England succumbed to massive defeat against Australia in the 1st test. The visitors at one point looked like making a comeback with a partnership of over 150 runs with Joe Root and David Malan but England suffered a big collapse, losing 8 wickets for 77 runs on the morning of Day 4, eventually folding out for 297 runs and giving a meagre target of 20 runs to the home side.
Several ex-cricketers criticized the decision of Joe root to bat first, on a pitch that turned out seamer-friendly. Now England’s ex-fast bowler, Steve Harmison has voiced his opinion after the match and said that the decision to bat first was although brave, but England batters do not have the ability to survive the initial burst of the opposition on such conditions.
Speaking to Brad Hogg on his Youtube Channel, Harmison said, “Bravery is one thing. Ability and being good enough is another thing. I don’t think England’s batsmen are good enough at this minute of time to survive for initial two hours in such condition, especially where there is a lack of preparation.”
“If he (Joe Root) had Alistair Cook, Sir Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott and 1, 2 and 3, with Bell, and peterson and Collingwood behind it, then fair enough, you might be able to get through the first two hours. But unfortunately, our batters aren’t good enough to bat in conditions like we had with no preparation. That’s no surprise. It didn’t surprised me when we were Forty for four.”
The critics pointed out that England did not play to their strength, which is their bowling, and allowed Australia to take away the advantage. It is worth noting that Pat Cummins said that he would have opted for batting as well. Luck too favored the home side as there was bright sunshine when Australia came out to bat in their first innings, allowing nothing for the ball to do of the pitch.
Apart from the practice match, England was not able to get much time to prepare because of the rains in Brisbane. The decision to leave out both Anderson and Broad was also met with criticism, especially when both of them are almost fit. The Australians took apart Jack Leach and scored nearly 8 runs per over of him. It is likely that England will go out with an all-seam attack in the Adelaide Pink ball test match. The dilemma for the visiting side would be leaving out bowlers in order to include both Broad and Anderson.