To say that England had a terrible start to the Ashes would be an understatement. From Rory Burns getting out on the first ball, Ben stokes multiple no balls giving multiple lifelines to David Warner, to the pre-planned assault of Jack leach and collapse of 8 wickets in 77 runs on the morning of the fourth day, England had it all wrong.
The salt was rubbed to the wounds when match referee David Boon docked 100% match fess of England’s playing eleven, a harsh penalty as deemed by Brad Haddin for the offense of slow over-rate. But if that all wasn’t enough, England suffered five points in the World Test Championship table. The coach admitted that the deduction of the points hurt the most as the team is competing to get a shot in the final.
“What hurts the most is the Test championship points, because we are competing to get in the final,’ said Silverwood.”
Australia on the other hand enjoyed the complete opposite. The captain on debut lost the toss but ultimately was made to do the right thing, i.e. bowling on a pitch that had moisture from persistent rains in the build-up to the first match. It would be fair to say that Mitchell Starc and Australia had done their homework on Rory Burns. The left-hander tends to shuffle across, a tad too much and got out on a ball that was far from deserving a wicket.
Coach Chris Silverwood said, “It was quiet in the dressing-room when it happened”. The coach admitted that the effect it had on the home side was that their tails were up after the first wicket. To say that England were the victims of lack of match preparation wouldn’t be wrong too. Jack Leach last played competitive cricket against India in March. Stokes was coming off a break due to mental health issues. The stand-out for England was Mark Wood steaming on almost every ball he bowled, Ollie Robison beating the edge on a gazillion occasions, and Joe Root’s and David Malan fight back, the only session which belonged to the English side in the four days of the test.
The coach has hinted that both Broad and Anderson would be brought back to the side for the Pink ball test match. The match will commence on the 16th. It would be interesting to see whether the captain will decide to bat or bowl on winning the toss.