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Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson suffer as Travis Head propels Australia to victory over England


Travis Head’s brutal counter-attacks highlighted England’s failures with the ball on “potentially one of the worst days of the series” for battered tourists.

The English media praised Head – who will captain Sussex in county cricket next season – but that was against the backdrop of their side’s negligence in allowing their hosts a break from the perilous position of 3-12′ early the first day. .

Former English fashion designer Jonathan Agnew, commenting on the BBC, described opening day in Hobart: “It was potentially one of the worst days of the show.

“England have been fundamentally disappointed with the batting all along, but today the bowling was terribly poor.”

Squad selections have been an issue for England since day one of the series, and Agnew felt England should have opted to select the more controlled Craig Overton over the fast-paced Mark Wood.

“Mark Wood had a really bad day. I wouldn’t have played him here. It’s a grass pitch and Craig Overton is written on it.

“It’s always nice to have someone roar and play at 90mph, but on this pitch you don’t want that. You want someone to be checked.

But Wood was not alone as Head, Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green regained the upper hand.

Ollie Robinson received a knock from the team’s bowling coach after the game, after again failing to shoot in full form throughout the game.

Ollie Robinson (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The 28-year-old designer rested for the fourth Test but returned to the side in place of James Anderson. He started with a convincing opening period in which he took 2-15 in seven overs, but he was only able to go one more after the first interval, in which the speed of his bowling reached about 115 km/h.

He then left the pitch with a back spasm, leaving England short of melon for the final two sessions.

England bowling coach Jon Lewis says the Sussex player needs to do more to reach the level of fitness required for an England cricketer.

“This [Robinson’s fitness] is something he’s definitely looking at and we’re definitely working on it with him,” Lewis said. “If he wants to perform consistently over a long period of time at this level, he will have to be a fitter bowler, 100 per cent.

“We had these conversations, we were quite candid with him. And now it’s up to him to go do the work.

Meanwhile, the press kit could hardly believe England’s rapid downfall on Friday.

“New ground, same old story. England got off to a good start against Australia and the move from the continent to Tasmania feels like a trip too far for a broken group of players,” wrote Nick Hoult in the Telegraph.

“England hands were on hips and slumped shoulders as Travis Head shattered any remaining resolve with a brilliant second century of the show, and Cameron Green showed why he will be an Ashes star for the next decade as Australia reached 241 for six before the lightest of rain persuaded the referees to step down.

“Ollie Robinson played the new ball beautifully, but his lack of conditioning became an issue again as he stiffened up and threw a single shot after lunch, barely hitting 70mph, leaving Joe Root a short bowler.

“Robinson has skill and is a smart bowler which compounds the fact that his level of fitness, something he can control, is such a problem. If he is to last in Test cricket he has to be more professional and England tougher on its players.

“It’s hard to imagine Justin Langer, the coach of Australia, allowing one of his bowlers, especially one who is only bowling his ninth Test, so much string. Robinson played golf on the players’ day off on Tuesday, when colleagues such as Chris Woakes decided to prepare for the test instead. It’s no surprise that he suffered back pain three days later, dropping Root. He left in every test with a niggle.

There was also a focus on Chris Woakes, with Tim Wigmore, writing in The Telegraph, Tim Wigmore, writing in The Telegraph, revealing a shocking statistic.

“Chris Woakes is often referred to as an English specialist. Finally, Down Under, here is a situation to remind Woakes of his home,” he wrote.

“The mild temperatures and green hue of the Bellerive Oval, Australia’s southernmost ground, resembled those found 10,000 miles north of England. And, as so often at home, Woakes arrived in attack with the pair of new balls from England after winning the first scalps.

“England’s best playing stint in the series – admittedly, a reward up there for being Henry VIII’s favorite wife – had seen Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad reduce Australia to 12 for three. By the time Woakes was handed the ball, at 16 over, he was down to 41 for three. Yet it still allowed Woakes to turn England’s early advantage from promising into a game-breaker.

Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson suffer as Travis Head propels Australia to victory over England

(Photo by Matt Roberts – CA / Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

He failed to do so.

“The result was to cement Woakes’ hold on a curious record: the biggest difference between his home and away averages of any setter with 100 wickets in Test history. Woakes has two faces: almost a prototype test cricketer in England, yet ineffectual abroad.

“There are two ways to look at this gap. The first is that Woakes will soon be 33, is playing slower than on the previous Ashes tour and should now be seen as an admirable Test cricketer from whom England are best served.

“As England seek players who can win in all climates, Woakes is unlikely to be part of the solution. And yet using Woakes to meet Ashes’ need for scapegoats would surely be a waste. of Woakes as a Test cricketer have been exposed, they must not obscure how magnificent he has often been in England: not since Fred Trueman has an England player who took more wickets at an average below the House.

“Only a few Test cricketers can thrive worldwide; it’s no shame that Woakes doesn’t quite fall into that category. But, as England try to cope with their saturated schedule, it also presents an opportunity. By ditching the idea of ​​selecting Woakes abroad, as a spin bowler seen as an Asian specialist, England could prolong his Test career, making him fresher – and even more effective – at home.

Andy Bull, writing in the Guardian, produced the best bit of the day, including that epic opening paragraph.

“According to reports, the England team took a charter flight to Hobart. Watching them play the first day at the Bellerive ring, it looked like they had traveled on an old sail bark and that they had arrived, like Abel Tasman, soiled, sore and worn from the ships, half-starved after six months of picking weevils out of biscuits.

“Battled, cut and bruised, suffering from strains, aches, pains and breakdowns, loss of form and lack of faith. Between the 11 of them, it was like picking the best bits of each, they could pretty much cobble together a fit, functional, happy Test cricketer.

“The record books show it to be the shortest Ashes tour the team has ever done, but judging by the way it looks, it must be starting to feel like forever.”

Bull, seizing misery by the horns, eviscerated England’s attack.

“England began to crumble almost as soon as Root made his first bowling change. Chris Woakes, desperately short of form and good spirits after being left out of the squad, seemed to have forgotten how to make the only something that always came so naturally to him, and couldn’t settle on a line or a length. Mark Wood wasn’t doing much better.

“Then Ollie Robinson left injured just after lunch and when he returned spent the rest of the day geriatrically hobbling around the outfield, occasionally returning the ball underarm from deep. With Ben Stokes unable to bowl because he came into the game with a side strain, the only option left for Root was to bowl himself, which is how England ended up offering 10 part-time off-spin overs in conditions that were bespoke. – made for sewing bowling. The stump score should have been encouraging, but it was more about a missed opportunity and a missed chance.

Scyld Berry in The Telegraph, gave Head a glowing review.

“The counter-attacks in Test cricket are not finer or fiercer than Travis Head’s. One minute Australia were on the ropes, for the first time in this series, the next England had no one who could bowl.

“Easier to counterattack at number five than in the higher order; nevertheless, the pink ball had only 10 overs when Head came in at 12 for three and still sawtooth. It might well have continued to play out had Head and Marnus Labuschagne allowed England to play a full length, but they immediately highlighted the fragility of England’s current test of cricket in all departments.

Former England captain Mike Atherton, in The Times, said: “The centerpiece of the day was a sparkling hundred from Travis Head, who started the streak in top form before Covid hit, and ended it that way.

“As in Brisbane, it was a joyful counter-attack and in two exciting partnerships, first with Marnus Labuschagne (71 in 12.2 overs) then Cameron Green (121 in 26.4 overs), he snatched the game from England. To his brutal cut and off-side ride, no response came.




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