The performance of Australia in the 2nd Ashes Test at Lord’s was shambolic to say the least. And, a lot of that had to do with their pathetic batting performance. In the first innings, they survived for a mere 53.3 overs and 226 minutes. They did only marginally better in the second innings, hanging around for a little over 90 overs and 375 minutes. Even here though, it was the lower order which saved some face for them. The last three batsmen in the side combined to bat our nearly four hours, showing their teammates who came in earlier how it must be done. With this kind of batting display from Australia, one will easily be tempted to place a bet for an easy series win for England.
Australia’s two batting cards at Lord’s were symbolic of the team’s woes. Not a single batsman managed to reach anywhere close to a half-century in the first innings, and only two of them crossed fifty in the second innings, but neither of them carried on. Following the ‘cancerous’ comment on him, Shane Watson was under the scanner at Lord’s. As it is, he hadn’t done much in the opening Test. But, Watson disappointed yet again. The most frustrating aspect of Watson’s performance at Lord’s was that he got starts in both innings, but was undone before he could translate it into something substantial.
Chris Rogers, the other opener, was drafted into the squad ahead of David Warner considering his vast experience in English conditions. Barring one innings in the opening Test though he hasn’t looked the part. In both the innings at Lord’s, Rogers made an attempt to hang around, but just did not have the game to overcome the quality England attack. One wonders whether the Aussie management would be ruing the decision to demote Warner to the ‘A’ squad. His off-field antics notwithstanding, he could have given the Aussies some breezy starts.
With so much struggles centering the Aussie outfit, their skipper Michael Clarke was expected to lead from the front. That hasn’t turned out to be the case though, and he was among the many major disappointments for Australia at Lord’s. Just like the other senior in the squad, Clarke got starts in both innings in the second Test, but did not carry on. For a man who registered four double hundreds last year, a lot more was expected. Clarke’s failures in the Ashes so far have mirrored those of the team’s overall problems.
Australia did make some changes for the Lord’s Test, but the decision to bring in the Pakistani-born Usman Khawaja for Ed Cowan wasn’t a big relief. Though Khawaja was the top run scorer in Australia’s second innings, it was too miniscule to have any sort of impact on the Test. The other batsmen in the team also could not withstand the pressure applied on them. With the ball, comeback man Ryan Harris was particularly impressive in the first innings, but their overall bowling was well below par. In short, with the bat or ball, they never managed to build any sort of pressure, and that was their undoing in the end.
--By A Cricket Analyst