STUART BROAD: England's third collapse in a row is NOT okay

STUART BROAD: I thought this could have been our Ashes 2005 moment but collapsing three times in a row against Australia is NOT okay… we now need heroics from two or three batters but we CAN save this Adelaide Test

  • Australia moved closed to second Test victory after another England collapse
  • England slumped from 150 for two to 196 for six as important wickets tumbled 
  • They were ultimately bowled out for 236 despite Ben Stokes making 34
  • Mistakes are okay but we have now collapsed three times during this series
  • England need two or three batters to be heroic to save this Adelaide Test 

I thought Pat Cummins being ruled out of the second Test through pandemic protocols had the potential to be the Glenn McGrath 2005 moment of this Ashes.

One-nil down, the opposition’s best bowler misses the game in freak circumstances.

But for similarities to McGrath standing on the ball at Edgbaston 16 years ago to be retained, we had to bat first.

Pat Cummins (R) being ruled out of the second Test had the potential to be the Glenn McGrath (L) 2005 moment of this AsheS

England again suffered a batting collapse as Australia close in on a second Test victory

If the Gabba was a 50-50 call and arguably a good toss to lose, there is no getting away from the fact that this one in Adelaide was huge to win. This was a 100-per-cent bat-first pitch. Do that and do it well in day-night Test cricket, you can control the times at which you get the new ball under lights with fresh bowlers.

I think we held the game well on an opening day which returned a bit of a strange scorecard: Australia were 221 for two at the end of play and you would expect it to be something closer to 321 when losing so few wickets.

But they didn’t particularly time the ball well, the pitch didn’t allow them to, and although there was an argument that we could have bowled fuller, because the ball did so little, our economy rates would have gone through the roof. 

Without movement, fuller means you’re bowling genuine half-volleys and that’s not a great place to be. As the TV coverage here has pointed out, this is the least a pitch has moved in Australia since 2014, so we held the game well in my opinion.

I think we held the game well on an opening day which returned a bit of a strange scorecard

As a new-ball bowler, you are hunting three wickets in the first session of a Test, and we pretty much deserved that kind of return. We had a review overturned, lost another and Chris Woakes probably had David Warner when the umpires couldn’t decide whether he’d trapped the ball or not.

Until Alex Carey came in at 294 for five, we felt well in the game. Then, Australia owned the rest of day two. They weren’t necessarily thinking about runs but time — they knew exactly when they wanted to take the new ball. Namely, when the floodlights were on.

It’s tough to come in and bat against fresh bowlers at that time of day and but for lightning, the damage to our first innings could have been worse that night. We could’ve been four down.

So, we were happy at two down and then not losing a wicket on the third morning. Joe Root and Dawid Malan made batting look pretty easy — no real false shots, appeals, or close calls so it looked like we were on course for a good score.

We weren’t able to convert though. Just like Brisbane, we had one big partnership and couldn’t capitalise on it, and that was disappointing. As professional players, mistakes are OK if you learn from them, but we have collapsed three times in a row now.

Buttler looks back in horror to find David Warner has taken the catch to dismiss him off Starc

In Australia, it can be hard to start but when you get past the first 30 balls, you must make things count and we’ve not managed to do that yet. 

Not for the want of trying. Without looking to make excuses, we have guys who have spent 45 minutes in the middle on the whole tour. When I went out to bat, it was for the first time in a competitive match since August.

Normally, at the start of a Test series, you would have at least a handful of first-class games behind you but Covid has sent us into a unique situation, and you must find a way to succeed.

Now, we need to hold the game as long as possible — although the ball is turning, it’s not misbehaving for the seamers in the slightest, so can we bat four sessions? Absolutely. Can we save it? Yes. We just need two or three batters to be heroic.

It would be a long way back from 2-0 down when we need to win the series to reclaim the urn and we haven’t fired with bat or ball yet.

Ben Stokes, who made 34 before being bowled by Cameron Green, expresses his anguish 

We’ve collapsed three times and Australia have scored 400 twice. We need to change things pretty quickly.

MY jaw is sore after a well-aimed bouncer from Jhye Richardson. The delivery in question took my left thumbnail off and then hit the bottom of the grille of my helmet.

Credit to the protective gear because although it’s in the bin now — as you can’t reuse helmets after being struck — it did its job brilliantly.

At the time of writing, I was due to face further concussion questions but it is much better to be struck where I was than on the temple. 

During the initial ones, on the field, Craig de Weymarn, our team physio, asked me where we were: Adelaide. Where we go next: Melbourne. And what day of the Test we were playing: three. Although I did correctly tell him, it feels like 10.

England continue to make mistakes as they collapsed for the third time at the Ashes

England need two or three batters to be heroic to save the second Test at the Ashes

The Australians were brilliant. After what guys like Warner and Steve Smith have been through over recent years, they’ve changed their style of play. If you hit someone in the head these days, your first port of call is to check they are OK. And they did just that.

Previously, they were more aggressive.

MY England team-mates provided me with a special tribute in the changing room pre-match to mark my 150th Test cap: a video featuring my mum, dad, step-dad, step-mum, sister, partner Mollie, Stuart Pearce, Justin Rose, Shaun Pollock, Glenn McGrath, Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee and Peter Moores.

It made me quite emotional. I am a lover of red wine and they also presented me with a bottle of 2007 Penfolds Grange — from the year of my debut.

On the one hand, it made me sad my family can’t be here. On the other, it was an awesome morning.

Body clocks are all over the place this week because of the afternoon starts. It’s often 2am when you get to sleep after a day’s play and, at 35, I can’t lie in until 11am. I’m up at 8am, so it feels like it never stops.

My jaw is sore after a well-aimed bouncer from Jhye Richardson when I was batting

During concussion tests, Craig de Weymarn, our team physio, asked me where we were

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