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‘Old’ Aussies catch ‘young’ home team napping

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Ashes_England_Australia_cricketGoing by the resounding win at Lord’s, the trusty old hands of Australia are up to something special for sure. And England has once again been found wanting against the pace and bounce of not two but three Mitchells.

The way Aussies have regrouped to inflict this epic defeat on the Englishmen is commendable. England were caught napping, enjoying the view from the top after the win in Cardiff. Michael Clarke & Co. toiled to bring their rivals down to earth in Lord’s.

Going in to the second Test, Australia has probably the most vulnerable batting line up for sometime. An over-excited as ever David Warner; ageing Chris Rogers followed by dependable Steve Smith; next to him a surprisingly out of form Michael Clarke; fifth Test playing Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh in his first Ashes Test and Peter Nevill making his debut.

But this line up came trumps. The top three contributed 616 runs over both innings.

The new-look England went back to the old days, it seemed. Their five man bowling attack became toothless. James Anderson didn’t take a single wicket, Ben Stokes looked desperate, Mark Wood was clueless and Moeen Ali was played with care as Stuart Broad kept taking all the load.

 

The batting line up, as Alastair Cook admitted, was brittle. No one could make an impact like Joe Root did in the first Test. England have perhaps taken for granted that Root would get the side out of a hole for almost a year now.

It is seemingly becoming the case that if Root fails, England fails. There is no second line of defence in batting. And in a bid to save their best batsman for the worst situation, the over all look of this line up is dismal. Newbie Adam Lyth, under stress Cook, untested Gary Balance, bits and pieces Moeen Ali, still not a Test material Jos Buttler doesn’t really make competition for a bowling line up with Johnson, Starc, Lyon and Hazlewood.

At least the second Test at Lord’s proved that even the ‘tailor-made’ pitch didn’t help the home side’s case.

What’s heartening to see here is how Australia outplayed England in every department. Though their batting was shaky in first Test, they came back strongly; when the bowling lacked firepower, Johnson led on that front. And then that run out of Ben Stokes was icing on the cake: the Aussies fielded like champions.

This also showed that Australia were not as bad as they looked in the first Test at Cardiff. Going to Edgbaston, England will play at a ground where they last won a Test in 2011 against India. In 2012, they drew a game against West Indies due to rains.

But then this was also the ground where, in 2005, England won the second Ashes Test by just two runs to level the series and turn the tide in their favour. Can they do what the Aussies did in the second Test? At their 100 percent they will make for interesting competition. Anything less than that, and the Aussies will not give them a chance.



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