!) and Rankin...that was an utter shambles. This has not been.

I believe the batting is now just about sorted, with Stokes the final piece.

Anderson is fine for England, not sure about abroad, and Broad needs reminding that he is not undroppable. It's time to forget Finn and Woakes (outside England) and if Wood isn't fit now, forget him too. Bring in the new, Jamie as well as Craig Overton, and perhaps two Currans, plus whoever comes through out of the 20-year-olds who, apparently, include a couple of 90 mph lads that I've not seen.

Pick a proper spinner, two for Sri Lanka, and we're done. If they prove good enough, which we won't know until they're picked. Leach, Bess and Crane, for me. Adil has had - and not quite taken - his chance, though it should be remembered that he is younger still than Swann was when he started.

Perhaps that's England's real problem - too many options.

Bowlers win matches
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Joined: September 12th, 2014, 6:27 pm

December 27th, 2017, 8:17 pm #9

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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Thanks Dave. Nice to read some positive opinions on England for once. The press, ours as well as the Aussies' seem to be pushing some sort of "panic! English cricket in crisis!" agenda but I don't get that impression at all and it's good to know that someone has seen the tour in the flesh shares that opinion. We all know this team's limitations but there is potential there. Naturally I worry about the post-Anderson world which will have to be faced eventually but I hope there is enough coming through, from the likes of the Overtons and the Currans, Porter and Garton, to make it a smooth transition. I like Ali as an ambassador and as a person and on his day with everything in his favour je can cause problems with bat and ball, but I would like a proper spinner with Championship pedigree to be given a go at some stage. Looking into a crystal ball a Test team of the future may look something like:

Stoneman
Jennings/Hameed
Livingstone
Root
Malan
Bairstow
Stokes
An Overton/Woakes/a Curran
Porter
Garton
Leach
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Joined: April 14th, 2014, 4:57 am

December 28th, 2017, 8:03 am #10

Dec 26-30, 2017 - 4th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground

England from: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Australia from: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Josh Hazlewood, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jackson Bird.
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A master class from Cook today while the shot selection of others including Root and Bairstow left a lot to be desired. Plus, some poor umpiring decisions again though why Malan didn't review only he will know
Formerly known as Egham Tyke :-)
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