As the Aussies continue their plight against Bangladesh in the white ball format, their Ashes opponents are applying their trade at home against reigning Test World Championship runners-up India.
Given the first Test of the two biggest cricket rivals on the planet is only 121 days away, everything that is happening will be put under the forensic microscope. Australia have a one off Test against Afghanistan which will give fans a good insight on Australia’s best eleven for the upcoming summer.
The first Test has been decided between England and India was decided in a rain affected draw but the lessons taken really can apply to the upcoming Down Under series.
With four Tests to go, England have got a magnificent chance to get some players back in form but for the first five days, glaring holes have revealed themselves which will give the Australians confidence for when the Ashes begin.
England didn’t play a spinner for the Trent Bridge match and while the conditions did help with swing bowling, continuity will be required as Dom Bess and Jack Leach are going to the key spin contributors down here. English spinners have had nightmares in Australian conditions as is the statistics displayed below:
England spinners in Australia in the last five Australian series:
Moeen Ali – 5 wickets in 5 Tests at 115
Mason Crane – 1 wicket in 1 Test at 193
Graeme Swann – 7 wickets in 3 Tests at 80
Scott Borthwick – 4 wickets in 1 Test at 20.5
Monty Panesar – 3 wickets in 2 Tests at 85.66
Graeme Swann – 15 wickets in 5 Tests at 39.8
Monty Panesar – 10 wickets in 3 Tests at 37.9
Ashley Giles – 3 wickets in 2 Tests at 87.33
Richard Dawson – 5 wickets in 4 Tests at 79.6
Graeme Swann is the only spinner to have some success in 2010/11 and it is not a coincidence that that was their last series victory (and last victory on Aussie soil in a Test, with a 5-0 result in 2013/14 and 4-0 in 2017-18).
Dom Bess has 36 wickets in fourteen matches with an average of 34 and Jack Leach has 62 wickets in 16 matches with an average of 30, numbers that aren’t making us jumping up out of the chair.
England’s batting line-up were exposed as even more frail than we originally thought against India’s premier attack. On foreign soil, India bowled out England twice and at times without a lot of opposition. England scored 486 runs for the Test and Joe Root scored 173 of them himself, which is 35.6 per cent.
The poor bloke needs help and his top three flopped and failed. In the first innings, Rory Burns fell LBW in the first over of the Test match and in the second, he scrapped through to score 18 off 49, before Mohammed Siraj got one to go across him and nick behind.
Dom Sibley just struggled to hit the ball off the square, as with his strange dismissal in the first innings, taking a grubby ball down leg and chipping it to midwicket.
In the second innings, he absorbed 133 deliveries for just 28 which can be okay if you go on and make a big score but he tickled one down the leg side. Finally, Zak Crawley.
The man looks a million dollars but if you remove his highest score of 257 against Pakistan, he’s scored 480 runs from 15 Tests.
With that score, he isn’t averaging 30 yet but his cover drives are exquisite and his pull shot is wonderful. As silly as it sounds, he just needs consistency and if he’s found out in this series, the Poms haven’t got the depth required. A cost of white ball dominance perhaps?
Jonny Bairstow is the only player in the First Test team who has hit a ton in Australia (WACA, 2017-18 in an amazing partnership with Dawad Malan) and his spot is under threat as well.
By the time the Second Test ends, the English batsman need to stamp their authority on their home turf, otherwise the Aussie bowlers are going to dominate them on their home turf.