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Sport Wounded England face pink-ball challenge in second Ashes Test

08:51  14 december  2021
08:51  14 december  2021 Source:   afp.com

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England head into the day-night second Ashes Test in Adelaide on Thursday under pressure and facing an ominous task against an Australian team who have won all of their eight pink - ball matches. "Jimmy will be fit and ready to go for the second Test , as will Stuart," he told British media. "We have talent and we still have two of the best (bowlers) up our sleeve as well." That would likely mean one of Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood or Chris Woakes missing out, and England must also decide what to do with spinner Jack Leach, who was hammered for 1-102 off 13 overs at the Gabba.

The prospect of England ’s bowlers swinging it around corners has fans excited but a closer look at the numbers suggests they are big underdogs. England have won just one of four Tests with the pink ball (Photo: Getty). After the despair of Brisbane, the prospect of James Anderson and Stuart Broad being let loose with the pink ball in Adelaide this week is offering hope to England fans that all is not lost in this Ashes series.

England head into the day-night second Ashes Test in Adelaide on Thursday under pressure and facing an ominous task against an Australian team who have won all of their eight pink-ball matches.

Australia take a 1-0 lead into the second Test in Adelaide © Patrick HAMILTON Australia take a 1-0 lead into the second Test in Adelaide

The tourists' capitulation by nine wickets in the opening Test in Brisbane exposed their batting and fielding frailties, exacerbated by rain-hit preparations and lack of match practice.

It wasn't helped by poor decision-making -- notably captain Joe Root choosing to bat after winning the toss on a juicy Gabba pitch and the widely criticised omission of pace veterans Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.

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England ’s meek collapse on the fourth morning in the face of a rejuvenated Australian attack condemned them to a nine-wicket defeat and a 1-0 series deficit heading into the pink - ball encounter in Adelaide. England ’s issues should not detract from what Australia did so impressively either, be it their collective ferocity on the opening day, the resolute stand of 156 between Warner and Labuschagne on the second , or the way Cummins regrouped his side after a challenging third.

The second Ashes Test between Australia and England starts on Saturday. Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 following their 10-wicket win in Brisbane. This Test will be the first-ever day-night contest in the history of the Ashes . The conditions could favour England , with no bounce and wet conditions. Australia have been involved in more pink ball Tests than any other nation - three - and have won all of them. They beat New Zealand by three wickets at Adelaide in 2015 in the first-ever day-night Test though the highest score was just 224. Australia also recorded wins over South Africa at

England's Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes look on during the opening Ashes Test © Patrick HAMILTON England's Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes look on during the opening Ashes Test

Root knows his team must find a way to improve, and fast, to stand a chance at a ground where Australia have hosted five of their eight Test wins under lights.

"We have got to be better in the field and with the bat," he said, but added: "We're game-hardened now, we're in the series."

Seamers Broad and Anderson are tipped to return given the extra movement found with a pink ball, something coach Chris Silverwood hinted at this week.

"Jimmy will be fit and ready to go for the second Test, as will Stuart," he told British media.

"We have talent and we still have two of the best (bowlers) up our sleeve as well."

That would likely mean one of Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood or Chris Woakes missing out, and England must also decide what to do with spinner Jack Leach, who was hammered for 1-102 off 13 overs at the Gabba.

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England have endured three defeats in three floodlit Tests overseas to date, most recently a two-day thrashing against India in Ahmedabad this year when they completely misread conditions, picked frontline three seamers – plus Stokes – yet spin dominated and Joe Root claimed five for eight with his off-breaks. David Warner on his way to making 94 during the first Test . The Australia opener has a rib injury and is a minor doubt for the second Test . Photograph: Patrick Hamilton/AFP/Getty. Broad’s return, and potential reunion with Warner after dominating him at home in 2019, would mean one of

England ’s decision to bat first and omit their two most prolific Test bowlers of all time were always going to be hotly debated – but, if we are honest, not the reasons they lost the Ashes opener. England pace bowler Stuart Broad says he was “ready to go” for England ’s first Ashes Test and “disappointed” not to play in the defeat at the Gabba.

While losing by nine wickets was bad enough, they were also fined all of their match fees and docked Test Championship points for a slow over rate.

- 'Confidence is there' -

There are also concerns over Ben Stokes, who failed to fire in his first competitive match in six months after a break to deal with a finger injury and mental health issues.

Root insisted England's star all-rounder would bounce back and warned Australia: "You write Ben Stokes off at your own peril."

Silverwood said the team was looking ahead, rather than dwelling on defeat.

"Obviously they were hurting, but there is belief they can win this series," he said, despite England losing three of the four day-night Tests they have played so far.

"We have the players here that can match the Australians. The confidence is there that we can compete with Australia, and that's exactly what we intend to do."

Australia have their own headaches, with Josh Hazlewood ruled out with a side strain. It is a big blow with the fast bowler boasting a pink-ball record of 32 wickets at just 19.90.

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The Ashes : Australia v England - second Test . Venue: Adelaide Oval Date: 16-20 December Time: 04:00 GMT. Coverage: Daily highlights show on BBC iPlayer, ball -by- ball commentary on Test Match Special, plus live text commentary, UK-only clips, features and analysis on the BBC Sport website and app. England head to Adelaide for the second Ashes Test after a chastening defeat in the first Test in Brisbane. Would you make any changes if you were Joe Root? Would Stuart Broad come in?

England will play a first ever Ashes Test in Hobart, after Cricket Australia opted to close the series with a day/nighter in Tasmania.Both Sydney “There were a range of considerations, including commercial, logistical and operational factors and on the balance of these, the CA board agreed on Blundstone Arena being the most appropriate venue to host the fifth Vodafone Men’s Ashes Test . “We also acknowledge the postponement of the Australia and Afghanistan Test due to take place in Hobart earlier in the year played a part in the decision.”

He was the major destroyer in Adelaide a year ago, taking an incredible 5-8 when India were rolled for just 36 in their second innings.

Australian captain Pat Cummins said after Brisbane that Hazlewood's injury was "nothing too serious", but selectors opted not to risk him with the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne coming hot on the heels of Adelaide.

Jhye Richardson is the frontrunner to add to his two Tests and spearhead the attack alongside Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, although Michael Neser is also an option.

There is also a worry over explosive opener David Warner, who scored 94 in Brisbane. He has been nursing bruised ribs and didn't bat in Australia's second innings when just 20 runs were needed to win.

The experienced Usman Khawaja is a likely replacement to open alongside Marcus Harris should Australia choose to rest Warner.

Despite this, Cummins is confident of his team taking a 2-0 Ashes lead given Australia's unblemished pink-ball record at Adelaide and the thumping they handed England last week.

"We're going to Adelaide, a place we love playing and the pink ball's a little bit different... there's a few more unknowns," he said.

"But it's a format we really enjoy and Adelaide Oval's a great place to play cricket."

mp/pst

Australia thrash England to retain Ashes .
England surrender the Ashes on the morning of the third day of the third Test as Australia crush them by an innings and 14 runs at the MCG.England 185 Root 50; Cummins 3-36, Lyon 3-36 & 68 Boland 6-7, Starc 3-29

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