Australia’s dominance over England continued at home as they took a 2-0 lead in the five-match Ashes Test series after a glaring win in Adelaide.
The Steve Smith led side won the day-night Test match on the fifth day to pounce on the visitors and target their poor batting approach. The 120-run win will please Smith especially in a manner his bowlers set up the game. After being set a 358-run target, the fuller length did England in as they could not negotiate with Australia’s resounding bowling where they took a slice out of England’s batting.
Australia have made it a routine to dominate England Down Under. They sealed the 2013-14 Ashes by a 5-0 margin and now with a grand show in the first two Tests, the hosts will look to get to a whitewash by focusing on one match at a time and hurt England. It is indeed a top class performance that showed the character and steel of the hosts to come back and dominate in the crucial sessions as they enjoyed complete support from the fans and livened up the beauty of Day-night Test cricket.
Here are the five things we learned from the impeccable victory at Adelaide by Australia.
- Veteran Shaun Marsh commands respect and applauds: If one thing that will please the Australian management the most is the manner in which Shaun Marsh made most out of his recall into the team. After a solid show at the Gabba, Brisbane in the first Test, Marsh bettered his outing in the 2nd with a defining century. His unbeaten 126-run innings gave Smith’s side the platform to build on and declare aggressively at 442/8. Marsh’s innings was sublime to watch as he looked so comfortable in the first innings. The left-hander showed that he has the grit and intensity to fight it out in Test cricket and is a solid hand in that middle-order. Marsh will be raring to go in his hometown in the 3rd Test at Perth and build on from here.
- James Anderson showed why he is the best in business: England had one performer setting the bar high and once again Anderson stepped up to take the baton for his side and perform ably. The veteran pace bowler picked five wickets in Australia’s 2nd innings to help England dismiss the Aussies for 138 runs and have an outside chance to take something out at Adelaide. Anderson’s bowling was a treat for all the fans as he made sure to utilise the conditions perfectly and make the pink ball do all the talking. His 5/43 in 22 overs was one of the best performances in recent times as England’s leading wicket-taker continued his authority in Tests in a superb season to highlight he is their main man.
- England’s double batting failure is a concern: The visitors will rue the fact that their batting hasn’t been up to the mark in both the Tests and it is one department they have to settle quickly to give their fans something to look forward to. After mere scores of 227 and 233, the visitors lost the composure needed to set the standards of the game. Lack of partnerships did them in as both the openers and the middle order failed to negotiate Australia’s aggression and consistency. Two of England’s top batsmen Alastair Cook and Joe Root got starts but could not convert their innings into big scores and that hurt England massively.
- Australian pacers define mastery: In 2013-14 Ashes the trio of Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle decimated England in a 5-0 win and now Australia’s current crop looks to be going in the same direction. The pace attack led by Mitchell Starc was in no mood to give much to the England batsmen and mixed it up brilliantly to work as an unit. In one hand Starc’s knack of picking wickets was stellar scenario as he picked 8 wickets in the match to show he has taken over from Johnson in being their talisman. Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins played the supporting role at ease and were the workhorses for the side. The trio accounted for 14 wickets to put the dagger in English hearts.
- Nathan Lyon up there with India’s R Ashwin in Test cricket: Steve Smith highlighted the importance of off-spinner Nathan Lyon and praised his attitude as the bowler reaped in the goods from the hard-work he put in. Lyon’s been in commanding form off late and his consistency is a feat that matches the height of R Ashwin in the present Test cricket. Lyon’s 6 wickets in the game was a huge factor especially his performance that was worldly like in the 1st innings. Lyon deserves more plaudits and the recognition just as Ashwin as the duo are the best in business and have defined spin bowling in most conditions.