BUMBLE AT THE TEST: Pat Cummins and Australia’s bowlers take the Ashes spotlight… while Lord’s looked resplendent in red
The skies brightened in the parish of St John’s Wood on Thursday but dark clouds continue to hover ominously over England’s top order.
On the first day of action in the second Test at Lord’s, England’s openers continued to demonstrate their inner frailty as Australia skillfully pulled them apart for 258 all out.
Here, Sportsmail columnist David Lloyd reflects on a disappointing day for the hosts as the rain relented at the home of cricket.
Australia put England in to bat on day two of the second Ashes Test and took control at Lord’s
I SHARE YOUR PAINE
You wouldn’t believe it, but I was refused entry to Lord’s on day one. Eventually, a senior ECB official gave me the thumbs up but I gather a similar experience befell the sister of Australian captain Tim Paine. She told the security man: ‘I’m Tim Paine’s sister.’ His response? ‘Who’s Tim Paine?’
GROUCHO STILL ON LIST
I mentioned in my pre-match guide to Lord’s that I would really like to visit the Groucho Club in Soho. I received a curt missive from Michael Henderson, formerly of this parish, warning me not to head for the Groucho and insisted he was glad he’d been banned for life. Which only strengthens my resolve to pay the joint a visit…
Wasn’t it marvellous to see the support for the Ruth Strauss Foundation? Lord’s became a sea of red, and I’m sure a substantial sum was raised for sufferers of rare forms of cancer. We were resplendent in our red jackets, but if anybody else shouts ‘Hi-dehi!’ to me, I’ll consult my MP.
The support for the Ruth Strauss Foundation was marvellous as Lord’s became a sea of red
IN THE WRIGHT PLACE
Out and about in Notting Hill on Wednesday, and who should we bump into but the Gunners goal machine Ian Wright! Legend. Now, Nasser Hussain, the former Leeds United fan who changed allegiance to Arsenal, was made up, and made a beeline for his hero to ask for a selfie. Sadly for Nasser, Wrighty bypassed him and came straight to me.
AUSSIE’S MAKE HAY
Australia’s strength is their bowling unit, and it’s clear that England’s batting is fragile. Jason Roy hasn’t been able to dictate terms at the top of the order, Joe Root is at No 3 but I’m guessing he wants to be at No 4, Joe Denly is under pressure, Jos Buttler is short of runs, and Ben Stokes missed out this time. Australia are seizing on this vulnerability.
Australia’s strength is their bowling unit while England’s batting is fragile, and it showed
CUMMINS TAKES SPOTLIGHT
Winning the toss and bowling first puts an onus on the bowlers, but Australia responded terrifically as a unit. They had good pace up front and bowled a full length, and then there was a passage of play where Pat Cummins used every ounce of energy, hit the pitch hard and tested the batsman’s resolve with short bowling. It was very impressive.
LEGENDS CAN STRUGGLE TOO
The statistical folk at Cricviz tell me that England’s top six this calendar year are averaging 26 runs per wicket, the lowest they’ve averaged since 1950. You probably think they were a lousy side back then, but England’s team included Len Hutton, Cyril Washbrook, Bill Edrich, Denis Compton and Trevor Bailey. Funny old game.
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