Well, we didn’t see this coming as Justin Langer just resigned as head coach of the Australian Cricket Team, with six months left on his four-year contract with Cricket Australia. He didn’t get what he wanted to warrant a contract extension, as they’re just not on the same page, unfortunately, when it comes to this team’s future roadmap.
Justin was first onboard back in May 2018 from the team’s worst times thanks to the ball-tampering saga that got Steve Smith and Dave Warner banned for a year, it wasn’t easy for a start without the duo but they’ve at least won the Ashes on English soil later in 2019 for the first time since 2001, the T20 World Cup last year in UAE and the Ashes again here last month.
He won’t get the chance to help Australia end their long-running drought v India away, taking back 50-Over World Cup also in the same country late next year & their return to Pakistan next month since 1998, but sure he’s created a huge legacy within the dressing room that was taught during his playing days where someone will take over the baton from him.
It’s too early to say at this stage, but whoever is replacing him will need to keep that red-ball record both home and away, build on that T20 World Cup success later this year on home soil before switching over to the 50-over format next season.
It’s over and done within three days of the 5th and final Ashes Test at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, Australia began Day 3 still on their 3rd innings spell on 37-3 where Keeper Alex Carey extended their lead to 270 after being all out for 155.
England then have to respond the 271 target to win not long after lunch, Unfortunately, they weren’t up to the task despite a good opening partnership as they are bowled out for 124 & Australia win by 146 runs + wrap up 4-0 in the series.
England disappointed once again when they showed some fight especially with the ball on hand, Stuart Broad can still be a threat to the opposition at age 35 alongside Mark Wood, who is outstanding, where he collected 3 wickets in the 1st & six in the 3rd innings.
Credit to Sam Billings filling-in the gloves for Jos Buttler as well as Zak Crawley with his numerous catches & 2nd innings spell as Opener on 36, however, the rest just couldn’t face up to the standard set by Australia which is where they were eaten up this quick before it was too late.
And Australia, how good is it to wrap up a 4-0 clean sweep with their 150th Test victory v England. Although there’s still some room for improvement from their Top 4 batsmen, but there’s a few that stood out amongst the Starting XI where they turned the tide and made their way towards the homestretch.
The fast bowling cartel is always in great hands with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins & Scott Boland, the same goes to Travis Head with the bat who saved their day in Australia’s 1st innings spell and played extraordinary in the middle-order at 5 & Cameron Green can not only bat handy runs but also take wickets where he will be a long-term fixture here at No.6.
The Ashes is done for now here as the next edition will take place in England mid-2023, bring on the Australian Open Tennis over the next two weeks to round off the summer of sport starting today.
#Cricket #Ashes #BlundstoneArena #Australia #England #MarkWood #StuartBroad #TravisHead #CameronGreen #PatCummins #ScottBoland #MitchellStarc #ZakCrawley #SamBillings #AlexCarey #AUSvENG
There’s so much going on yesterday on Day 2 of the 5th Test at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, Australia resumed with the bat earlier in the afternoon on 241-6 when the end of the first day’s play was cut short due to rain as they were all out for 303.
Then England came in to bat and couldn’t catch up to the Aussies inside 50 overs where they were eventually wiped off on just 188 not long after tea, although the away team fought back early after the innings change with the ball but they are still behind by 152 runs going into Day 3 today. Meanwhile, Australia will resume with the bat once more at 37/3 with Steve Smith on 17* & nightwatchmen Scott Boland on 3*.
England still have deeper batting issues to address even though they’ve made more wholesale changes, yes it’s unlucky to see Rory Burns being run-out on his recall in place of Haseeb Hameed as Opener but it’s woeful when three of their Top 4 were trapped by Australian skipper Pat Cummins before Mitchell Starc shared the workload & finished the job. With the ball, it’s great to see England bounce back when the Australian Opening pair were sent back upstairs early plus Marnus Labuschagne, however, they better complete this batting collapse ASAP & go big if a win is possible for the first time in this Ashes Series.
Australia had some great moments when Nathan Lyon smashed a handful amount of runs on 31 at No.10 which is great to bow out past 300 during their 1st innings spell, they also restricted England in return of 188 thanks to Captain Cummins with a 4fer plus Mitchell Starc who finished the opposition’s bottom-half batting card. They were not good with the bat, however, in the 3rd innings when Dave Warner & Usman Khawaja were out again that cheap plus Labuschagne as they were very vulnerable off the England bounce. All they can do now is take their time with a few hours of play today, otherwise use that 4th innings spell with the ball as their main weapon & finish it up ASAP for the win.
This is top-notch Test Cricket on Day 1 yesterday with both bat and ball from Australia and England at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, England off to a brilliant start having won the toss & bowled first through a earned a couple of early wickets but Australia fought back later on before rain called stumps slightly early for the night.
Australia is still batting in the middle at 241-6 going into Day 2 later this afternoon.
Credit to Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad with the early wickets that sent the Australian top-order packing early, they bowled a good and fuller bounce plus the read on areas where the opposition struggled to execute and use it as their best strengths through to slip. Speaking of catches Zak Crawley made 3 which is nice from their opener on the field. However, but England just couldn’t hold Travis Head and Cameron Green accountable when these two came in & were punished with plenty of leaked runs, they better bat big in return with Rory Burns back in the side plus two new players in due to finger injury issues.
Australia would be disappointed with their Top 4 after they were dismissed cheaply against the England quicks, Usman Khawaja’s red-hot recall after his pair of centuries last week didn’t continue yesterday when he was moved from the middle-order to Opener with David Warner and so far it’s the complete opposite. While Warner & Steve Smith were booted for a duck, Labuschagne did bat okay on 44 then again his experimentation shot tying to hit leg-side was an error of his judgment when he was clean bowled by Broad.
In the end, it’s not all doom and gloom thanks to Travis Head who saved Australia’s 1st innings spell with another Test 100 at 5 when he come back from iso and batted big which is sensational as Head deserves his long-term spot here. Hats off also to all-rounder Cameron Green where he communicated well with Head before he secured another half-ton on 74, although Alex Carey & Mitchell Starc just came in bat not long before stumps but they can bat some handy runs before Australia bring their bowlers in.
Travis Head will reclaim his spot at 5 after he was tested positive to COVID which saw him sit out the last test in Sydney, Usman Khawaja played an unreal spell in his place off the bat even though he usually comes in at top-order with two centuries made in an Ashes match.
It will be tough to leave Usman out who is playing his best cricket at Test level especially when he’s 35 right now, but there’s one man he should replace and that is Marcus Harris as an Opener with David Warner. Yes, Harris did score a half-ton at his home ground during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, however, he didn’t provide the consistency the selectors expected through chance after chance without success.
So let Usman take his place & try to prolong that good start with Warner as he still has some energy left in the tank, then the rest of their batting line-up such as Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Cameron Green & Keeper Alex Carey looks spot on before we turn attention to the bowlers. While Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc remains undroppable, there’s some injury doubt from Scott Boland on his right thumb off England’s Ben Stokes fast-bowling while batting at the tail end last week in Sydney.
If Boland recovers on time & is fit to play for the final Test then no problem, otherwise bring back Jhye Richardson who entertained the crowd not just with the ball but also a bit from the bat during the 2nd Test in Adelaide last month and that was under a day-nighter.
How good would it be if Jhye plays again for another Day-Night Test in Hobart and knocks down England both through the stumps and downtown, his experience in those areas would give Australia the extra dimension to hopefully finish this Ashes Series 4-1 on home soil.
The England Opening Batsmen slots may be a huge mess and still needs fixing, but Zak Crawley played well during England’s 2nd innings spell on 77 a few days ago in Sydney as he deserves to keep his spot for Hobart and go from there to make up regular numbers like this one. However, Haseeb Hameed is the ultimate disappointment after he was given so many chances through four Test matches down under and was taken down too easily by the Australian bowlers which clearly shows he has to go.
I would have liked to gamble on Jos Buttler in his place by giving the gloves away as he knows how to get off the mark with a few blocks + range of dynamic strikes, but he had to go home over a broken finger. Rory Burns will take over Hameed where he also didn’t do well in the first two Tests, but he did score 34 in England’s 2nd innings at Adelaide Oval just before he was dropped & deserves a recall with Crawley that would hopefully turn out well than the previous opening pairs.
As said earlier, Buttler had to go home over a broken finger that gives Ollie Pope a recall this time in his place as the Wicket Keeper. He made a whopping four catches behind the stumps even though he was a sub fielder for Buttler last week in Sydney, now the runs may still be required but at least Pope will have the other half responsibilities and try to get the Aussies out with his gloves on.
And the rest remains unchanged with David Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes & Jonny Bairstow in the batting department; The same goes with the bowling through Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad and James Anderson plus Stokes included as a fast-bowling all-rounder.
It’s only the final Test to just stick with the full squad England sent out to Australia beforehand, then come back home and look out for not just a couple of opening batsmen but also frontline seamers to back Broad and Anderson up.
Australia were very close with just one wicket left to win but England did a great job blocking as many balls as possible until the very end on Day 5 at 270-9 as both teams settled for a draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but how good is Test Cricket when it’s unique, finest and most competitive longest format that creates moments like this one in the history of the game.
England left off from Day 4 at 30-0 with 358 runs left to try & meet the 388 run target where they finally got an opener who stood up against the Australian bowling attack in Zak Crawley, he used his near 2-meter build & read well that translated into some brilliant shots down the ground plus the overcast conditions as an advantage which was key to his fantastic knock today of 77. We also gave a shoutout to Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow once again for their dynamic batting approach in the middle-order having communicated well & cashed in the opposition’s missed catches at the other end with more runs for England, their influence successfully passed onto the tail-enders to make up the remaining time once the middle-order options were gone during the last session and it turned out to be a success by just stay in there & defend.
And Australia would be disappointed not to finish up today with a win as their 150th victory in Test level would have to wait until at least after next weekend in Hobart, Scott Boland once again unstoppable on his 2nd Test match with the ball of 7 wickets in an Ashes Test while skipper Pat Cummins nearly became their hero after he dismissed Jos Buttler and Mark Wood that made way for England tail-enders a while ago. However, they just bottled a couple of catches on the field that cost them untapped wickets and make their way closer towards the finish line, it would’ve been nice if Australia listened to this mantra from commentator Pommie Mbangwa “catches win matches” and manned themselves up to get the job done sooner rather than later.
Australia still leads the five-match 2021-22 Ashes Series 3-0 after Game 4 with the 5th and final one left at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, it will be a Day-Nighter once again like Adelaide earlier on Game 2 from early December as it begins on Friday afternoon.
An Unbelievable fightback from Australia on Day 4 when they lost their opening and top-order early before Usman Khawaja turned around with another Test Match 100, Australia declared 265-6 that includes a 387 run lead as England are on 30-0 right now going into Day 5 with 358 more runs to meet the 388 run target & win the 4th Test.
There’s one word to describe Usman Khawaja’s batting spell at the Sydney Cricket Ground and that is outstanding to see with both hundreds made in an Ashes Test, he’s a proper red-ball batsman who knows how to get off the mark alongside a mix of strikes downtown & safe to say that Usman learned a lot while being away from the Australian Test team by returning there as a better player. And hats off to Cameron Green on his 2nd Test 50 (74) since India last year at the same venue, not only he did well to back Usman up but he played some nice shots along the way when he came on at six which shows he’s more than capable of being a long-term all-rounder option alongside some backup as a fast bowler for Australia at Test level.
Meanwhile at the England camp, credit to Mark Wood who not only came off from a brilliant quickfire 39 yesterday in the tail end at 8 but he did a great job removing David Warner & Marnus Labuschagne early with the ball. We also want to give a shoutout to spinner Jack Leach who got out Marcus Harris & clean bowled Steve Smith through the gate at the same time, and hats off to sub keeper Ollie Pope with four catches during Australia’s 2nd innings run.
Although England have let themselves down on occasions while Khawaja & Green extended Australia’s lead run tally, but they’ve got three sessions left to meet the 388 run target with patience, communication and reading to make up the maximum runs is key towards winning. Australia on the other hand only needs 10 wickets to win to finish up the job ASAP tomorrow & go 4-0 up with one Test match left in Hobart beginning on Friday.
It’s been a competitive Day 3 of the 4th Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground where England fought back as of late thanks to Ben Stokes who scored 66 while they got a finally century for the first time so far this tour from Jonny Bairstow on 103*, but England are still behind by 158 runs on 258-7 after they lost a couple of wickets earlier in the day to Australia.
It’s a shame that England’s top-order pair of Joe Root & Dawid Malan didn’t stay that long but the opening slot looks way worse as it still needs to be resolved urgently after Haseeb Hameed got exposed by Mitchell Starc yet again for another low-figure score on 6 while Zak Crawley haven’t found a decent score since his recall last week, there are some upsides though in the middle-order with Bairstow and Stokes batting dynamically in the middle with much-needed runs on the board. We also want to credit Mark Wood down in the tail end at 8 who did a great job backing Bairstow up, he also executed some nice shots downtown like a smashing T20 player & although we would love to see Wood get his quickfire 50 but just unlucky not to continue on 39.
And great to see Australia still holding on top spot with Scott Boland always up and running having taken two wickets after a unreal Test debut last week in Melbourne, Skipper Pat Cummins also picked up the same amount of wickets as Boland when Australia had to make up lost time on the field while Bairstow & Stokes were there which is disappointing but they’re in a good position now to finish the job ASAP tomorrow.
As just said right now, Australia needs to finish up England’s 1st innings batting spell quickly before they bat again since there’s no longer a follow-on option and increase the lead to another 200-250, then declare going into the 5th & final Day on Sunday & win 4-0.
And England needs Bairstow badly to stay as well as some backup from the other end if they can, otherwise it’ll take a miracle to make up a huge Australian batting collapse with the ball or it’s one step closer towards a 5-0 whitewash the wrong way by Hobart next weekend.
#Ashes #Cricket #Australia #England #BenStokes #JonnyBairstow #MarkWood #ScottBoland #PatCummins #AUSvENG
What a day for the Aussies on Day 2 of the 4th Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground thanks to the returning Usman Khawaja as they scored 416/8 before the declaration while England are on 13/0 with a trail of 403 runs, Khawaja scored a whopping 133 before he was bowled out by Stuart Broad who just got his 5fer but his sensational knock of 137 today outsmarted the whole England side where he came in at five in place for Travis Head after he was tested positive to COVID rather than the usual opening/top-order role.
Usman is just a proper test player having scored countless of runs before in red ball cricket especially via the domestic format both in Australia & England, yes it’s true that he was not a regular in the Australian Test team whether it’s through injuries or loss of form but at age 35 he still has the ability and determination to play Test for another few years before retiring.
Without Usman it wouldn’t be possible for Australia to reach 400 with Steve Smith also piling the runs on 67 as well as a brilliant quickfire spell from Mitchell Starc at the tail end on 34, regardless of the weather conditions tomorrow they need their bowlers to get the job done ASAP then think about following on or bat a bit more.
Meanwhile, it’s great to see Stuart Broad secure his 5fer for England which is incredible especially when he dismissed plenty of key opposition players with the ball, but unfortunately the rest have let him down while Smith & Khawaja prolonged Australia’s 1st innings batting spell past 400 that left England a very difficult task to catch up tomorrow before their opening pair (Haseeb Hameed & Zak Crawley) gets exposed cheaply yet again.
Leaving Broad out at the start of the Ashes in Brisbane even though he still has the pace to burn at 35 like a fine wine alongside another experienced ageless star in Jimmy Anderson (age 39) is a huge mistake, yes England’s bowling has been okay so far after three tests but not on par as Australia’s if you leave out Broad and Anderson.
#AUSvENG #Ashes #Cricket #Australia #England #UsmanKhawaja #StuartBroad #SteveSmith #SydneyCricketGround #MitchellStarc