England vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 2

There are days where the four writers here fight each other in order to get the chance to write the post at the end of play, and there are days when none of us want to write it. Today was very much from the second group.

The game started with people (particularly in the England team and the English media) suggesting that the Australian players would have been shaken and mentally scarred from Stokes’ heroics at Headingley. After two days, that would not appear to be the case. On the other hand, England’s bowlers and fielders looked tired. Perhaps they had spent the previous week on the lash, celebrating their unlikely win. Or perhaps the cold and wet Manchester weather had sapped any enthusiasm and energy they had for the game. Whatever the reason for England’s performance, it was an absolutely dire day for the home team.

The story was a familiar one. Steve Smith was in, and he stayed in until he put the game beyond England’s reach. England’s bowlers seemed powerless to stop him, bar a delivery from Jack Leach which Smith hit to slip. Unfortunately for England, Leach had overstepped the bowling crease and so the wicket was rescinded by the third umpire. Mitchell Starc and Tim Paine played supporting roles to Smith, each getting a fifty. Australia ended up posting a first innings total of 497/8d, leaving England requiring 297 runs just to avoid the possible follow-on.

Australia’s declaration left England with a ‘tricky 10 overs’ to face at the end of the day. As is traditional for tricky periods at the end of the day, no barrage of wickets fell. Instead, Australia were only able to pry Denly out with a sharp catch at short leg. On paper, Denly’s dismissal for 4 off 24 balls seems like an absolute failure. And, to be clear, it is. Any number of county openers must be looking at the performance of this England team’s top order and wondering if they have wronged any particular deity to be passed over so unfairly. But, compared to Roy’s performance in recent games, it was a defensive tour de force. Of Jason Roy’s 7 Test ininngs as opener, only one lasted more than 24 deliveries (His 28 (58) at Edgbaston). Particularly for an opener, who typically has a responsibility to get through the new ball more often than not, that is a shocking record. Let’s just hope that his Test batting improves when he comes in at five tomorrow.

But, and here’s the problem for me as a writer, what can you write about this game from an England perspective? There were no great performances in a losing cause which deserve highlighting, nor was there anyone who stood out as being significantly worse than their teammates. It was all just uniformly, predictably, mind-numbingly poor from all eleven players. The bowling, the fielding, and (for the 10 overs at the end of the day) the batting were diabolically bad.

It’s not like the ECB are going to sack the coach with just a few weeks left on his contract. Nor is any selector, even Ed Smith – Maverick Genius, going to drop all eleven players from a Test team. I’m genuinely stumped. Barring the rain making a significant contribution to proceedings (and given England have chosen to play in Manchester in September, it’s not an impossible scenario), I can’t see how England can avoid losing this game and conceding the Ashes.

And, for those of you keeping count at home, I think there were 4 overs unbowled today. Presumably, like every other day in this series so far, no punishments will be forthcoming.

Comments on the game or anything else below.


58 thoughts on “England vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 2

  1. Gareth Sep 5, 2019 / 7:38 pm

    It’s September. Cloudy and windy

    The ball swung consistently for two days.
    England didn’t pick a specialist swing bowler despite having two in the squad.
    Australia’s weakness for 15 years has been pitched up late swing.
    Archer and Overton bowling short at 81-85mph is a frickin dream come true for any Aus batsman.
    The selection of Overton is the single biggest raising of the white flag of surrender I have seen since Mark Ealham played Test cricket. Picking absolute medicority to try and put even more pressure on Archer and Broad. Utterly stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket Sep 5, 2019 / 7:52 pm

      The thing I find funny is that Woakes is the only England bowler to get Smith out twice in this series. I wonder what Smith’s average is when facing Woakes compared to the other bowlers. And he’s scored the exact same number of runs as Roy and Buttler combined. Unless he’s injured (and that rarely stops England picking someone), that seems an utterly bizarre decision.

      With Overton, his dismissal of Labuschagne was a really good ball. The rest was significantly less impressive. As for Archer, I think Cricinfo needs to adjust his description to ‘fast-medium’. At this rate of decline, he’ll be a spin bowler by next summer.


      • dArthez Sep 6, 2019 / 4:59 am

        The numbers for 2019, that Statsguru provides are not very useful. The averages they list are the averages of the batsmen at point of dismissal (eg. the listed average for Root the bowler against Smith is 211, simply because that was the score at which Smith was dismissed; Root has not even conceded 211 runs this series).

        Also, bear in mind that one of those dismissals against Woakes was a concussed Smith, so he was not exactly in the right state of mind (and that failure was still an innings of 92 – half the batsmen this series have never even looked like getting anywhere close to that). That dismissal owes as much to Archer as it does to Woakes. Likewise when England appeared utterly clueless at Edgbaston, Woakes was criminally underbowled (if fit) on Day 4. That also means his figures did not take much of a beating there.

        But it seems like the second and third bowler are picked on reputation, rather than actual performance. Genuine pace is exciting, but if Archer is going to bowl in the mid-80s on wickets without much movement, then I am not sure he ought to be picked. 92+ mphs and he would be a different proposition altogether. I suspect he is carrying an injury though, which, if true, would be another indictment of the England medical team. As for Overton, I really don’t believe he should be near the playing XI. But he was probably picked for his batting anyway.Muddled thinking seems to be the norm in matters of team selection. (on the evidence of the series thus far, it would have made more sense to pick Woakes to bat at 6 or 7 and drop Buttler). That would have meant an extra bowling option, with all the advantages that come with that (could even then play Archer as a specialist anti-Smith bowler).

        And as hard as it may be to dismiss Smith, this is a sharp contrast with his previous series in South Africa (before Sandpapergate hit), where he had been averaging 27, thrice dismissed by left arm spinners (Maharaj twice and Elgar once), and once each by Rabada and Morne Morkel, in a series that saw decreasing returns for Smith the batsman. Which suggests that the pressures got to him, both as a captain as well as a batsman. So when England had a chance to put him under real pressure, Archer trundles in in the low 80s, and the opportunity to put him under pressure had evaporated. Now obviously, Smith is not encumbered by captaincy anymore, and that might contribute a few runs as well. But not as dramatic as England allowed to happen.

        Liked by 1 person

        • dannycricket Sep 6, 2019 / 5:56 am

          Yeah, I’m a Statsguru guru, so if it were possible to get that information, I would. You need ball by ball stats to work it out, which you need a separate programme for and a lot more knowledge than I have to use.

          As for Smith, maybe England’s bowlers aren’t that good? Their go-to strategy is try to restrict the runs by bowling short of a length outside the off stump. If a batsman has the patience, they can just pick off any balls they want to score off with no risk of being bowled or LBW. Archer used to be able to bowl ultra-fast bouncers, which could trouble any batsmen, but that seems a long time ago now. Which leaves Leach (and Root) as possibly the most threatening bowlers England has now.


        • dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 6:51 am

          If Stokes can’t bowl again in this game (or even for the rest of the series), then that will really test Archer. If hasn’t got an injury at the moment, he soon will have.

          I thought given how long the tour was, Australia’s wheels might “fall off” by the 4th or 5th test. I was half right – there’re English wheels rolling down the high street.


          • Metatone Sep 6, 2019 / 7:10 am

            tbc, I don’t think England are that good and would have had a lot of problems in the counterfactual, but the loss of Anderson has been catastrophic. We’ve been so reliant on him for so long to do the business with the swinging ball – and while I’m critical of how innocuous he can look when the ball isn’t moving, he generally managed to bowl tidily and some long spells. So we have lost new ball threat and someone who could carry some workload.

            I’m reminded of how SA struggled against England in a series where Steyn was injured. Test cricket is so physically grinding that if you lose an experienced bowler, even a good replacement often can’t cope with the physical demands across a whole series.

            Now, this is not all bad luck. Broad and Anderson are both getting on and we should have been prepping replacements for a while. Woakes was one, but it seems he either dug too deep – exhaustion/burn out is a real thing! – or picked up a niggle in the WC. And so we roll on to a losing series…


          • dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 8:47 am


            Your right – loosing Anderson was huge.

            I suspect Woakes’ (where the hell does the ‘ go?) knee injury is worse than they are letting on. When he had his purple patch a few years ago he was bowling at 90 miles an hour (after being told he needed to bowl faster if he wanted to play test cricket). Now he’s luck to get to 85. It’s hard work bowling fast.


          • dArthez Sep 6, 2019 / 8:47 am

            Not sure which series you are referring to. The 2009/10 series? Or the 2017 series? Or the 2015/16 series?

            In the 2009/2010 series it was just Steyn, but in the 2017 series, it was also Philander who was clearly unfit. Abbott had already been sold off to Kolpakshire as well. That is basically as much as playing a second string bowling attack (no disrespect to Morne Morkel, but if those three had been fit and available, one can doubt whether he would have played). That is a bit more than losing just one quick, no matter how good (and if Duminy could catch, the first Test might well have developed completely different as well, since Root would have made about 150 runs less in the first innings – how is that for a counterfactual?).

            Steyn also played a lot of T20 stuff, to make a bit of money (and given the difference in the value of central contracts in England and South Africa that is hardly surprising). Steyn’s late career injury woes actually started in T20s. If Test cricket was the best paying format (and one can argue in England it used to be, although that is rapidly changing), such things would not happen. Because of those injuries he only got the all time Test-wicket taker record for South Africa, due to playing on when he was past his best, and possibly should not even have been in the playing XI.

            Also it shows the complete lack of planning. Replacing guys like Anderson, Steyn, Swann, Warne, McGrath is not easy. But that is no reason to not develop and nurture new talent. And while one can argue that Woakes has not covered himself in much glory abroad, it is not like Anderson has taken 5-fers for fun all over the world either (Anderson and R. Ashwin are bowlers with rather lopsided home and away records, much more than most if not all the other members of the 200+ wickets-club) and he has been good enough in England to say the least.


  2. Deep Purple Fred Sep 5, 2019 / 8:22 pm


    • dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 8:47 am

      That’s brilliant.


  3. Miami Dad's Six Sep 5, 2019 / 8:50 pm

    Predictions for England’s total tomorrow?

    I’m going for 172. Followed by 63-2 following on.


  4. man in a barrel Sep 5, 2019 / 9:39 pm

    Fortunately the Aussie bowlers were more intent on roughing up the opposition than bowling to their strengths, although Hazlewood looked very threatening and Cummins made Denly look as porous as a teabag. Starc was swinging it around corners but did not know how to control it but it must be difficult for a quick, seeing the way Denly and Burns cope with bounce, not to overdo the chin music. If they bowl stump to stump tomorrow, England could be all out for less than a ton again


    • dannycricket Sep 6, 2019 / 5:34 am

      The thing is, even if Australia bowl poorly, England will find a way to collapse. It’s practically their superpower.


  5. man in a barrel Sep 5, 2019 / 9:54 pm

    Has anyone seen the documentary film “The Edge ” about the rise of the England Test team to no 1 in 2010, and the fallout. From various writeups, it fingers Flower as a real baddy, behind the breakdown of Panesar, Finn etc and depicts Swanny as a hypocritical media professional, deflecting everything possible onto KP while he is whiter than Persil

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Sep 5, 2019 / 10:39 pm

      I might be the last person with Sky to see the fourth part of the KP documentary. Oh my goodness. Oh my mofoing goodness.

      For the defence of KP. Gough. Piers Morgan. Shiny Toy, sort of.

      Newman making it sound that the rage from me and other passionate fans was all really a Piers Morgan maelstrom. Then there was Swann. A wretched individual. Alas poor Cooky. Poor poor Cooky. Wasn’t as if he was the captain, but a poor lamb to the slaughter of big bad KP.

      I’d laugh at this nonsensical hatchet job if I could be arsed.

      Vaughan said “the amount of briefing from inside the England dressing room was pathetic. ”

      What was that again. The ECB doesn’t leak. Still a classic of its genre.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dannycricket Sep 6, 2019 / 5:33 am

        I’ve not watched any of them. I don’t feel the need to rehash England’s problems from 5-10 years ago when they still have the same problems now.


      • nonoxcol Sep 6, 2019 / 6:13 am

        I’ve realised something about Swann lately. All previous comments hold of course, but he also reminds me so much of my old workplace bully nemesis. I can only surmise he is so infrequently called out because England has a surfeit of nasty pieces of work or people easily seduced by performative “banter”. Certainly more English people can accommodate that than can deal with individualism, over-sensitivity, knowing one’s own talent etc.


        • dannycricket Sep 6, 2019 / 6:26 am

          The thing about Swann is that he was never a leader, captain or coach. In that way, his ‘banter’ is excused. And I think it’s also a personality thing. Swann’s sense of humour is like nails on a blackboard to me, but others love it. Conversely, I love Pietersen’s blunt honesty and dry sense of humour, but understand that others don’t. Both were generational players. It shouldn’t be beyond a professional man-manager to keep both in a team without seeming to pick sides, like England did.


          • nonoxcol Sep 6, 2019 / 7:20 am

            Re the sense of humour, I totally agree. And those of us who can’t stand it are often tagged as humourless… by people like him. Thing is, I know the difference between a wicked, embracing sense of humour and a malicious, isolating one, and I’m sorry, but his is so clearly the latter. It reveals itself in how well the individual deals with humour directed his own way: is he capable of laughing at himself or more likely to object and take it personally (usually because the ego is too big to cope)? And also in his other interactions with people: is he an authentic team player or a bad-mouther?

            On all evidence I’ve seen and heard, Swann fails on both counts. Some people – clever bullies – are good at *presenting* as the former while actually being the latter if you pay attention.


        • metatone Sep 6, 2019 / 7:13 am

          I saw it happening a lot at the time, but I couldn’t explain it to people and of course, being just a fan, didn’t have the access to prove what happened behind closed doors, but Swann bullied Panesar a lot. It was really chimpanzee status stuff. I’m sure the way that Monty’s talent never quite developed as it should can be put down in part to England’s drinking culture at the time – which isolated him – and of course to Flower being a macho idiot – and the generally poor attitude to spinners in English cricket, see Selvey, M columns for examples – but damn it, some of it was Swann’s need to get in Monty’s head and make him feel inferior.


        • dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 9:08 am

          A number of years ago Cricnfo had a video of an interview of Swann and Mushtaq. Half way through Swann starting doing his impersonation of Mushtaq, complete with “funny” accent and mannerisms. (any one remember “It ain’t half hot mom”?). Swann clearly thought it was funny but I don’t think Mushtaq did. I suppose we should be glad Swann didn’t do it in “black face”


  6. quebecer Sep 5, 2019 / 11:59 pm

    God, that was a grim day. I didn’t see the morning session (though DLPThomas said we were better then) but we were poor after that. Broad gets a pass, but I thought Root’s captaincy was essentially just petulant, Overton was as expected, Leach again a bit disappointing (nearly always a full toss or short ball in an over), and I actually felt for Archer. The petulance meant no-one was there telling him, Jof, establish your line, then move one in, then go short – but not too short ffs – then back to line, then yorker, then repeat the whole thing. Get through the crease, and keep it simple.

    But no. He was just left shrugging with an ‘ok, skip’ look when told to go around the wicket.

    We were terrible today. The fielding and overall demeanour was just depressing. As one wag put it, at least we have momentum back now we’re heading downwards again.

    I reckon that Smith fella might have a few more runs in him this series.



    • Deep Purple Fred Sep 6, 2019 / 1:14 am

      What was grim about it? I thought it was quite a fascinating day’s cricket. Talent showing through despite awful conditions, etc. I wasn’t going to comment, but since you’re here, I did have something to say.

      Actually I commented earlier but it included a link and maybe got spam filtered.

      I didn’t see much today, but I saw a bit. As Smith approached 200 I felt the need for a screen. You’re right, although he does this raggedy-doll-collapsing routine everytime, when he hits the ball, he is immpecable. Especially when they showed the highlights, and cut it down to just the shots, he looked like Mark Waugh, rather than Rod Marsh. You were right, he does whatever he needs to do to get there, but when the ball arrives, he is textbook, perfectly poised. Except for those bendy wristy reversy sweepy things.

      A few other observations:

      1. Nice to see Starc swinging for the bleachers again. He doesn’t always come off, but he hits clean when it comes off.

      2. The latest saviour for England, Archer in this case, perhaps not quite living up to advance publicity. Are you really surprised? It’s not so easy. Still waiting for Woods to cause havoc.

      3. I’m not sure there’s anything worse than a tail ender getting a top, edge and it going to the boundary. You may laugh or cry depending on your loyalty, but it is one of the cruelest aspects of cricket. (When Lyon did it today, I was on the laughing side, but the likes of Anderson have done it too. Monty Panesar has probably done it).

      4. England is not going to get them back.


      • Pontiac Sep 6, 2019 / 3:38 am

        They’ve straight up been ruining Archer and he might well be thinking, let us see. Two injury filled years playing Tests for England captained by … someone who is going to throw your body away … for a total career earnings of X, or go white ball only and mostly international T20 leagues for a 8-10 year career making 20X.

        England. Consistently. Kills. Talent. (Except somehow for Stokes.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • dannycricket Sep 6, 2019 / 5:47 am

          Yep. I suspect this spell in the Test team might affect Roy’s T20 batting for next year’s World T20. It’s like England have a reverse Midas touch. They’re kind of lucky they managed to keep things together enough to win the World Cup, and even then they were very lucky. If Roy’s injury was slightly more serious, or there were no overthrows, then this might have been a very depressing year for an English cricket fan…


    • dArthez Sep 6, 2019 / 5:15 am

      The first session from England was good. Control, discipline, good fielding, and not leaking many runs. The session score of 75/2 reflects that. England could reasonably hope to get Australia all out for 350 at that point, which would have been about par.

      The second session however saw dropped chances, Leach overstepping, inexplicable bowling changes and tactics, and the squandering of the new ball, which resulted in 124/0 for the session if I am not mistaken. The last session was carnage (128/3 I think), despite a good start (Paine dismissed first ball, and Cummins not long thereafter) with 80+ runs coming in the last ten overs of the innings (and mostly by the tailenders). By that point Australia were obviously batting with a declaration in mind.

      Still it remains criminal that Starc got his maiden series 50 in his first innings before half the England specialist batsmen did (if they ever will, in their seventh or eighth). And must have been extremely frustrating for someone like Roy, who scored about as many runs all series as Starc in his maiden innings.

      Best hope for England is that it rains a lot (meaning there are less than 120 overs left in the match), or that all the rain stays away and the wicket flattens out.


      • dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 6:47 am

        My memory is going (an adaptive mechanism to protect me from the trauma of watching England play) – was it the first session where Archer missed the caught and bowled off Smith? I think he was 60 odd at the time so it was a big miss.

        Liked by 1 person

        • dArthez Sep 6, 2019 / 6:56 am

          Yeah, it was the first session. But with caught & bowleds (certainly for a quick) you always need a bit of luck, and Archer did not have it.

          And as costly as it was, it did not seem that England lost control because of it. Th


        • man in a barrel Sep 6, 2019 / 9:23 am

          If it had stuck, it would have been a miracle. It didn’t just trickle over the boundary after it hit Archer’s hand.


  7. quebecer Sep 6, 2019 / 12:03 am

    Full disclosure: I don’t like Craig Overton much. I can usually avoid not liking pro sports people, but once you tell a Pakistani batsman playing county cricket to go back to his own country, I can make an exception.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket Sep 6, 2019 / 5:41 am

      Yeah, and whoever advised him to never mention it again and it will go away didn’t do him any favours either. By not addressing it publicly, he’s left a lot of people thinking, rightly or wrongly, that he’s an unrepentant racist.


      • dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 6:48 am

        Was he actually charged for racist abuse? I thought there were 2 witnesses but they went with a lesser charge.


        • dannycricket Sep 6, 2019 / 6:51 am

          No, he wasn’t. Which again, hasn’t helped him address it and move on. He can’t even argue that he’s ‘served his time’, with the officials having been inexplicably lenient with him.


          • dannycricket Sep 6, 2019 / 6:54 am

            Apparently so. I have to confess that neither I nor any of the other writers saw any of the first two sessions. With the rain pushing play to past 7pm and the Blast game straight after, there weren’t even highlights to fall back on. I still can’t find a video of it, although people don’t seem to be blaming Archer for a tough chance.


    • James Sep 6, 2019 / 9:52 am

      Wasn’t aware of that.
      Just when I down to just detesting the personalities of two players – Stokes and Broad – another cab comes off the rank.


  8. metatone Sep 6, 2019 / 7:19 am

    Lots of good comments here – and England have struggled to bowl sides out on good pitches for years too – but this was also a par 350 pitch. Now Aus have scored 150 more than that, which is a poor bowling performance – but I think we have to acknowledge what makes it catastrophic, what makes it game over, is we can’t begin to see England reaching 350.

    If the batting was in shape to reach 350, esp. if they did it over a day and a bit, then England would still be up against it, but you could feel a draw might still be out there.

    As it is, it very much feels like England will be out for about 250 and it’s game over.

    So as bad as the bowling has been, I think we must remember that the batting has been worse throughout the series.


  9. growltiger Sep 6, 2019 / 7:54 am

    Granted, the team as a whole was poor, it is illogical to blame all eleven individually, although that may yet become appropriate if they bat as badly as they bowled. I would single out Broad as having bowled very decently, with his now-patented attack on left-handers removing Head early.

    When it came to batting, it was predictable that Denly would fall before the end. He was a mass of flinches and air shots outside the off stump. Overton (who should not be in the side) oozed calm and competence when he came in as night watchman. Burns is still there and coped relatively well, taking one short one on what looked like the collar bone, but couldn’t have been, without breaking. Otherwise, he tucked away the length ball to mid-wicket , dropped his hands inside the short ball, and saw off Lyon. (There. Done for him, this morning).


  10. man in a barrel Sep 6, 2019 / 9:27 am

    If it had stuck, it would have been a miracle. It didn’t just trickle over the boundary after it hit Archer’s hand.


  11. dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 10:05 am

    Who Hoo – it’s raining!

    Sorry, I mean. How awful, it’s raining.


  12. dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 11:27 am

    So according to Dobell (on the last Switch Hit Podcast), Archer is carrying an injury. He said that in the world cup final, before being asked to bowl the super-over, Archer was “given an injection”. I assume it was for the side strain that kept him out of the first test and they took a gamble and brought him back early due to the injuries to Anderson, Wood and Stone.


    • metatone Sep 6, 2019 / 11:34 am

      One virtue of them losing this one might be that injured players can be rested.
      If it’s a rain draw they’ll feel they have to play them in a decider.

      Liked by 1 person

    • growltiger Sep 6, 2019 / 11:46 am

      At the time, they clearly thought that resting him through the first Test was sufficient, and then he came back and bowled that sustained spell at well over 90mph, without obvious damage. The steady decline in average spell-speed and peak speed since seem to suggest cumulative fatigue, rather than continued problem from a pre-existing side strain. But we will probably never know which.


      • dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 12:00 pm

        I agree we are unlikely to know the full story for quite a while (if ever) but a side strain usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to heal and no “injection” is going to change that. I Know Archer has bowled a lot of overs but on the other hand he is only 24 and had 12 days off between games. I think it is more than just fatigue.


        • metatone Sep 6, 2019 / 2:14 pm

          In a way it doesn’t matter whether the problem is injury or cumulative fatigue, the result is the same – he needs a rest to avoid the danger of breaking him. He could be a long term asset to the team, but needs careful handling now.

          Liked by 1 person

          • dlpthomas Sep 6, 2019 / 3:51 pm

            It may even be a combination of both. It will be interesting to see if they rest him if they loose this game.


  13. man in a barrel Sep 6, 2019 / 2:32 pm

    Starc’s radar is all over the place at the moment. Not sure why the Aussie quicks are so intent on bouncing Burns – he only looks at all convincing against Lyon. Meanwhile, Root is having a bit of a nightmare against the off-spinner


    • growltiger Sep 6, 2019 / 3:40 pm

      They have pushed a good theory beyond the point where it breaks down. They are now bowling so short to Burns that he is having little difficulty with it. Meanwhile he has been able to drive the overpitched ball (especially from Starc) with some comfort. He worked out early in the series that he can generally play back to Lyon with impunity. I think he looks alright. He’ll be out now!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. man in a barrel Sep 6, 2019 / 3:53 pm

    Meanwhile Root persists in trying to late cut Lyon. He needs to find a better release shot


  15. Quebecer Sep 6, 2019 / 5:07 pm

    That was as well as I’ve seen Burns bat. I thought he played Cummins better than Root.


    • dArthez Sep 6, 2019 / 5:14 pm

      Could not convert his 50 to a 100, but statistically, this is a better batting performance thus far than Alastair Cook ever managed in a home Ashes (a best of 36.66; two other series in the mid-20s).

      Needs just 8 runs from three innings to have a higher aggregate in any Ashes series in England than Cook, and about 45 runs in three innings to have a better average than Cook in any Ashes series in England.

      Of course, cue the Cook fanbois who will claim that his performance is not good enough …

      And now Root is gone, at the 67 over mark. England were cruising for most part of the day, and now suddenly under a fair bit of pressure.

      Liked by 2 people

      • growltiger Sep 6, 2019 / 5:59 pm

        Burns is finding his way. Showed a lot of thought had gone into dealing with the short stuff, knowing that there would be a lot of it. Took a very good ball to remove him. Cook’s record was, of course, composed of long stretches of not very much, punctuated by very high peaks in just a couple of series (and some statistically flattering but meaningless run fests). He did spectacularly well in Australia in 2011, and that was it, so far as the Ashes are concerned. Still, it is good that Burns will so likely move ahead of him regarding performance in home Ashes series. Should keep the critics off his back for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. dArthez Sep 6, 2019 / 5:16 pm

    Roy better convert this chance; after all Denly had to basically gift his wicket so that Roy could have this opportunity.


    • dArthez Sep 6, 2019 / 5:40 pm

      22 runs might seem luke unfathomable riches to Roy, but in the normal world that would be considered an absolute failure. Could not even last till the new ball.

      What a spell by Hazlewood.


      • growltiger Sep 6, 2019 / 5:53 pm

        If it were not for the manner of his going, Roy’s dismissal might have been disappointing. But that stiff front leg, creating the widest possible gate, rather corresponded with expectation. So we just have to be sad about it, rather than disappointed.


  17. nonoxcol Sep 6, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    Very soon, Root’s conversion rate will be no better than Mike Atherton’s.

    Whoever would have thought?


    • nonoxcol Sep 6, 2019 / 5:34 pm

      Of batsmen with at least 10 hundreds, his is now fifth worst, behind only Atherton, Alec Stewart, Laxman and (at the top) Misbah.

      Hussain and Thorpe are in the top 20 as well.

      I’d also point out that, in his fifth series, his Ashes record is starting to resemble Cook’s to a faintly alarming degree. One Compton-Miller Medal winning series, one other hundred and a lot of frustrating fifties.

      Cook’s fifth series was 2013/14. He made one more huge and ultimately meaningless Ashes hundred after that, as we all know.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. dArthez Sep 6, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    In sad news, Abdul Qadir passed on.


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