Ashes diary: Bowlers in lucky Covid escape, conversion troubles and Stuart Broad cops it

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Nathan Lyon
    Nathan Lyon
    Australian cricketer
  • Mitchell Starc
    Mitchell Starc
    Australian cricketer
  • Pat Cummins
    Pat Cummins
    Australian cricketer
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Our cricket correspondent Will Macpherson is on the ground in Adelaide as Australia continue to pile the misery on England during the Second Test of this Ashes series.

Here’s his daily diary…

Australia’s lucky escape

Mitchell Starc has revealed how close Australia were having their whole first-choice bowling attack contact-traced out of the Second Test.

Starc and Nathan Lyon sat outside the restaurant that Pat Cummins ate in the night before the Test, only to learn that a fellow diner had tested positive. With Josh Hazlewood out injured, Starc and Lyon – a famously nervous character who apparently slept little as a result of the situation – were not pinged, because they took the al fresco option.

Starc and Lyon only sat outside because Cummins had ignored their text asking if he’d like to join them.

“It was just fortunate we were sitting outside,” Starc said. “That was almost a bit of a p*sstake because Pat didn’t reply to our message, so we thought we’d sit away from him and sit outside. So it was a bit lucky.”

Cricket Australia have confirmed that the living arrangements for players have been tightened up ahead of the Third Test in Melbourne, where rates are a bit higher.

The blows keep coming

Defeat in Brisbane really was dismal for England, and it is only getting worse. The International Cricket Council have confirmed that, as well as being docked their entire match fee, England lost eight points from the World Test Championship, not five as originally advertised. They don’t have many to play with.

England asked around for advice on how to get up with the rate, only to drop their spinner. At the end of day three, they are only one over behind, which they should be able to make up in Australia’s second innings. Weirdly, Australia’s over-rate – which should be fine because Nathan Lyon bowls so much – never appeared on the scoreboard.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Done it once, do it again

Dawid Malan knows all about how big you need to go in Australia to make a difference. On the 2017 tour, he made 140 in Perth, before being caught trying to accelerate the score. England collapsed, were all out for 403. In response, Steve Smith made a double century, Australia made more than 600, and England lost by an innings.

This time, the collapses are happening again, and Malan believes it is his and Joe Root’s faults. For the second successive innings, those two shared an excellent century stand, only to fall for fifties, not hundreds. Malan believes that while there will be focus on those who made low scores, the responsibility lies with those set to kick on.

Dawid Malan raises his bat (Getty Images)
Dawid Malan raises his bat (Getty Images)

“We can talk about the guys who failed but ultimately one of Rooty or myself should have gone on and got a big hundred and taken the pressure off those guys,” he said.

“It’s something we haven’t done well enough, getting in then making it count. Whoever it is moving forward – out of form or in form – let’s make it count when we do get in.”

This is a nice reminder of a 2017 memory. After the second Test in Adelaide, England coach Trevor Bayliss was becoming increasingly frustrated at his batter’s habit of getting in and getting out. Malan, Root, Mark Stoneman and James Vince had all made nice fifties, but not skipped on to a century. As ever, the message from Bayliss was simple. “You’ve done it once,” he barked. “Do it again!”

Some things never change

Late on day three, with England back in the field chasing leather, Stuart Broad was fielding on the fine leg fence. Behind him were what remains of the Barmy Army, singing away, mixing with a load of Australians. They got their favourite chant, “Broad is a w****r” out. Broad smiled and, like David Warner at Edgbaston in 2019, played along happily, pretending to conduct the orchestra.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting