England head into the Perth Test Match knowing that 5 more good days of cricket will see them retaining the Ashes. Andrew Strauss and his team very nearly played the perfect Test Match down in Adelaide and with the Australian team, and indeed, the selectors, in what seems to be melt-down, we will never have a better chance of completing the mission statement and winning a series in Australia for the first time since 1987.
The spin options that the Australian selectors have been taking simply do not appear to be rationale. Having brought in Xavier Doherty for 2 games, of which the poor lad was clearly not up to the task, they have gone for another left arm spinner with even less experience than Doherty, in Michael Beer. I will be amazed if England’s batsmen do not once again gorge themselves on an inexperienced spinner.
There are rumours that the wicket has plenty of live green grass, which maybe shows that the Aussies are going to try and rely on their pace attack, which at least shows they have not lost their minds completely!! It amazes me though that both Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus who were dropped after the first Test can come back in a week and a half later!!
From our point of view, a replacement has to come in for the injured Stuart Broad. He has bowled steadily without setting the world on fire through this Series so far, so we need somebody to come and do the same job. It looks like the call will be between Tim Bresnan or Chris Tremlett. Tremlett would seem the ideal replacement in stature for Broad and the Perth wicket with its extra bounce, should be the place for him to play, but the Captain and Coach seem fairly conservative in their plans and it would not surprise me if they went for Bresnan to add weight to the batting line up, even though his bowling may not be as penetrative.
Let’s hope that at the end of the 20th December we have retained the Ashes and have played another near perfect game.