The good, the bad, the worst: Adelaide Test edition

Cricket, featured, Test cricket

As the home side moves to 2-0 in the Ashes, England can still win this series but a second dominant display by Australia has made that eventuality unlikely.

The difference was 275 runs, more than England managed in either of their batting innings.

Once again, Australia batted better, bowled better and fielded better, meaning England have a lot to work on before Boxing Day.

Here are three moments from each team that defined the match.

The good
With the news that both Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins would be missing, many were worried that without their top two bowlers Australia would struggle to take wickets.

That was not the case.

Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon led from the front, taking six and five wickets respectively, but it was the young bowlers who really impressed.

In his first Test in three years, Jhye Richardson got through a mountain of work in both innings and was rewarded with a five-fer in the second.

Cameron Green took two wickets in the first innings and when brought into the attack late on Day 5, hit dangerous lengths and got the ball moving.

As the world-class Australian attack begins to decline over the next few years, it is great to see that the next generation of fast bowlers are already able to perform on the biggest stage.

Jhye Richardson celebrates.

Jhye Richardson celebrates the wicket of Haseeb Hameed. (Photo by Mark Brake – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Joe Root and Dawid Malan put on a 138-run partnership in the first innings, the only one worth more than 70 runs in either innings for England, but it was another batsman that really stood up.

Coming to the crease with his team 5-86 an hour into the last day, Jos Buttler battled hard, facing a mammoth 207 balls for his score of 26, giving the Barmy Army and all their supporters back home some hope for a draw.

Unfortunately, Buttler stepped too far back in his crease, knocking the bails off the stumps at the beginning of the final session, snuffing out any chance of survival.

The bad
Not really a bad moment but poor David Warner just can’t get to triple digits, out for 95 in the first innings at Adelaide. He’s averaging 67 this series and has two knocks in the 90s but is yet to secure a century.

Looking calm and assured at the crease, Warner is painting a different picture compared to his last Ashes. In that English series he scored 95 total runs in ten innings, top scoring with 61.

Warner has always been a bit of a home-ground bully and the difference in these two series against the same attack demonstrates this perfectly.

It was at the MCG four years ago that Warner last scored a century against England and Australian fans will be hoping he finally breaks his drought come Sunday.

England haven’t batted well, they haven’t bowled well (more on that later), and to top it all off they haven’t fielded well. For all his ‘nearly heroics’ in the final innings, Buttler dropped three catches behind the stumps and another three chances slipped through the hands of fielders in the first innings alone.

These misses in the field cost them 108 runs and could have changed the course of the Test.

England look lethargic, struggling to muster up more than a slow jog between overs and chasing after balls without any urgency. Effort should be changed coming into the third Test and showing intensity in the field at the MCG while taking the chances that Australia offer will give the visitors a fighting chance in a must-win match.

The worst
Marcus Harris once again failed to fire at the top of the order, scoring 3 and 23. An average of 22 for his Test career is just not good enough.

Harris has yet to get the dreaded duck but two 50s to show in over 20 innings demonstrates that he struggles to score runs.

Boasting a combined 1156 test wickets, Stuart Broad and James Anderson’s inclusion was the trump card England needed, or so they thought. A heavily criticised decision to leave the experienced pair out in Brisbane was reversed for Adelaide, with the pink ball under lights seemingly perfect for two world-class bowlers who have made a name for themselves through swing bowling.

That was not the case. Broad and Anderson struggled to generate movement and five wickets in two innings between the both of them does not spell trump card.

None of the other bowlers really threatened either and a lack of variety in the attack made creating wicket-taking opportunities difficult for England.

The visitors need to get their bowlers right on Boxing Day or the Ashes will slip away from them.

What were your moments that defined the Adelaide Test?

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