Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Fraser - Australia Down But Not Out For The Ashes

Gus Fraser the former Middlesex and England stalwart has written an article in the independent describing, what deep down in our hearts, we all know is true and that is that it is far too early to write of Australia and predict an England ashes win.

Bookmakers across the board have slashed England's odds since Australia's first series defeat since 2005 against what is a very good Indian side (especially in India). Australia are still favorite with the bookies but the gap is closing.

Fraser's article begins "Australia's series defeat in India will hit the cricket-loving inhabitants of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth hard. It gives those who have not rejoiced in an almost 15-year period of Australian dominance the opportunity for bravado too. And it's true, Ricky Ponting's side is a shadow of that which walloped England 5-0 in 2006-07.

Fraser goes on "But if the cricket world believes that from the Aussies, it had better think again. The defeat, like that in the 2005 Ashes, will lead to soul-searching but those in charge of Australian cricket will not sit down and feel sorry for themselves. They will not panic. They will assess what they need to do and plan a way forward."

The defeat in 2005 is indeed exactly what we need to look at in order to see Australia's great resilience and the fact that Australia can bounce back and return to winning. The true indication of an Australian demise will not be apparent until after the Australian vs. South Africa series. The other important issue is that England are currently in India and will face the team that has just beaten Australia very soon. This should provide us with an indication of how competitive this England team under KP is.

Fraser also gave the reason for Australia' s strength being the government's investment into the cricketing academy and sport in general. The other reason Fraser gives is that Australia breeds youngsters who want nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of greats like Bradman, Warne and CO.

England has without doubt bridged the gap and advantage that the Australian institute of sport (AIS) had over us and other nations due to our own form of sporting investment. Lottery funding has provided our youngsters across the sporting board with the opportunity and resources to achieve sporting success.

Fraser also reminds us that we are overlooking another critical point whilst looking at the Australian demise and that is; if England lose to India and South Africa defeat Australia then the Ashes becomes a battle for the 3rd best team in the world.

You can read the full Angus Fraser aricticle here. You can also read our early Ashes preview/prediction by clicking here.