Ashes 2010: Five things England must change for the MCG

Monday, December 20, 2010

LONDON - Former England fast bowler and now columnist with The Guardian, Michael Selvey has said that England would need to consider changing five things to make an impact against Australia in the Melbourne and Sydney Ashes Tests.
1. Build pressure with the ball by bowling as a unit: England’s whole bowling strategy for this series has been based on incisive use of the new ball and disciplined attritional bowling thereafter. For Melbourne they will need to get back to that approach.

2.Remember the comebacks: England’s capacity to recover from defeat or near defeat has been considerable in the four years since the infamous whitewash. It is something Australia learned last year after Cardiff, when England went on to win the next match at Lord’s; after the massive defeat at Headingley when they won at The Oval; and after a calamitous start in Brisbane this time, from which they recovered, and then went on to win by an innings at Adelaide.

3.Change the batting order: England need to consider pushing Ian Bell up the order, as he is now a considerable international batsman and the best technician in the side. The form of Paul Collingwood, who, batting at five, averages around 15 in the dozen innings since he made a hundred in Chittagong, is a worry. Bell must now be better utilised so that he does not run out of partners as he did in Perth.

4.Neutralise Hussey, but absorb the lesson of his batting: A little more than a month ago Mike Hussey was fighting for his international life, saved only by a second-innings hundred for his state just prior to selection for the first Test. Since then he has made more than 500 runs in the series, including two centuries and three half-centuries, which with his hundred at The Oval last year means he is the only batsman in Ashes history to make six successive scores in excess of 50.

He has become the stabilising influence in an otherwise under-performing Australian top order. England need to bowl tight to him. He is playing England at the game that served them so well in the first two Tests.

5. Do not go chasing the ball: England batsmen must avoid chasing the away going balls thrown at them by the Australian bowlers. (ANI)

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