If England were in any way unsure of the task ahead of them in the 2021/22 Ashes Series, Australia gave them a stark reminder with an impressive demolition of India in the first Test.
A strong Indian batting order, which included skipper and talisman Virat Kohli, was bowled out for just 36 in their second innings at the Adelaide Oval. It’s an ominous sign for an England team that must head Down Under for the next instalment of the Ashes saga in 12 months.
Aussie attack looking sharp
To bowl India out for their lowest ever total in Test cricket is an impressive feat and the likes of Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins deserve great credit for the manner of their performances. Hazlewood ended up with remarkable figures of 5-8, with Cummins finishing on 4-21 for the innings.
<iframe width=”1280″ height=”720″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/6igvHGsoaQI” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
Nobody really saw this coming, and while Australia would have liked to have thought they could put pressure on the Indian batting order, it would have been beyond their wildest dreams to rattle through the line-up in such a manner. It’s certainly a bowling display that England’s management team and players will take a look at, with the Three Lions at 11/4 with bet365 in the cricket betting to win the next Ashes series.
Work to do with willow in hand
Australia head coach Justin Langer will not want his troops to get too carried away, and there are of course still areas for the team to work on. While the hosts were able to get over the line comfortably in their second innings in Adelaide with 90 runs for just two wickets lost, the first innings total of 191 left plenty to be desired.
Only skipper Tim Paine was able to get over a half-century in the first innings with 73 not out, while Marnus Labuschagne was the second-highest run-scorer with 47. The pressure was on openers Joe Burns and Matthew Wade after they both contributed just eight runs respectively to the first innings total. Langer will have been pleased to see the pair respond in the second innings, with Burns and Wade scoring 51 not out and 33 runs respectively.
Arguably the pressure was slightly off Australia in a formidable position in the second innings, and it will be interesting to see how the two openers fare going forward in the absence of injured veteran David Warner. The 34-year-old Warner missed the opening Test with a groin injury, and should be pushing for a return to the starting IV in the second half of the four-match series.
While there is plenty of time between now and the Ashes series, performances like the one in Adelaide will do Australia no harm whatsoever, while also making England stand up and take notice.
It’s set to be a thrilling Ashes Test series when the two old rivals lock horns again in Australia and Langer will be hoping his bowling attack have a few more Adelaide-like displays up their sleeves.