Ollie Pope

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler
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Geoffrey Boycott Reckons England Should Axe Out Of Form Jos Buttler From Test Squad

Geoffrey Boycott, the former England opener has advocated for out of form Jos Buttler’s omission from the Test side, considering his recent failures. Geoffrey Boycott wants Jonny Bairstow to don the gloves instead, as he is also a better batter than Jos Buttler in Test cricket.

Jos Buttler has been poor with the bat and gloves during the ongoing Ashes 2021/22 series. The 31-year old has averaged a dismal 16, with a best of 39, across four Tests and seven innings. Behind the stumps, he fluffed a couple of catches in Adelaide, which proved key in England’s defeat.

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Geoffrey Boycott: It’s Time To Move On From Jos Buttler

Geoffrey Boycott said that England must move on from Jos Buttler, and not pick him based on his white-ball reputation. The 81-year old noted Jos Buttler’s inability to deliver under pressure.

“It’s time to move on from Buttler. England can’t be sentimental or be seduced by his brilliant performances in one-day cricket. The fact is he isn’t doing enough to keep his Test place. He only has two centuries in 57 Test matches.”

Geoffrey Boycott. (Image Credits: Getty)
Geoffrey Boycott. (Image Credits: Getty)

“In the Ashes, he has played 14 Test matches, and averaged 19. That isn’t good enough. Buttler should now go. He isn’t as good a wicketkeeper as Bairstow, and Bairstow is a better batsman against quality bowlers – that’s the important thing. For some time now, Buttler hasn’t delivered in Test cricket when the pressure is on,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

The keeper-batter will miss the final Test in Hobart due to a finger injury, as revealed by Joe Root. With Jonny Bairstow also doubtful, England may have to manage with Ollie Pope or Sam Billings behind the stumps. England also has to deal with injuries to Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow ahead of the fifth Ashes Test.

Jos Buttler is set to fly home from England’s tour of Australia, after sustaining a broken finger that hampered his performance in the drawn fourth Test at Sydney. Jos Buttler suffered the injury while keeping on the second day at the SCG, and struggled to grip the bat while making a duck in England’s first innings. Jos Buttler fronted up for England’s rearguard on the final day, however, making 11 from 38 balls.
The injury nevertheless completes a desperate campaign for Jos Buttler, who made 107 runs at 15.28 across the four Tests, with his most significant contribution being an innings of 26 from 207 balls in England’s failed attempt to save the second Test at Adelaide.

Geoffrey Boycott Reckons Jonny Bairstow’s Ton Might Revive His Test Career

Geoffrey Boycott referred to England’s 36-4 in the first innings in the Sydney Test and blasted them for their recurring top-order collapses. He pointed out that it has become a regular occurrence, which has put more pressure on the middle order to perform.

“England or any other country can’t win Test matches if they keep being three or four wickets down for next to nothing; they were 36-4 in the first innings, and all through the series, it’s been like that,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

“The middle and lower order are nearly always fighting an uphill battle by the time they come in. The opposition fast bowlers are on top and high on confidence,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

The 108-Test veteran reflected on Jonny Bairstow’s defiant first-innings hundred in Sydney and thinks that might revive his Test career.

In this regard, Boycott wrote: “Bairstow looks as if he has turned the corner with his batting – about time, too. It shouldn’t have taken that long to solve his problems. It’s not as if he has never done it at Test level because this is his seventh century, to go with 22 half-centuries,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

“He might not be able to play the next Test match because of his thumb injury, and if he does play, keeping wickets with a damaged thumb would be stupid,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

England batted 102 overs on the fifth day of the fourth Test to avoid going down 4-0 in the series. The last-wicket pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad survived two overs to thwart hosts Australia. The final Test starts on 14th January in Hobart. The fitness of Ben Stokes (side strain) and Jonny Bairstow (right thumb) will also be monitored in the upcoming days.

Jos Buttler is likely to be replaced in the playing XI by Sam Billings – who is expected to make his Test debut and don the gloves. Sam Billings has played 25 ODIs and 33 T20Is for England.

Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
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Michael Vaughan In Favour Of Zak Crawley Being Given A Longer Run In Tests After His Impressive 77 In 2nd Innings Of 4th Test

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain on Sunday said that opening batter Zak Crawley can seriously play and he needs to be given a consistent run in the Three Lions squad.

Michael Vaughan’s remarks came as Zak Crawley impressed one and all with his 77-run knock in the second innings of the ongoing fourth Ashes Test here at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: Zak Crawley Needs To Be Given A Long Run In England’s Test Team

Opener Zak Crawley replaced Rory Burns in the English Test team after the poor batting technique and performance of the latter in the first few Ashes games. Meanwhile, Zak Crawley scored just 18 runs in the first innings of the Sydney Cricket Ground Ashes Test, however, in the second innings he looked amazing and smashed brilliant 77 runs off 100 balls including 13 boundaries.

Zak Crawley made a promising start to his career with a stellar 267 against Pakistan at Southampton. Although he averaged 52.73 amassing 580 runs in 7 Tests in 2020, his average dipped to a low in 2021, where he averaged a mere 10.81 managing only 173 runs in 8 Tests. He will want to silence his critics in 2022.

“Zak Crawley can seriously play … Not many positives from this Tour but he is certainly one who needs to be given a long run in this Test team,” tweeted Michael Vaughan.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody replied to Michael Vaughan’s tweet and stated that young talent needs to be given an opportunity to grow in Test cricket. He also mentioned the name of Ollie Pope and opined he needs to be given more opportunities.

To this tweet, former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody replied: “I’d agree with you, once you identify the young talent they need the opportunity to grow into test cricket, Ollie Pope is the other.”

Defending a target of 388, Australia is only two wickets away from beating England in the ongoing fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. Zak Crawley scored a fine 77 while Ben Stokes also scored a fighting fifty.

Scott Boland has taken 3 scalps while Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon have taken two wickets each and Cameron Green also bagged a wicket, so far.  England is presently 247/8 chasing a stiff 388. England needs a further 141 runs to win with 2 wickets remaining.

Usman Khawaja Scored Centuries In Both Innings

Usman Khawaja scored his second century of the match to place Australia in a commanding position. The Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja has been in imperious form in his comeback from a 30-month Test exile, hitting 137 in the first innings before adding an unbeaten 101 to break English hearts.

Usman Khawaja celebrates making 100 runs against England during the fourth day of their Ashes cricket test match in Sydney.(AP)
Usman Khawaja celebrates making 100 runs against England during the fourth day of their Ashes cricket test match in Sydney. (AP) 

His domineering 179-run partnership with youngster Cameron Green set up a late declaration and left a beleaguered England having to defy history with a formidable target of 388.

Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
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Chris Silverwood To Miss Sydney Test After Family Member Tests Covid-19 Positive

Chris Silverwood, England’s under-pressure coach would miss the fourth Test in Sydney after a family member tested positive for the coronavirus as England’s beleaguered Ashes 2021/22 tour went from bad to worse on Thursday. Chris Silverwood and his family have to isolate in Melbourne for 10 days while the rest of the team heads to Sydney for the 4th Test clash starting on January 5.

The touring party has now registered seven positive cases — three support staff and four family members — since an RT-PCR testing regime was implemented on Monday after the virus was first detected during the Boxing Day Test.

Chris Silverwood Getty Images
Chris Silverwood-  Getty Images

Chris Silverwood’s Family Member Is Covid-19 Positive And In Isolation As The England Head Coach Will Miss 4th Sydney Test

Australian reports said England fast bowling coach Jon Lewis, spin coach Jeetan Patel, and strength and conditioning boss Darren Veness were also believed to be in isolation. Batting coach Graham Thorpe is expected to take over as head coach from Chris Silverwood in the interim.

It is another major setback for England on a tour where almost nothing has gone right, suffering three heavy defeats in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne in 3 Tests to ensure Australia retained the hallowed Ashes urn with two Tests still to play.

“A fourth successive round of PCR tests will be administered today,” the England Cricket Board said in a statement, adding that the team would share a charter flight with Australia to Sydney on Friday.

Joe Root. File Photo
Joe Root. File Photo

The timing could not have been worse for Chris Silverwood, whose job is widely seen as on the line. Joe Root’s captaincy has also been criticized, but fast-bowler Chris Woakes insisted he had the support of the players.

“Absolutely. Joe is a great cricketer, he’s got a great cricket brain and I think his record as England captain is actually pretty good,” he told English media.

“Definitely it feels like Joe will continue. Hopefully, he will. It’s clear that the captaincy isn’t having an effect on his batting, which a lot of the time with captains can be the case.”

Joe Root will overtake predecessor Alastair Cook’s record of 59 Tests at the helm when he leads the side out in Sydney. Australia has experienced a surge in Covid cases in recent weeks, with an Omicron variant outbreak centred in Sydney that on Thursday recorded more than 12,000 cases.

England’s fate was sealed as they were razed for just 68 on day three of the third Test at the MCG, losing the game by an innings and 14 runs and falling 3-0 down in the five-match series. Joe Root has carried England’s batting in 2021, with his tally of 1,708 dwarfing the return of the team’s second-highest run-scorer this year, Rory Burns (530) runs.

Sydney To Host The 4th Test While The 5th Test Will Be At Hobart Where There Are Less Covid-19 Cases

In New South Wales, where Sydney is located, anyone considered close contact is supposed to isolate for seven days, but authorities have pledged the rules would not impact the “sacred” Ashes.

“The SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) Test is sacred, an important date at the start of the third year of our life with Covid-19,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said this week.

” I want to assure the cricket-loving public, under our rules, any players with exposure to a known case of Covid-19 would be asked to test and isolate only until a negative result was received.”

Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley. (File)
Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley. (File)

Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley was adamant the Test will go ahead.

“We’ve got very robust Covid-safe plans that are led by the venues working closely with the health authorities,” he told broadcaster ABC, with crowds of some 35,000 expected for the first few days.

“As long as everyone follows the advice, I think people can come in the knowledge they’re going to be safe.”

The fifth and final Test is in Hobart, where there have been far fewer Covid cases than in Sydney. Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Ollie Pope, and Zak Crawley have floundered against Australia’s high-quality attack en route to England suffering a series defeat after just 12 days of cricket.

Chris Silverwood believes he retains the support of his England players despite the side tumbling to a harrowing Ashes defeat in Australia, losing the 3 Tests by heavy margins.

Chris Silverwood also stressed England does know their best team but the four changes made for the Boxing Day Test were needed after crushing defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide.

Chris Silverwood Getty Images
Chris Silverwood Getty Images
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Chris Silverwood Believes He Retains Support Of His England Players Despite Embarrassing Defeat In 3rd Ashes Test

Chris Silverwood believes he retains the support of his England players despite the side tumbling to a harrowing Ashes defeat in Australia, losing the 3 Tests by heavy margins.

England’s fate was sealed as they were razed for just 68 on day three of the third Test at the MCG, losing the game by an innings and 14 runs and falling 3-0 down in the five-match series.

Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.

Chris Silverwood Believes England’s Players Are Still Responding To His Methods

The tourists’ latest abject display with the bat means they have passed 200 just twice in six innings in the series, while they have now lost nine and won just one of their previous 12 Test matches.

Asked whether England’s players were still responding to his methods, England head coach Chris Silverwood said: “I think they are. We had a good honest chat after the last game [a 275-run defeat in Adelaide]. We just have to put performances together and start pushing back [against Australia].”

Former England batsman Rob Key says the 3rd Test loss by an innings and 14 runs in Melbourne was ‘one of the worst Ashes defeats ever’ as it ended inside 3 days and Australia won by an innings despite scoring only 267.

“It is disappointing for us all and the lads will be feeling that in the dressing room.”

Rob Key. (Photo: Twitter)
Rob Key. (Photo: Twitter)

Chris Silverwood also stressed England do know their best team but the four changes made for the Boxing Day Test – Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Jack Leach, and Mark Wood coming in for Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, Stuart Broad, and Chris Woakes – were needed after crushing defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide.

“We do know who are our best 11 players are, but we had to make changes after the first two games. We knew we had good people to come in,” said Chris Silverwood.

Captain Joe Root has carried England’s batting in 2021, with his tally of 1,708 dwarfing the return of the team’s second-highest run-scorer this year, Rory Burns (530) runs. Joe Root is the only England batter averaging over 40 in this Ashes series, with Dawid Malan the only other player averaging over 30.

Chris Silverwood Credits Australia Attack For Bowling Well In The 2nd Innings

Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Ollie Pope, and Zak Crawley have floundered against Australia’s high-quality attack en route to England suffering a series defeat after just 12 days of cricket. England captain Joe Root says it’s time to put some pride back into the badge after Australia retained the Ashes

Chris Silverwood added: “We have some world-class players and some youngsters who are learning on the job constantly. We have to try and give them some confidence. We know they have the ability and we do back them. We have to give them the opportunity to show what they can do in the last two Tests. I have to give credit to the Australia attack [especially] Scott Boland for bowling as well as he did in that second innings. “

“Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are also world class. That said, we have to find a way of competing, find a way of pushing back and scoring runs against them. That is certainly something we will be reflecting on in the dressing room as we want to take something away from this series and compete in the last two Test matches.”

Scott Boland.
Scott Boland. Getty Images.

Former England batsman Rob Key blames the side’s batting debacles for their current Ashes defeat in Australia and their recent Test failures. England had dragged themselves back into the Test on day two by reducing Australia to 180-6 – at which point the hosts trailed by five runs. Australia went on to post 267 before reducing England to 31-4 in Monday’s pulsating final hour and then sinking them the following morning.

Still, England coach Chris Silverwood took some comfort from the way England pacers bowled, with James Anderson snaring 4-33, the tourists’ only four-wicket haul of the series so far.

The head coach added: “I think the way the guys applied themselves, the way the bowling attack rallied and got us in a position to get back in the game was a credit to them. The way we caught in the last innings was good as well. There are positives coming out of this.”

Scott Boland just took 19 deliveries to complete his fifer which is jointly the quickest for any bowler in Test Cricket. The Victorian pacer returned with figures of 4-1-7-6 as Australia bowled England out for 68 in the second innings to retain the Ashes with two matches to go. He returned with match figures of 7/55.

Apart from Joe Root(28) and Ben Stokes (11), none of the England batsmen registered double-digit figures.

Brief scores: England 185 & 68 (Mitchell Starc 3-29, Scott Boland 6-7) lost to Australia 267 (David Warner 38, Marcus Harris 76; James Anderson 4-33, Ollie Robinson 2-64, Mark Wood 2-71) by an innings and 14 runs.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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Michael Vaughan Didn’t Give England Much Chance Of Winning Ashes 2021/22

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain believes Joe Root-led England will not be able to win the Ashes 2021/22 series in Australia. He noted how the English side has struggled to win at home as well, which makes it tougher for them to win abroad.

India was leading 2-1 in the 5 match Test series against host England when the last Test was postponed mutually due to a Covid-19 case while England lost the 2 matches Test series 1-0 to New Zealand at home after losing 3-1 in 4 Tests on India. Their last series victory came against hosts Sri Lanka (2-0) way back in January 2021. Their last series win at home was against Pakistan where they won 1 out of 3 Tests in October 2020.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan Didn’t Give Present England Test Team Much Chance Of Winning Ashes 2021/22 As They Didn’t Do Well In Their Home Conditions

Speaking about the same, Michael Vaughan pointed out how England failed to dominate the likes of India and New Zealand at home this year. He reckons the Test side’s lack of consistency could be a major reason for their downfall.

Michael Vaughan said: “I didn’t give (this) England (team) much chance of winning the Ashes here. For a team to arrive in Australia and do well, I think you need to have played well in your own backyard. The England Test side have been very inconsistent for a while now.”

 

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy-Image Source: AP IMAGE

India visited Australia last year. After being thumped in the first Test by the hosts, India staged a dramatic comeback to clinch the series Down Under. But Michael Vaughan does not feel England has the firepower to emulate that feat.

“India made a great comeback here in Australia after their embarrassing loss in the pink ball Test. But for England, they don’t seem to have players who have played well over a period to come here and put Australia consistently under pressure,” he added.

The Joe Root-led side has their backs against the wall after losing their first two fixtures of the five-match series against the Aussies. They are in desperate need of a miraculous turnaround as they look to stay afloat in the Ashes 2021-22.

England will once again look to make changes, this time primarily to their batting as they take the underperforming Surrey duo of Rory Burns and Ollie Pope out of the firing line, with the two likely to be replaced by Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow. After being rested in Adelaide, fast bowler Mark Wood should return to the side after an impressive showing in the first Test.

Michael Vaughan Expected England To Compete But They Were Blown Away On Day 1 In Both The Tests

The cricketer-turned-commentator expressed his disappointment at England failing to compete against the hosts in the ongoing series. Michael Vaughan stated that the touring side has not even got their basics right so far in the series. He pinpointed how the team erred in their team selection right from the opening encounter.

England benched senior pacer Stuart Broad on a green top at the Gabba. Furthermore, as per Michael Vaughan, their catching and fielding have also not been up to the mark.  James Anderson, England’s highest wicket-taker in Tests also was injured and so dropping Stuart Broad backfired in the opening Test.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

He added: “I didn’t expect them to win, but did expect them to compete. They just haven’t competed. They’ve been blown away on Day 1 of both games. You expect them to get the basics right. You need to get the team right, but they got it wrong in Brisbane. The fans expected them to give Aussies a tough time, like how India did a year ago. But they’re 2-0 down, which is disappointing.”

The two cricketing giants are slated to lock horns in the third Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The highly-anticipated encounter is slated to begin on Boxing Day (December 26). Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, and Jack Leach are all likely to come into the XI from Adelaide. It seems Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes, and Stuart Broad may be the quartet who miss out.

England lost the first Test by 9 wickets and the second by 275 runs. England has struggled to cross 250, doing so only once in 4 innings.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Michael Vaughan Unimpressed After England Suffer Heavy Defeats Against Australia In Ashes 2021/22 And Concerned With Lack Of Bench Strength

Michael Vaughan predicts it will be a tough challenge for Joe Root-led England to make a comeback in the ongoing Ashes 2021/22 series. He feels making changes to their playing eleven for the Boxing Day Test will have very little impact on the outcome of the contest.

The cricketer-turned-commentator believes England’s lack of bench strength is a major sign of worry. The ex-England skipper pointed out that the English side does not have a lot of players who have been knocking on the selectors’ doors with consistent performances.

Michael Vaughan. (Image source: Getty)
Michael Vaughan. (Image source: Getty)

Michael Vaughan Unimpressed As England Don’t Have Anyone Waiting In The Wings While Australia Better Side With Inclusion Of Alex Carey

He reckons Australia, on the other hand, has shown significant improvements in the past year. Wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey’s inclusion in place of tainted skipper Tim Paine who took an indefinite break has further strengthened their team, as per Michael Vaughan.

“Australia are better than they were a year ago. Alex Carey has made them a better side. For England, I think Mark Wood will play. You’ve got to play a spinner. There is talk of Zack Crawley and Jonny Bairstow coming in, but I don’t think whoever they bring in will do anything better. They don’t have anyone waiting in the wings,” Michael Vaughan said.

Alex Carey-Twitter
Alex Carey-Twitter

The 47-year-old opined that England’s white-ball success might have come at the expense of their Test team. He also noted how barring star all-rounder Ben Stokes, there’s no other player who seems ready to become their future captain in red-ball cricket.

“Generally, in a team, you see two or three players who are ready to become the next captain. But I don’t see anyone in this Test team who seems like he can be the next England captain apart from Ben Stokes. It’s taken a while for England to become a formidable white-ball force, but it has been at the expense of the Test team.”

England was completely outplayed in the first two Ashes 2021/22 Tests. England hadn’t won a Test match in Australia since January 2011.

Michael Vaughan Shocked Not To See Stuart Broad Playing 1st Brisbane Test

Michael Vaughan expressed his disappointment over the team not being able to even compete against the Aussies in the crucial series. He also seemed unimpressed with the team selection. The former England skipper suggested it was not the right move to bench senior pacer Stuart Broad for the opening Test.

He stated that the veteran bowler should have had the new ball in his hands on the green top wicket at the Gabba. James Anderson, England’s highest wicket-taker in Tests also was injured and so dropping Stuart Broad backfired in the opening Test.

He said: “To see Stuart Broad not play on a green top in Brisbane was remarkable. He should have been bowling the first ball of the game from around the wicket to David Warner. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong for England. in this year’s Ashes. They have three more games to go, but I won’t give them any hope.”

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

England still has a chance of staging a miraculous turnaround by winning the remaining three Test matches. However, Michael Vaughan opined that things often go from bad to worse when a side has had such an underwhelming start in Australia.

The third Test match of the Ashes 2021-22 will be hosted by the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The encounter is slated to be played from December 26. Captain Pat Cummins missed the last Test match due to coming into close contact with an individual who tested positive for Covid-19, however, the Aussie skipper is set to return to action in this third Test, likely replacing Michael Neser.

In a bid to avoid conceding an unassailable series deficit in Melbourne, England will once again look to make changes, this time primarily to their batting as they take the underperforming Surrey duo of Rory Burns and Ollie Pope out of the firing line, with the two likely to be replaced by Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow. After being rested in Adelaide, fast bowler Mark Wood should return to the side after an impressive showing in the first Test.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon
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Ashes 2021-22: Yet To Sink In After Reaching 400-Wicket Milestone, Says Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon, Australia’s off-spinner said reaching the milestone of 400 Test wickets in Saturday’s big 1st Ashes Test 2021/22 win and joining cricket’s greats had not yet sunk in.

A classical off-spinner, the 34-year-old removed Dawid Malan for 82 on the fourth day of the first Test against England to write his name in Australian sporting history.

Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Nathan Lyon: It’s Been Very Rewarding To Reach 400 Wicket Milestone

Australia has drawn first blood in the Ashes after taking an emphatic 1-0 lead after just three and a half days of the first Test at the Gabba. The hosts were set a target of just 20 to win the match after lunch following yet another batting collapse from England which saw the final eight wickets fall for just 74 runs.

Speaking immediately after playing a central role in Australia’s nine-wicket victory at the Gabba, Lyon said: “It hasn’t really hit me yet to be honest. No doubt I’ll get my phone and call my family and friends, and that will probably hit a little bit closer to home, I guess. But it’s something that I’m very proud of, there’s no doubt about that. It’s been some hard toil to get it, but it’s very rewarding, that’s for sure.”

Dawid Malan Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Dawid Malan Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ahead of the Test, Nathan Lyon had nominated England captain Joe Root as the scalp he would like as his 400th, given they have played so much against each other. He had to make do with Dawid Malan, with Marnus Labuschagne taking the catch at silly mid-off.

Nathan Lyon Is Australia’s Most Important Bowler: Pat Cummins

Nathan Lyon, in his 101st Test and after a decade on the team, became just the 16th player worldwide to achieve the feat and only the third Australian after Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan tops the all-time Test wicket-takers with 800 wickets, followed by Shane Warne on 708.

England star Jimmy Anderson is third on 632 scalps but was overlooked for the Brisbane Test, as was fellow paceman Stuart Broad, who is sixth on the list with 524. Nathan Lyon took 4-91 in the second innings to move to 403 wickets overall. Next in his sights is West Indies’ great Curtly Ambrose, who has 405 wickets.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

Australian captain Pat Cummins stressed how important Nathan Lyon was to the team.

“He’s our most important bowler, not just for wicket-taking, but you saw how many overs he bowled yesterday,” Cummins said.

“He went for two and a half an over for 20 overs on a hot day.”

Nathan Lyon had been stuck on 399 Test wickets for 326 days and had to bowl 208 deliveries before finally reaching the milestone. England’s Dawid Malan fell bat-pad early on the fourth morning to help Nathan Lyon become the 17th Test bowler to reach 400 scalps.

Nathan Lyon took four wickets on the fourth morning, including that of Dawid Malan’s for his 400th to start the rot prior to the new ball being taken, while Cameron Green claimed the prized scalp of Joe Root for 89 as England lost 8 for 74 to be bowled out for 297 and set Australia just 20 runs to win.

His 401st wicket took just 11 more deliveries to get, bamboozling Ollie Pope with sharp bounce and turn as he tried to cut a ball that pitched wide off. It only took 37 more to reach 403 as Ollie Robinson gifted Nathan Lyon his wicket with an attempted reverse sweep while Mark Wood was bowled by a full ball that drifted and dropped under the bat.

Australia 425 and 1 for 20 (Harris 9*, Robinson 1-13) beat England 147 and 297 (Root 89, Malan 82, Lyon 4-91) by nine wickets

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
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Pat Cummins Registers Record 5/38 In His First 1st Test As A Skipper To Bundle Out England For 147 At Gabba

Pat Cummins, the Australian fast bowler, and newly appointed skipper joined former India captain Anil Kumble and Courtney Walsh among other greats in the unique list of players to have achieved a record of picking a 5 wicket haul as Test skipper. Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins on Wednesday recorded a five-wicket haul on Day 1 of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane and joined a unique list of bowlers to have achieved the feat as captains.

Pat Cummins is playing his first Test as the captain of Australia since Tim Paine stepped down from the role in November after a scandal. Pat Cummins ended with figures of 5/38 in 13.1 overs as Australia made a dream start to the Ashes series, bowling England out on a below-par 147 in the first innings. Pat Cummins, who is leading Australia for the first time in Tests, sent back England all-rounder Ben Stokes to claim his first wicket as captain.

Pat Cummins dismissed Ben Stokes early on Day 1 of 1st Ashes Test.© AFP
Pat Cummins dismissed Ben Stokes early on Day 1 of 1st Ashes Test.© AFP

Pat Cummins Became First Bowler Since Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan To Take 5 Wickets In Debut Test As Skipper

The paceman dismissed England’s danger man Ben Stokes (5) cheaply in the morning, then grabbed another four victims after lunch. Pat Cummins led his team off the ground holding the Kookaburra ball aloft, enjoying a huge ovation from the Gabba crowd after his first five-wicket haul against England.

Pat Cummins became the first bowler since Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan in 2019 to take a five-wicket haul in his debut Test as captain. Rashid Khan had achieved the feat against Bangladesh in Chattogram, where he took five-wicket hauls across both innings of the Test.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

Overall, Pat Cummins joins a list of elite bowler-captains to have taken a five-wicket haul that includes India’s Anil Kumble, West Indies’ Courtney Walsh, New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori among others. Earlier this year, Joe Root – the English captain – also achieved a five-wicket haul during a Test against India.

Earlier, England won the toss against Australia but the hosts made an electrifying start, thanks to Mitchell Starc’s dismissal of Rory Burns in the first delivery of the innings. England could never recover from the initial setback and was eventually bowled out in the second session.

England Omits Pacer Stuart Broad In A Major Surprise

Mitchell Starc bowled England opener Rory Burns with the first ball of the series and wickets followed regularly thereafter, despite a brief fightback from Jos Buttler (39) and Ollie Pope (35).

Pat Cummins himself registered a fifer in this innings (5-38). Mitchell Starc (2/35) and Josh Hazlewood(2/42) and Cameron Green (1/6) were the other wicket-takers. Apart from Haseeb Hameed (25), Ollie Pope (35), Jos Buttler(39), and Chris Woakes (21) none of the other batsmen registered double-digit figures.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat first in the opening Ashes Test against Australia at the Gabba on Wednesday as the tourists omitted paceman Stuart Broad in a major surprise. James Anderson was also rested as a precautionary measure.

The tourists left Stuart Broad out in favour of spinner Jack Leach with Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, and Chris Woakes to lead the pace attack, which was confirmed by skipper Joe Root at the toss. No further play was possible on Day 1 as rain played spoilsport after England’s innings ended.

Playing XIs:

Australia: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (captain), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc.

England: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (captain), Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Mark Wood.

England, PTI
England, PTI
/

Ashes 2021/22 Is Set To Go Ahead With England’s Players Aggreging To Tour Australia

Ashes 2021/22 is set to go ahead this summer with England’s players reportedly agreeing to tour in a move that will green-light the A$200 million series. England’s Test specialists cricketers spoke with Cricket Australia (CA) bosses again on Tuesday evening, to thrash out their concerns over strict Covid-19 protocols for Ashes 2021/22.

Players have been given until the end of this week to make a decision by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), with the team only set to tour if an adequate number of front-liner players agree to travel. However, those fears have now seemingly been allayed with the report that captain Joe Root has led a group of players committing to the series.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au

Ashes 2021/22 Is Set To Go Ahead Without Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, And Jofra Archer Missing And Jos Buttler Doubtful

According to the report, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler could be the only England player not to agree to tour. He had previously indicated his concerns over the Ashes 2021/22  tour and potential time away from family. Allrounder Moeen Ali will be unavailable after he recently retired from Tests, while all-rounder Ben Stokes is taking a break from the game, and pacer Jofra Archer is out injured.

Moeen Ali has played the last of his 64 Tests for England AFP/Getty Images
Moeen Ali has played the last of his 64 Tests for England AFP/Getty Images

Cricket Australia is yet to officially be informed about the development but will no doubt be breathing a massive sigh of relief given the magnitude of the decision of players. In a series of two separate meetings with England players in recent days, it’s understood fears over snap lockdowns and quarantine conditions in Australia for families were the chief concerns.

Nick Hockley Stressed Conditions In Australia Were Improving

But CA CEO Nick Hockley stressed to England players that conditions in Australia before Ashes 2021/22 were improving, with the country’s vaccination rate on the rise. Likewise, it’s believed a move to have a second group of England’s players’ families arrive before Christmas to quarantine in Melbourne has also been crucial.

Players had feared that families would only be able to arrive with them in November, meaning a hard quarantine before a long tour. But the move to let a second group into Victoria would be welcome news, given they do not need to spend as much time away from home.

Cricket Australia's CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Cricket Australia’s CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

There could be some freedoms for families in regional Victoria. That deal is not officially over the line with the state government, but would be in line with the road map out of COVID-19 as Victoria edges closer to 70 and 80 percent double dosage rates.

The last concern for CA will now be the Perth Test, with officials adamant they will be granted clearance to play in Western Australia just days after being in Sydney. If that doesn’t eventually happen, Canberra or Hobart could seize their first-ever Ashes Test. Alternatively, the match could be held as a second fixture at the SCG or MCG.

Test specialists James Anderson and Stuart Broad have publicly stated they are prepared to tour Australia for Ashes 2021/22, as have youngsters Dan Lawrence and Ollie Pope.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
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Virat Kohli Becomes The Asian Captain With Most Test Wins In SENA Countries

Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper has become the Asian captain with the most number of wins (6) in SENA countries with the win in the Oval Test against England on Monday.

SENA comprises South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia. Over the course of his captaincy career, Virat Kohli has recorded three Test wins in the UK, two in Australia, and one in South Africa. Virat Kohli is already the most successful Indian Test captain, having surpassed MS Dhoni in 2019.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli Proud Of The Team’s Character Shown In Both The Tests India Won

The Virat Kohli-led side stormed to an emphatic 157-run win over England to take a 2-1 lead in the ongoing five-match series. Indian bowlers delivered big time on the last day of the fourth Test at the Kennington Oval on Monday as the genius of mercurial Jasprit Bumrah, and all-around performance by Shardul Thakur in the match helped visitors in defeating England by 157 runs to gain a 2-1 in the five-match series.

This is also India’s first win in Oval in 50 years. Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram had won 4 Tests each in SENA countries while Virat Kohli has won 6 out of 22 Tests as 13 Tests were lost and 3 were drawn under his captaincy.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

“Well, I think the best thing about both the games has been the character the team has shown. We are not looking to survive in this game, we are here to win. Really proud of the character the team has shown. It’s quite relative to what you call a flat. The conditions were hot and we knew were in with an opportunity when Jadeja was bowling in the rough. The bowlers were good with the reverse swing today. We believed we could get all 10 wickets, we had the belief,” Kohli told Sky Sports during the post-match presentation.

Shardul Thakur made two aggressive half-centuries (57 of 36 and 60 of 72), repairing a collapse in the first innings and stamping India’s advantage in the second. He also picked up 3 critical wickets in the game, including that of Joe Root on Monday.

Shardul Thakur was the top scorer for India in the first innings with 57 off only 36 balls. He then picked up the wicket of England’s top scorer in their first innings-Ollie Pope(81). Shardul Thakur then scored 60 of 72 balls in the 2nd innings and picked up crucial breakthroughs of opener Rory Burns (50) and England skipper Joe Root (36).

Virat Kohli: Rohit Sharma’s Innings Was Fantastic

Rohit Sharma was the highest scorer of the match, amassing an outstanding 127 in the second innings. In-form Rohit Sharma might miss the final Test in Manchester. Rohit Sharma, in fact, is currently the second-highest run-scorer of the series with 368 in eight innings.

“As soon as the ball started reversing, Bumrah said give me the ball. He bowled that spell and swung the game in our favour with those two huge wickets. I think you pointed his performance. Rohit’s innings was fantastic. What Shardul has done in this game stands out. His two fifties deflated the opposition. I think he batted well in both innings. We never go towards analysis, statistics, and numbers,” he added.

Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)

With the conditions good enough for batting, England openers got the hosts off to a decent start, with both scoring fifties, however, Shardul Thakur came into the attack and got rid of Rory Burns in his first over of day 5. Shardul Thakur who was part of the Indian quartet in scoring more than 50 runs in the second innings, also dazzled with the ball as he sent back Joe Root to the pavilion later.

England was still in the game until just after lunch on Day 5 when Jasprit Bumrah produced a glorious spell to give India a real shot at victory. India and England will now lock horns in the fifth and final Test, beginning September 10 at Manchester.

India 191 (Thakur 57, Kohli 50, Woakes 4-55) and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83) beat England 290 (Pope 81, Woakes 50, Umesh 3-76) and 210 (Hameed 63, Burns 50, Umesh 3-60) by 157 runs

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