England vs. Australia, 4th Test, Day 2 open thread

Well unfortunately none of us we were able to watch the first day’s play yesterday, hence the lack of a post, in the hope that maybe one of us had seen the highlights. Alas, to say it wasn’t a great day of cricket is an understatement. The weather conditions meant that the teams were on, then off more than an opinion from Michael Vaughan.

England lost the toss and were made to bowl first on a pitch that seemed to give little assistance to the bowling team. They did though make early inroads with Broad first taking the wicket of David Warner, who has become his walking wicket during this series and then picking up Harris on reviews. After that, the pitch seemed to flatten out and not for the first time in this series Smith and Labuchagne made England’s bowlers toil in unhelpful conditions for a surprisingly tame England attack.

Craig Overton picked up Labuschagne towards the end of the day, after bowling pretty innocuously for the most part of the day. Steve Smith is still at the crease (of course he is) and if I had a pound for every time I’ve highlighted that England need to get him out early to restrict the Australian total, then I’d probably be living in a castle somewhere in Umbria at the moment.

The weather doesn’t look great for today, cue the why are we playing the Ashes at Old Trafford in Manchester debate, but fingers crossed that we might get some more play today. Equally it would also be quite refreshing if Steve Smith could trip over his stumps in the first over of the day; unlikely sure, but probably as likely as a full day’s play.

Feel free to comment on the game below.


33 thoughts on “England vs. Australia, 4th Test, Day 2 open thread

  1. metatone Sep 5, 2019 / 6:09 am

    I’m a bit annoyed at some of the crap analysis about the weather/scheduling.

    Yes, it rains a lot in Manchester from July onwards… but it’s about 5 degrees warmer in (eg) London right now and while it is 50/50* if that would have made for better cricket, it would certainly have made for better conditions for the crowd.

    And you know, that should matter…

    *I reckon Jofra finds it easier to get in the groove when it’s not too damn cold.


    • nonoxcol Sep 5, 2019 / 7:36 am

      It is literally the only Ashes Test ever to start and finish in September outside London. It is a direct consequence of the ECB not caring as long as they could have their WC and Ashes in the same summer. Which is itself an indictment of their own arguments about Ashes and overseas WCs, which led to the back to back career ending apocalypse of 13/14. And the Aussies are back next year for more ODIs anyway, while NZ get four Tests here in 12 years against Australia’s 20.

      Basically, proper analysis means roasting the avaricious bastards on a spit, so instead just expect some predictable japes about Manchester weather LOL.


      • dArthez Sep 5, 2019 / 1:54 pm

        The only instances of an England – Australia Test played in September were in 1880 (!) and 2005. Both at the Oval.

        That makes all of 1 Ashes Test in September anywhere in England up to 2019. When we will have two.


  2. metatone Sep 5, 2019 / 6:12 am

    England need a bit of luck. That could be rain spicing up the pitch so they get Aus out for about 250, or it could be enough overs lost over the next few days to guarantee a draw.

    It’s tempting to put this down to the toss, as it seems clear it’s an innocuous pitch right now – although there are signs it may spin properly later – but if we’re honest we know if England had won the toss and batted they would have folded like a cheap suit anyway… and we finally got Labu-shaaane out, but with Jofra feeling the cold, we have no clue how to get Smith out.

    Bar another Stokes miracle somewhere in this match or the next, this series is going to just peter out boringly into an Aussie win.


    • dArthez Sep 5, 2019 / 6:47 am

      A bit of luck? How much more do they need after two massively lucky breaks already this summer?

      If you need all the luck in the world to be competitive, then I am sorry, you are just not that good. And the sooner that actually gets addressed the better, I would think. Or will we even be contented with subpar pitches, subpar batting, subpar bowling, and the occasional bit of excellent fielding? Nothing will kill of Test cricket than institutionalised mediocrity.

      Might be something outrageous to point out, but before the Ashes Labuschagne had all of 1 fifty in 8 innings, made at home against Sri Lanka. Not exactly the start of someone who is impossible to get out. What has helped, undoubtedly, is that he actually played a bit of County Cricket before subbing for Smith. It is an outrageous idea, that will never catch on with FICJAM: playing County Championship Cricket might actually be beneficial for a number of batsmen in England (Roy, Buttler, and I would argue the same holds for Bairstow).

      Unless the wicket is absolutely flat, it is delusional to expect any significant contribution from Buttler or Roy against this Australian attack. Likewise, I am not saying that Crawley or Sibley should be parachuted in this England side, but at least they would enter Test cricket with the right mindset, unlike the aforementioned players.

      Liked by 3 people

      • metatone Sep 5, 2019 / 11:33 am

        I fully agree they are not that good, to be clear.


  3. Tony Bennett Sep 5, 2019 / 6:40 am

    It’s a Steve Smith double hundred pitch I reckon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tony Bennett Sep 5, 2019 / 4:29 pm

      You read it here first! But honestly, what a lacklustre display by England in the field. One would expect a bit more zest and enthusiasm. I know he got a couple of wickets but is Overton in the top three available seamers?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Miami Dad's Six Sep 5, 2019 / 7:37 am

    +1 all time great batsmanon the top of his game. No obvious weakness. Returning from concussion injury.

    +1 bowler who has hurried that batsman, responsible for aforementioned concussion.

    +1 captain and coaching set up that sees said bowler only bowling 8 of the batsman’s first 48 deliveries, almost 10mph slower than the spell which, ya know, knocked him off his feet.

    If this was the other way around, Australia would have preyed on the opportunity. Root just doesnt seem to get it.


  5. man in a barrel Sep 5, 2019 / 8:44 am

    I read that Hutton in 1954-55, after seeing Benaud get out to Tyson, would make a big point of putting Tyson on to bowl as soon as Benaud came in, even if Tyson were knackered, to the extent of exaggeratedly looking around for him in the field. Benaud’s contribution to the series was minimal


  6. dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 10:03 am

    It will be interesting to see how root uses Leach today. I thought he was under-bowled yesterday as he got some turn and beat the bat a couple of times. Maybe it was something to do with the wind – certainly Broad seemed put off or put out by being asked to bowl into it in his second spell.


  7. man in a barrel Sep 5, 2019 / 10:16 am

    Interesting how England’s PR always backfires. If you look at the recent cricinfo interview with Broad, they show a picture of Archer in the nets, overstepping the popping crease by about 3 feet. What was that about not practising bad habits? Reminders of Bairstow on the last Ashes tour practising hitting across the line?


  8. dArthez Sep 5, 2019 / 11:08 am

    Meanwhile in Bangladesh, the hosts bowled 68 overs in the first four hours, and followed it up with 22 in the next two hours and a bit against Afghanistan.

    Almost all overs bowled in the day were spin, and they still could not get them in in six hours. Anyone can see that for themselves, since Bangladesh opted for the second time in a row not to pick any specialist pace bowler.

    Honestly, we need neutral curators (not just in Bangladesh, but pretty much the entire world over). This is just ridiculous.


    • dArthez Sep 5, 2019 / 11:09 am

      Sorry, missed that there was a slight rainbreak, so the overrate has remained quite good throughout the day.

      However, the comment on the pitch still stands.


  9. dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 11:56 am

    A hundred for Smith – how depressingly predictable.


  10. Burly Sep 5, 2019 / 12:39 pm

    KP thing on at lunch. Strauss using the fact that KP didn’t trust some members of the ECB as reason why it was correct he never played for England again.

    That is so backwards it’s incredible. Do English footballers trust the muppets in the FA? Should KP have trusted people who treated him appallingly, briefed against him, and lied to his face?

    Unsurprisingly there was no criticism of the ECB; just Swann and Newman trotted out to be the voice of the “in-crowd” and the pipeline to the ECB/Flower respectively.

    It pisses me off that Piers Morgan is still the go-to guy to present the case for the defence, but at least we had Michael Carberry who, like KP, like Compton, like others who weren’t part of the clique, told the truth about that environment and what it was like if you were on the outside.

    Liked by 3 people

    • LordCanisLupus Sep 5, 2019 / 10:42 pm

      The sight of Newman put up as an “impartial witness” was utterly hilarious. That his true implication that all the heat and light came from Piers Morgan was risible and unchallenged by Nasser. Who ain’t no David Frost.


  11. dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 1:06 pm

    Leach gets Smith on a fucking no-ball.


    • Burly Sep 5, 2019 / 1:14 pm

      Inexcusable. Even worse than Roy’s drop of a simple catch. England descend into a rabble so easily.


      • dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 1:27 pm

        They were disciplined before lunch but it has slipped since then. Good to see Root give them a serve.


  12. dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 1:33 pm

    Archer needs to really crank it up here.


  13. man in a barrel Sep 5, 2019 / 1:38 pm

    Archer’s first over – low 80s. We have Broad, Overton and Stokes for that. Surely he should be trying to get some pace… Something different


  14. dArthez Sep 5, 2019 / 1:46 pm

    New ball, Archer starts against Smith. He bowls in the low 80s. He might still be getting into the groove, but this does not look particularly promising from an England perspective.

    Let’s hope he can up the pace in the following overs.


    • dArthez Sep 5, 2019 / 2:07 pm

      He gets just three overs, before being replaced by Overton, who was the fifth bowler yesterday. Let’s hope it is Archer bowling within himself, rather than already carrying a serious niggle.


      • dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 2:20 pm

        But why would he be bowling within himself? He said during the last test that he dropped his pace because his job is take wickets not just to bowl fast. That made sense when the ball was doing something but it’s doing bugger all today. Surely the right tactic for today is to bowl fast.


        • dArthez Sep 5, 2019 / 2:29 pm

          My thoughts exactly, and that makes the (relative) lack of pace so worrisome. The right tactic would have been to go full tilt, in a short burst, and see what happens. The only reasonable explanation that I can come up with is that he is already carrying an injury, and that would be sad for him and indictment #14241 for the medical team.

          To add to the worries, Stokes left the field mid-over, seemingly with an injury.


          • dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 2:39 pm

            I agree – I think he may have a niggle. The only other explanation I can come up with is that he’s just not in the mood (a la John Snow)


          • dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 3:36 pm

            And now Overton grimacing and clutching his back.


  15. dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 2:36 pm

    And another catch goes down…..


  16. dArthez Sep 5, 2019 / 3:51 pm

    England finally take a catch. Paine gone for 58, but way worse for England was that it was a 145-run partnership that has finally been broken. The partnership ended all hopes England might have had to restrict Australia to 300-ish, now they’ll be lucky if Australia get only 420.

    The sensible thing for Australia is simply to bat on, accelerate a bit, and then when the next shower arrives tomorrow declare, so that England will not have a flat wicket to bat on in all likelihood.

    Cummins did not last long. Gone to Leach. But at this point, Australia won’t massively mind anyway.


  17. dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 4:45 pm

    Its hard work being an England fan.


  18. dlpthomas Sep 5, 2019 / 5:41 pm

    Denly continues to look all at sea against the short ball.


    • growltiger Sep 6, 2019 / 8:19 am

      Look? He is all at sea, sadly. He gave it a try, but still tried numerous times to play the ball outside off when he should have been trying to leave. The ball that dismissed him should have been left too, since it was short enough for the snick to hit the thigh pad.


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