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Friday's Ashes gossip column - Australia v England

Mitchell Johnson (left) and Andrew Strauss (right)
Johnson has been involved in sledging throughout the match in Perth

Mitchell Johnson's six-wicket blitz on day two of the third Test in Perth was inspired by the sledging going on between him and some of the England players. "Jimmy [Anderson] was out there batting and giving me a bit of lip and that sort of fired me up a bit more," Johnson said.
Read more: Adelaide Advertiser

Johnson also said he was happy to claim the wicket of England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who had been asking the bowler for his phone number in recent days. "I didn't give him my phone number, that's for sure," Johnson said. "I don't think he was being friendly, no."
Read more: Fox Sports

Wisden editor Scyld Berry has called Johnson's devastating spell, in which he took four wickets for seven runs, "one of the finest Ashes spells".
Read more: Daily Telegraph (Sydney)


"Australian cricket is in turmoil with a captain and vice-captain who have lost their way. Ponting looks almost shot. If the fat lady sings any louder for him, she will shatter a window."
Read more: Herald Sun

"Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are the major problems. Ponting should move down the order and away from the new ball to prolong his career."
Read more: the Australian

However, Ponting, who turns 36 on day three of the Test match, should take comfort from a batch of batsmen who all excelled as they approached 40.
Read more: Adelaide Courier

The Herald Sun has suggested all-rounder Shane Watson could be the man to succeed Ricky Ponting as captain.
Full story: Herald Sun

However, Ponting may be at the mercy of a "changing dynamic" within the Aussie selection panel.
Full story: Daily Telegraph

Having been left out of Australia's Ashes XI, spinner Michael Beer has returned to Sheffield Shield cricket, and been named in Western Australia's side to face Tasmania on Friday - where he will lock horns with fellow slow left-armer Xavier Doherty, who was dropped after the second Test.
Full story: Herald Sun

Former Australia spinner Ashley Mallett was shocked at Beer's exclusion - and is predicting a 4-0 series victory for England.
Full story: The Australian

Mike Hussey, Australia's batting rock for much of this Ashes series, admits he was expecting to be dropped until he scored a century for Western Australia against Victoria just before the series began.
Full story: The Age (Melbourne)

Chris Tremlett's parents Tim and Carolyn stayed up to watch his starring bowling performance for England in the early hours of Thursday. "We saw him get his wickets, but then our eyelids closed," admits former Hampshire seamer Tim, who represented England B during his playing career - and whose father Maurice (Chris's grandfather) played three Tests for England in 1948.
Full story: Daily Star

Ticket touts - or "scalpers", as they are known down under - have been preying on "desperate fans" outside the Waca, with some demanding a mark-up of over 180% on the face value of tickets.
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald


Despite Cricket Australia - and the man himself - insisting there is no chance of a fairytale comeback by Shane Warne to rescue Australia, a group of fans from Queensland have launched a "Rescue Fund" to beg the leg-spinning legend to return to the Baggy Green.
Read more:


An Australian online bookmaker has said it will pay out on all bets placed on England retaining the Ashes, even though we are only in the third Test. Sportsbet announced it would pay out $400,000 (£256,000) with chief Matthew Tripp explaining: "We'd be paying out soon enough anyway so punters may as well have their cash in time for Christmas."
Associated Press

And former Australia wicketkeeper Rod Marsh has claimed that Michael Clarke should not captain Australia... because he has tattoos. Marsh also blasted paceman Shaun Tait for turning his back on Test cricket to concentrate on Twenty20.
Full story: Perth Now

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see also
Thursday's Ashes gossip column
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Wednesday's Ashes gossip column
15 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Tuesday's Ashes gossip column
14 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Monday's Ashes gossip column
13 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Sunday's Ashes gossip column
12 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Saturday's Ashes gossip column
11 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Friday's Ashes gossip column
10 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket

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