Saturday 11th July – Cardiff – cue England celebrations as they win the first test in this summers Ashes series. Australia with much food for thought.
So it is ahem nicely poised at 1-1 going into the third test at Edgbaston and it is England who will be the most grateful for the 10 day break as theirs was a pitiful performance at Lords (especially with the bat – 103 all out in 37 overs for the second innings when trying to save a game borders on the unacceptable for me) . Yes they lost the toss on a good batting strip but then to proceed to score only 415 for the loss of their 20 wickets on a benign pitch that gave little assistance to the bowlers is criminal. Yes huge credit to Australia and their resurgence, which was no surprise to me –
see my previous blog – www.biggishmouthblog.com/brad-djokovic
but England surrendered far too easily and new coach Trevor Bayliss has his first mini crisis to deal with. Along with his deputy, Paul Farbrace and captain Alastair Cook a lot of soul searching is needed before they reconvene for the third test.
SELECTORS UNDER PRESSURE TO GET IN RIGHT
Changes are needed in my opinion, but will they be made? – it is more likely with the longer break between tests and I’d imagine names such as Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales and Adil Rashid will be thrown into the pot but the key is will players under pressure like Adam Lyth, Gary Balance and Ian Bell (who would be playing on his home ground) be dropped. Remember this is the same team that won pretty comprehensively in Cardiff. Some tough decisions will need to be made, because whoever does rock up in Birmingham for England will be up against a motivated and rampant Australian team ready to crush their English cousins again. The hosts need to respond just like the tourists did at Lords, Edgbaston has been a good ground for England in recent years and they will hope it brings them the same fortune come the 29th July – BRING IT ON.
DAVIS CUP GLORY FOR GREAT BRITAIN?
Well it was not all doom and gloom in London over the weekend – at the Queens Club the Murray boys claimed the crucial points to help the GB Tennis team beat their French compatriots in the Quarter Finals. An outstanding performance especially from Andy Murray who levelled the tie at 1-1 on Friday with a straight sets win over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga after James Ward had been overwhelmed by Gilles Simon. The two-time Grand Slam winner and Olympic singles champion then partnered his brother Jamie to win the doubles rubber on the Saturday before an amazing performance full of guts, character and determination to see off Gilles Simon on the Sunday – utterly amazing play from the Scot and the team as a whole, especially captain Leon Smith who when he took over in 2010 GB were in Europe/Africa Zone Group II and now they are in a World Group semi-final.
In the last four they will face Australia, who themselves heroically came back from 0-2 down to beat Kazakhstan. Surely back to Glasgow (scene of their first round victory over the United States) for that one in September and maybes just maybes Great Britain may make their first Davis Cup Final since 1978 which will then present the opportunity of winning the whole darn thing for the first time in 79 years. It may just well happen – come on GB!!!!!!!
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