Everyone’s reviewing the Ashes. It’s a bit tiresome, so we thought we’d instead review our preview. It amounts to much the same thing, but don’t tell anyone. The subheadings link to the original previews should you wish to do what pretty much no-one does and read more than one page of this website in a single sitting.
We implied that Shane Watson could be a dangerous batsman as well as a figure of fun. He was both. We expected Chris Rogers to do well. he did. We thought Ed Cowan would ‘do a job’. He did. He carried the drinks.
We didn’t really feel it necessary to say much about Michael Clarke. Using logic, we deduced that Phil Hughes would pretty much do nowt. He pretty much did nowt. We were fairly non-committal about David Warner and Steven Smith and actually, we stand by that. While Steve Smith played a couple of decent innings, he still looks a bit of a mess at times and overall 345 runs at 38 shouldn’t be much cause for celebration. We don’t even remember Usman Khawaja playing now, so can’t comment on what we said about him, which mostly seemed to revolve around aeroplanes anyway.
Brad Haddin averaged 22, but his child-minding was excellent.
We said that even though Nathan Lyon wasn’t the best bowler in history, he was the best option for Australia and if they could stop fantasising for five minutes, they would realise that he would do a better job than any of the alternatives. But it was easy for us to spot that, what with having access to all these resources which are unavailable to Australia’s coach, selectors and media. If they’d had access to a bike pump; dense, carpet-like head hair; unopened post; and a smoke alarm with a flat battery; maybe they too could have spotted this not-at-all-blindingly-obvious fact. Lyon performed competently and Australia need to acknowledge that this is the absolute best possible outcome as far as their spin bowling is concerned.
We reserved judgement on Ryan Harris, but he was actually very good. We thought Peter Siddle would do a good, solid job. He did. Unlike the world, we suspected that the younger seam bowlers wouldn’t do a right lot. They didn’t do a right lot. James Pattinson, the saviour of Australian cricket, took seven wickets at 44. Mitchell Starc was a real mixed bag but somehow emerged with 11 wickets at 32. Jackson Bird looked steady in his one Test, which Australia lost.
A decent series for Michael Clarke (age 32 – spinal age, 71), Chris Rogers (36 this week) and Ryan Harris (33). There were contributions from other people, but the foundations for progress might start showing signs of subsiding before too long.