Thursday, July 7, 2022

The Ashes ENG vs AUS 2021-22 : The remains after the Ashes

Keyur Mandrekar:

The Ashes ENG vs AUS 2021-22 : The first day of 2022 where International cricket takes a break, England’s Test think tank has already made plans to overturn the massive fiasco Down Under where they lost the much coveted ‘urn’ within 12 days. With Australia’s strict protocols, it is believed England spent more time in isolation, with those days counting to 15. (The Ashes ENG vs AUS 2021-22)

Now that the analysts have got a chance to further break down England’s performance, unsurprisingly Joe Root stands miles ahead of the rest of the England Test squad put together, scoring 28% of the runs for England in calendar year 2021. Joe Root scored 1708 runs while the rest scored a collective 4396. A team that thrives with white ball talent, surprisingly, has found wanting in the longest format of the game.

As a result of the battering Down Under, the seniors in the squad have already talked about making some radical changes. Ben Stokes has come out in support of Joe Root and if reports are to be believed, will be missing out on IPL to focus on County cricket. It shows Ben Stokes’ commitment towards ECB and the intent of reviving red ball cricket in England.

Let us take a step back and break down the numbers, ECB puts Stokesy as the highest paid Centrally contracted player. He earns more than Joe Root in fixed salary from ECB irrespective of taking breaks throughout the year. The same liberties may not be available to some of his red ball team mates like Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid who have excelled in Domestic leagues worldwide. Sam Curran, another player with a Test Central contract manages to double his earnings in those 50 odd days of IPL. (The Ashes ENG vs AUS 2021-22)

If financial changes are to be considered, unless, ECB manages to change the pay structure drastically, a single player committing his future to domestic cricket may not change much. If we are to look at the pool of players that have come out of England in the shorter formats of the game, the domestic leagues have a plethora of superstars to pick from. As a matter, England has cut down on some of the fixed pay to some of its domestic players to even out the wages and sustain the number of players through the post COVID financial turmoil. Stokes might end up regretting his decision. (The Ashes ENG vs AUS 2021-22)

Coming back to the shortest format, England can manage to rest any of the senior pros as they play a West Indies team who had a T20 World Cup to forget and followed that up with nightmarish tour of Ireland. More questions have to be asked about West Indies who, on paper, have 11 match winners who refuse to show up every single time.

With this series not expected to be in any sense a humdinger, England’s sole purpose will be to find a player that can be considered for the red ball. On the other hand for the players, this may very well be an audition for the IPL. (The Ashes ENG vs AUS 2021-22)

For the test series to follow, the ball lies in England’s court. Will they send the tried and tested squad or will Chris Silverwood experiment with some new names?

The Ashes ENG vs AUS 2021-22

Also Read : The Ashes 2021-22 : What next for England after the Ashes humiliation?

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Naveen Sharma
Sub Editor, India News


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