The Ashes 2009 (50 days)
50 Days before the start of the 2009 Ashes Test Series...
So England regained the Wisden Trophy by beating the West Indies 2-0 at home. Well done. Well done for beating a side that looked about as comfortable as current MP's filing their expense reports. From the day the West Indies landed at Heathrow they looked like they wanted to take the next flight back home. The lifestyle, the people but mostly the weather just doesn't agree with them on this island.
Nontheless from an English point of view there are some positives to take from the series. Jimmy Anderson has proven that he can stay consistently on line and fire for 2 consecutive test matches. Bopara seems to have delivered in Take 2 of his test match career and brought his training form into the test arena and Strauss is starting to feel comfortable as an opening batsmen stroke Captain. The question is, are these positive trends going to continue or are they "peaking" too early?
Ponting anounced this morning that the Australians will target Strauss in particular. Although this is a familiar ploy by the Ausies in their pre-Ashes banter, it's never a comforting threat to hear:
"We try to target the opposition captain a little bit. If you do that you can generally take another couple of guys down with him."
"We had the better of him out here in Australia last time, we had him under a lot of pressure and it's important that we start the series off the same way against them over there."
Back in 2006, when England toured Australia, Strauss was pulverised by Brett Lee and Stuart Clark. Lee got him 3 times and Clark got him 4 times leaving him with a batting average of 24.70.
Since the start of 2009 Strauss looks more mature and in better form than he was back in 2006-07 and Brett Lee has struggled with injuries so have the tables turned? We will find out in 50 days time...