17 July 2013

Michael Clarke versus James Anderson

The second Test of the 2013 Ashes clash approaches. The battle will take place at Lord's, the home of cricket. In 2009 we were given a royal hiding which set up the momentum for England after we were unable to squeeze out a victory in Cardiff.

Had DRS existed back then, Ben Hilfenhaus would have had Andrew Strauss LBW for a golden duck, but Strauss went on to score a match winning 161. Rudi Koertzen was still arriving at the ground in that first over.

I have a strong feeling our side will be; Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Usman Khawaja (in for Cowan), Michael Clarke, Steven Smith, Phillip Hughes, Brad Haddin, Ashton Agar, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird (in for Starc).

Pulled out some stats. The clash between Michael Clarke and James Anderson will be the one to watch this match and is already a huge talking point. Fair to say Anderson convincingly won the contest at Trent Bridge.

Michael Clarke at Lord's (one neutral match versus Pakistan):
3 matches, 298 runs, HS 136 (2009 2nd innings vs England), Avg 49.66.

James Anderson at Lord's (all games):
13 matches, 58 wickets, Avg 26.06, BBI 5/42, 4 five wicket hauls.

James Anderson versus Australia at Lord's:
1 match, 4 wickets, Avg 35.25, BBI 4/55

James Anderson versus Michael Clarke:
14 matches and Anderson has dismissed Clarke 7 times from Anderson's 51 Test wickets versus Australia. he has dismissed Jacques Kallis (South Africa) as many times, while Sachin Tendulkar is his prized scalp with 9 dismissals.

From 21 matches against England, Clarke has scored 1,388 runs at 43.27. That is 19% of his Test match runs coming against the old enemy.

Anderson took Clarke's wicket in the first innings of the 2009 Ashes Test, but Clarke's epic second innings performance in that Test stands out as one of my fondest memories of his batting in intense circumstances. Given his form in recent times I believe it will give him a strong foundation to outplay Anderson in this match.

Our side does have a struggle to pull back from an early loss in a Test series, but there's plenty of cricket to come and although there has to be massive improvement from the first Test, there was a fight shown from our boys that has been absent for a long time.

Play hard boys, play smart!

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