As a roller-coaster the second Test at the Adelaide Oval got over with the hosts Australia, coming from behind, handed England a crushing 120 runs defeat to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match Ashes series. Possibly, the touring party conceded a golden chance to restore the parity of the series. Australia batting first post 442 runs, best of this series, and in the second innings, they were decimated for just 138 as James Anderson picked up his first fifer in Australia in 30 innings. However, England batsmen failed to live up to the challenge posed by Australia’s bowling attack. While in the first innings England was bowed out for just 227 as spinner Nathan Lyon picked up four wickets and speedster Mitchell Starc picked up three. In the fourth innings England had a 354 runs stiff target. When they walk in to bat, they found them in a big trouble as Starc, for the first time in the ongoing Ashes, has rattled England batsmen with his sheering pace and swing. The lanky fast bowler got good support from Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon to win the match for the nation.
After this match questions have been raised against England’s batting attack which has done a great job on home soil and failed to live up to the challenge posed by Australia . So, Cricwizz.com come up with five possible reasons areas of improvements for England before the third Test in Perth, starting on December 14.
Alastair Cook’s patchy form continues
England’s experienced opener Alastair Cook is yet to get back his mojo. The journeyman, who has an average above 45 in Australia, failed to live up to expectation. The southpaw, so far, scored 79 runs in four innings. Much has been expected from the former skipper but his consistent failure has become a big headache for captain Root. Since home series against West Indies Cook has been observing a run dry. In the Adelaide Test, England team management was expecting a solid contribution from the veteran man but Cook failed to give a good start to his team. Thus, only God knows when he will get back to his form. Until Cook gets his going, England may have to suffer such heartbreaking defeats in the remainder of the series.
Joe Root lacks temperament
Captain Joe Root is one of the few experienced batsmen of the team. So, when England was chasing a record total 353 skipper Root had to stand tall at the crease to anchor the innings, but the flamboyant cricketer slumped to a Josh Hazelwood delivery which sadly went through Root’s bat and thigh, kissing his willow and wicketkeeper Time Paine beautifully grabbed him. Root’s promising innings of 67 came to an end.
However, before that delivery of Hazelwood, Root was looking solid and he was middling the ball and smashed six boundaries to designee his 67-run innings. When an exemplary captain’s knock was expecting Australian medium pacer has done the most important damage to the visitors. A damaged which had never been recovered by England , instead they gradually slumped to a crushing defeat.
Middle order failed to cope with pressure situations
England has a very young top order and a middle order. James Vince and Mark Stoneman have bowed their heads in front of Australia’s speedster Mitchell Starc. With the lanky fast bowling demon was in terrific form these young blokes Vince and Stoneman failed to stand up against the challenge. While Stoneman was dismissed for 36, Vince’s innings was decimated for 15. England lost their second wicket in a span of four overs and Vince was dismissed after 10 overs. With Starc got the taste of blood he was up for the challenge to rub more salt on the wound.
Notwithstanding, England lost the chance of winning the match when they lost top order cheaply. In the meantime, Another young man David Malan was bowled by Pat Cummins. Malan’s dismissal meant England lost their top order for 169 runs, half away from their target 353.
Mitchell Starc’s fiery spell
One of the key reasons behind’s England’s defeat in the Adelaide Test was Starc’s fiery spell in the fourth innings of the match. The Australian bowling spearhead was unleashing the red cherry very fast with accurate length and swing to tear apart the batting attack of the touring party. It was Starch who had done the main damage to England by picking up his eighth fifer. With Starc got the taste of the blood he was ready to carry more damage. So, he put the final nail by dismissing lower middle order Jonny Bairstow, Craig Overton and Tom Curran. So, England have to find a way to counter Starc in the remaining three Tests.
Lower middle order nonchalant
With England’s lower middle order reliant Moen Ali was trapped lbw by spinner Nathan Lyon England’s last hope for winning the match pinned. Those who have done a terrific job in England now have become a subject of debate. With wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow struggling to provide a measurable contribution to his team, expecting something from young bowlers Craig Overton and Tom Curran would be injustice to them.
When England are struggling to fix their problems, Australia is determined to emulate their 2013/2014 Ashes performance when they whitewashed the English to regain the urn. Five years ago, it was Mitchell Johnson, who played with English players’ mind, left a major physiological implications on touring party handing them a 5-0 whitewash Down Under.
This time too, they are on the right track. With 2-0 lead Steve Smith and co. are set for another whitewash as it seems. With Australians outwit their England counterparts in all departments in the Brisbane and Adelaide Test the latter will find it difficult to make a turnaround in the remainder of the series.