Ashes 2021, Aus vs Eng, MCG: England were salted on the wounds, when Australia bowled them out for 68 in the second innings, eventually grabbing the Ashes.
The hosts were pretty much on target on the very first day when they got the visitors out for 185 runs. Skipper, Pat Cummings, and Nathan Lyon picked three-wicket each to simplify the innings.
Aus vs Eng: James Anderson gives England a chance to fight.
Everyone suspected a repeat of the Adelaide Test when David Warner and Marcus Haris played solid. However, James Anderson was determined to take the fight.
His four wickets were the spark England needed to start the fire. The opening pair was dismissed by him. But the main wicket was Steve Smith. An inswinger, not a big swing, just enough to take the inside edge onto the wicket.
Australia after the fourth wicket was struggling and England was hoping to take the first-innings lead. Which would be the first time in this series.
However, from Travis Head, they started to build small but vital partnerships. And More importantly, Marcus Haris’ 50 became very crucial after Smith’s wicket.
Green, Carey, Cummins, Starc all went into the double-figures. Slowly they reach 200 and then 267 to end the innings.
Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood grabbed two wickets each while Leach and Stokes had one each. They lacked spin quality as Lyon has. Moeen Ali would be a fantastic fit but he is now retired from Test cricket. Adil Rashid would also be an interesting option to consider.
A disappointing end for England.
Four English batters marked a duck and in total and 8 batters were in single-digit(9 if we include Jos Buttler who is not out).
The worst possible start England would have wanted. Openers have no clue of what is happening, they are just playing the drama created by the host.
Haseeb Hameed’s possibly last match in this series. Zak Crawley was brought to provide the stability but he too failed to stand long on the crease. However, his intent was good and he is a free-flowing batter. Though, he is a middle-order batter and needs to bat there.
I have talked a lot about whatever Australia does it is turning out to be a gold mine. It is proving right again as Scott Boland wreaks havoc in the England dressing room.
Boland took 6-7 and was the fewest runs conceded for a 6+ wicket haul on Test debut. Boland’s 7-55 is the most wickets on debut since Jason Krejza’s 12-358 in Nagpur in 2008 while the best MCG debut remains Tim Wall 8-189 against England in 1929.
Along with him, Mitchell Starc took three wickets which includes a big golden duck of Dawid Malan, and Ben Stokes. The one wicket which differs was taken by Cameron Green of James Anderson, and it was the ashes 2021 winning wicket.
Aus vs Eng: What can England do?
Hope for better batting is what England can do. Apart from their skipper, Joe Root, no one is taking their share of responsibility.
The bowling attack for England is pretty good and the inclusion of Mark Wood has sharpened the attack a bit. Dom Bess should be given the opportunity instead of Jack leach, who is proving inefficient.
In the batting department, Dan Lawrence could come in for Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns should get a return for Zak Crawley.
Although it is just advice, dropping Jack Leach and taking Dan Lawrence would a little bit strengthen the batting. As for the spin, Joe Root and Dawid Malan could have a bowl.
My final lineup would look like this: Rory Burns, Dan Lawrence, Dawid Malan, Joe Root(c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Jos Buttler(wk), Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson.
It would be tempting to give Buttler the leadership badge. Would it be a good tryout?