Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Sport - BY GIDEON BROOKS

FIRST the bad news: had Eng­land taken their pick of which of the three sand­pa­per vil­lains to dom­i­nate this sum­mer, it would not have been Cameron Ban­croft or David Warner.

With­out much shadow of doubt, it would have been Steve Smith whose bril­liance may yet dic­tate the destiny of the urn.

But the good news, in terms of neu­tral­is­ing the threats sys­tem­at­i­cally one by one, is that yesterday proved that only the for­mer cap­tain re­mains.

Ban­croft is long gone if he was ever re­ally here – dropped af­ter the sec­ond Test with 44 runs in four in­nings to his name and seen since in a hi-vis bib fer­ry­ing drinks and gloves to and fro.

Af­ter yesterday the chance of Warner (above, left) join­ing him at The Oval in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly when the bats­man slumped to a first pair of his Test ca­reer.

Warner has had a tor­rid time of it this sum­mer with a half cen­tury in the first in­nings at Lords stand­ing like a lone high rise in a desert of dross.

And if one man has put him there it is Stu­art Broad (right) who yesterday pinned him hope­lessly plumb to take his wicket for the sixth time this series, the third time in suc­ces­sion for a duck.

Broad’s sub­ju­ga­tion of the opener has built dur­ing this series as Warner has re­treated into his shell. He now has his wicket 11 times in 22 Tests, more than any other bowler.

He has had no an­swer to early swing par­tic­u­larly with Broad bowl­ing fuller for longer in this series than at any other time dur­ing his ca­reer.

Yesterday’s dis­missal fol­lowed an all too fa­mil­iar pat­tern but the re­ac­tion was ex­ag­ger­ated – a smil­ing res­ig­na­tion as he rested on his bat as if he knows he is beaten.

Where Smith has risen to the chal­lenge of si­lenc­ing the crowds, Warner has just worn his sack­cloth and ashes up and down the coun­try with a weary gri­mace. He looks cowed, his ap­petite for the fight dimmed.

Aside from South Africa, Bangladesh and the UAE, his re­turns over­seas have never been as good as those back home.

In 2013 he posted 138 at 23 in three Ashes Tests here, in 2015 he pro­duced an im­pres­sive 418 at 46. So far Broad has en­sured his threat has been nul­li­fied with 79 runs at 9.8 per visit to the crease.

If Aus­tralia can se­cure the Ashes here at Old Traf­ford some time to­day, the opener will point to the vic­tory of the col­lec­tive as proof of his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

But he will also be thank­ful that most likely he will not have to face the tall

Eng­land bowler in an Ashes series again.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.