Director of Cricket at the ECB, Andrew Strauss, today lauded the efforts of his English players in the recently completed Ashes series.
It was possibly our most successful Ashes tour since Zimbabwe in 96/97. We didn’t lose that series. It was a nil-all draw. But I’m confident to say that we’ve got the wood over Zimbabwe in Ashes contests.
Sure, we lost this one 4-0, but what a sensational effort by the boys to not lose 5-0.
Strauss then went on to talk about individual performances.
Well, Kevin Pietersen didn’t play. That’s a massive leg up for us. It’s true we haven’t found a replacement for him over the last three years, but that’s still better than him playing.
Ben Stokes didn’t play either. That was a tactical call to keep him fresh for his court case. Did he know he broke that bloke’s eye socket? What a ripper he is.
Jonny Bairstow brought English drinking culture back into the conversation with his “traditional greeting” to young Cameron Bancroft. It’s important we discuss the drinking culture as a society. Kids should learn from a young age that drinking is our way of life.
Let’s see. There was also Mason Crane breaking the world record for the worst English bowling figures on Test debut. Breaking world records at only 20 years of age is some accomplishment. We don’t break many in England. Probably haven’t actually broken one since James Anderson got hit for the most runs in an over by George Bailey last time we came here?
Coach Trevor Bayliss played a mighty role. He was able to steer the blokes onto good Australian beers other than Foster’s. I can’t overstate how critical this was.
Finally, I tip my lid to captain Joe Root. The way he quit mid innings with a match on the line for his team was reminiscent of Dean Jones in Chennai. Except that Jones went on to make 200 and didn’t quit. Maybe I’m confusing Root with Graeme Swann? Let me get back to you on that.
Before this series began, Australian player Nathan Lyon said that he hoped to end some English careers. Strauss was asked if Lyon had succeeded?
I’ll have to concede he was right.
Vince was never any good. Stoneman isn’t very good. Broad looks cooked. Cook looks Broaded. Anderson can’t be far away. Moeen was about as useful as a porcupine in a balloon factory. Crane is done because England don’t do spinners.
Even Gary Ballance got a free holiday.
All in all, I think the Australians have ended the careers that we all wanted to see ended. Again, a huge success and speaks volumes to our planning, hard work and preparation.
But how does Strauss defend England’s inability to take 20 wickets in any of the five Test matches?
Well, I don’t understand why you see this as a negative? Wickets are overrated. Our game plan was to bowl for the deceleration. This way, the Australian lower order don’t get to bat as much. Making sure their tail didn’t wag was an important strategy for us. And I believe we succeeded because they didn’t need to bat too often.
Finally, Strauss pondered squad selection for the upcoming New Zealand tour.
We will probably call up Grant Elliot and Colin Munro given they are South African. They are currently holidaying in New Zealand so are available to us. They will bolster our batting along South African sounding but not really a South African Dawid Malan.
Colin de Grandhomme is from Zimbabwe so we are considering him too. You can’t have too many Colins.