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the.fat.controller
Post subject: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 14:24 on 7th Jan 2011

Joined: 04:09 on 27th Nov 2010
Posts: 171
Four years ago, Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper sounded The Last Post on the old Hill at the SCG. A group of loyal supporters saluted The Union Flag as it was lowered and respectfully furled. English cricket had reached its nadir.
The humiliating defeat four years ago proved that England, after their triumph in 2005, were not yet the finished article. The journey from mediocrity to supremacy had, in fact, begun some years previously, with the scalps in 2004-5 of West Indies and South Africa. In 2005, Michael Vaughan's England team realised that they were becoming a match for the dominant Australians. What followed was the magnificent spectacle of a close and hard-fought series between two extremely evenly matched sides. England, on that occasion, emerged victorious. The euphoria that followed suggested that England had conquered the world. Without wishing to take anything away from that wonderful moment in 2005, it is now clear that there was much more left to achieve.
Barely a year later, England set off for Australia and the wounded tiger fought back. From Steve Harmison's first ball at Brisbane, through the disastrous collapse at Adelaide, Adam Gilchrist's pyrotechnics at Perth and the three-day defeat at Melbourne, through to The Last Post at Sydney, England was reminded who was boss.
Clearly, a period of regrouping was required and this was provided under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss. In 2009, England regained The Ashes, following victories at Lords and The Oval. It was becoming clear that the cricket world was experiencing a shifting of sands. So far, however, England's successes had been confined to home soil, the only thing missing, a victory in Australia, this having eluded them for more than two decades.
This time, however, the dynamics of England and Australia's collective sporting psyches had also shifted. The timidity so prevalent on England's previous visits, this time, belonged to Australia. Both sides knew, before the first ball was bowled, that England was the superior team and it showed. Barring an inexplicable reversal of fortunes at Perth, England appreciably outplayed Australia in every facet of the game. After the setback at Perth, the England of old may have been overcome by self-doubt and crumbled. The new England, however, regrouped and normal service was resumed. When Australia was bowled out for 98 at Melbourne, it was clear that the Australians were a spent force and an air of inevitability took over. Australia was going down hard and everybody knew it.
The shift in the psychological power base was never more evident than at Sydney. When England batted on into the second session on Thursday, it was evident that England was not content with merely winning, they wanted to crush Australia, to show who was boss. England's dominance was payback for decades of subservience. The dragon had been slain and the psychological demons finally exorcised. When Billy Cooper, once again, sounded The Last Post in the outer of the SCG, the message was clear. The King is dead. Long live the King.
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Maidenover
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 19:17 on 7th Jan 2011

Joined: 09:13 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2913
have you 'cut and paste' this from elsewhere, TFC ?
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the.fat.controller
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 20:35 on 7th Jan 2011

Joined: 04:09 on 27th Nov 2010
Posts: 171
Maidenover Wrote:
have you 'cut and paste' this from elsewhere, TFC ?


No - it is my own work.
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Maidenover
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 10:12 on 8th Jan 2011

Joined: 09:13 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2913
the.fat.controller Wrote:
Maidenover Wrote:
have you 'cut and paste' this from elsewhere, TFC ?


No - it is my own work.
Impressive
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addtamx
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 13:58 on 8th Jan 2011

Joined: 21:02 on 9th May 2008
Posts: 934
Location: Australia
the.fat.controller Wrote:
Maidenover Wrote:
have you 'cut and paste' this from elsewhere, TFC ?


No - it is my own work.


Awesome piece my friend 8-)

Something has happened to this English side, it was first evident in the T20 world cup.....a purpose and a believe that I've not seen in my years of watching England play cricket.

In 2005 I believe the Fletcher/Vaughan regime thought the job was done.....we'd beaten the Aussies...we'd reached the pinnacle. Strauss and and Flower seem to have their eye on a bigger future.........and I love it!!!
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the.fat.controller
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 16:25 on 8th Jan 2011

Joined: 04:09 on 27th Nov 2010
Posts: 171
addtamx Wrote:

Awesome piece my friend 8-)

Something has happened to this English side, it was first evident in the T20 world cup.....a purpose and a believe that I've not seen in my years of watching England play cricket.

In 2005 I believe the Fletcher/Vaughan regime thought the job was done.....we'd beaten the Aussies...we'd reached the pinnacle. Strauss and and Flower seem to have their eye on a bigger future.........and I love it!!!


Expectations have definitely been raised. England have been transformed from a team that thinks it might win into a team that absolutely expects to win. Australia had this confidence when they were dominating world cricket and it now seems that England have taken up that mantle. The fear and timidity have gone - winning is no longer a target to work towards, but a benchmark to improve from.
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addtamx
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 16:42 on 8th Jan 2011

Joined: 21:02 on 9th May 2008
Posts: 934
Location: Australia
the.fat.controller Wrote:
winning is no longer a target to work towards, but a benchmark to improve from.


This.

Absolutely what is required to become No1.

Not sure if anyone else had the same fears before the Sydney test. But I really had my doubts if we knew how to keep the foot on the throat........I worried that the side may have thought we had succeed in Melbourne by retaining the Ashes, and the job was done.........but we came out and won by another innings margin!!!

That is mental disintegration........and that is what makes champions;)

So very far removed from what happened in and after '05.
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the.fat.controller
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 18:11 on 8th Jan 2011

Joined: 04:09 on 27th Nov 2010
Posts: 171
addtamx Wrote:
the.fat.controller Wrote:
winning is no longer a target to work towards, but a benchmark to improve from.


This.

Absolutely what is required to become No1.

Not sure if anyone else had the same fears before the Sydney test. But I really had my doubts if we knew how to keep the foot on the throat........I worried that the side may have thought we had succeed in Melbourne by retaining the Ashes, and the job was done.........but we came out and won by another innings margin!!!

That is mental disintegration........and that is what makes champions;)

So very far removed from what happened in and after '05.


I admit I had my doubts before Sydney as well. I had just become so used to England getting into a winning position and then taking the foot off the gas. This time, however, they kept the hammer down. That was what was so impressive about the Australian team in the Taylor/Waugh era - winning was not enough. They had to destroy the opposition and everybody had to know who was boss. England have now discovered this attitude and it works. The task now is to take that forward another step, into the World Cup andthen becoming number 1. The only thing I will say about becoming number 1 is that we may need to look to go in with a 5-man attack - the Indian batsmen are going to put up a lot more resistance than the Aussies. Now that Collie has retired, Bresnan at 7 is an option that needs to be considered. His style is well suited to English conditions and he can bowl a lot of overs. The case for moving Bell up to 5 is pretty compelling and Prior is more than capable of doing a job at 6.
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LCCC
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 00:29 on 10th Jan 2011

Joined: 00:09 on 30th Nov 2010
Posts: 35
the.fat.controller Wrote:
addtamx Wrote:
the.fat.controller Wrote:
winning is no longer a target to work towards, but a benchmark to improve from.


This.

Absolutely what is required to become No1.

Not sure if anyone else had the same fears before the Sydney test. But I really had my doubts if we knew how to keep the foot on the throat........I worried that the side may have thought we had succeed in Melbourne by retaining the Ashes, and the job was done.........but we came out and won by another innings margin!!!

That is mental disintegration........and that is what makes champions;)

So very far removed from what happened in and after '05.


I admit I had my doubts before Sydney as well. I had just become so used to England getting into a winning position and then taking the foot off the gas. This time, however, they kept the hammer down. That was what was so impressive about the Australian team in the Taylor/Waugh era - winning was not enough. They had to destroy the opposition and everybody had to know who was boss. England have now discovered this attitude and it works. The task now is to take that forward another step, into the World Cup andthen becoming number 1. The only thing I will say about becoming number 1 is that we may need to look to go in with a 5-man attack - the Indian batsmen are going to put up a lot more resistance than the Aussies. Now that Collie has retired, Bresnan at 7 is an option that needs to be considered. His style is well suited to English conditions and he can bowl a lot of overs. The case for moving Bell up to 5 is pretty compelling and Prior is more than capable of doing a job at 6.


Talking with Aussies on day 3 they expected us to make the declaration sometime after tea and put them in for a few overs. I said bollocks to that. England to keep batting and batting until they're all out. As you posted the Taylor/Waugh era had that presence about the way they played.........they never, ever give the opposition a sniff and i read that Steve Waugh used to take great delight at reading the English press do a demolition job on the England team as soon as they lost a test..........something about helping him with his job. I don't think the psychological advantage we have gained should be overlooked especially against a nation who's sporting psyche is all about winning irrespective of the sport. To mentally crush them like we have done is a victory that should not be undervalued. To see the Australian players walking onto the SCG like whipped dogs with their tails between their legs at the presentation was priceless.

We have done to them what they have spent 20 odd years doing to us and their leaders now know that. They now have players in their side who have never experienced a victory again us despite playing 2 series. They should not be allowed to recover no matter what form of cricket is being played. I agree that Bresnan should keep his place and allow Bell and Prior to move up the order but isn't it a good position to be in regarding our bowling stocks when you have to decide the remaining bowlers from Tremlett, Finn, Shahzad & Broad (given that Jimmy and Swanny are certainties)? :D
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jimbob_the_red
Post subject: Re: Shifting Sands
PostPosted: 08:50 on 16th Jan 2011

Joined: 10:12 on 6th Apr 2009
Posts: 51
Location: Wetherby, Yorkshire, UKofA
LCCC Wrote:

Talking with Aussies on day 3 they expected us to make the declaration sometime after tea and put them in for a few overs. I said bollocks to that. England to keep batting and batting until they're all out. As you posted the Taylor/Waugh era had that presence about the way they played.........they never, ever give the opposition a sniff and i read that Steve Waugh used to take great delight at reading the English press do a demolition job on the England team as soon as they lost a test..........something about helping him with his job. I don't think the psychological advantage we have gained should be overlooked especially against a nation who's sporting psyche is all about winning irrespective of the sport. To mentally crush them like we have done is a victory that should not be undervalued. To see the Australian players walking onto the SCG like whipped dogs with their tails between their legs at the presentation was priceless.

We have done to them what they have spent 20 odd years doing to us and their leaders now know that. They now have players in their side who have never experienced a victory again us despite playing 2 series. They should not be allowed to recover no matter what form of cricket is being played. I agree that Bresnan should keep his place and allow Bell and Prior to move up the order but isn't it a good position to be in regarding our bowling stocks when you have to decide the remaining bowlers from Tremlett, Finn, Shahzad & Broad (given that Jimmy and Swanny are certainties)? :D


Throw Graham Onions (When fit) into the mix as well and we have got nice selection problems!
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