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The Maiden Over: Adelaide Test Holds Key to the Urn

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PITCH 

  • Due to the ongoing redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval, drop-in pitches will now be used for the first time in a Test Match at the venue leaving an air of uncertainty about how the pitch will play
  • Nearly 2500 runs have been scored over two Sheffield Shield matches on the wicket
  • Although the pitch evidently favours the batsmen, the ball has been reverse swinging in Sheffield Shield matches as the pitch has worn
  • Speculation surrounded Australia and England selecting two spinners however the Adelaide Oval curator described the move as “overkill”

ENGLAND

  • Jonathon Trott was surprisingly released from the tour due to a stress related illness. We wish him well in his recovery and hopefully he can return to International Cricket when he feels the time is right however this has left a large hole in the English batting lineup
  • Ian Bell and Joe Root are the frontrunners to bat at three
  • Root batted at six in Brisbane, however opened against Australia in the July-August Ashes series and recently commented to the media that he doesn’t mind where he bats, indicating that he is the most probable to take the position
  • The impending decision left for England is whether to play Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance or Ben Stokes given that it is now extremely unlikely that they will opt for two spinners by playing Monty Panesar
  • Ben Stokes looks like the front runner as he adds another seam option and batting value as an all-rounder
  • Gary Ballance was one of the better performers against the Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI scoring 55 and 8*, he may add extra batting strength to and order which failed to stand up in Brisbane
  • Jonny Bairstow was hinted as being a possible replacement wicket keeper for Matt Prior if he was unfit, however has played as a specialist batsman for 12 tests averaging just a tick over 30
  • Although Chris Tremlett didn’t necessarily bowl terrible in Brisbane with four wickets, he didn’t necessarily rekindle his brilliant form from the 2010-11 series against Australia and as such pressure has been placed on his spot by the returning Tim Bresnan who has a fitness test in Adelaide later this week
  • Both bowlers worked amazingly well in tandem to bring Australia to their knees in the 2010-11 series, however it seems like if Bresnan is fit, he will be the third English seamer for Adelaide

AUSTRALIA

  • For Australia to win the first Test Match, they needed their ‘X-Factor’ players to fire, and they did, those being Mitchell Johnson and David Warner, this needs to happen again in Adelaide
  • When David Warner is at his best, he is a quick scoring and aggressive opening batsman who takes it to the opening bowlers and dents their confidence. Especially on a good batting wicket, Warner needs to continue to add solid scores and get the still fragile Australian top order off to a good start
  • When Mitchell Johnson is bowling well, such as in Brisbane, he is a fierce, fast and menacing weapon who changes games with both bat and ball. However, when Mitchell Johnson loses his line and focus, he can bowl loose balls and gift runs to the opposition and release the pressure. Australia needs to see Mitchell Johnson translate his form from Brisbane to Adelaide, and maybe the handle-bar moustache also
  • Darren Lehmann has hinted that all-rounder James Faulkner may be an inclusion for Adelaide to be selected at the expense of George Bailey or Steven Smith however unless an Australian player gets injured, this is probably unlikely
  • Michael Clarke rolled his ankle during practice yesterday however has said that he is ok and went on to practice in the nets, more will be known when he resumes training on Wednesday after being given a day off training to rest
  • Sledging has been a high-point of discussion in the past week in the aftermath of the Brisbane Test. This is probably because there hasn’t been any cricket going on, it is part of the game, always has been, always will be, get on with it
  • That being said, David Warner’s comments during the test were probably uncalled for and statements like this should be left on the field, however, his comments were also largely taken out of context and then largely inflated by the media to look as though they were directed at Jonathon Trott

PREDICTION

Overall, it seems as though this test match may hold the key to the series, my tip is for a confident Australian side to go up 2-0, however if England can level the series they will rekindle their belief going into the final three and have a great shot at retaining the Ashes, nevertheless, we know that we have some great cricket ahead!

 

Article by TIM WRAY ( https://twitter.com/Wray24 )

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