The debate in the English cricketing fraternity these days is not about England turning around the table in the ongoing Ashes but whether the side is the worst touring team to Australia. England with all their said preparations for a couple of years has not been able to display a competitive performance till now. If we talk about first two matches, England has been able to win close to 3 sessions only out of the nearly 12. The good thing about England though is they can only go up after the two crushing defeats however, the likes of Broad and Anderson upon whom England was heavily relying in Adelaide, maybe dropped for the third test.
Former fast bowler Steve Harmison believes that England will not go with Broad and Anderson for the Melbourne Test. The captain, Joe Root was highly critical of the bowler’s length when the English bowlers bowled back of a length in order to dry up the runs during the 1st Australian innings. Root acknowledged that the fuller lengths in the 2nd innings allowed them to get 3 quick wickets within a span of 1 hour on the morning of the fourth day.
Root’s criticism of bowlers a signal to dropping veterean duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad for Melbourne Test?
According to Harmison, Root has already hinted that either of Anderson and Broad, if not both will be dropped and the hint has already been given when Root criticized the bowlers in the interviews after the match. The justification has already been painted across and now dropping one of the veteran duos or even both may not be surprising when the squad will be displayed for the 3rd test.
Root may be right in pointing fingers to bowlers, however, batsmen have an equal responsibility to share the burden if not more, and England did not make the most of a flat batting wicket like Adelaide where Australia scored in excess of 400 in the first innings. Apart from Malan and Root, no other English batter has looked confident enough to survive the Australian bowling attack.
The third test match will start on the 26th of December and critics have pointed out that the conditions will only further away from the third test match onwards. Australia will not have Josh Hazelwood and Starc is also doubtful but will get bolstered by the return of Pat Cummins and the duo of Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson have already made their presence felt in the Adelaide test.