Who didn’t see this happening in the first Ashes test

2019 Ashes Highlights - 1st Test - Edgbaston - August 1st - 5th.

of the summer?

Fortress Edgbaston, kicked down by the England selectors and then the England team those selectors selected to start the Ashes summer in such a great way, with a thumping loss.

They were so confident, the World Cup was won and now the Aussies would be rolled over because well, we’re starting in Brum and they haven’t won there in an age and England have the world’s greatest bowler and a load of one day players.

Ed Smith and his mini sidekick James Taylor didn’t half look full of themselves when Rory Burns got his hundred. Was the camera on them for the rest of it? Not so cocksure with the rest of their picks.

Only England could have the opposition at 122 for 8 in their first inning, follow that up by being 154 for 1 and go on to lose by 251 runs. Only and England side that was so full of themselves.

I mean who didn’t see The Burnley Bumpkin, Anderson, pulling up lame. He told them he was fit and they believed him. Why? Well, we know why he told ’em, because he’s scared that there’s other ready there to step in and that could be it. So we got four overs and a passenger and likely he’ll miss most of the series. Declared himself fit for the Ireland game, well bowl him there, in match conditions, see if it is true. He breaks down there it shouldn’t matter and you can move on to the important games knowing you’re not going to be left high and dry.

Who didn’t see those who’ve only played white ball cricket for the last few months not sticking around when the going got tough? I mean did anyone thing Roy wouldn’t do something stupid if he faced a couple of dot balls? And with Anderson gone who didn’t see Stokes bowling like it was an ODI? Short. Short. Short.

Who didn’t see Bairstow and Butler being shot. They really have done for Bairstow. He had a high average but since they started meddling with him that has plummeted to mid 30s. Though I don’t get why he writes for the Daily telegraph as they’ve been desperately trying to get him out of the team since he first arrived.

Who didn’t see it coming that Joe Root would battle for 50 and then get out? When he was dismissed in the second inning, for 28, who didn’t see then end coming fast?

I mean did anyone really, truly, honestly believe this England side would bat out a day for a draw? This one day England side on a pitch that was spinning? Be honest now.

Ah, a spinning pitch and the other major weak link. Weak, how apt a word. Has there been a weaker link than Moeen? Has there been an England cricketer who bottles it as quickly as Moeen? He’s a walking wicket with the bat and as soon as there’s any expectation on his bowling he crumbles. The difference between his numbers and those of Lyon in the final two innings is so telling…

BowlerOversMaidensRunsWicketsEcon
Moeen29.0113024.48
Lyon20.054962.45

Lyon, though now the fourth highest test wicket taker for Australia, isn’t known for rolling over sides in the fourth innings. But on this spinner’s pitch while Moeen wasn’t getting anyone out while going for a bundle, he couldn’t even hold down an end to rest up the man down pace attack, he was Lyon’s fifth wicket of the seven he took. The second time in the match Lyon got his bunny.

It was so bad by Moeen that there was criticism from the likes of TMS and elsewhere, when he’s normally untouchable. It’s disappointing that Root is backing him to come back from this, saying he does bounce back from such things when we all know that his figures against Australia don’t back that up. Less than 30 with the bat and more than 65 with the ball. Hell, even getting an early wicket in that 3rd inning couldn’t give him any confidence. And really Joe if you’re tying to convince us then you wouldn’t have bowled 12 overs and Denley 14. But then the paper that wants rid of Bairstow made the case for Moeen being retained, it seemed to be for the sake of diversity. You say the captain can’t just dump on a player but exactly where has mollycoddling someone who was scared to be first choice spinner got them?

And who doesn’t see the selectors not dropping those who need to be dropped because they’ve “taken the positives” and they believe if these players play their natural game, go out there and attack then things will turn. At Lord’s where the Aussies have generally won over the last century or so, not just since 2001.

Who didn’t see post World Cup downfall…

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