David Lloyd reflects on England’s defeat in the first Ashes Test, says how he would look to get Steve Smith out and talks about that Peaky Blinders video…
It’s pretty evident England need some extra pace.
Everyone has been wondering over the course of the first Ashes Test, just how do you get Steve Smith out? Well, this is my theory; you need a tall, quick bowler – in the mould of a Glenn McGrath, Curtly Ambrose – to bowl strict line and length in that channel on around fourth or fifth stump. You need to hang the ball out there.
England vs Australia
August 14, 2019, 10:00am
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So, Jofra Archer coming in for the injured Jimmy Anderson at Lord’s would be my only change for the second Test, but England have got to be careful with him too.
He himself is only just coming back from injury; he plays a Sussex second XI match on Tuesday and it just depends on how well he comes through that. If he doesn’t, they’ll play Olly Stone, who had a good debut against Ireland.
It was extraordinary stuff from Smith at Edgbaston – a hundred in each innings.
At 122-8 on day one, with Australia having won the toss, England were very much on top. But that’s where it ended and Australia ran the game from them on.
Their fast bowlers looked aggressive and strong and the spinner Nathan Lyon is absolute quality. He has 350 Test match wickets! He delivered in the second innings, on a day five pitch.
That has put the spotlight on Moeen Ali, who had a bad game. He looks woefully out of nick with the bat, leaving a straight one in the first innings, and that lack of confidence carried into his bowling.
There might be talk about a change, with Jack Leach an option, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if England stick with him.
The decision making from the umpires was equally poor, particularly Joel Wilson. I’ll always say that an umpire makes honest errors, but there were simply too many in this Test. It won’t have gone unnoticed in the match referee’s written report of the game.
It is not an easy job, umpiring in Test cricket, with the challenges of DRS and so on, but Wilson will know he’s had a bad game and will be feeling low.
He is out of the firing line for the second Test match, in the third umpire’s chair, though he is carded to umpire the third up at Headingley. Though that very much depends on his state of mind, as it has happened before where an umpire has been pulled out of the firing line.
A positive for England is that Rory Burns scored runs. He has had a pretty poor season, but he might now have just turned a corner.
He played as he would in county cricket; it was a good Test hundred – yes, he played and missed a lot, but the important thing was, he hung in there.
I can’t say the same for Jason Roy in the second innings. What was he doing? His dismissal belonged to the 1950s.
You used to see the like on Pathe News, a run and a skip off the field from a batsman after charging down the wicket, bowled attempting a glorious hack to leg. It was such a shame, as up until then he hadn’t played an attacking shot really.
It will be intriguing to watch how his Test career develops. Does he continue to play in that vain, a la Michael Slater and Virinder Sehwag? Or does he rein it in a touch and look to become a steady opener? I assume he has been picked to play his natural way.
It was a shame to see England fold to a heavy defeat on the final day, but it was a cracking Test match and start to the Ashes. Not many were expecting any Test to go the full five days in this series.
I kept myself busy up in Birmingham, heading to the Black Country museum one day to film Sky Sports‘ tribute to Peaky Blinders, or Beaky Blinders thanks to Nasser Hussain.
The costumes, the set, it was all terrific. Except for maybe the acting.
I liked the pub best. It was an authentic, proper pub, with sawdust on the floor, and open fire and selling proper ale. How it should be.
Other than that, I’ve just been keeping my head down of an evening, watching T20 matches. Lancashire continue to go really well – it was a terrific game live on Sky between them and Nottinghamshire on Saturday night.
I’m looking forward to getting back out there for the Blast between now and Lord’s. T20 duties call.
As for England, a week off between now and the second Test at Lord’s gives them the chance – particularly the World Cup winners, whose form is a big concern – the chance to get this defeat out of their system.