MITCHELL STARC has warned England’s tormented tailenders that the bouncer barrage will carry on coming.
Left-arm speedster Starc despatched shock waves by way of England’s lower-order with a fusillade of brief stuff that had the batting rabbits diving for canopy.
Starc took three wickets and Pat Cummins one as England misplaced their ultimate 4 second innings wickets for simply ten runs within the First Check.
The obliteration of the tail despatched England hurtling in the direction of defeat and confirmed the likes of Stuart Broad, Jake Ball and James Anderson have little reply to balls geared toward their throats.
Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes additionally perished to brief balls and on the third night Starc even struck Joe Root a sickening blow on the helmet.
All of it proved simply how a lot England are lacking Ben Stokes.
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Starc revealed the Aussies are copying the brutal way Mitchell Johnson blitzed the lower-order in 2013-14.
He said: “We have plans to all the English batters and we’ve spoken about their tail.
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“I guess the way our boys bowled against them the last time the Ashes were here is our blueprint and I’m sure they can expect some more short stuff as the series goes on.”
Such tactics have the twin effect of wrapping up the innings quickly and draining confidence. There is little more debilitating for cricketers than being bombarded by bouncers and having courage questioned.
But the real batting problem for England was not the tail-enders but the main batsmen who, as Moeen Ali admitted, let themselves down.
There were several times in the match when England got themselves into good positions and tossed it away.
Whether it was James Vince’s suicidal run out, Dawid Malan falling for a sucker hook shot, Alastair Cook doing likewise, Moeen Ali carelessly being stumped or Joe Root being pinned lbw twice, England’s batsmen must look in the mirror.
Scoring forties or fifties in Test cricket does not cut it. Centuries are what win games – just ask Steve Smith.
Root must share the blame. He is a world-class batsman but has converted only 13 of his 46 half-centuries into centuries. His 25 most recent fifties have produced just five hundreds.
If Root could convert like Smith, he would already be recognised as England’s finest batsman of all time.
Moeen said: “We’re very disappointed. We played well for the first three days but have let ourselves down with the bat. A few players got in but nobody got the big score we needed.
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“It was a good pitch to bat on but we haven’t scored a century in this game. To have any chance of winning – or stopping them from winning – guys had to get hundreds. We’ll have to put that right in the next four games
“The good thing is that the batters are hungry to score. We’ll be itching to score some hundreds.
“It’s difficult to take positives but one is that we made 300 in our first innings without Cook and Root scoring any runs.”
Cook managed just nine runs in the match and his form is a concern for England while Root perished twice in near-identical fashion as he tended to overbalance at the crease.
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Starc is confident the Aussies can keep England’s two best batsmen on a tight leash.
He explained: “There’s still long way to go in the series but it is encouraging for us. We knew Cook and Root were two guys we’d have to keep quiet because they are such experienced and important players.
“To go about it the way we have is great for us. Cooky has scored just nine runs, which is a big plus. Joe spent some time in the middle but we found a way to get him out in both innings.