Oh, what could be. England’s bowlers finally showed up on night three, proving what we’ve always known: Australia’s batsmen are weak and have several flawed batsmen. Too bad our own wrong hitter has effectively lost the game.
While we can muster up the nerve to drop Australia to 53-4, and some pundits are talking about momentum swings and England actually ‘catching a cold’ right now, the bottom line is that the Canary Yellows are actually 268-4 . This is still a huge advantage. I think they’ve run enough…a cynic might guess that Bowling Australia actually means we have to play longer to save the game!
The latter was clearly a joking suggestion, as England trail 1-0 in the series and are desperate to win at the venue where they should be doing well, but Australia remain big favourites. England need to bat 10 times more than they have so far on this tour to come close to the target set by Australia.
Today’s breakdown was normal: a string of bad shots and a complete inability to dig deep. Cook hits a horrible putt to Lyon with an open face (a shot he doesn’t even need to hit), Root hits a horrible weight back and Vince hits a very ambitious backfoot Passing the ball, Mohn tried to fight the spin and scoop the ball back to the bowler.
All four shots of those recordings are truly inexcusable. These are the kind of shots you expect in the fifth Test when you’re tired and already beaten. England still had a chance to salvage something from that game this morning. Only Overton and Woakes showed that when you hit the ball with dedication and discipline, anything is possible.
Unfortunately, England have had few disciplined fights in recent years. It’s usually the same old story. Some will blame white-ball cricket for this, but it’s important to remember that not everyone on this England team is playing ODIs and T20s. Maybe it’s the coach?
Trevor Bayliss better watch out, because if England get hammered in this series someone has to be the scapegoat. It won’t be root, it won’t be Strauss (that’s for sure!), and I bet it won’t be a selector either. That leaves…
Gray series are often misdefined. Sadly, it looks like Root hit it big today when he plugged into Australia.
It’s hard to know what Joe is thinking. Yes, it’s cloudy, but when did the kookaburra balls start to swing long? Also, the fact that this is a day vs. night game (which probably suits our bowlers) shouldn’t come into play. After all, it is a day and night contest every five days. England didn’t need to seize a once-in-a-lifetime bowling opportunity this morning. sigh.
I guess it’s not all Root’s fault. England struggled in their first game before the rain. They don’t want two experienced bowlers like Anderson and Broad to under-pitch when the conditions are right. We improved after the break but England needed the intensity of the first goal. It just doesn’t exist.
In an interesting comment later in the day, Kevin Peterson suggested that Anderson and Broad might disagree with the decision to pitch first. It’s possible he’s just thinking out loud (some would say he’s agitated), but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s right. Anderson and Broad like to be in charge and I can’t think of any other reason for England’s lack of urgency when a huge effort is required.
Although England looked good in the game when Overton dismissed Steve Smith in the final period – what a moment for the tall, moderately paced Somerset sailor – Beauty and the Beast took Team Australia to the final. Of course, the beast is the hand comb. Unfriendly observers might guess that he has a most fitting name to make w**k visible. The eye-pleasing Marsh is a stark contrast.
England probably needed two late goals, so that partnership proved to be very important in the end. At the end of the day, the 209-4 result put the Australians in a great position – especially after conceding a goal. 209-4 might be worth around 280-4 under normal circumstances, with the pitch once again sluggish and scoring difficult. Let’s not forget that it was just as difficult (if not more difficult) for England to score against the Australian fast breakers.
Before I say goodbye, a quick introduction to the Adelaide Oval and the Pink Ball. While the atmosphere looked good – and there was a lot of talk about record crowds – I’m really not a fan. The Adelaide Test was the occasion preceding a special circadian experiment. It’s not broken, why fix it?
Developments at the Adelaide Oval have also gotten worse. It used to be the most beautiful soil in Australia. Now it looks like any other multipurpose stadium. The handsome scoreboard is basically all that remains of this elegant cricket ground.
I’m all for progress – I’m not a grumpy old idiot – but progress is only progress when things actually get better. Adelaide’s day and night test did not improve. The large crowds are likely due to (a) the novelty and (b) there are now more people on the floor than ever before.
Spectators also turned up for the traditional Adelaide Test in bright sunshine. They once sunbathed on the grass bank and enjoyed the beautiful view of Adelaide Cathedral. Everything feels very different when the ground is shrouded in darkness.
The Test Cricket has its own ambience, which is not enhanced by the floodlights, loud music and hustle and bustle. Save all Americanized shit for T20