4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2014
No one, not even the greatest Australian optimist, could have foreseen that Australia would trounce England by five tests to none in Australia, especially after having lost three nil to England just months before in England, and hard on the heels of losing all four tests in India. Sir Ian Botham,(that well-known Queensland all-rounder), in typically bullish mode had forecast a clean sweep to England.
As we all know now Sir Ian was "sort" of correct, but the victors by that great margin was Australia. It was a great team effort but the mercurial Mitchell Johnson was the one player who stood head and shoulders above the rest. It was as if England had forgotten to do essential homework or forgotten that he had been bowling superbly in recent ODIs against their very selves and India.
To chart the progress of these ten Test Matches, who could possibly do greater justice to the trials, tribulations and triumphs of both sides than the great Gideon Haigh? The book is comprised of his trenchant articles for both "The Australian" and our own "The Times". To these on the spot reports he has added summaries based on hindsight.
With his succinct analysis, sharp observations , wit and a sense of place and history, Mr Haigh once again paints many vivid pictures of these two hard fought and memorable series of Test Matches. A sheer joy to read and savour.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2014
I love it, but I hate it. Gideon Haigh captures the opening of the cracks and exposes the weaknesses of the England side as it begins to crumble from domination to miserable, abject failure in the full glare of the Antipodean sun and in the face of the relentless revival of the Australian cricket team.
Not being an ex-professional cricketer adds value to Haigh's dispassionate and unflinching analysis. He has no axe to grind with any old changing room buddies, no allegiances to betray and so he gives praise and criticises freely with a wry, unforced humour.
Haigh can pack plenty of detail into very few words. No cliches, nor glib comments. Each sentence flows with the grace of a left-handed No 3 in his prime. Australians will love this account of their team's return to Ashes domination.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
As somebody who struggled to watch the sheer awfulness of England's tour down under unfold, the only reason I bought this book was because it was written by Gideon Haigh who is, in my opinion, the best writer on Cricket around at the moment. This book did not disappoint. It is insightful, uses some terrific descriptive phrases and is witty. A great read for any Cricket lover.