|Posted on August 7, 2019 at 8:00 PM|
At the “Fortress”, Edgbaston, Australia and as my wife said to me this morning, “Gee Australia really thumped England”. And Yes! They did in the end, but it wasn’t all one way, it was a real battle.
Having won the toss and choosing to bat the Aussies came from behind after their top order capitulated. It took a heroic effort from Steve Smith and Peter Siddle to add respectability; and not wanting to take anything away from Smith and Siddle, England were and would be a bowler down for the remainder of the Test.
It should also be remembered that England had taken the advantage by the end of day two; Australia had chosen to use some very ordinary around the wicket tactics; and the deficit had been reduced to a hand full of runs with six wickets in hand.
There is nothing I need to say about Steve Smith, it’s all been said; except for something from former England player and Coach David Lloyd; “Bumbles” in reference to Steve’s second century of the match... If you were viewing at the time you might remember the camera focusing in on a game of cricket being played near bye; And to the two or three spectators watching on Bumbles yelled in jest, “Steve Smith’s still batting”. ����
Yes! England were gone; with Wade and Smith still at the crease, Australia’s total was going to be beyond anything ever chased down at the venue.
What a pleasure it was to watch our bowlers in the second innings; Pattinson and Siddle were wicketless but were magnificent nevertheless; Cummins with three in the first finished with seven for the match but all the quicks beat the bat, with terrific lines, seam position and use of crease. If they maintain these tactics throughout, they will be a formidable combination and be rewarded accordingly. In particular Cummins peppered the corridor with subtle angle changes; And Lyon! Well he took full advantage of the deteriorating pitch to mesmerise his combatants with a nine wicket haul.
I still get a kick from the memory of that former English Offie with such high opinions himself “Graeme Swann” who claimed Lyon would be the weakest link in the Aussie bowling attack. What a sledge to make about one of his peers; he must now, chew on his words each time Lyon has the ball in hand.
This was a win Australia would not have expected and we should not get carried away; the series is far from over.
Former Tasmanian Fast Bowler Mark Ridgway mentioned just the other day in celebrating Matthew Wades “back to the wall”, Test 100; and I agree Bancroft and Khawaja are now under pressure with Warner not far behind.
Fortunately we have youngsters in the wing who are proven contributors.