Bad decision making and small margins can have a big impact at this level of Test cricket. It already has to be said that after just two Ashes Test matches, the Aussies have already made enough bad decisions to cover around a years cricket.
Small margins can be pivotal too. When Joe Root edged chest high through the gap between wicket keeper and first slip in his 2nd innings at Lord’s……and no one moved, it could have been a decisive moment in this Test series, and maybe to some extent, in Root’s career as a whole.
Had that catch been taken Root would have had scores of 30, 5, 6 and 8, since his promotion to opener. Instead he now has scores of 30, 5, 6 and 180. All of a sudden what was beginning to look like a poor decision (in the short term) by England, now looks like a brilliant one, and will no doubt have given Joe Root no end of self confidence for the remainder of the Ashes….. and beyond.
In fairness to the Aussies, they have also been the victims of some poor umpiring decisions….. some, they could have done something about, had they used their reviews better, while some were just totally beyond their control (I’m not going to dwell on umpiring decisions, England could argue some big ones went against them in the 1st Test, so I’m not getting into that debate).
The very bad decisions from Australia have been far more influential than the umpiring ones so far in the first two Test matches. Shane Watson’s ridiculous, selfish review in the 1st innings at Lord’s was staggering, it smacked of arrogance and a lack of team ethic to me (just how it looked, he may be a great team man). Did that also lead to Chris Rodgers not reviewing his out decision soon after? But then even given Watson’s wasting of a review, should Rodgers have had the strength of character to review anyway?
I’m fairly sure that Rodgers would have reviewed had Australia still had two remaining. There would have been plenty of talk about using them properly after the 1st Test, so that must have played a part in Rodgers taking the decision he did.
The ‘inspired’ decisions Australia have been making lately haven’t been limited to just the players. When Darren Lehmann got the job, all we heard about was ‘how great a decision’ it was. Maybe in the long run it will be, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be paying dividends at the moment.
Who was the brains behind promoting Watson back up to opener? A technically flawed opener. This was one of the first statements we heard from Lehmann, and it was apparently against Michael Clarke’s (better) judgement.
Who was the brains behind moving Michael Clarke so far down the order? So that when he comes in to bat he is already under immense pressure, given his side have generally already got off to a bad start.
They’re not greatly inspired decisions at the moment, although that’s not to say things won’t change in the future. Lehmann and Australia only need to look at the change in India’s performances – now that Duncan Fletcher has had the chance to pick the players he wants – to see how things can turn around.
I imagine when Cricket Australia got rid of Mickey Arthur and put Lehmann in charge, they did it with a long term view, so there is no need to panic yet. This isn’t even Lehmann’s side, and he wouldn’t have had any input into the naming of the squad.
Australia now seem down and out, the cricket betting certainly seems to suggest this. A 5-0 whitewash for England is now as short as 3/1. And given the decent English weather of late, is there ever going to be a better chance for England to complete a 5-0 hammering?
Having said that, this is England, and the weather can turn very quickly, so bear that in mind if you are looking at backing 5-0.
England are now 1/33 to win the Ashes outright. Despite this short price there are still plenty of Ashes betting opportunities available, as well as news on the latest betting site bonuses available to use to bet on the Ashes with, ie, free bets, or online bookmaker promotional offers, etc.
If you still fancy a miracle, Australia are 33/1, and a drawn series is 14/1.