It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the third test match in Melbourne will be a do-or-die match for England. When England rested James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the justification was given that the Ashes is a long tournament and therefore the bowlers need to conserve their mileage. The test series may be long but after 9 days of Cricket, England are down and out and the writing on the wall is appearing 5 – 0 for them unless they do their homework, not only in regards to bowling and batting but also team selection.
Mark Wood wrote a couple of days ago that Root and Stokes had a discussion and ‘honest chat’ with the team and that there was a sense in the dressing room that some urgency needed to be shown. While Joe Root criticized the bowling after the match, the batters too would have got some stern messages behind the doors from Root and Silverwood.
Ben Stokes in his column for mirror has said that the side has made some repeated mistakes made by too many players. Is he referring to Jimmy and Stuart Broad who were not willing to bowl fuller-length bowls, which Root said got them wickets on the morning session of Day 4? The batting isn’t great either with Geoffrey Boycott describing the opener as ‘walking wickets’, who don’t have the right technique to withstand the pace and bounce in Australia.
Don’t have chats too often like that in the dressing room – Ben Stokes
There were reports that the English team was made to watch some appalling display of their recent performances by the coach after the second test got over. Mark Woods said it too that the side needing a kick in their bum. The conversation may have been uncomfortable but it seems the need of the hour for Root is to not only avoid another defeat on the Australian soil but also to prevent his demotion from the Test captaincy, which critics believe is likely to happen owing to the mind-boggling decisions that Root and Team Management have taken regarding the team selection.
Before landing in Australia, England would have wished of having won at least one of the first two matches. They couldn’t have even celebrated Christmas freely as their entire week would have gone contemplating about the Melbourne test match. “We need to play this game with no regrets. Get it clear in our minds how we want to play, get the work done in preparation and then go out and deliver something for the fans to enjoy after Christmas Day.” Stokes wrote in the Mirror.