England vs Australia: 2nd Test, Day Two (ish)

After yesterday’s washout, we should get underway today at last.  The match is reduced to four days, with the follow on target down to 150, and with 98 overs scheduled for each of the remaining days.  Obviously, in terms of the latter, they won’t get 98 overs in, but that’s de rigeur these days, and no one cares about it anyway, but even so if the weather stays fair then there is a reasonable chance of a result.

England made it pretty clear yesterday that Jofra Archer was going to play, and while they could always change their minds, there’s no reason to assume they will.  Pattinson is certainly out, rested, for Australia, while Hazlewood replaces Starc.

Other than that, it’s pretty much as you were – England are fretting about how to get rid of Steve Smith, who has moved from world class batsmen to batting God in the space of a Test, and will doubtless provoke wild celebrations just by showing signs of human weakness at any point.  The two batting orders still look fragile, the two bowling attacks still look like they might run through the opposition.  Australia have the upper hand largely because of Smith, but there is no reason at all England can’t skittle their visitors – the problem is the lack of confidence in the England batting order taking advantage of it.

There was some talk in the media about replacing Denly with Curran, drawing a furious response from Nasser Hussain about what that implies about the England batting order.  He was right too, either England choose batsmen or not, and selecting a bowling all rounder on the basis of more runs would be a savage indictment on the selection process.  Yet the wider issue is that even the suggestion of it already is that savage indictment – the possibility that an all rounder might contribute more to the run scoring than a selected batsman.  And that it might well be true.

Let’s hope we have a full day’s play today, not least for those who have paid the £150 a ticket for their inadequate seating and the privilege of seeing on social media how the chosen people get to enjoy the dining options.

Comments as always below.


50 thoughts on “England vs Australia: 2nd Test, Day Two (ish)

  1. dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 9:46 am

    Australia won the toss and chose to bowl first. This could be fun …


    • dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 10:09 am

      Roy lasted all of 3 balls. Can’t say it was unexpected. But seriously, if England wanted Roy to succeed, he should not be batting as an opener.


  2. dlpthomas Aug 15, 2019 / 10:03 am

    There’s a rumour that Pattinson pulled up sore after bowling in the nets on Monday and that was why they left him out.


  3. metatone Aug 15, 2019 / 10:05 am

    I didn’t see Nasser’s response, but the figures don’t look all that ambiguous, Curran has a better Test match batting temperament than Denly. Now maybe we should be selecting better batsmen than Denly from CC in the first place… but then Nasser should be slating Ed Smith.


    • dlpthomas Aug 15, 2019 / 10:09 am

      Wouldn’t hurt to pick some-one better than Roy as well


      • metatone Aug 15, 2019 / 10:10 am

        Swish and miss.
        Played inside the line of a good one.
        Edges the next one to the keeper.

        You can stick a fork in this match, it’s done.


        • dlpthomas Aug 15, 2019 / 10:14 am

          I think Roy has a lot of talent but it is unfair on him to pick him as an opener.


          • dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 10:26 am

            I was more thinking of picking Stuart Broad as a wicketkeeper.


        • LordCanisLupus Aug 15, 2019 / 10:25 am

          This tactic has a chance if we play on decent batting surfaces. That’s not our modus operandi in England. Woe betide a chief executive wicket.


  4. nonoxcol Aug 15, 2019 / 10:10 am

    That thunder you can hear in the background is Dmitri, cursing FICJAM for picking Roy as a Test opener….


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 15, 2019 / 10:27 am

      Only following the herd. That herd masquerading as “experts”. If you give him 10 goes he might come off once or twice. Is that enough?


  5. metatone Aug 15, 2019 / 10:13 am

    England carrying 4 walking wickets: Roy, Denly, Buttler, Bairstow.
    Hard to see how that’s viable.


  6. metatone Aug 15, 2019 / 10:33 am

    Am I the only one who is tired of Warne’s commentary?


    • dlpthomas Aug 15, 2019 / 10:42 am

      I got tired of Warne years ago.


    • Burly Aug 15, 2019 / 1:51 pm

      Just remember during the World Cup he was saying Bairstow and Roy should be England’s Test openers.


  7. dlpthomas Aug 15, 2019 / 10:44 am

    Root gets out like that quite a bit


    • metatone Aug 15, 2019 / 10:49 am

      There’s an argument that all the pushing him to play at 3 has just exposed him more to the inswingers that he has trouble with…

      Anyway, England in big trouble now. Burns will hang around, but who else?


      • thelegglance Aug 15, 2019 / 10:50 am

        I don’t get, I’ve never got, the argument for compromising your best player in order to make up for the shortcomings elsewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

        • nonoxcol Aug 15, 2019 / 10:52 am

          I don’t even feel strongly about England, but this particular thing makes me want to swear like the proverbial trooper. It’s absolutely insane: it was just the same when there was all that clamour for Pietersen to bat at 3 during that pre-Trott phase (shortly after he’d lost the captaincy as well).


  8. Deep Purple Fred Aug 15, 2019 / 10:49 am

    Remember when Root used to get criticised for failing to turn 50s into 100s? Those were the days.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Burly Aug 15, 2019 / 1:53 pm

    I hate seeing Buttler get out. Which means I hate Test cricket quite a bit at the moment.


  10. nonoxcol Aug 15, 2019 / 2:15 pm

    Is this the worst England team since 1999? (and as much as I defend the 90s England side, I don’t bother doing so for the 1999 lot)


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 15, 2019 / 2:24 pm

      At which point does the media focus turn from being downcast about this team to the party line that the team is knackered, most tests get to results now so series outcomes are skewed, and in any case, we won the World Cup.

      This could make the 4-0 Ashes defeat last time out look tame. Oh, yes, it was. We didn’t get whitewashed and his highness made 244 not out.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 2:33 pm

    Üh, in what universe ought Denly end up with the second highest contribution of the innings for England (certainly true among the specialist batsmen; Bairstow and the tail might h? Nice to see that at least Burns continued his decent returns from last game (and honestly, a 50 in these conditions can hardly be considered a failure).

    But rest assured the passengers won’t disembark anytime soon. Some England players are hostage to their own hype.


  12. Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 3:47 pm

    For anyone who hasn’t managed to watch, Hazelwood’s figures don’t flatter him – and they are very good indeed.


  13. Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 3:58 pm

    Woakes having all sorts of problems with the short stuff.


    • Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 4:00 pm

      Ah. And put. Not claiming any prescience there. I think everyone saw that coming.


  14. Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 4:05 pm

    I’d be more comfortable if Archer had an arm guard. I think Nasser just said the same. Very nervous.


    • Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 4:07 pm

      If I have that right, Cummins just bowled 10 short balls in a row. I love test cricket.


    • dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 4:27 pm

      Even proper batsmen are better off with one. Ross Taylor found that out 7 years ago when facing Morne Morkel. And I don’t think Cummins is that much worse than Morkel, nor that Archer is that much better than Ross Taylor.

      There is a difference between facing medium pace and fast pace bowling …


  15. dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 4:29 pm

    So the guy who has topscored for England this year thus far, barring one innings by Burns is batting at eleven.

    I could say how little sense that makes, but since this is England, it is probably not even par for the course.


  16. Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 4:42 pm

    251/9. Thank god. Our best batsman is at the crease. Finally!


    • dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 4:56 pm

      258 all out. Happens when the best batsman of the side is stranded with the tail.

      Still, given the weather forecast England are still in this.


  17. Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 5:02 pm

    Jonny batted well. Nothing spectacular, just… batting. I’m not sure he needed to play the shot he got out to though. It might not seem a big deal, but didn’t the Aussies show just how important squeezing everything you can out of an innings is?

    Good performance form Aus. All steady, and Hazlewood was bowled very well. He found the right line and lengths and stuck to it, getting just the kind of movement he was selected for on this pitch. I don’t mean to be ungenerous to the Aussie bowling, and it was certainly good. However, I a clear day, that wasn’t a 250 pitch. The Aussies bowled like Jonny batted: very well, but not spectacular. Three drops too.


    • Marek Aug 15, 2019 / 5:48 pm

      He particularly didn’t need to play it given that the no 11 he’s batting with made 92 in his last Test innings against an attack that had bowled the entire team out for less than that in the first innings. Sure, Murtagh–Rankin–Adair–McBrine is really not Cummins–Hazlewood–Siddle–Lyon, but I think Bairstow was playing according to Leach’s position rather than his abilities there.

      Interesting given that SL have been squeezing out the runs today with the last decent batsman batting with Suranga Lakmal, who’s probably no better than Leach (and who must be getting vertigo from batting at no. 9!)

      I think in some ways it exemplifies why England aren’t doing better generally–and it’s a failure of tactical thinking as much as batting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 5:55 pm

        The issue with England is generally not the lack of talent or ability, but the brain trust. It is astounding how a team with so many resources, can keep shooting itself in the feet with the consistency of a Swiss watch.


      • Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 5:56 pm

        That’s a good point. And yes, the infuriating way we don’t help ourselves grinds my gears something fierce.


  18. dArthez Aug 15, 2019 / 5:16 pm

    Not sure why Woakes is not opening the bowling here …


    • Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      Maybe because there isn’t much swing? Also to get Archer in the game? Weirdly, I thought Archer got Warner – but now Broad has!


      • dlpthomas Aug 15, 2019 / 5:28 pm

        One of the commentators (can’t remember which one) made the argument that Woakes needs the new ball more than Archer does. I reckon Root is just as keen as everybody else to see what Archer can do.


  19. dlpthomas Aug 15, 2019 / 5:25 pm

    God I love Broad.


    • thelegglance Aug 15, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      450 Test wickets and people still don’t rate him. Astounding.


    • Quebecer Aug 15, 2019 / 5:44 pm

      I think the three tests so far, I really think Broad has been the class of the field. Some good, some very good, and some unplayable deliveries already today.


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