When the Ashes series concluded last week, England’s victory in the final Test match meant that the series was drawn two all. But do we realise how rare a result this is in Ashes history?
David Warner’s sorrowful series continues as he departed for yet another single-digit score, courtesy of a Stuart Broad special.
It was quite evident from his batting and fidgety nature that his feet movement were all over the shop. The slight lunges towards the ball and the confusion that scrambled his mind when the ball did a bit too much up the slope to whoosh past his outside edge got the better of the southpaw as he played all around an in-dipper and heard the inevitable death rattle behind.
Safe to say, Warner’s technique and mental grit are being challenged by top-most pace-bowling and, thus far, it’s been a miserable tale for the Australian. Before the start of this series, Warner had encountered Broad several times in an Ashes Test.
And it used to be a mere throwdown for the left-handed bat as stats suggest that he had only been dismissed by Broad five times from the 527 deliveries he faced from him. Comparing this to the ongoing series and there is a dramatic shift in Warner’s fortunes and numbers. He has been scalped thrice and every time Broad has got his name emblazoned on Warner’s wicket.
The mode of dismissals, indeed, validate Warner’s suffering against English pacer. The treacherous angle that Broad creates by going round-the-wicket to the lefties creates all kinds of headaches for the batsmen.
Unaware of which way the ball will be going and unsure of whether to come forward or hang back, it’s almost as if Warner gets caught on the crease against Broad despite batting a yard out of his crease. It’s almost as if he is looking to feel for the ball and get that one stroke away to climb out of the abyss that he currently finds himself in.
The lack of runs under his belt make Warner to uncharacteristically push away from the body and look to play with hard hands. This slight lunging movement pushes him across his off-stump and, ultimately, makes him vulnerable for the vicious in-dipper.
Similar to the way he got scalped in the first innings at Edgbaston, Broad had one nipping back down the slope. Warner, who had been falling towards the off-side to feel the balls on his willow, left quite a bit of daylight between his bat and pad and it sneaked through to disturb the timber work behind him. The genius of Broad that pushed Warner further down into this technical and mental conundrum that he currently finds himself in.
In the space of 29 deliveries, Broad has got the better of Warner three times and every time he has come out to bowl to him, Broad has domineered terms. With at most seven more innings to go in the series, are we going to witness Warner’s redemption or will his batting woes continue to get worse?