The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-08-06

Sport : 12 : 4

Sport

4 The Daily Telegraph Thursday 6 August 2020 *** Sport Cricket England are wasting their best hope of winning the Ashes How experience­d duo wilted after lunch Time is up: Bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson will not be a force in Australia James Anderson and Stuart Broad caused some problems in the morning, finding the edge or making Pakistan play and miss 21 times as England's pace attack found a false shot with 27 per cent of their deliveries. Edges and misses As Pakistan got on top after lunch Anderson and Broad struggled. They forced just three false shots, with England's seam attack finding the edge or a miss with just 12 per cent of their deliveries. Edges and misses By Scyld Berry CHIEF CRICKET WRITER – and perhaps, knowing he was the new leader of the “bowling group”, less likely to have gone home between the first and second Tests against West Indies. As England’s third or fourth seamer he is not being maximised, or prepared for the historic task of following in the footsteps of Harold Larwood, Frank Tyson and John Snow. The afternoon session at Old Trafford was a foretaste of Australian conditions, where the ball ages and softens, when a bowler has to offer more than line, length and nibble. The footwork of Pakistan’s batsmen was Test class, whereas that of West Indies’ righthande­rs was more minor county, as they kept making the same mistake of being trapped on the crease. Ollie Robinson, who has been hailed as the nearest England have yet come to Glenn McGrath, took seven wickets in England Lions’ victory over Australia A in Melbourne last winter and eight wickets in Sussex’s win over Hampshire last weekend. If there is any possibilit­y of some forward planning, Archer and Robinson would take the new ball for England, with one out of Anderson, Broad or Woakes as their support-cumadviser. That mission statement would appear to have gone out of the window, rejected in favour of enabling Anderson and Broad to reach their landmarks of 600 and 500 wickets, and short-termism. Australia will be like that at Old Trafford. It is worth recapping that James Anderson and Stuart Broad have taken more than 1,000 Test wickets between them; that they are still master craftsmen when it comes to new-ball movement in England and economy everywhere; that Anderson is a unique phenomenon and surely the best 38-year-old pace bowler there has ever been; that Broad at 34 was more successful than ever in the last home series against West Indies; and that England have won a single Test in Australia when Anderson and Broad have been together in the side, at Adelaide 10 years ago, when Graeme Swann was the match-winner. Yet here we are, with two more Tests this summer, and hopefully six next summer, but perhaps only a small handful this winter, before England start the next Ashes, with Anderson and Broad still taking – rather than being given? – the new ball. Chris Woakes, like Anderson and Broad, has a far better record in England than elsewhere and, like them again, was not penetrativ­e on England’s last tour of Australia. Sam Curran is similar, far more effective at home so far with a Dukes ball to swing. Only Mark Wood, of England’s current crop of specialist pace bowlers, has a better record abroad. Archer will almost certainly have to open the bowling in the next Ashes, but is not being given the chance to grow into the attack leader; and, as third or fourth seamer, he is not curing his habit of starting a spell slowly without doing much by way of warming up. Had Archer been installed this summer as the leader of England’s attack, he is more likely to have cured the habit and cranked his pace up to 90mph in the first over Root and Silverwood set out a bold plan last year but have abandoned it to help Anderson and Broad reach landmarks E ngland’s captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood issued their mission statement in November last year. The surroundin­gs were not memorable – a basic motor inn on the outskirts of the New Zealand port of Whangarei – but their vision was clear, and commendabl­y sensible. “We know that over the next couple of years, we want to do everything we can to be in the best shape possible to go down to Australia and win,” Root said, conscious that the Ashes is still the yardstick by which English cricket is judged. “We’ve got 25 games [Tests] to build on that journey and make sure when we go down there we’re in a strong position to take on Australia in their conditions,” Root said. Two of those Tests, in Sri Lanka, have already been abandoned, with more to come this winter potentiall­y. It is a pity that England have not adhered to this mission statement – a pity for their supporters, that is. Australian supporters will be delighted that England are not heading along the road to Brisbane, but down a cul-de-sac. Of their XI at Old Trafford, only three England players can be confidentl­y expected to excel in the next Ashes series: Root, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. Those who could with some justificat­ion be expected to do well are Rory Burns, Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler, as a batsman and a wicketkeep­er standing back, if not as a keeper to spin. The bounce in

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