The English has a mountain to climb after suffering a ten-wicket drubbing in the first Ashes Test. Going into the second Test in Adelaide Oval, which hosts the first-ever day-night Test in an Ashes series, things certainly look gloomy for Joe Root and his troops. Here's a list of how the battles have been won and lost on and off the field (mostly by Australia).
New Zealand state side Canterbury has signed Ben Stokes as its overseas player, with the investigation on the Bristol Brawl still ongoing. Stokes had wished his team-mates good luck ahead of the First Ashes Test match, during the course of which his absence was truly felt by England. The English will have been, needless to say, more formidable with Stokes in their ranks.
England's 10-wicket defeat at the Gabba was further soured by revelations of a late-night 'head-butting' incident involving wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and Australian Test opener Cameron Bancroft, who described the "headbutt greeting" by Bairstow as "weird." "I was expecting a handshake. It wasn't the greeting of choice that I was expecting," Bancroft deadpanned. Bairstow's actions were slammed as "dumb" by team coach Trevor Bayliss as a midnight curfew was slapped on the players for the rest of the tour.
Nathan Lyon, dubbed the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), ruffled the tourist's feathers with his taunt that Australia was out to "end careers" in the Ashes Tests. Lyon recalled the devastation caused by left-armer Mitchell Johnson in 2013-2014, when he took 37 wickets with his ferocious fast bowling as the Australians inflicted a crushing 5-0 home series defeat. But later, the spinner revealed he was being deliberately provocative to detract attention from Australia's unexpected selections for the first Test. "I took a lot of pressure off Tim Paine and Cameron Bancroft, I thought you guys (media) were a little bit smarter than that," Lyon said.
Former Test skipper Alastair Cook one of the big hopes for the tourist, has struggled for runs so far. Cook, who plundered 766 runs when England won the Ashes down under in 2010, had a poor first Test at the Gabba, scoring just only two and seven and making his pre-Test comments sound a bit hollow. "There's nothing we haven't seen before in cricket," he said. "They're not suddenly bowling 150 miles an hour. (They've) not got magic balls which start way outside the stumps and swing miles and stuff."
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