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Ashes Series 2010-2011 so far…

by Aoife Moriarty

The 2010-11 Ashes Series at the outset appeared as if it might result in one of the most closely contested series in years. The setting for the competition was to be on the Australian’s home turf, where the tourists would been looking to win their first series on foreign soil for the first time since 1987. A combination of the Aussies’ poor form and a talented group of young English cricketers had given the visitors hope of retaining the trophy that they regained in the summer of 2009. Despite the English promise, since 1987, the Aussies record in their home Ashes series’ read: 3-0, 3-1, 3-1, 4-1, 5-0 and Ponting’s side had won eleven of their last twelve home Test series, losing just three matches during that period.

The first test in Brisbane offered few surprises apart from one or two impressive batting performances from the English side. It ended as a draw, without many thrilling moments although it was largely a keenly fought match. Alastair Cook’s double century helped England to gain a 296 run lead where the Aussies had to battle out the last 26 overs before the umpires declared the match a draw.

The second test took place on 3 December at the Adelaide Oval, and having won the toss Australia opted to bat first. This decision may have been to their detriment as England took the test by an innings and 71 runs after dismissing Australia’s last six batsmen for a mere handful of runs. The match’s highlights included Graeme Swann’s​ impressive​ five-wicket haul and James Anderson taking two wickets in two balls resulting in​ the tourists’ first test victory on Australian soil since the 2002-03 tour. After the match it was announced that the loss of Stuart Broad to injury might not be the only casualty of the tournament, as Aussie batsman Simon Katich was declared unlikely for the remainder of the series, due to an Achilles problem.

In light of the Aussies’ poor performance  in Adelaide, they have made a number of significant changes to their squad in anticipation of the third test. The changes include the inclusion of Michael Beer; a left-arm orthodox spinner, who has performed impressively at the domestic level circuit this year.​ The other changes come in the form of Philip Hughes, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson who will be brought back after a poor performance from Doug Bollinger in the second test.

Coverage of the third test from Perth will commence ​on 16 December, when hopefully some of the changes made to the Australian team will supply them with the fuel they need to put up a more of a fight.

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