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 Australians on a scale of 10.
8.5 – Mitchell Johnson - Had an amazing first innings, taking seven for 40 on a pitch that was meant to be batting-friendly, bowling England out for 172 in response to Australia‘s 570. He took just one for 73 in the second innings, but he had done enough damage to deservedly win the Man of the Match Award. Not as good a match as the first Test, but his first innings bowling was superior — twice he took two wickets in two balls — and on a flat track!
8 – Michael Clarke - 148 and 22. He was magnificent in the first innings, taking Australia back from the brink, in partnership with Brad Haddin. He was also useful in the 2nd innings after an early collapse, and then helped to partner with David Warner to get Australia to safety. Well, they were cruising really, but at least he helped to get their confidence going.
7.5 – David Warner - 29 and 83 not out. He was very good in the first innings but better in the second and is right now the brick in Australia’s batting order, the most in form batsman of the lot. He did fail a little in the first innings but they were hard batting conditions so he was doing reasonably well, which helped Haddin and Clarke to capitalise later.
7 – Brad Haddin - 118 and two catches. Not the best keeping display but he was still good enough. Like Clarke, he survived some early chances in his innings, but a century is a century and it helped Australia to get to a mammoth total. Still pretty good.
6 – Peter Siddle – One for 34 and four for 57 was pretty good for a guy who was the worst of the bowlers in Brisbane. In the second innings he was the leading innings wicket taker and helped to push Australia to victory. He took five wickets for 91 for the match at an average of 18.20. Mind you, there had actually been talk of dumping him after Brisbane.
5 – Chris Rogers - 72 and two probably wasn’t enough to stop talk of him being dumped, though the first innings was decent enough. Bbut he fell after putting in the hard work. In the second innings he threw away his wicket yet again. He will need to do better than this in Perth if he is to keep his place for the last two Tests.
5 – George Bailey - 53. Not amazing, but he has improved in every innings to date, going from 4 to 31 to 53. He should be getting in the 70s next innings and if he keeps going like this he is well on the path to greatness. What was good was that he was playing like he does in one-dayers, where he averages over 50. If he can keep this up then he should be fine. That is what Michael Hussey did when he played Test cricket. He still needs to do well in Perth to keep his spot, but for the moment he looks likely to stay on for the rest of the series.
4 – Shane Watson - 51 and 0 with the bat and one for 0 and 0 for six with the ball. It was good to see him finally get a 50, and finally get a wicket, but a batting average of 25.50 still doesn’t make good reading. Perhaps the best part of this was that he went for an economy of 0 in the first innings (off 3 overs, with 1 wicket) and one in the second innings — a total of 6 runs off nine overs — at an economy of just 0.66 runs per over! Incredible! And a bowling average of six too! He might not be a front line bowler, but he is a more than useful back up for the spear heads. Will be interesting to see how good his bowling is in the remaining tests. His batting still needs improving too. He is giving away his wicket too easily still – even though he does look good.
4 – Ryan Harris – Zero for 31 and three for 54. He was at least economical in the first innings, going at one run per over before that 18 run over, and in the second innings he took some wickets. Still three wickets for 85 at a bowling average of just under 30 is not quite up to his usual standard. Decent, but nothing to shout about.
3 – Steve Smith – Six and 23 not out, one for 43. He didn’t look great out there, and suddenly his spot is on the line, but then in the second innings he looked better. He even took a wicket, though his bowling was horrid. Still comfortably in the team, but he needs to improve in the next Test.
1 – Nathan Lyon – One for 64 and one for 78 was pretty horrible, especially on a pitch that favoured spin. He will be very lucky to play in Perth. His best chance is if they decide to “stick with a winning team” or “want the variety of a spinner”. If they are playing to conditions, then they will go with all fast bowlers, and if they are going on quality, then they will go with all fast bowlers. James Faulkner is well and truly overdue to be given a shot, and Lyon should be the one to make way.
(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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