"They were really out-played by Australia" | Nasser, Atherton & Key Review Adelaide Test | Vodcast
We are reviewing what has happened at the adelaide oval in the second test match of the asha series, its finished in a heavy defeat for england. Again this time by 275 runs as ever. Ive got nasa rob and michael afton whos our man on the ground in australia, so ill come to you first michael another, very disappointing test match all round for england. What would you focus on as being again the main stumbling blocks for england? Quite a few things i thought england were poor in this game. Obviously they had a very uh good afternoon in on the final afternoon, where they fought tremendously hard showed a lot of spirit um. All the batsmen are uh following ollie popes early dismissal, all the batsmen really had to be prized out, so they could certainly be proud of the way they fought this afternoon, but that was on the back of four poor days. In my view, i thought england were outplayed in all facets of the game here i thought they selected badly. I thought their strategy with the ball was poor. Um, obviously, didnt get enough runs on a on a good adelaide pitch. They were really outplayed by australia and obviously australia without two of their main bowlers, pat cummins and josh hazelwood, and what happened this afternoon? Shouldnt camouflage that, albeit it was great to see that that fighting spirit thats. How did you see the overall test match? What were the big downsides other than obviously the big defeat, but wearing them went wrong? I think that went wrong again before a ball went down.
Really i mean for the life of me. I cant work out how on a green top in brisbane, you win the toss and bat and play a balanced attack with a spinner and leave out broad and anderson, and then you turn up to a flat dry hot one in adelaide with no cloud cover throughout The test match and you play five seamers and leave out your spinner. So before a ball went down again like the first test match. They are making poor decisions off the field and then in all three facets, as michael says, theyre catching again, wickets off no balls. Again, bowlers just a bit short on length again in comparison, not just what ath talks about in the ben stokes role and banging it halfway in, but even their stock ball was half a meter shorter than where it needs to be and adelaide similar mistake. They made four years ago, and occasionally they correct it, its almost like theyre scared of going for runs. You speak to any modern bowler and hell tell you his economy rate and what the run rate is so sometimes with our english bowlers. You have to cajole them into bowling a bit fuller and then theyll give away, runs but theres more chance of getting wickets thats. What stark does the best bowler in adelaide historically thats exactly what he does? He goes fuller, but again the bottom line is with all of that. The bottom line is the batting on a flat pitch in adelaide.
They got 230 in their first innings and 190 in the second. So the batting continues to be with the exception of route continues to be a serious concern for english cricket before the series began. A lot of people saying well: how are we going to take 20 wickets in australia, but people quite rightly made the point as nasa is alluding to there batting youve got to score 400 450 regularly. Australia have done it in this test match england with 236. All out theyve got to find a way of making these scores. Is it a batting lineup in your opinion that is capable of doing it, or is it too reliant on joe root, too reliant on, say a ben stokes too reliant on milan at the minute? Well, its obviously far too reliant on joey root and has been for the last year, two years, almost in fact for even longer than that, because we were probably talking like this when we said it was reliant on cook and then root. So its been a long long time since weve been able to sort of bank on players coming in and getting runs and the biggest concern with that, i think, is that what do you do from here, though? You know if youre a coach in that setup, its the same thing with the spin really its like. You know they made a shocking decision as nasa said, to leave out your spin on this one and play one on a green seamer.
But the fact is, they dont rate their spinner at all, and then the same thing comes with the batting. What do you do? Who do you bring in youve, basically got youngsters to come in? You know these guys, like rory burns. People like that theyre, the ones that are meant to be the sort of senior trusted players that are there to go on and become. You know, good test cricketers at the least. So you know i mean, if youre not getting that from them, then youre going to have to look at your youngsters who really are the ones that should be learning and taking it for a bit of experience, so youre not sure its. The most worrying thing. You know what do they do from here? What why arent they scoring runs? I mean, as you pointed out earlier, there was no hazelwood, no coming so a slightly less potent australian attack, but still get bowled out for 236. Where are they going wrong? One thing i would say is that i thought australias bowling was excellent in this game. Um and thats not you know, maybe turn the focus to batting in a minute, but there are obviously two sides that play the game, and i, this australian attack is pretty relentless and i know theyre without cummins and hazelwood the two lads who came in didnt. Let the colours down at all: jai richardson got five today and the easter is accurate and i think cameron green is a massive plus for them.
This guy can bowl at 140, get it to bounce off a length, get it to move away, and it just means that they are relentless. But the point nasa made about mitchell star is really a good one. When you contrasted the strategy that england went into this game with with their bowling and the way australia bowled, it really was chalk and cheese melanin put on a 140 or whatever they put on, and it was a flat deck and the sun was shining and it Wasnt a cloud in the sky, you can imagine what england would have done in that situation that has started to whack it into the pitch and put four men back on the leg side and almost wait for a mistake. Australia were completely different. They redouble their efforts. They ball with unbelievable discipline, set the feel straight, got the batsmen coming forward and and worked pressure and brought pressure to bear and and brought their results. So and england did that actually for an hour yesterday, they were brilliant. I thought for now, when ben stokes had to take over the captaincy im, not saying thats thats, why theyre brilliant? But you just happen to coincide with that, but they took a lesson out of australias book and really pitched it up made australia work for their runs and even though the ball is doing nothing and it was a flat pitch england looked a proper side at that Point and so id make this.
The point that australias attack is excellent and england are just not batting well enough and havent done for a long time. Thats, partly personnel, one assumes its partly confidence now, because when you go through a period of time, when youre not getting runs on the board, that confidence must start to drain away um. But as i mentioned in the last vodcast that we did batting as an individual game and whilst root is getting runs, nobody else is getting enough of them and thats. Simply a personnel matter well lets talk about personnel than us lets focus in on ollie pope who, at times has looked very frenetic against the spin, a failure in day five out in adelaide where, where are you at with him, hes? Obviously, a very talented young batsman, but where are you at with him? Frenetic sums him up very well frenetic, definitely against nathan line. I think england today and in this game played nathan lyon better. I think theyve realized nathan line gets a lot of drop and its very difficult to get down the pitch to so they played him off the back foot. I mean it ended up costing ben stokes his wicket getting lbw, but the england bat has played him well off the back foot. Ollie pope still believes that he can get down the pitch to nathan line keeps coming, but any gets there. The difference between leech and bess and lion is that lion gets that drop he plays on that ground.
He plays in australia with a cooker a ball. He has to deceive the batter before it even lands and thats. What hes doing and ollie pope is all over. The place with his game plan against nathan lyon, so thats immediately putting him under pressure. You can nick off on the fifth day to mitchell, stark as he did today, uh his brains a little bit scrambled. He is a touch player, holly pope, so when he goes through the season playing for surrey, you will see he gets on a roll hell go hundred hundred double hundred. For me, there are power. Hitters, someone like owen morgan is a power hitter. He can have three months off as weve seen and come in and power him as if hes as if hes, not missed any cricket. When you are a touch player, i think you need to keep playing playing. So a tour like this will put pope under pressure because a in a game hes not getting any runs and b in between games. There are no state games, its just the nets and you dont get into that much rhythm in the net, because there is no stark in the nets. There is no nathan line getting drop on it, so um. It worries me. He needs to somehow try and occupy the crease and realize that it will get easier now that theyve played him for two games. I would probably play him another game um, but none of that batting lineup, with the exception of the big names that weve mentioned in stokes and rue i dont think any of that batting lineup can come can come on.
If someone says sorry were going to go. Crawly or bestow or laurence we want to mix it up, thats what we do in the bowling every single week we mix the bowling up, but batters you carry on so i dont think anyone could complain if theyre, if they do mix up the batting a bit Going ahead, its a very valid point: nasa makes keys about no state games, so someone like ollie, pope or whoever cant go away and just try and spend some time in the middle. The other thing youve got to throw in now and michael might be able to tell us a little bit more about how things are in australia, theres going to be more restrictions on the players. Now we spoke to ollie during that first season of games without crowds where the players were staying on, site and ollie said to us youre at the gs bowl. When you get two low scores, you go back to your room and youre, overlooking the same ground that youve just failed at now, its not quite the same as that. But there are restrictions on the players. Now they cant go out and just get away completely from the game, theyre stuck in doors. I mean that adds another layer of complexity when youre trying to find some form and get your mental side of the game in order yeah, im sure thats horrendous. But the problem is no ones going to care when you walk out about whether youve got runs or not were all going to be doing vodka, some people are going to the pundits are all going to be talking and the journalists are going to be.
Writing and the the only currency youll have is whether youve scored runs. The problem for ollie pope is, he looks, and everything about him suggests hes going to be a really good player, but the one thing you cant see with people is like their mental toughness. Their capacity for scoring runs and getting through those tough times, and all of that and the one thing i see with pope, sometimes you have players that are frenetic and theyre trying to be busy and theyre doing that. You know lavashone was busy even though he wasnt scoring any runs. He was busy. He was always looking for singles stuff like that. Pope is doing it because he looks like hes really just has no confidence. He doesnt back his defense against lyon, so hes just sitting there going all right im going to do something. Hes done that now for almost 20 tests. He started right against india. Then he found that period in south africa, where he thought here we go ollie popes going to be the player and everyone talks about him in such high regard. His test is to prove that hes got all the shots. The technique stuff like that, is he mentally up for tess cricket thats. The thing that ollie popes gon na have to prove now whether he gets to do that in the next test match i dont know he would be one of those that i would have in the firing line.
To be honest because weve this has been going on for a little while now and he sort of gets a lot of opportunities, olive pope, because people think he looks like you know, youre just waiting for that moment where hes going to be. You know the next joe root or something, but he just mentally looks a long way away from that. For me. So now, nash youd, give ollie another game fair enough. Hes got a high ceiling because a talented batsman b of his age, where are you at with rory burns? Is it a point where hes of an age where actually it might be best to get a dan lawrence, zach crawley? How long before we started talking about zach crawley with rob key on the call but get him in because of his age and the ceiling that he might be capable of hitting? Well, i mean the other thing about holly pope was that you know two games ago. It seems like a long time ago at the oval he got 81 against it against india, so his last game before this tour, so theres a bit of currency in that um burns. You know the other problem is sort of. Should you just pick people because theyre doing enough, you know you got what 30 odd it that keeps you in the side. I dont think with any selection. It has to be a long term. It is burns the future. Do we see a future in burns dont? Just change for the sake of it, but i go back to my point well twofold here.
If you change burns, youre going to have to go zach brawley, zach, crawley averages 11 this year in test match cricket. So lets not just presume youre changing for the better. In going for zach, crawley, um and also zach, like the rest of that batting lineup because of the reign in brisbane, i think he got a few in one of the games there or when he had his bat theres no in between games. So again, you could just go in the nets and then suddenly youre out there at the mcg against cummins, hazelwood and stock. So you do have to have a look at them and you do have to look at them in the eyes and go. Are you going to be up for that battle with burns at the mcg one thing i say about burns and its the opposite of what rob just said about ollie pope. I think burns is a fairly gutsy cricketer right. I think i think burns with all four to have that technique and be successful and get the runs hes got. I think you have to have a bit about you and i think he has, and i would want a bit of character and a bit of fight going into that mcg test match, but if he gets dropped again, as i said just now, turning any of that Bang banging lineup, apart from stokes and and roo, could could have a moan because they are all vulnerable but isnt that exactly the point and thats a little bit where englands selection for this trip has been sort of underwhelming.
I think when you, i know you can sort of look back on hindsights, a wonderful thing, because when youre selecting teams, i would have thought you always look for the upside. What is their good? You know when, if, if the penny drops for this player, are they going to be a sensational test curricular? And you look at that? You say something like jaclyns now, normally you guys would have been able to blame the selectors, but the selector is chris silverwood hes. The one who picks all of these people – and you look at someone like burns and im just sort of sitting there thinking and go whats his good. You know. Is he going to be someone at 30, whatever he is, is hes good hes. If he does find his rhythm and all these moving parts, is that going to be enough? Is he going to go on and become someone who churns out runs like cook likes strauss like people have done really well as openers for england in test cricket, or are we in two or three test matches time in the summer gon na be going well, hes Got a lot of moving parts. Hes got a lot of problems with his technique and he needs rhythm. Are we gon na constantly be in this state of flux with him, and i sort of feel that we are, whereas someone like – and i know you go about – zach crawley or a dan lawrence or any of these players they could be.
You know they could average 10 for the year, they could average 20 or they could find something that turns them into really really good test match cricketers for a long time and thats, where i would go if im england now i would start looking at the upside. Not thinking of somebody might be able to get me through a game at the mcg. It might guts me out. A few runs its like. Who here, who do you want to start off? Now, is going to be the mainstay of our batting for years to come? Ive read a lot and listened to a lot of couple. Podcasts, michael about englands, batting woes on this tour, and a lot of people are pointing the finger squarely at county cricket theyre, pointing the finger at the ecb and their desire to prioritize white ball cricket. At the expense of red bull cricket, do you have any truck with that and the problems that england are facing currently in australia? Yes, and no i mean england, have struggled in australia for many many years. I think we mentioned last time. We did the vodcast that theyve only won half a dozen times since the second world war, so this is not a new story of finding life difficult in australia, but of late. They seem to have found life much more difficult in australia. This is whose 10th defeat in 11 test matches. I think isnt it the only time hes avoided defeat, as captain was on that feather bed at melbourne, uh in 2017, so the three tours that hes been on 2013 14, 2017, 18 whitewash, four nil, and now two from two so of late.
Things seem to be getting tougher. I think a lot of the planning that we hear about over you know were constantly told theyve had a plan for two years for this series. I think a lot of that is to make up for the fact a lot of the overthinking is to make up for the fact there are not obvious people to pick coming out of a county game that has been pushed to the margins generally, not every county Championship game is played early in late season, but generally on iffy pitches and therefore, what what ideally you want is a system whereby youve got a steady supply of top class cricketers and the the cream will rise to the top through natural selection and natural competition. I dont think thats there at the moment because of the the issues that we talk about when its played type of pitches, its played and therefore theyre, having to try and manufacture um a squad. I keep the light off that it looks much better, actually or something. I dont know i just didnt want you, you watch quite a lot of county crickets, certainly down at canterbury, our pitches playing their part in perhaps not having the depth of batting talent. Oh excellent turn the light off again other pitches also to blame. Well, i i sound like a broken record in this because thats absolutely where i see it and unless so the time that its played, albeit thats, a big factor, because i still think the pitches are bad in mid season as well.
If you look at the run scored last year, there were more runs scored in april at the start of the year than there was at other periods, so it is about the pitches and youve got to understand the real problem with the pitches, its not about counties. Just wanting result, wickets and stuff like that is theres a bigger problem than that um, and that is what isnt producing our curriculus batsman spinners, in particular its not about turning pitches and stuff. Like that, you know my career, spanned, the good part and the bad part of county pitches. So i started when the pitch is improved actually and when you ended up 2005 and some of those cricketers that came out of that system and then from about 2010 onwards. When the pitch is actually, i mean im standing there batting and youre just getting nicked off for fun, mainly because i was inept, but also because it just got a lot tougher. The cricket wasnt as hard the bowling wasnt as good, because in the early 2000s there was loads of cold packs. There was loads of overseas players, two overseas players, in fact every county on good pitches. So you learnt your trade of the different paces. You had to bad at you learn everything you know. In a days batting you had so many different things you had to deal with that. Just doesnt happen anymore. You know, and you really what i would suggest to people at the ecb and whoever to really try and work out why these pictures are not great.
You know, and its not just about good pitches produce good bowlers, i mean, i know the focus there is on betting, but they produce good bowlers in the end, and just the risk of sounding, like a broken record that session that australia bowled on the third afternoon Was the classic performance of a group of bowlers that are not phased by a flat pitch and a hot day, and no or little lateral movement not phased by at all, whereas england generally are because they dont have that that opportunity to do that in the county Game so much and the point you made right at the start and thats about the lengths england bowl. I was chatting to ricky ponting about this in the media center the other day and he he he made the points pretty good one. I think that, because that ball moves for 80 overs in england, you can almost bowl quite conservatively at the start. You know reign in your figures in the knowledge that youre going to be in the game all day, long for the whole 80 overs, and he said you know in australia. You have to flip that around because youre only going to get movement for 15 or 20 overs swing or whatever, so you really have to attack and risk going for runs at the start and then move to that kind of slightly more nutritional, grinding phase. Um and thats very different to england because of the pitches pitches are really important.
I think i mean new zealand thats thats what they went through wasnt it to try and become a much better side really hammered on the pitches to improve the pitches, to improve the standard of play, and the pitches also may address the questioning of why they get To adelaide and leave a spinner out why they feel that five seamers is required in adelaide. Now the stats will tell them that finger spin doesnt go well unless youre nathan, lyon opposition finger spin, especially england ones. Maybe, since swan havent gone well, whether it be leech or mowing alley or whoever they havent taken wicked. So maybe that was what, when root was saying, if we carry on doing what weve always done well go down the same road, so maybe this was in fact. I know this was the cunning plan were going to leave. Our spinner out were going to play five seamers id love to know how english cricket has got to a stage where you see that pitch in adelaide where lion is getting turned and bounced and the likes of stokes its going past his outside edge ball after ball. How weve got to a stage where we dont feel we have a spinner, not leech? This is not a comment on leech. This is a comment on spin. How we feel weve got to a stage where were not good enough to to have a spinner in those conditions really, and it goes it goes to pitches if your seamers are doing all the work in county korea, its not just a turning pitch.
So if you just produce a real turning pitch at taunton, for example, then best gets away with his lens best gets away with the drag down and the full toss, because he knows sooner or later, one will turn him bounce. I know hes moved on to heading lee now and leech can get away without drop that lions got. He doesnt have to deceive the batsman before it bounces, because that taunton pitch will look after that when we did graham swan on the excellent cricket show last year. He said the best thing for him was moving from wantage road northlands, where it spun to trent bridge where it didnt spin, and he had to learn to deceive the batter. He had to learn to get drift and drop, so the pitches also bring spinners into it. And playing of spin into it, so i do think that is something we need to look at in our domestic cricket i mean, and that is the point isnt it its a little bit the same with the bat. You know we sit here and we can sort of nail them for not picking a spinner. How many spinners would we actually rate in english cricket? Because at the moment i know people will say parkinson well, parkinson should be there ill. Tell you now parkinsons, no banker in this. It test cricket stuff, like that. Hes got a lot of work to do. Mason crane people like that, the only one i could think of one and hes played if he played four games last year, and that was moriarty.
He was a youngster from surrey, he is the only spinner. I watch a lot of county cricket. I could tell you he said you know what he looks like. He might have something about him, but thats a mile off. You know whats. The point, though, rob i mean i go back to your safe selections, and so they go a little bit with the lions. They go parkinson and crane. They play one game for the lions and neither of them play so what what have they gained. So i think any selection, like i say, is an investment right were giving you a trade were giving you a flight to australia were giving you hotels were giving you sort of england, lions, shirts and caps wed like to see something back. If you dont play them. Theyre not going to improve its just like they should be selected, but we dont really believe in them. No, i guess i agree completely, you know, but what im saying is that how are you going to do that? Who do you pick out of all of that? I agree complete thats what they have to do and when they do play they have to bowl, but that doesnt mean thats what should be done before youre, throwing them into a test match. You cant be just saying that okay parkinson, you can learn your trade in test cricket and it all goes back to your point about pitches all that type of stuff.
But the fact is how many spinners do you actually rate when you sit and you watch you tell me how many spinners in this country, you think you know what he looks like a very good spinner, because i i i i theres the list. I cant. Think of many i mean leech and bess. You know really dont. You think. In a way, though, the thinking behind the team selection here in adelaide was was really worrying and confusing. Whether one accepts that the the spinners england have are good enough or whether they have faith of them is, is a rather different matter when you, when you looked at the selection of that team for this, for this surface, four kind of new ball bowlers five right Arm, seamers, all in a narrow range of pace, leaving out your man of extreme pace resting him. They said he was fully fit resting resting for what were two nil down and the spinner it just didnt make sense it. I cant, i couldnt, see any situation where that selection made sense for this game, and i find that quite concerning, because they must talk about the selection, obviously ahead of the game, and i cant understand theres no cricketing common sense that comes up with that team. On that pitch, when you think, though, then that that again is another issue that that theyve got, i think you know joeru gets a lot of stick. You know i dont think i think tactically hes not the greatest captain in the world, but thats nothing new, but actually the captaincy has brought so much out of his batting.
You know its made him a better player almost that responsibility, and you take that a little bit and actually as a setup. What youve got to do then? He sort of understand that, because thats nothing new that about joe root and he doesnt make always make the greatest decisions. So then, what you do you bring someone in who is brilliant at making those decisions? Whos got such good. Now such a good read of the game that they can help him out so that when he turns up to brisbane hes singing, oh, do you know what i think we might have a bat here and well. You know on a green pitch that that person, whoever the coach that is turns around, goes, hang up. Mate dont worry about that. You have a bowl on there and this is the team you want to go with and then the same thing at adelaide. So when he turns up there, thinking oh im going in with five seams, you go no, no hang up. This is the flattest pitch. This is where you need your spinner, so youre actually helping him. Then, when he bowls bounces gets ben stokes bowling bouncers for a session or whatever it was or theyre bowling. Too short, he comes in at lunch or a message goes out and they say just picture up a little bit or im, not gon na, or he says in the morning of the second day he comes in.
He says who you starting with joe, and he says: oh, you know im going to start with so and so and say no, no robinsons the man, you start with hes been your best bowler thats. The best way to do it is that a point: do you think where they are just not getting it at the moment? Well, that was the problem. I think we all said when we, they changed the procedure and made silverwood the chief selector and the a accountability. It means before that he could just defer to the main selector if there were issues, so it just keeps him away from the spotlight for a little bit and keeps him away from the pressure cooker of errors and making errors, but also secondary when you are in That bubble, when you are wrapped up with your bowlers around you youre, trying to back them all up and youre, trying to listen to broad and anderson and wokes and and youre trying to show faith in them. Sometimes you need someone from the outside to just come in, like you just said and go whoa. Do you know what this not what it looks like, because you never should do something on what it looks like, but do you know what this looks like in a cricketing sense, as michael atherton just said, just take yourself out and look from above down and youre Going on adelaide on a flat pitch dry, hot and youre, going in with five samey balls and each decision you make will have repercussions because youve gone with five same ebolas.
Who is going to be your enforcer for whatever ass says? You do occasionally need someone to say were going to take the pitch out the equation and who do they go with their enforcer, the lad that could use snap at any stage in ben stokes, whos, coming back from an injury, hes played the least qriket out of Any of them and hes struggled with a knee injury in the last game. He bowls into the ground and im telling you when ben stokes was batting his bowling efforts was affecting his batting. He could hardly move at times ben stokes. I do think the decision to make silverwood the chief selector does have repercussions that you dont have that outside voice does confused selection act sometimes come due to pressure not being able to think clearly youre in an ashes series. Its not started well and its going down. The pan very quickly does it come down to feeling that pressure, not thinking. Clearly, yes, i think it can come down to many factors – pressure, maybe one um history, uh, maybe another. We talked about the decision at the toss at the gaba, for example, and the weight of history of nasa and all that kind of stuff may be another. Maybe a lack of knowledge of australian conditions can be another, although you know roots on his third tour anderson. Fifth, broad fourth, i dont know how much of a say the two big bowlers are having um and obviously collingwood and thorpe have had plenty of experience here um, but i was wondering just actually.
I was wondering myself before i was listening to rob. There talk about a voice, a voice to to discuss australian conditions. I wondered whether it might be worth you know you bring somebody in on a consultancy basis, just for the so i was thinking about something like mark taylor, for example, just a guy who knows australian conditions inside out and hes not going to get a track suit. On, but he might just from time to time, he wouldnt help the plans, no exactly probably not, but im just thinking that kind of person who might just say you know what this is, what you need at adelaide, or this is how you need to to bowl In these conditions, um that kind of knowledge, whether i mean youd, think that knowledge would be there. But given what has happened so far, thats been the really disappointing thing for me. I i can take england being beaten by a better side. My god i played in so many defeats against australia who are a better side than we were and no doubt we made lots of errors as well, but i do think englands selection decision making and strategizing on the nine days of this tour so far has been Behind bad i mean youre right and its not just been nine days its been going on for a bit longer than that through india, and i know we had covid and all of that stuff, and i agree completely on someone like mark taylor but isnt arent.
These decisions that the head coach should know arent these decisions that i mean as a young as a player, even if youre as good as joe, you dont, know everything but thats. Why you have a coach not to tell you how to cover, drive and stuff like that and tell you when the bus is leaving its there to actually tell you and to help you make the right decisions as a captain, you know and all those things you Spoken about getting in a consultant arent these things theres enough coaches, there shouldnt they be the ones that know this or not well just to play devils advocate. It goes back to something i asked ath last week about cricketing decisions. You know they rely heavily on stats. Now, whether thats, right or wrong, if someone was from that backroom staff here now to back themselves up, they would say you do know that fingerspin we struggle with fingerspin in australia. You do know that mowing alley doesnt get wickets out there. You know leech is getting belted, so why are we leaving our broad or anderson or wokes or all any of our seamers for a spinner? They would hide it or explain it by the fact that fingerspin, apart from lion, doesnt, do very well out there with a kookabra ball. So my point being is there are reasons for them doing it, and this is my question whether you go with history or whether you go with you are our finger spinner, whether it be best or legion.
Whoever this pitch says play one so were gon na play. One almost dont just throw the towel in and say we give up on finger spin in australia. This pitch says: play one: were gon na play one im, not for one minute saying if england play a spinner, the outlook or outcome would have been any different to this game, its just the thought process behind behind the selection. I find a little worrying because there are very few decisions that england have made so far on this tour that have been good ones, and that is a concern i think i dont i also dont youre right. There are reasons, as weve said, that they clearly dont rate their spinner thats. Why its not a shoe in to play where any other spinner that you guys play with would have got in there from giles to swan. Whoever wouldnt be an issue even mine alley. They probably would think you know what wed play marine alley on here. So i get that with the spinner, where its just the logic doesnt work is when they leave out mark wood yeah. You know when you get there and you see the flat pitch and it doesnt work. When you look at the green pitch and you say, were going to arrest broad and anderson for the day night test match, you know and thats where the lot the logic with the spinner is a bit of a red herring, because i get that the two are.
The two are one and the same thing: arent they youve just got steve smith out in the gabba. This is a guy whos averaged a hundred against us. In the last two series, wood gets him hopping around youre, going to a pitch that looks dry and biscuit colored and youre, leaving him out and youre saying hes rested now. If he cant play back to back test matches thats a different matter, they said: hes rested for the next game. Now england, two nil down its only one team in the history of the ashes thats come back from two nil to win the ashes. What are you resting him for before we move on to melbourne, as the players will shortly be doing in a couple of days time? You would think michael. I want to ask you. Excuse me about steve smith, now a great return to the captaincy for him, because australia have walloped england in that second test. He made 93 in the first innings, but his return to the australian test captaincy. How was that viewed in australia by the public and indeed in the press box um generally? Okay, i mean there was a slightly mixed reaction when he came out to batter adelaide. There was a mixture of cheers and booze whether the booze were just from the barbie army or the remnants of the barmy army. I dont know, but i would say it was a mixed reaction um, but it generally in print uh on television in radio, the the majority opinion has been hes done, his time, uh and therefore you know if, if hes, given an opportunity, theres, no reason why he Shouldnt have that opportunity, um that that, i would say, has been the general opinion um and obviously had a good return.
Good return to the captaincy, but theyve announced this the same squad for the next game, so cummings is obviously going to come back in. I dont know whether hazelwood will be fit in time. Um and one assumes richardson would keep his place in that regard, and it may work out in their favor, because cummins is going to be its going to be a bit fresh now for the next game. Well well, come on to what england might or might not do. Australia might not do with selection, but nasa tell us whats it like to play in the boxing day test at the melbourne cricket ground. Well, usually for us its likely to go in there. Now. Two nil down and what was it eleven days is my record still intact. Eleven hes losing the ashes, foster not appealing. I mean steve ward, nicking it and foster, not appealing and and keem flintoff laughing at slip or whatever hes, not a great memory, hoggard on the hook. First ball, harmerson to hayden, hes sort of 50 yards in and the ball drifts over his head for four. No, not very good to boxing day test, uh its a great atmosphere when we played there, they were still rebuilding it at times. Now it is an absolute bowl, an absolute cauldron. It is a great um, great venue, just walking up. You can walk through town and get up there if you want or go on the little mini bus.
Weve all been there. You go in the dungeon down below. It is an incredible amphitheater um. You know it can be a flat pitch that drop in pitch. Last time was just dead wasnt it. They say this time there was a little bit more pace in it. Um. You know thats theyre, the rumors, i hope so because that was a dead, dead, pitcher dull pitch last time there, which you can get with drop ins, but it is a great great uh atmosphere, its good before as well. You know christmas day you get together with all your families, all the team environment in athday. I think wed banned it by the time captain grumpy me had banned it by then, but you had various dress up dos and things. So it was great fun, its a bit difficult because youre trying to spend time with your family youre trying to do the christmasy things even in a bubble all the presents and secret santas. But in the back of your mind you know the next day is a test match against australia. So you constantly want to enjoy christmas, but also realizing the real reason youre out there is to try and do well for england but its a great week. I listened to gothy talk about one of your trips that you had out there, because you had that fancy dress party unboxing before the boxing day test. Do you reckon that you spent more time and effort getting your costumes than you did on any of the cricket? I think wayne morton, we all did secret santa and wayne morton got a can of technique out for dominated cork and no one could work out the gag anyway.
There you go corki and corki, looked at him and said why that and he went because youre bitter mate, um, so secret santa was good fun nc losing the ashes in 11 days is usually good fun. You got water, some deodorant that ran out many years ago. Well have to get it again on a serious side. I mean joe root going into this test match as captain two nil down three to go things arent going well for the team not well for him quite painful at times at adelaide. How significant? Not just for this ashs series, how significant is this test match for his captaincy? Oh hugely uh, often these ashes series begin and end a cycle dont they and joe has been in the in the job a fair. While now, if the series goes very badly um, there may well be big consequences to that for either the captain, the coach or who knows. However, many decision makers in that in that england setup, but thats a way down the line. Yet not many teams will come back from two nil down and i dont expect england to, but i think they show today in this final day uh that theyve got some fight and some spirit but theyre perfectly capable of making australia work hard for their gains and And thats the kind of attitude that theyve got to take into the next game. So theyll draw a bit from this um theyre playing against a pretty good australian attack.
I think australias batting has got some frailties and englands catching. You know the chances that theyve missed and i still think if they get runs, they could yet cause australia, one or two problems, but i think getting runs is going to be challenging because its real its a relentless attack well nasa. The runs are obviously the currency that england will need to invest in heavily as they go to the mcg. Do you see them making any changes in the batting? Normally, when we, when we get beaten, we change the bowling. Thats, probably going to happen again. Well, they could do it just depends how those lads that havent been playing. I mean, i couldnt, believe it that crawly and lawrence didnt go and play that lions game. I dont know whether they are covered protocols or concussion subs, and things like that. So you have to keep them at the ground. I dont know were not out there, but youd have like crawley and lawrence to have a good hit in the last couple of weeks that if you do want to make changes for burns or pope, you could bring those in. You have to go and im afraid we giggle at times where coaches say theyre hitting him well in the nets and all you do have to go with a little bit of now. Youre paid youve got all those coaches. There have a look at them see where they are with their game.
If pope is still looking frenetic in the nets and hes nicking off all the time, youd have to make that call and change it. If, if burns is still shuffling across, they said that burns was playing pretty well before this series, so you just never know the difficult one. For me actually is the number eight position i think wood obviously is going to come back. In probably you know, maybe one hour abroad and anderson will miss out is due. Do you leave wokes out for a spinner because folks has got some useful runs down there as he did today? Um, but do you just go on the bowling? Forget his runs and then who bats say: hey ollie robinson at eight or then do you have to go don bess because they got left handers and you bring bess in but best as weve known as weve seen doesnt give you control at all um. So that number eight position for me is is what i would pre thinking most about casey. What would you do uh? I i would say thank you to rory burns and ill be going with zach, which wont be a surprise to any of you. I just think its time now to sort of look look forward and id also probably just take out ollie pope. I think dan lawrence has actually played pretty well at times um. You know hes just not as hes, not as aesthetically pleasing as ollie pope.
I think hes equally as as impressive, if he, if he looks good and if he gets going, if that makes any sense, not really so well, go to michael michael, what do you think? Oh blimey thats really really tough and tricky. I dont see any easy solutions at all um, usually when its not obvious to what change should be made to improve it. Im generally, one who whos sticks rather than twists so id probably give burns and pope another go myself and hope that they can take something from what happened this afternoon, but i dont say that with any conviction or confidence at all. Okay. Finally, just on the general situation in australia, the potential complexities of getting the ashes completely finished final test is now in hobart, as opposed to perth. Cover case is obviously rising rapidly in the uk, as they appear to be in australia. What is the latest? Do you think there could be any bumps along the way in in terms of getting everybody safely around the country? I think theyre likely to be cases are on the rise in new south wales and melbourne uh in victoria um, and the players seem unwilling to have too many hard restrictions put on them, which i completely understand. After a couple of years of you know those kind of restrictions, i think theyve been told that you know they cant go for things like a haircut and do selfies and go in big groups for dinner and if theyre dining, they must be outside all those kind Of things so theres one or two more minor restrictions being put on them, but i think that the positive test in the media center, the other day in adelaide just brought home to everybody how fragile uh this ashy series is and how quickly it could be derailed.
You know we were all all slightly worried when that positive test came through because were there more and people are close contacts in south australia? You end up isolating for quite a long period, theres less uh, less draconian in new south wales and victoria, but still yeah its its tricky um, and we could yet see players being pulled out as pat cummings was the other day. Gentlemen, thank you very much indeed, for your thoughts.