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Old 09-09-2019, 05:17 AM
Dead Cat is online now
I was curious...
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 4,346
I don't think we disagree on all that much (though surely Burns would get into the composite side, he's been by far the best opener in the series, though that's not saying much). My point is mainly that England deserved to win at Headingley, they were only 'lucky' insofar as they got a helpful decision on that lbw (which while Hawkeye said it was out, I believe it's still unclear as to whether the ball may in fact have straightened on clipping the front pad). The rest of it, while unusual (and to use your term, probably not repeatable), was not luck, it was skill by Stokes and poor play by Australia (burning the review, Lyon dropping the ball). Australia played really well for 90% of the game to reach a position in which they win 99% of the time, then blew it.

Now, I share your disappointment and frustration at what might, if you're feeling very generous, be called the inconsistency of the England side. Added to that is their complete failure to take any sort of momentum from the Stokes miracle. And I don't particularly blame the players - no doubt they are preparing as well as they can, doing their best etc. The fault lies elsewhere, as we have discussed ad nauseam. But sport is a results business, and I don't think England needed to be 'substantially' better to get a draw yesterday - they just needed to bat slightly better than they managed in the first innings (admittedly on a deteriorating pitch, but still, it wasn't really Lyon that did the damage, was it?). I know I'm one for foolish optimism, but if one can take anything positive at all from the game, it's that they at least batted out 90+ overs, getting well into the evening session - I was actually expecting it to be over shortly after lunch. So I think there is a bit of progress there. It still isn't good enough, but as you say, the Aussie bowling attack is actually pretty good.