Did England read Langer’s dossier

and think it was the team strategy?

Pretty much everything the little opener emailed the Australian coach a few months back turned out right over the two and a half days at Headingley.

The thing is much like the comments made on TMS about the ridiculously short length England’s bowlers bowled it “wasn’t rocket science”.

The top order all have flaws in their batting technique that can be summed up in a bowling plan, a plan that can be used in their whole innings. Unlike say Ponting who you can devise a bowling plan to early in his innings – wide outside off get him chasing – but once he’s in there is no preconceived plan that’ll get him out. Once in the flaws go, unlike Cook, Strauss, Bell, Bopara etc.

We also know that the domestic game in England, while being a fine finishing school for Australians – Marcus North with his five counties a prime example – is a soft place for our internationals to learn the game. And that’s why we have molly coddled crybaby’s like Harmison and “pussies” like Anderson, who when things aren’t going their way let everyone know.

Langer summed the pair up expertly and the Bumpkin Brothers showed exactly one of the main problems with English players – brains or the lack thereof.

But their performance with the ball, repeatedly dropping far too short for a Headingley pitch after watching the Aussies pitch it up, move it just a bit and skittle England for 102, brings into question the coach. Now Flower got rather annoyed when giving his post match interview when asked if the plan was to bowl short, no it wasn’t he asserted.

Well if it was the plan then he should be sacked on the spot, anyone knows you don’t bang it in on a Leeds pitch and if it wasn’t the plan why was Harmison picked – on the day by coach and captain – as that’s all he does bang it in short. And if it wasn’t the plan of attack why did the England bowlers keep banging it in short for the 104 over of Australia’s only innings? That’s over three sessions, plenty of breaks in there for the coach to tell them where they are going wrong and to pitch it up – but nothing changed. So did they just ignore Flower and if so what is the point of having him about?

Added to that is the fact he didn’t protect his captain before this match by taking the media duties after the toss delay the fact he chose to drop Fred – right choice if not fit – weakening the batting order add another bowler who didn’t fit the conditions – as Sidebottom would – and then decided batting first would be best. Add to that he’s overseen batting collapses of just over 100 and just over 50 against not that great bowling attacks.

So the talk of who can now save England, who can win the Ashes back for us, if anyone after this demoralising defeat.

Changes to the batting line up, just pick a team to win this one game, sod the future, an Ashes win is the only thing now. But no one is putting their hand up and saying I’m the man for the job.

The choice of Ramprakash really is a joke, amazing he does have a far better test record against Australia than his overall test average which is a pathetic 27 and change. Oh he’s scored tons of runs in the domestic game we’ve already established as soft – he’s a flat track bully. But in the Test arena he failed, in 52 games, he choked and withered when he was a good player who was just part of the team now he would be asked to come in and win the Ashes. Can anyone really see him flourishing under that pressure?

Bell shouldn’t have been picked in the first place, a bunny to the Aussies, Key well he’d probably be better at 3 than Bopara who should be moved – not dropped – down the order, but the Kent captain hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in the international game. Trott, plays on flat Brum wickets and gets plenty of runs, just like Bell, not a great endorsement but he is South African so will be tougher mentally than his precious little county colleague. Why did Vaughan’s body pack up so early?

Bowling, well as pointed out Harmison shouldn’t have been picked for Leeds but saved for the Oval. It’s more his type of ground along with the fact it would mean one Test to get his place back and that’s the time he performs, when he has to. When is career is on the line he’ll put some effort in otherwise he really can’t be arsed and it shows. But he’s already had a game, feels his feet are under the table so now does he really have to bother, though he performed badly, maybe the Oval will be his one decent game of the year.

Fred should he play, fully fit or not? Two spinners? Has Broad’s wickets and runs kept his place? If it doesn’t swing straight up what’s the point of the Burnley Bumpkin “Pussy” Anderson? Can Strauss lead a team which needs to win when he is so conservative so early?

One thing, we may lose Ashes series with Yorkshiremen in the side but we don’t tend to win them without those from the proper side of the Pennines.

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