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So much  for front foot technology I h lost count on the number of times Stokes had his foot over the line .

The usual shaky start from Australia it's been a while since a  opening pair got past twenty same again today and Warner was there for the taking he was jumping about like a cat o  a hot tin roof during the opening exchanges ,bed now for me I have to go up to Glasgow later 

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17 minutes ago, Scott7 said:

Australia have a lead of 196 and three wickets in hand at the end of the second day. May as well declare and get the thing over and done with tonight.

It's not over until the fat lady sings :facepalm:

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Older, wiser and grittier – David Warner rides luck to make amends for 2019 failures

In the absence of his old foe Stuart Broad, the Australia opener almost matched his entire run tally from previous Ashes

Giedon Haigh

Thursday December 09 2021, 8.30am, The Times




The most appealing statistic on day two at the Gabba was an echo. During the 2019 Ashes, David Warner eked out 95 runs from 184 deliveries; in the Ashes of 2021-22, he now has 94 from 176.

The difference? Ten dismissals to one, and perhaps one bowler in his absence. Here there was no Stuart Broad, no Dukes ball, nobody challenging Warner from round the wicket, and almost no memory of his travails 28 months ago, which were, after all, pre-Covid. This was a fine example of what might be called late Warner, the grizzled pro, the former scapegrace.

Ten years on from his Test debut on this ground, Warner is nearing a hundred Tests — but for injury, suspension and some cancelled tours, he would already be there.

All the same, he is slowing down. In his first full Test summer, he went hell for leather at 85 per hundred balls. Even five years ago, he was not far below a strike rate of 80. Since then, he has eased back into the low 60s — yesterday it was 53. Warner in Test cricket these days is like Daniel Ricciardo driving to the shops: impulse toned, hurry reined, happy enough to know he’ll get there.

Yet his game has expanded, not contracted. If the boundaries no longer cascade, the singles pile up — he has, after all these years, found a use for the non-striker’s end. His hands used to be like the fists of Roberto Durán; now they guide edges down. More than a quarter of his runs yesterday came behind point. He stowed the reverse sweep in favour of the orthodox.


For all that, Warner brings an abiding relish to the contest. He likes the struggle, embraces the push back. He barks out his calls like an RSM giving orders on a parade ground — “Wait on!”; “No run!”; “Push push!” Through his helmet grille can be glimpsed a range of expressions: grins and grimaces, winces and winks. Beaten yesterday by Chris Woakes, his lips formed a perfect “O” of appreciation.

Being beaten was something a batsman had to reconcile themselves to yesterday, the pitch providing continued sideways movement and bounce, and Warner did. His false-shot percentage was high. He punched just short of fielders. He played out maidens. His sixes, off Jack Leach just before lunch, were about tactics not testosterone.

Warner is a different player to the one who burst on to the Test scene a decade ago


Warner looked at times genuinely unsettled by Mark Wood’s pace, swaying back, hanging to leg, throwing kitchen sink, cistern and laundry tub at anything wide, and coming out after lunch in a chest guard — a little comfort he might once have scorned.

England will rue the chances he offered, and the failure of the third umpire to call no-ball for the first three deliveries of Ben Stokes’s first over, the call of any one of which might have warned Stokes of the danger. Stokes’s muted response suggested someone who feared he had been overstriding but carried on through not being pulled up on it.

Stokes, all the same, should know better. His first Test wicket, if you recall, was overridden by an off-field no-ball call, the on-field umpire having failed to penalise his earlier transgressions. Never trust the system, Ben. And when your back foot is landing over the bowling crease you are asking for trouble on the popping crease.

It was a hugely consequential setback, not only in runs terms, with Warner on 17 at the time. There would also have been no chase back to the boundary for Stokes half an hour later, no twinge of his left knee, no proppy and expensive later overs on one leg, no doubt about his fitness for the rest of the tour. Although maybe this was always a risk with a player who has managed to get through only one first-class match in nine months.

After England’s first-day travails, there was at this sage a touch of fatalism about it all — it’s never a surprise when, having lost your wallet and dropped your phone, you lock your keys in your car. Ask Rory Burns, who shelled Warner on 49 off Ollie Robinson going to his left. Behind his glasses, he seemed to be trying to go incognito.


England were a bit like that all day — just slightly out, whether it was a yard of length here, a foot too much depth at slip, even just the ability to close out five good balls with a sixth. A touch more sharpness in the field and Haseeb Hameed might have run Warner out from short leg on 60.

It was almost like England were doing the preparation necessary to play the Test match in the Test match itself, looking better as the day wore on, and gradually a little luck came their way. Marnus Labuschagne let his contempt for Leach get the better of him, and Steve Smith’s hectic cameo recalled a similar innings here two years ago against Pakistan when it was like he could not get a song out of his head.

When Robinson deceived Warner with a slower ball and Cameron Green with a back break, Australia had lost four wickets in eight overs. It took an innings from Travis Head humming with strokes to restore Australia’s momentum, as fatigue took a toll on the visitors before the second new ball.


The stat here was a counterblast. From the 2019 Ashes, Head scavenged a single half-century. He now has a maiden hundred, Australia a lead of almost 200, and three days to make it count.

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8 hours ago, compo said:

So much  for front foot technology I h lost count on the number of times Stokes had his foot over the line .

The usual shaky start from Australia it's been a while since a  opening pair got past twenty same again today and Warner was there for the taking he was jumping about like a cat o  a hot tin roof during the opening exchanges ,bed now for me I have to go up to Glasgow later 

Tech is great - when it works: consider the self checkouts in supermarkets. In fact don't, if you have anything like my luck with the damned machines. 


Frustrated England rue Stokes no-ball and Ashes technology breakdown

Warner escapes dismissal from Stokes’ fourth ball of morning

No-ball camera system broke down on arrival from UK

Ali Martin


Thu 9 Dec 2021 10.31 GMT




England were left frustrated by a lack of assistance from the on-field umpires and a breakdown in technology following a dismissal off a no-ball from Ben Stokes that helped Australia tighten their grip on the first Ashes Test.

Stokes had bowled David Warner for 17 with just his fourth ball of the second morning only to see the wicket chalked off when replays showed he had overstepped. With the opener’s pugnacious 94 laying the platform for Travis Head’s remarkable century in the evening session, its cost was significant.


Bowler error was clearly at play here, although it also transpired that Stokes had similarly overstepped for the three preceding deliveries. “Pathetic officiating,” said Ricky Ponting on commentary, reflecting the fact England’s returning vice-captain was ultimately unaware of the repeat issue until it saw a wicket scrubbed off.

Front foot no-balls have been the domain of the third umpire since February last year, when, after a successful trial by the ICC, a four-camera set-up was introduced for Test cricket to take the burden away from the on-field officials. In the main the new set-up has worked well.


But it wasn’t until the Warner “wicket” occurred, however, that it was learned the system is in fact missing from this first Test after breaking down upon arrival from the UK. The job of checking the front line has returned to the middle until the system is fixed, with Rod Tucker the umpire who missed these initial no-balls.

Host broadcasters Channel 7 later showed that in fact some 14 deliveries from Stokes’ initial five-over spell were similarly illegal due to over-stepping, a problem not just for the bowler but costly for the batting side also.

“What a fast bowler needs is some sort of understanding of where their feet are because obviously you can’t see your own feet,” said Jon Lewis, England’s bowling coach, after a day of toil for his charge. “It would have been nice for the first no ball to be called for he could have made an adjustment. So from then on he would have been behind the line because he knows where his feet are.”

That Stokes struggled with the issue all day – albeit with only two further no-balls called on the field – rather undermined this assertion from Lewis. Even if the all-rounder had adjusted immediately after being called, there is no way of knowing what would have followed.

Either way, the rustiness from Stokes underlined his limited preparation after his four-month break from all cricket and just one day of warm-up action in the middle on tour. Both sets of bowlers are also unable to warm-up on side pitches before each day’s play in the Test, something else which might have assisted.


Stokes and England were also fearing a possible knee injury overnight after he pulled up while running to prevent a boundary during the afternoon session. Stokes did bowl after this incident, sending down four overs in the evening, but was visibly down on pace and grimaced throughout.

A more positive update was provided on Ollie Robinson, at least, with the seamer confirming after stumps his departure from the middle during an evening session lit up by Head’s unbeaten 112 was simply a case of running repairs.

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I expect Australia may have to bat again but England are staring a humiliating defeat in the face and it's hard to see how they could hope for a positive outcome to this series. Australia have spent the last few years well, building a quite powerful squad that stretches well beyond the eleven playing in this test. England has sacrificed test cricket for the money of the white ball game.

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17 hours ago, Bill said:

I expect Australia may have to bat again

Looks as if you’re going to be right.


England 58 behind, 8 wickets in hand, Root and the South African, Malan both not out with 80+ each.


I will have been wrong about the margin of defeat when it happens.

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Gideon Haigh, interesting as always, on Joe Root, the man of whom England expects, well, everything.




Positive and precise, Joe Root proves again he is key block in England’s jenga tower


Gideon Haigh

Friday December 10 2021, 8.30am, The Times




Shortly after tea at the Gabba, Joe Root played back to Nathan Lyon, in that way he has of going very deep in the crease and playing very late, right under his eyes. Fielders around the bat tensed. Lyon threw his arms in the air. Then down came the bat, descending like a cat flap. The ball dropped dead at his feet.

Root looked up towards the video screen, as though running through a checklist: footwork, stumps; head, hands; turn, bounce. Not, one presumes, score — that was still, from England’s point of view, a little dismaying. But he did not look away until he was quite satisfied, and until the onlooker was aware of the oddity of watching Root watching himself being watched by others.

Everyone is looking to Root on this Ashes tour. There are his colleagues, seven of whom in this Test are appearing in Australia for the first time. There are his team’s followers, especially those courageous enough to have braved Covid-crazed Australia. There are Australian fans, who would like a contest worthy of the Ashes name, and for whom he almost is England.


His Australian opponents, of course, will have dedicated hours and resources to plan for Root’s extraction. Every time he goes to crease this summer, he will be viewed as the key block in the jenga tower of England’s batting. It seems an unfair burden for a man to bear.


Yet as he went about his task yesterday, it was possible to see this from a different, happier perspective. The crease is, to use the therapeutic argot, Root’s happy place. The possibilities are bounded. The ego is secure.

In the middle, nobody can quiz him about James Anderson and Stuart Broad; nobody will be updating him on Ben Stokes’s knee or Brisbane’s weather; he will not be needed to provide statements about Azeem Rafiq or trauma counselling to Jack Leach. Nor does anyone come this far in professional sport without getting comfortable with scrutiny, and even learning to enjoy it, at least a little.

This is Root’s 13th Test of the year. That is a staggering amount of time to be on show, on parade, flying the flag. His team have been struggling, but a tide has come in the affairs of his batting: at stumps on day three, he had 1,541 runs at 67 in the calendar year. That first-day duck felt like an aberration rather than a prophecy.


Yesterday, at least, England’s first two wickets afforded Root 21 overs’ grace, and he enjoyed solid support from Dawid Malan, upright and minimal, like a grenadier guardsman in his sentry box. Malan has returned to England’s colours this year as a kind of human shield or personal bodyguard for Root, filling the No 3 slot that England have really failed to fill since Jonathan Trott’s departure six-and-a-half years ago.

Malan is not, perhaps, a natural in the role. He seems to sit slightly on his heels. He can be indecisive around off stump. A couple of his miscued pulls fell short of fielders who may have lost the ball in the Gabba’s hundreds-and-thousands backgrounds. But his laconic movements do lend him a sense of permanence, and his is a job for which few are queueing.

Still, this was Root in excelsis, so wonderfully precise in the minuet of his footwork, so refreshingly positive in his strokeplay, exhausting every possibility of a productive shot before he settled for playing defensively. Early drives in the ‘V’ announced him. Flicks to leg kept his score ticking. A cover drive off Mitchell Starc was what West Indians call a “not a man move” stroke, defying your eye to follow.

At tea, Root walked off chatting smilingly to his former Prospect CC club-mate Lyon. Either side of the break, he made Lyon’s life hard indeed, with an array of sweep shots, orthodox and reverse. Having backhanded to third man, he looked down and marked his guard, so clear from the quality of the contact and his mind map of the field that the stroke was four.


Lyon was whirling through his overs in pursuit of that 400th Test wicket, which like Sachin Tendulkar’s hundredth international hundred has been scheduled by Tantalus. The left-handed Malan should have been an inviting target. In truth, Australia’s premier slow bowler never really looked like breaking through on what was, after all, a third-day pitch.


As Australia struggled to penetrate, it was Root’s counterpart who appeared to be scratching round for answers. The ball had stopped swinging, not started reversing, was not spinning. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood could not be bowling all the time; Starc’s length fluctuated; the part-timers did not do the trick. That Australia’s two best bowlers got through only 22 of their 70 overs is perhaps the first question against his pageant of success.


In the morning, Travis Head had turned his overnight hundred into a chunky 150, with a swagger and a strut, his retro moustache and compact left-handedness recalling Rod Marsh in the mid-1970s dobbing sixes over the dog track.

It was a better innings than that — spontaneous, inventive, game aware. The best strokes, including a couple of on-drives, were of the highest quality.


Australia added 189 for their last four wickets. It turned out that thanks to Root and Malan, with England now only 58 in arrears, the hosts needed every run.

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