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The good, the bad, the worst: SCG edition


Starting off with a bang in 2022, the Pink SCG Test was a huge success on all fronts.

Over $ 5 million was raised for the McGrath Foundation and it was an exciting five day game that ended until the last ball.

For the first time in this series, England got into a fight, surviving a last-day play-off led by Scott Boland to hold out for a memorable draw.

Usman Khawaja stood out on his return to Test Cricket, Stuart Broad troubled the Aussies on his way to his career 19th round at five and Steve Smith even managed to land a wicket.

This is the fourth installment of the good, the bad, the worst of this series, covering three moments from each team that defined the game.

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Good

Usman Khawaja is back. A Pair of Tons for the Match puts the chic southpaw in elite company, with just two more living up to his century-old efforts in a single game at SCG.

His partnership with Steve Smith and then the tail put Australia in a dominant position after the opening innings and the quick kick in combination with Cam Green made England lose sight of any chance of victory.

With Travis Head set to step aside for Hobart, will we finally see Khawaja come back to the top of the order?

(Photo by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images)

What an England final round to save them from the embarrassment of a clean slate. Zak Crawley looked stunning at the top of the order, scoring freely on his way to the first half of a century for an England debut this summer.

Middle order of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow fought hard, combining to absorb over 300 balls.

It came down to the last two overs, however, and with a wicket in hand it was up to Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson to survive.

Under poor lighting and a rotating pitch, the veteran pair kept their cool, ending the game in a hard-fought draw.

Many fans are hoping that this fighting spirit from England marks the start of their turnaround.

The bad

Is Alex Carey up to the task? Many questioned his ability with the gloves on, but a magnificent display of outfit in Brisbane worth eight catches calmed skeptics a bit.

Since then, however, he has had six regulatory chances in three matches and the pressure is yet to mount for him. Known as a batting goaltender, an average of just 15 isn’t good enough.

As Tim Paine’s longtime understudy, Carey deserves the chance to regain some form in future test matches.

With Josh Inglis breathing down his neck, can Carey hold on?

The good, the bad, the worst: SCG edition

(Photo by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images)

English bowlers have really struggled to clean the tail of this whole series and that had a huge effect on the outcome of the matches.

In the first innings at SCG, Khawaja and the lineup combined to score 131 points after the sixth wicket fell, dropping their total from under 300 to 416.

England have only eliminated their opponents twice in this series, with Australian bowlers alone contributing 60 points on average to the team’s score.

Stopping the Australian tail swing is necessary if England want more than a draw in Hobart.

The worst

Once again, Australia failed to eliminate a team on CRS Day 5.

The bowling offense made the breakthrough early on Day 5, dismissing Haseeb Hameed for nine and Dawid Malan for four, followed by Zak Crawley soon behind them.

The middle order stabilized the heats and looked likely to hold for the rest of the day.

Enter Captain Pat Cummins with two moving three-bullet missiles to give Australians hope.

Unfortunately, the England rearguard fought hard, holding out the Green Cap men until the end of the game.

Questions will be asked regarding the delay in Cummins’ declaration and the inability of the world class bowling team to complete the job.

The good, the bad, the worst: SCG edition

(Photo by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images)

England must find an open partnership. The main goal of an opener is to see the new ball and start the innings in a positive way, so an average first wicket stand of 14 points is really poor.

When you factor in that Malan came in with less than ten overs completed on each but one time, it’s obvious the England openers didn’t do their job.

After missing the first two tests, Crawley actually looks quite impressive, with his 77 second innings in the CRS showcasing his compact technique and ability to score freely.

Now it’s about maintaining strong scores and cashing in when he has the chance.

Crawley needs a partner though and none of the other English drummers have tried this streak, he seems to have what it takes.

Hameed was decent at Gabba, but single-digit scores in his last six innings mean the young hitter shouldn’t be near the squad roster in Hobart.

After being dropped for the MCG test, Rory Burns is likely to be called up for the final match. But a series average of 12 is barely enough.

Crawley landed a spot at the top of the order. Can England find someone to partner with him?

What were your moments that defined the SCG test?


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