Ashes: Our Aussie and English reporters tackle five big questions ahead of Adelaide day-night Test

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Staff Reporter

It's one-nil to Australia as the Ashes enters day-night territory for the first time.

The hosts drew first blood with a 10-wicket victory in Brisbane, but all is not lost for Joe Root's England.

Predicting the outcome of the Ashes are two of our reporters - Adelaide-born Patrick Glover and Englishman Tom Norris - who play for Mochdre and Hawarden respectively in the North Wales Cricket League.

As the minutes tick away until the second Test in Adelaide, to be played under the floodlights, Patrick and Tom tackle five big questions...

The last time Australia lost a series having won the first Test at the Gabba was the Ashes in 1954-55 ... should England just hand back the urn now then?

Tom Norris: Not at all. It was always going to be a difficult first Test for England. Some of the bowlers were undercooked, most of the batsmen were making their Ashes debut and Brisbane is an Australian stranglehold.

With all that in mind, it was hard not to see Australia from landing the first blow, and they duly did. England showed that there is more to come from them, while the hosts have played their hand.

Adelaide should play to England's strengths. If we can come out of that one with the series locked at 1-1 then Australia might start to look over their shoulder. Let's be honest, they aren't a great side, are they?

Patrick Glover: Yes I think so ha, ha.

In all seriousness, if both sides play like they did in the first test then I think it is going to be a one sided series, in Australia's favour. I can already see a similar pattern developing to the 2013/14 Ashes in Australia which the Aussies won 5-0.

I think if Australia win the second test in Adelaide there is every possibility it could be another 5-0 whitewash. But the Adelaide test is tipped to be England's best chance with the night time conditions and the extra swing.

But a crushing 10 wicket victory will definitely dampen the English camp heading into the second test.

On reflection, what were the major positives and negatives from your side's performance in Brisbane?

PG: As I mentioned England are still yet to work out the Aussie conditions and as soon as the extra bounce came out of the Gabba deck on day two, the English batsmen looked all at sea.

The Aussie bowlers are very good at using this extra bounce to their advantage and Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins showed this in the first test.

The English tail just folded in both innings, unable to cope with the short ball barrage, and even the top order copped a battering in the second innings, none more so than skipper Joe Root and opener Mark Stoneman.

Steve Smith continues to show why he is the number one ranked test batsman in the world with a captains knock in the first innings to guide his side out of a precarious situation. Debutant Cameron Bancroft has already become a cult hero in Australia following the first Test.

The Australia bowlers were superb in the first test and Nathan Lyon, mixed in with the quicks had the English batsman in all sorts.

TN: I'll start with the negatives as they are easier to find after a defeat!

The collapse from 240 for four to 302 all out was the most obvious disappointment because England could have really worried Australia and threatened their Brisbane stranglehold.

The way some of the batsmen were dismissed was hugely frustrating and the top order will have to learn when to take on the short ball, if at all in some cases.

And the bowling was, as mentioned above, undercooked. Anderson and Broad bowled well, but Australia simply saw them off and took advantage of Woakes, Ball and Ali.

Woakes will come good, of that I remain convinced. My concern is Ball, who for me should be left out in Adelaide, while Ali's injury is bad timing to say the least.

Positives...the debutants, Stoneman, Vince and Malan looked fairly assured and most batsmen made starts, which proves they have the talent to succeed.


It's Adelaide, floodlights, and a pink ball next. Talk is England will be better suited in cooler day-night conditions ... is that a fair assessment?

TN: It most certainly is. Although winning the toss and batting first is always the preferred option, there would be no harm in England being asked to bowl first in Adelaide.

Throw the ball to Jimmy and let him hoop it around corners with Broad snarling away at the other end. A bit of movement, as has been shown in the past, is enough to get most of the Australia batting line up out.

It will be interesting to see how many of the Australia bowling attack can get the ball swinging. I suspect all of them, and that is a slight worry!

Apparently the pink ball becomes soft quickly, should be interesting to see Australia's pace attack try and bowl bouncers with it.

PG: I think if the Poms are going to have any chance of claiming a victory on this tour, this is it. Cooler conditions under lights and the swinging pink ball will give the English a bit of confidence back after a deflating defeat at the Gabba.

But it must also be noted, Australia have won every day-night test they have been involved in, including two at the Adelaide Oval, the latest against a strong South African outfit.

Mitchell Starc has already proven to be a wicket taker in day-night matches in state level cricket prior to the Ashes series and after bowling well within his capabilities in Brisbane but still taking five wickets he is a very dangerous proposition in Adelaide.

My tip is Australia for this Test.


Some pundits said Australia's aggressive pace attack were too hostile with England's tail-enders and should have been called intimidatory by the umpires. What's your stance on this and do we expect to see more of the 'short stuff' throughout the series?

PG: Why? I don't think there is any problem with how the Australians bowled.

The bouncer and short pitched deliveries are part of the game, as long as no one gets hurt, and something, if the English had have done their homework prior to the series, should have expected.

It worked last time the Poms were in Australia and because the pitches over here in the UK are nowhere near as bouncy as those in Australia, so its a great tactic, I believe, by the Australians and one that was always going to take place.

The short ball barrage will definitely continue as the series goes on and will only get worse. The Aussies have smelt blood now.

TN: Nonsense. I get the impression that Mr Anderson just wanted to get into the minds of the umpires a little bit with his views on the Australian bowling attack's length.

The short ball is a key part of the game and if England had anyone quick enough to genuinely trouble Australia with a bouncer I'm sure they would use it.

The likes of Cummins and Starc are certainly not going to put their bouncer away now, either. England can certainly expect more short stuff and the only real chance of Australia getting a taste of their own medicine is if Mark Wood becomes available.


Last, but not least chaps, when was the last time you greeted someone with a headbutt? And will this peculiar Bairstow-Bancroft incident have any more bearing on what's to come?

TN: I can honestly say I've never greeted anyone with a headbutt. The whole episode is bizarre, but very funny. The interview with Bancroft with Smith fits of laughter at his side is glorious.

I'm not sure what Bairstow was thinking when he did what he did and Bancroft has really helped him out by not making a big deal of things when others would have.

An incident like this fans the flames nicely and it's always better to watch when there is some needle. There's plenty in the North Wales League and that always makes for interesting games!

The only shame is that England - Broad and Anderson aside - seem a bit too nice. Stokes returning would really get the juices flowing.

PG: Ha, ha I am still yet to be greeted like that by anyone over here, so not sure where Johnny Bairstow got that introductory technique from.

I don't think there is much in it at all. I think the likes of David Warner have used it to get inside Bairstow's head on the field and it clearly worked in the first test with Johnny throwing away his wicket in both digs having looked set.

I don't think we will hear much more about it off the field, but Mr Bairstow can expect to hear plenty more about it on the field, especially if Bancroft stays under the lid.

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