Boy o boy it’s been a day filled with drama in the world of cricket Starting with the much-anticipated collapse by WI in NZ to a remarkably exciting evening in Adelaide Oval where England just crawled back, then to the ever boring once sided series, where another batting collapse by SL on a day India were very generous being sloppy on slip’s cordon. But that was just action on the field, the action off the field continued as Indian selectors pulled the big guns to announce test squad for SA series and a brand new T20 side(For a change real T20 performers were given a chance Except for DK and MSD).
But for all that had happened in World cricket, the thing which caught my eyes, mind, brain, soul etc etc. was nothing but ASHES CRICKET and the fact how England literally proved to everyone that they are far far superior home(Side movement of the ball) condition bullies than India or any Subcontinent team are. The reason I say this is not because I feel envied on England’s come back because I feel they already lost the match when they conceded that big a lead. Since I got the opportunity to watch today’s game unfold live, I have few things which I would like to put up front as an analysis.
Both with bat and with the ball England looked toothless in the entire course of this second test, except for today’s last session. The moment the lights were on the ball started to get sideways moment Anderson & co got their tails up. So a 135Km bowling looked all enough, isn’t it? England are pure bullies playing on seam conductive conditions nothing more than that. Look at the way their bowling unit failed during Indian tour last year, their quicks are just 135 clicks slow didn’t even test Indian lower middle order, so I am not sure what made the ECB think that they will rattle Australian batters in their own backyard. Now this late evening swingatholan will vanish all these issues and the Poms will think their mojo is back and what not. But the reality is they are one-dimensional bowling unit who happened to defeat a rattled SA twice in the span of 2 years(As that is the only accolade they could brag about in recent past).
To beef up my statement we can turn the clock back to 2015 Ashes series, where England lost 2 games in a humiliating manner, both games were nothing track which was hard & flat, the end result in Lords’s ENGLAND LOST BY 405 Runs and in Kenningston oval ENGLAND LOST BY INNINGS AND 46 RUNS. That is some thumping to get in your own backyard. It reiterates two facts here 1. Aus quicks are/were and forever will be devastating on hard/flat tracks. 2. Pom’s Pace unit lacks cutting edge when they play on any other track/conditions where there is no sideways movement.
This also brings us to the next two high profile news which is flying around 1.Mark Wood is being hinted to join the team as the Pom’s unit as understandably forgot the meaning of PACE. 2. Ben Stokes saga, now with his latest NZ stint & developments. It was widely debated and even accepted that Stokes loss is a big blow he is a one war machine of a player & Mark Wood’s quick bust spells were dearly missed too down under. Having said that both Stokes & Wood couldn’t do much difference when the suffered those heavy drubbing in Lord’s and Oval during 2015. This brings in the question of where England’s problem really lies.
According to me, it is as much in the batting unit as it is with the bowling unit. Remember when the Pom’s won the 2010/11 Ashes down under, they didn’t have express quick bowlers in their side, but what made the difference was their batters piled up hefty runs on the board, this did help their bowling unit and also unsettled their counterparts. One might say it was depleted Aus unit, as they were rebuilding after the loss of many greats still, they had the firepower in their quicks. One stark difference between the current and then England unit was the composure & quality of Top order batters. The present English unit with a fading cook, Struggling Root (in Aus conditions), the absence of stokes and miss firing Bairstow, unfortunately, is looking for a miracle from its bowling unit. So this makes them now think that all they lack is express quick bowlers, but unfortunately for Pom’s they never had many of that nature nor having now.
So root must now quickly regroup to ensure some damage control is done to avoid 5-0. He must now make it very clear to heir batting unit with the statement “Hey boys we need to score 400+ runs minimum in our 1st innings if at all we want to stay in the contest”. They just can’t make a 145Km+ clicks bowler or two overnight, even if they bring wood and stokes they are not guaranteed a different result. I would agree that their one-dimensional bowling attack might change with the inclusion of the above two, but England’s problems are far from over even with their presence. To me, their batting unit looks far from convincing to even pull a draw in Australian conditions. Just into 2nd test and Root looks rattled, these are worrying signs for English cricket. If Root doesn’t score big, couldn’t see any other big game changer on this English side who could at least salvage some pride. Overall this Evening in Adelaide might be the only victory the Pom’s might have in this entire ashes, rest of the time they might hide their tails between the legs.
#ECB #CA #Ashes #Hometrackbullies