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Australia thrashed England by 218 runs to win 2nd Test at Adelaide and take 2-0 lead in series. Adrian Meredith dwells into the performances of the Englishmen on a scale of 10.
7 – Joe Root - 15 & 87 was a pretty good return from a guy who was opening in England, then No 6 in the 1st Test and now thrust into the No 3 spot. He top scored for England in the match and helped to get some respectability on the board in the second innings. The fact that he was out for 87 off the 387th ball of the innings perhaps meant that it was unavoidable for him to get out. He did well. If there was an award for best player of the losing team, Root would have got it.
5.5 – Stuart Broad – Three for 98 and none for 19 with the ball and 0 and 29 with the bat. He just keeps on taking wickets and scoring runs, perhaps in defiance at how much he is getting booed and how much the Australian public hates him for refusing to walk in the 1st Test of the England leg of the Ashes, which would have given Australia victory. Once again, a decent effort from him. He hit a six early on Day Five, to give hopes of an English victory, only to get out next ball playing the same shot.
5 – Ian Bell - 72 not out and six. He might not quite be doing as well as he was in England, but he is still doing pretty well.
4 – Kevin Pietersen – Four and 53. Still looks good every innings, just like Australia’s Shane Watson. And just like Watson, keeps getting out too cheaply, which is more him getting himself out than the bowler doing it. They both have to stop playing like Mark Waugh (stylish and entertaining but getting out too cheaply) and start playing like Steve Waugh (ugly but put a high price on his wicket).
4 – Michael Carberry - 60 and 14. Decent enough score in the first innings, but never really looked good. There is just nothing threatening about him.
3.5 – Ben Stokes – One and 28, two for 70 and none for 20. Not the worst debut, but not the best either. He had his first wicket denied due to a front foot no ball, but still took two wickets more than expected and scored 28 runs in the second innings to briefly give hope of some resistance. He lasted over two hours in scoring those 28 runs too. Still managed more runs than the guy he replaced – Jonathan Trott.
3 – Jimmy Anderson – One for 85 and two for 19. He was again quite ineffective in the first innings when it mattered, but did have a brief moment in the second innings — when it didn’t matter — where he suddenly looked quite scary. Still a decidedly below-par performance. but there is hope for something better in the future.
2.5 – Matt Prior – Zero and 69, four catches. He still needs to score hard runs before we can say he is back in form, but at least he showed a little bit of promise. There is still a chance he will be replaced by Jonny Bairstow at Perth.
2 – Monty Panesar – One for 157 and one for 41. Sad to say, but he was the equal of Graeme Swann, yet averaged almost 100 with the ball. Considering he was teased pre-match, with a teletubbies skit, which supposedly was racist (I don’t see how, given that the 4 people doing the skit were all Indian sikhs, like Monty, but it was certainly teasing him), he did do reasonably well and looked like a good choice ahead of Chris Tremlett. But perhaps Steve Finn would have been a better option again. Or Tim Bresnan. He is unlikely to play again this series.
2 – Graeme Swann – Two for 151 and none for 31. He took two for 182 vs Panesar’s two for 198, which is slightly better, but there really isn’t any difference between the two. Swann was probably lucky to get his two wickets so was perhaps worse. England could well drop both, who were both horrible on a spin-friendly surface.
0.5 – Alastair Cook - Three and one, the worst performance on either side. But it wasn’t just his low scores that were the problem, it was how scared he looked in getting out. He was giving his wicket away. If he keeps this up, he may as well join Trott at home. It might not officially be a stress illness, but seriously he looked scared. This from England’s captain and usually their best batsman was very disappointing and a major reason why England did so badly.
(Adrian Meredith, an Australian from Melbourne, has been very passionate about cricket since he was seven years old. Because of physical challenges he could not pursue playing the game he so dearly loved. He loves all kinds of cricket – from Tests, ODIs, T20 – at all levels and in all countries and writes extensively on the game)
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