“It was always on the cards.” A disappointed Nasser Hussain said in the commentary box as another England batsman, this time their new sensation Harry Brook, got out to the short ball tactic from Australia in the Lord’s Test.
The Bazball seems to have come unstuck against the Australian bowling attack in the Ashes 2023 so far. England batters lost the plot in their first innings of the second Test at Lord’s and were bundled out for 325 in reply to Australia’s 416.
What was mind-boggling to see was how most of the England batters threw away their wickets to the short ball barrage from the Australian pacers. That was despite knowing that the short ball ploy wouldn’t be carried out for too long as the Aussie bowlers would get tired, and also for the fact that Australia had lost off-spinner Nathan Lyon due to an injury on Day 2.
All England batters needed was to bat out some time in the game sensibly that would put more miles in the legs of the Australian pacers, and that would have helped England not just in this game, where Australia would be missing Lyon for the rest of the game, but also for going forward in the series.
Harry Brook falls into Mitchell Starc’s bouncer plan
Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Joe Root fell to the short ball trap on the evening of Day 2, trying to attack the bumpers from the Aussie pacers. And the same fate was delivered to Harry Brook, who had scored 50 runs off 68 balls.
Mitchell Starc had started the day with the dismissal of Ben Stokes. He and Pat Cummins then peppered Harry Brook with a barrage of short ball that the batsman missed some, some hit him on his body, some on his glove, and finally succumbed to one more short pitch delivery from Starc.
Despite fielders being stationed at the boundary line, and having seen his teammates get out earlier to short stuff, and the game situation demanding Harry Brook bat for long, the right-hander moved away from leg stump and looked to swat another bumper from Mitchell Starc on the off-side. He mistimed it and gave a simple catch to Cummins at cover. Mitchell Starc and the Aussies were all elated as their plan worked, while the English fans, including Nasser Hussain, left shocked and disappointed as another batter fell into the trap.
Here, watch it:
The short-ball ploy gets Australia one more wicket 👌
— Sony Sports Network (@SonySportsNetwk) June 30, 2023