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Thread: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

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    Default All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    See last post for latest news

    126087 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    Squad Announced for the 4th Test Match (Boxing Day Test)

    Ricky Ponting is expected to recover from his broken finger in time to lead Australia at the MCG on Boxing Day, but the selectors have included New South Wales batsman Usman Khawaja in the squad as a precautionary measure. Khawaja, who just turned 24, is uncapped and will join the team in Melbourne on Wednesday.

    "While the NSP (national selection panel) are confident Ricky Ponting will be available for the Boxing Day Test, through an abundance of caution we have named Usman Khawaja as the standby player," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of the panel, said. "Usman richly deserves this opportunity following his excellent form at domestic level last season and continuing on this season."

    Khawaja had also been included as cover for Michael Clarke, when the vice-captain was struggling with a back problem in the lead-up to the first Test in Brisbane. He is presently in Sydney, where he scored a 78 for New South Wales in the second innings of their Sheffield Shield game against Queensland.

    However, Australia's batting coach Justin Langer was extremely confident of Ponting recovering. ''I would be amazed if Ricky doesn't play in this Test, he is that tough physically and mentally. At one-all, Boxing Day Test, a chance to win the Ashes, he will definitely be there," Langer told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''His injury might work in his favour. He has been trying so hard and this might help him relax and get ready for the Test match. Rather than working too much and doing batting beforehand, this might be the breather he wanted.''

    Ponting sustained the injury when he dropped Jonathan Trott at second slip on the third afternoon at the WACA, with the rebound popping up to Brad Haddin. X-rays showed a small crack and he spent the morning of his 36th birthday in the dressing room to protect the injury. He walked out after the victory had been secured to level the series at 1-1 and congratulated his team-mates. Ponting hasn't been in form with the bat either, scoring 83 runs in six innings in this series, and averaging 38.95 in 24 Tests since the start of last year.

    126145 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    Squad: Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Michael Beer, Ben Hilfenhaus, Usman Khawaja.
    Last edited by DexteR; 26-12-2010 at 02:18 PM.
    mera libas hai tu zps3e44c641 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

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    Default Ponting looking good upon return to training

    Ponting looking good upon return to training

    Ricky Ponting put in a strong performance at Australia's training session at the MCG on Thursday, significantly easing any doubts over his place for the Boxing Day Test. Ponting fielded well during the drills, although he was using only his right hand and made sure to keep his left well out of the way, to avoid any chance of suffering a knock to his broken little finger.

    He will not bat until Friday, but given that this time last year he was nursing a much more serious elbow injury, which did not keep him out of a Test against Pakistan, the chances of him missing a Boxing Day encounter with the Ashes on the line are slim. Ponting has not missed a Test since October 2004, and his 72-match streak seems likely to grow to 73.

    "He had a field and things pulled up well there," said Australia's wicketkeeper Brad Haddin after training on Thursday. "He's going to have a bat tomorrow and with a bit of luck all that goes to plan. At this stage the finger is recovering well and with a bit of luck he'll recover well for Boxing Day. The signs are all good at this stage."

    18486 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    Ponting's batting form is nowhere near his best, and since the end of Australia's home Tests last summer, he has averaged 29.62 and hasn't made a century in nine matches. It's a most un-Ponting-like stretch, but with Australia needing to avoid defeat at the MCG to keep the series alive, his on-field guidance will be important in a side that has six men with 25 or fewer Tests' experience.

    "He's our leader and we get a lot of inspiration from him," Haddin said. "He's been a great leader for Australia for a long time and especially with this group of players. You just have to see the turnaround we had from Adelaide to Perth to see the effect he has on the cricket team. It's very important that he plays."

    Australia's other selection issue surrounds the makeup of their attack, with the left-arm spinner Michael Beer a strong chance to come in to the side on an MCG surface that will be much slower than at the WACA. The likelihood is that the Victorian Peter Siddle will be left out of a Test in front of his home crowd, but the selectors haven't always taken the most expected option this summer.

    "I think if a spinner does come in, it will be a tough call on whoever they leave out," Haddin said. "Ryan [Harris] and Mitch [Johnson] obviously got the results in Perth but look at the spell [Ben] Hilfenhaus bowled, when Mitch was taking the wickets.

    "He shut down the scoreboard. And look at the aggressive spells Sidds bowled that made the English batsmen quite uncomfortable. Whoever they decide to go with - it will be a tough decision if they go with three quicks and not four."

    Beer bowled in the nets at the MCG on Thursday, and while those practice facilities are familiar to him as a former Victorian squad member, he can't be expected to be overly used to bowling on the ground itself. Beer did not play at the MCG while he was on the fringes of the home state side, and now faces a debut in front of 90,000-plus spectators.

    "He's a quality spinner," Haddin said. "The little I have seen of him, he likes the contest and is a very competitive bowler. He's fitted into our group very well and we're looking forward, if he gets his opportunity, to another Australian getting a debut at Test cricket. He'll do Australia and himself proud."
    Last edited by DexteR; 26-12-2010 at 02:18 PM.
    mera libas hai tu zps3e44c641 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

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    Default Re: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    Ian Bell has thrown the gauntlet down to the England selectors by making it clear that he wants to be moved up the batting order.

    Bell has looked one of England's most assured performers with the bat, but he has not got the weight of runs of Alastair Cook as he is languishing at No. 6 and has been forced to bat with the tail. With Paul Collingwood struggling for runs for at No. 5, calls have been made for Bell to move up and it is something he wants.

    "I've had no discussions about it," he said ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. "It's always nice to get moved up the order. But whether that happens or not is irrelevant for me for this series, as long as we're winning the next two Test matches. That's the most important thing to me, contributing to this team winning the Ashes."

    Bell has confirmed the England players held a post-mortem following their mauling by Australia in Perth and is confident of a response in what he expects to be a massive occasion.

    "We've had a good opportunity to have a sit down and talk about what happened in Perth ... in Melbourne, I'm sure we can put right what went wrong," Bell said.

    "It's probably one of the most exciting Test matches I feel we're going into.

    17276 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    "We're particularly excited about playing on one of the best grounds in the world and trying to put right what we did wrong in Perth. Playing here in Melbourne is something you look forward to - a Boxing Day Test match is always special."
    mera libas hai tu zps3e44c641 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

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    Default Re: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    18448 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    The MCG's curator Cameron Hodgkins has denied reports that he was asked to prepare a lively surface for the forthcoming Boxing Day Test, to aid Australia's bid to regain the Ashes in the wake of their emphatic victory at the WACA last week.

    Speaking in the build-up to the match, Hodgkins told reporters that the decision to switch to a pitch with a better grass covering was a personal one that he took before the result of the third Test was known. But, he added, there was little chance of any of Melbourne's drop-in wickets providing anything approaching the sort of pace and bounce that so troubled England's batsmen in Perth.

    "No, not at all," said Hodgkins, when asked if he had been under orders to ramp up the life in the surface. "A few people would like to believe that was the situation, but the last time I spoke to someone from Cricket Australia was in the middle of winter. It's entirely a personal thing and it was something I did two weeks ago, so it wasn't on the spur of anything that happened in the last week or so."

    Having batted with consummate ease in their previous two innings of the series, in which they amassed a total of 1137 runs for six wickets at Brisbane and Adelaide, England's campaign hit the buffers at the WACA, where they were bowled out for 187 and 123 to lose by 267 runs. With Australia tempted to persist with the four-man pace attack that did the damage in that match, the prospect of a greentop would play into their hands, especially with them needing to force another victory to regain the Ashes that they lost in England in 2009.

    However, Hodgkins tempered expectations by pointing out that the MCG does not have a great reputation as a bowler's paradise. "I would think on the WACA's worst day they would still be faster and bouncier than anything we normally turn out," he said. "We're quite slow on the first day normally and it probably causes the most difficulty for batsmen who want to get on with it, so patience is normally a fairly key ingredient here. If you don't have that then you can be four or five down early on and the game over."

    England's batsmen were given the hurry-up by Mitchell Johnson and his team-mates in Perth, but the idea of a surface that rewards time at the crease will be welcomed by any number of the top order, in particular Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, who compiled a triple-century stand in the first Test at Brisbane, and Paul Collingwood, whose place is under scrutiny following a poor run of form, but who invariably saves his best for times of crisis.

    According to the curator, one factor that is unlikely to come into play is swing - at least, not the extravagant degrees of swing that Johnson extracted in the first innings at Perth, where he was aided by a strong breeze and by a succession of batsmen who had not expected him to be so effective, including Kevin Pietersen, who admitted on Wednesday that he had simply not lined him up properly.

    In the enclosed environment of the MCG, the winds - in Hodgkins' words - tend to "slingshot" off the stands so that a northerly wind ends up assisting the pacemen from the Southern End, but in general the pitch is of the type where success comes from aiming at the stumps. Reverse swing, which has been a factor at the venue in the past, has also been in scant supply this summer due to the heavy rains that have kept the surfaces from developing their usual abrasive characteristic.

    "Victoria do tend to bowl first here, because it's an easy pitch to bat on, but it should be one of those tosses where it doesn't really matter," said Hodgkins. "The MCG wickets have never really been accused of being fast and bouncy, so it's more something that will offer something up front, then get quite flat towards the end of the match."

    That could make it difficult for either team to take 20 wickets, and Australia need to win either in Melbourne or Sydney to regain the urn. But Australia's wicketkeeper Brad Haddin said the conditions were not a concern, despite their success on a vastly different pitch at the WACA.

    "The beauty of Test cricket and playing in different countries, and even in Australia on different grounds, is the uniqueness of all the different wickets," Haddin said. "You've got to adapt to wherever you play. That's the beauty of Test cricket. Whatever pitch the MCG produces, it's always going to be a good one and it's always going to be a good spectacle for the crowd."
    mera libas hai tu zps3e44c641 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

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    Default Re: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    best of luck australia

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    Default Re: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    NOOOOO..... England Lions go and trounce these Yellow yellow dirty fellows
    mera libas hai tu zps3e44c641 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

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    Default Re: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    My best wishes for Aussies

    8bffd51cd2705b99335ce635a13dbb09 zps81c9bfed - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    ..!!


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    Default Re: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    They can only win if English batsmen fail yet again
    mera libas hai tu zps3e44c641 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

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    Default Re: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    Ponting fit again - No chance for Usman Khawaja

    Ricky Ponting is almost certain to take his place in the Boxing Day Test after batting without any obvious discomfort in the nets at the MCG. Ponting faced a bowling machine, throwdowns, and then a group of young net bowlers as he aimed to prove that he can lead Australia on Sunday, despite breaking the little finger on his left hand during the victory in Perth.

    It will be a different challenge facing the likes of James Anderson and Chris Tremlett, but Ponting had little trouble against the net bowlers, pulling and driving without hindrance. Usman Khawaja, the New South Wales batsman, was at training on Thursday but is not likely to be required, although Ponting's finger has not healed enough for him to field in the cordon during the Test.

    "He said it felt pretty good after facing some balls on the machines and facing the bowlers," the vice-captain Michael Clarke said. "We're all hopeful and confident. Unless they cut his finger off, it's going to be really hard to leave Punter out. He's going to have to wait until tomorrow to see how it pulls up after having a bat today. But he's pretty happy with how things went today.

    "Ricky definitely won't field in slips. He'll probably field at mid-off or mid-on. As long as you're pretty close to seeing the line which the bowlers are bowling, it's probably better for the bowlers that Punt's there to be able to talk to them as well. He has fielded there plenty of times in one-day cricket so I don't think it makes much difference."

    Should anything happen to exacerbate Ponting's finger problem during the match, Clarke could find himself pulling the reins out in the middle as the team's vice-captain. He also looms as a potential second spinner if the selectors decide to keep their four-man pace attack with Steven Smith as the main slow-bowling option, ahead of Michael Beer.

    "The ball's coming out of my hand okay as well," Clarke said. "I've been bowling pretty well in the nets. I've been fit to bowl in every Test. Having Steve Smith in the team gives them that option as well. Conditions will play the biggest part there, they'll wait and see what the wicket is like tomorrow, I would imagine."

    Ponting and Clarke are the two members of Australia's top order that most need to lift for Boxing Day, with the team having relied heavily on Michael Hussey, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin during the series. Clarke made 80 in the second innings in Adelaide, where he couldn't salvage a draw, and his other scores have been 9, 2, 4 and 20.

    "It hasn't been great," Clarke said of his form. "I thought I batted pretty well in the second innings in Adelaide. I made 80-odd which is nice. I was disappointed to get out in the last over of the day there. I felt very good in the second innings in Perth as well. I feel like I'm doing all the work. I feel like I'm training hard and hopefully there's some runs coming for Christmas this year for me."

    126188 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match
    mera libas hai tu zps3e44c641 - All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

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    Default Re: All About Ashes 2010 - 4th Test Match

    har gay ye tu

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