Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Problems piling up for England

Updated: 2013-11-26 07:33
By Paul Tomic ( China Daily)

After a humiliating 381-run defeat at Brisbane, England's Ashes campaign went from bad to worse on Monday, when batsman Jonathan Trott sensationally quit the tour and returned to England as a result of a what the management described as a long-standing stress-related illness.

While there has so far been no indication of Trott's replacement at No 3, cast-off Nick Compton will surely be packing his coffin in anticipation.

Trott aside, England's cricketers need to regroup and prepare for the next Test, which begins in Adelaide on Dec 5.

The visitors now know they face a tough battle against a rejuvenated home team, but may take some solace from their now almost habitual slow starts to series. After all, they will argue, the team lost the first Test in India a year ago, but still won the series.

Problems piling up for England

That theory has two crucial flaws; India does not produce express tracks, such as the one they are likely to encounter at Perth (third Test), nor does it have anyone even vaguely close to Mitchell Johnson's pace and aggression.

England's batting was a shambles in both innings, but especially the first. A feeble capitulation from 82-2 to 136 all out allowed Australia a far larger lead than either team would have anticipated at the close of day one.

England's bowlers looked a world away from their collective best at the Gabba. Stuart Broad led the charge in both innings, supported by Jimmy Anderson, but Chris Tremlett was down on pace and bounce.

If Tim Bresnan is injury free by Adelaide, Tremlett may watch the action from the stands. The wicket is likely to be more suited to England's attack, but the management must ensure Anderson and Broad are not overworked and ground into the dust.

For Australia, the question is: Which Mitchell Johnson will turn up? He is inconsistent - world-beater one day, carpet beater the next - but his recent performances suggest new-found accuracy and renewed confidence. If he maintains that, England's road back into the series will be strewn with green and yellow banana skins.

Paul Tomic can be contacted at

(China Daily 11/26/2013 page24)

Hot Topics