England need a change of pace in second Ashes Test with Mark Wood waiting... while Joe Root needs to go out and hit a big hundred
- England fell to a heavy 10-wicket defeat in the first Ashes Test against Australia
- Changes need to be made ahead of the day-night match in Adelaide
- The onus is on Joe Root to match Steve Smith's example with the bat?
?From afar it must look like the same old England team out in Australia. That’s six defeats in a row there now. However, there were chances missed in the defeat at The Gabba and the players have to go to Adelaide with that in their minds.
If they had been on the end of an absolute hiding from start to finish then things would be different. They were not.?
Equally, they can’t say they weren’t warned about making certain mistakes or not doing certain things that would lead to them not only losing that Test match but potentially other Test matches out there.
The onus is on Joe Root to make a big hundred in the second Test of the Ashes this week
England need to inject more speed into their pace attack with Mark Wood waiting in reserve
Fundamentally there are two issues: the bowling attack is a bit one-dimensional for Australian conditions and for too long now the batsmen have not gone on to make big runs.
I said before the match that while 300 would win Tests against West Indies and South Africa in home conditions, you will lose more games than not in Australia with that kind of total. England coach Trevor Bayliss himself said pretty 50s and 60s are of absolutely no use.
I also questioned where England would go after Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad with the new ball. They had a very one-dimensional, one-paced attack.
To prove the points, Australia captain Steve Smith scored an unbeaten 141 and it won them the game. And his bowlers kept up their intensity to destroy England’s batting while Joe Root’s back-up bowlers were lacking in it.
The onus is now on Root — a member of the Fab Four along with Virat Kohli, Smith and Kane Williamson — to respond as a batsman because he’s as guilty as anyone of not converting.
He’s just seen Kohli get another double hundred, he’s just seen his opposite number score a match-winning unbeaten Ashes hundred.
Axing Jake Ball would be harsh but the bowling attack needs to cover all bases
The left-arm variation of George Garton should also be under consideration from England?
I thought Root’s captaincy at Brisbane was excellent but I don’t want to see him be Brearleyesque at the Adelaide Oval this weekend. I want him to go out and get a massive hundred. What England need right now is for their hugely talented captain to lead by example.
This past week has shown — on and off the field — that England are out there taking on the whole of Australia. They need to play with more aggression.
And if that means going outside the current squad for selection, so be it. Modern touring has changed, to be honest, and the days of picking 16 and sticking with them all winter have gone.
So whenever they feel the need to make a change, whether it be now or at the WACA for the third Test, the replacement player doesn’t have to be from the 16. It can be from the 30-odd blokes they have currently got in Australia. Personally, I feel they need to make that change now.
It will be harsh on Jake Ball but the attack needs all bases covered and if it does move around under the floodlights in Adelaide then the other three will cover that.
Unless the pitch is a raging turner the urge to play Mason Crane (right) should be resisted
Consideration should be given to Mark Wood or even the left-arm variation of George Garton. And the status of Ben Stokes will be of great interest after he jetted out to New Zealand on Monday night.
This is not a knee-jerk reaction because I mentioned at the time of selection that they needed the extra pace someone like Wood brings.
He might not be fit enough but they must find out whether he is now an option. As we saw in the summer, he needs to be fully fit to have an impact — it’s no good him being at 70-80 per cent.?
But the communication lines to England Lions coach Andy Flower need to be open because the senior management have seen that in Australian conditions when the new Kookaburra ball is moving around they are fine. But later when it’s not, they need someone who can rough batsmen up.
What England can’t say is: it’s Adelaide, under floodlights and that brings our attack into it more. Because one, if it’s bringing England into it more it’s certainly bringing the three Australian quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins into it more too.
England's bowlers need to re-assess their plans to Australia captain Smith after his century
And two, there is no guarantee you are going to be bowling under lights when the new ball moves around. There has been talk of giving Mason Crane a debut but unless they think it’s going to be an absolute raging turner, I am not so sure, and you don’t tend to need two spinners under lights.
Most of the personnel did OK in Brisbane but they have to heed some lessons as a team to give themselves a better chance in the second Test.
They must readdress their plans against Smith. I don’t think they’re going to bore him out. They must readdress their plans against Nathan Lyon. They’re going to have to be a bit more attacking against him and make Smith go back to his three big lads.
And they must readdress their plans against short-pitched bowling. It’s been a part of cricket for ever and they will have to work out what they’re going to do.
But above all they must stick together as a team and show their mental resolve.
England's batsmen also need to shift their focus against Australian spinner Nathan Lyon
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