Thursday, July 02, 2009

Two warm up games for the upcoming Ashes

Who is getting the better deal here?

The Englishmen are facing a Warwickshire XI which looks quite weak, at least on paper, while the Australians are facing a strong England A side. The visitors, by virtue of their warm up schedule, the opportunities that many of their players have gotten in county cricket this season, and their fortuitous early exit from the T20 World Cup, find themselves in a position where they are as well acclimatized as they could hope to be. This test against the English Lions is a strong one. The Lions bowling attacks comprises of bowlers who have all played Test Cricket and are on the fringes of England selection. The batting, even though it is less impressive (i suspect that had Michael Vaughan not retired, he might have found himself in that Lions middle order), comprises of a Test player or two as well.

Not surprisingly, while the Australians are merely holding their own, the England XI have steamrolled the Warwickshire XI so far. The England Test Match attack rolled the Warwickshire batting over for 102, with James Anderson taking 5 and Flintoff taking 2. Alistair Cook made a century for the England XI, and Ravi Bopara is on his way to one as well. For the Australians on the other hand, Michael Hussey made a fighting hundred against a good attack. Simon Katich made an attacking 95, and most importantly Brett Lee ripped through the Lions top order after a fine opening stand of 172 between the Lions openers Denly and Moore.

It seems to me, that the biggest beneficiaries this week are the Australians, the England Lions, Warwickshire (almost and second XI) and the England Ashes squad. In that order.


  1. Do you think the home team really needs a warm-up game in these circumstances? They could be better off playing their usual county games.

  2. I don't know.

    I can't understand why the English Test team isn't playing against England A in preparation, leaving Australia to play county sides - county sides which will invariably rest their best players in non-championship games.

  3. I agree that this isn't a good setup for England, but you can only take the approach you suggest so far, before you realise that you'll get similar treatment yourself on the return tour. (To some extent, anyway - I can't see NSW resting anyone for an England match!)