Friday, May 20, 2022

Ashes 2021-22: From Steve Smith’s captaincy comeback after 1366 days to England’s 4000 days for a Test win in Australia, 5 Talking Points from Adelaide Test

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Ashes 2021-22: Australia were all-over England in the second Test in Adelaide, beating the visitors by 275 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the 5-Test series. England, who were outplayed and beaten by 9 wickets in the first Test in Brisbane, played the chasing-game throughout the five days after leaking 473 runs in the first innings – 236 and 192 is all the Three Lions could manage in their two innings at the Adelaide Oval. Jos Buttler played a gutsy 26-run 207-ball knock in his attempt to save the Test match for his team but his own right feat betrayed him as he got out hit wicket on a Jhye Richardson delivery with 23 overs still remaining in the final day’s play. Follow Ashes 2021-22 Live on InsideSport.IN

Ashes 2021-22: From Steve Smith’s captaincy comeback after 1366 days to England’s 4000 days for a Test win in Australia, 5 Talking Points from Adelaide Test

The Test match witnessed the return of Steve Smith as the captain of Australian team after 1366 days. The 32-year-old came all guns blazing on the occasion and shone with the bat as well. There were a few more notable takeaways from the Test match.

  1. Steve Smith shines on captaincy comeback: Quite a few eyebrows were raised when Steve Smith was named Pat Cummins deputy ahead of the ongoing Ashes 2021-22. Pat Cummins was ruled out of the second Test after being identified as the close contact of a Covid-positive person at a restaurant and regardless of all the outside noise, Steve Smith donned the captaincy hat, for the first time after Cape Town Test in 2018, and led his team to an emphatic 275-run win in the pink-ball Test in Adelaide.

He shined with the bat as well, scoring 93 runs in the first innings. The fact that he marshalled an Australian troop without two of their best fast bowlers – Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood – makes his leadership in the match even more commendable.

Smith did also not shy away from rolling his arm in his quest to break the partnership between Buttler and Chris Woakes. Without a shadow of doubt, Steve Smith passed with flying colours on his return to Australia captaincy after 1366 days.

2. 4000 days now since England won their last Test match in Australia: The 275-run defeat means that England are yet to win their first Test match in Australia after beating them in the he final Test at Sydney in the victorious 2010-11 Ashes. England have played 12 Test matches in the country since that Test match, losing on eleven 11 occasions. England are yet to find a recipe to win a red-ball match in the Kangaroo nation.

3. England’s selection blunder: England opted to play the pink-ball Test without a specialist spinner. Jack Leach was initially named in the 12-man squad for the second Test, however, England decided against playing him on the day of the match.

This had come after suggestions from the Adelaide Oval pitch curator who had told England not playing a spinner will be a massive mistake. “History says that the pitch will spin,” he had told.

England paid the price for the mistake as Joe Root had to bowl 20 and 6 overs in the first and second innings respectively. In fact, England 196cm quick Ollie Robinson also bowled three overs of off-spin on Day four of the Test.

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon took a total of 5 wickets in the match.

4. Jhye Richardson celebrates Test comeback in style: Jhye Richardson made his Test debut in 2019 against Sri Lanka and played back-to-back two Test matches including a pink-ball match in Brisbane. The 25-year-old right-arm pacer had a decent start to his Test career, taking 5 wickets in the first Test.

However, injury setbacks saw him wait for his third Test for almost three years. Josh Hazlewood’s injury after the first Test called for Richardson’s induction, and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands to register a five-wicket-haul in the second innings. Jhye Richardson was quick and bowled full, consistently attacking the stumps. He rattled England’s second innings by dismissing both their openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed before hunting down Jos Buttler (Hit Wicket), Chris Woakes and James Anderson.

5. Rory Burns might just have run of lifelines after another poor Test outing:

0 and 13 in the first Test before registering scores of 4 and 34 in the second, England 31-year-old opener could possibly have played his last match on the tour if not of his career. The Surrey-born has played 31 matches so far and scored 1763 runs at an average of 30.92. In 2021, Burns is averaging 27.89 in 10 matches.

Zak Crawley will most certainly replace his senior in the Boxing day Test match at the MCG from December 26.

Ashes 2021-22: From Steve Smith’s captaincy comeback after 1366 days to England’s 4000 days for a Test win in Australia, 5 Talking Points from Adelaide Test

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