Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer. An opening batsman, he captained Warwickshire in the late 80s and early 90s, leading them to success in the 1989 NatWest Trophy. He made a total of 17,211 first-class runs, including 29 centuries, and later enjoyed a spell as chairman of Warwickshire.
MAYBE there’s an element of complacency to England’s woeful Ashes – clearly Australia are more hungry; to a man, desperate to win – but the biggest factor looks to be that they have been badly prepared.
IF EVER there was a time for England to end their run of failing to score 400 in 18 consecutive Test innings then the second Ashes Test, which starts tonight, is certainly it.
I WAS not as surprised as some when I heard that Jonathan Trott was leaving the England Ashes squad because of a stress-related illness. He is a complex character and has always been his own man.
IT’S not quite the end of an era, but this Ashes series in Australia represents the end of a cycle that coach Andy Flower and selectors have long been gearing up for.
HE MAY not grab the headlines like Alec Stewart or Adam Gilchrist did, but we mustn’t underestimate the contribution Matt Prior has made to England’s success.
AS ENGLAND prepare to dust off their whites for the first practice match of this Ashes tour, it’s worth reiterating what these games are for.
IMAGINE this scenario: England lose James Anderson to injury early in this winter’s Ashes series and arrive in Melbourne for the fourth Test without their key bowler and needing to beat Australia.
ASHLEY Giles has his hands tied with a number of his top players not available for selection to England’s one-day international squad, but that gives him licence to try the younger players and I think he’s missing a golden opportunity at the momen
AS ENGLAND prepare for their one-day series against Australia, which starts tomorrow, it’s hard to escape the feeling that ordinary punters are being cheated.
AFTER a thoroughly enjoyable Ashes series played in excellent spirit it was a terrible shame to see a thrilling final day’s play halted before its fitting conclusion, leaving cricket looking silly.
WITH the Ashes long since retained and a series victory also ensured before today’s fifth and final Test, there is an obvious danger that some England players could ease off when play resumes at the Oval today.
WHEN Ian Bell was selected for Michael Vaughan’s team in the 2005 Ashes series he was ridiculed by Australia.
They nicknamed him the Sherminator and, Old Trafford aside, he scored 47 runs in four Test matches.
THE SERIES desperately needed a competitive edge and, after Australia had the better of the third Test, that has been reintroduced.
ENGLAND have the chance to retain the Ashes at Old Trafford and there is no reason to think they won’t if, as expected, the weather ensures enough play.
THE ASHES is all over as a series. There is more chance of pigs flying over Sydney Harbour Bridge than this Australia side coming back from 2-0 down and reclaiming the urn.
I WOULD be disappointed if the performance at Trent Bridge is not the worst this summer, because England are better than that, especially with the bat.
WINNING the Test series in India during the winter, England’s first for 27 years, was a monumental achievement and one that can never be taken away from Alastair Cook.
ONE thing Australia lacked in the last days of former coach Mickey Arthur was any kind of confidence, but there are signs that, since taking over last week, Darren Lehmann is rectifying that fundamental problem.
THERE is never a good time to sack a coach, as invariably it’s a reflection that the team is in a bad state. I wasn’t shocked, then, that Australia fired Mickey Arthur on Monday, even though the Ashes are just two weeks away.
SOUTH Africa are the weakest of the four sides left in the Champions Trophy, so I’m confident England will progress to the final today.
AUSTRALIA must be low on confidence after a nightmarish start to 2013, and sometimes that can manifest itself in extraordinary actions such as those David Warner is accused of.
ENGLAND really need to up their game against New Zealand today, because they have been outclassed in every department in the previous two one-day international defeats and that does not bode well for their Champions Trophy chances.
SIX WICKETS in New Zealand’s second innings and 10 in the match further emphasised the importance of spinner Graeme Swann to England as they wrapped up a comfortable and predictable 2-0 series win at Headingley yesterday.
S TUART BROAD and James Anderson are as good a bowling partnership as there is in world cricket at the moment.
THE BIGGEST mistake England could make in their approach to the two-Test series against New Zealand, which starts tomorrow at Lord’s, would be to treat it as a warm-up for the Ashes.