Ashes, Aus vs Eng 2021-22, Hobart Test

To analyse

Evidence suggests Green is more comfortable entering at bat earlier, and so it was on green Bellerive ground as well.

The next generation of Australia has arrived. Travis Head and Cameron Green had pulled off tired attacks in the cricket test before, but questions persisted.

Could they dig a hole in Australia when Steven Smith, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne missed it?

Listed at 3 for 12 and 4 for 83 respectively, on a Bellerive pitch as green as the outfield, Australia’s less experienced hitters and their two draft players thrived under the pressure, sharing a 121-point stand for confirm their place as key pillars in the team.
Head’s 101, his fourth century trial, was arguably better than his Brisbane blitzkrieg. As good as his century of 85 balls in one session was, he took advantage of his luck and benefited exponentially from the earlier work of Warner and Labuschagne.
Green tied his 74 in Sydney where he was guided by Usman Khawaja. He deserved a century in Hobart but fell to his one real mistake in his most confident test heats. His class and composure showed his conviction was growing and he was among the top six hitters in the cricket test.

Their performances were meaningful against the backdrop of a bizarre day. For the first time in 128 test heats and 244 international heats in all its forms, Smith and Warner both fell without scoring. The other senior pro Khawaja, who comes from two centuries in Sydney, also got a 6 for leaving Australia 3 for 12 after being sent.

Labuschagne should also have gone for a duck, once again dropped by Zak Crawley in the second slide of Ollie Robinson.

Australia haven’t made 300 without a contribution of at least half a century from Smith, Warner or Labuschagne in 21 test matches since February 2019, when Head did his first century of testing on a magnificent strip of Manuka hitters. Oval against Sri Lanka.

But it was an experienced English attack with the tail up in English conditions, and on ground where he averaged just 19.28 in the opening innings of Sheffield Shield cricket. Head produced a swashbuckling counterattack that wrested the momentum from England’s grip in no less than three hours.

He was the recipient of a very bad bowling alley. His first three limits came from three long half volleys. Mark Wood threw two bouncers and hit him twice, but never peppered him again. Rather, he feasted on full bales and hung across the breadth.

Head and Labuschagne stole 71 points in 12 overs. The pair had flashbacks to their respective skinny trots at last year’s County Championship and decided the best form of defense was offense. Labuschagne ultimately paid a price for his inventive footwork, literally falling face down and being knocked around his legs by a straight half volley for 44 in perhaps one of the most bizarre and fun layoffs ever seen in Cricket test.

This brought Green into the fold at 4 for 83 on the 23rd. This was only the fourth time he has taken part in the cricket test with a team total of less than 100. He has scores of 74, 74 and 45 in three of those rounds – the fourth having come on his debut. at the cricket test – and shared two centuries’ stands and a half century stand in them. Despite his incredible all-round skill set, he is a top-notch hitter at his core. He can’t bear to watch and wait, having been a top notch hitter for most of his life. In his first century batting first class at No.8 for Western Australia, he came in at 6 for 50 in the 28th. In first-class cricket, he averages 63.55 at No.4, 86.00 at No.5 but only 36.20 at No.6 and 25 at No.7.

In Hobart, he was in his natural habitat, against a fairly recent ball early in the match. The nerve surges and prickles, and shaky footwork patterns that had been medically examined in the first four tests were nowhere to be found.

He provided the perfect foil for Head, stroking glorious cover shots to pitch his innings and turn the shot well.

Head shifted into high gear after the first break. Robinson, battling a back injury, threw a half volley at 112 km / h and Head scornfully threw it at the midwicket. He continued to plunder anything that was too high as the pair advanced to four and up. Head noted after his innings that the rotation of the strike was important on this surface as a left-right combination. Head’s decision making was also a hallmark. He told Channel Seven he put a higher price on his wicket when training the nets in practice.

“I haven’t traditionally been the best hitter at the net in the past and that’s something I’ve worked on really hard, being tough to get out into the net,” Head said. “Over the past couple of days I was really conscious of making sure I was making the right decisions, moving on the right balls, attacking the right ones, defending the right ones and being difficult. to go out. I felt like I had stepped into this test feeling ready to go. “

His century seemed inevitable, as opposed to some of his previous high-flying acts, where a misstep seemed moments away. Although he almost managed a take on 99. And after stroking a two-to-three man to raise his ton, he returned to striking, needlessly cutting a Chris Woakes cutter halfway through.

Green looked set to make his first century test as well, rising to 74 with superb front and back kicks from Wood’s pace in particular. But the bouncer barrage that wasn’t sent to Head was ultimately delivered to Green with a side trap in place. Green fell in love with his hook, line and sinker. He was rocked by a few short, fast bullets, but put them up well. The wood went around the wicket and delivered the shortest and widest bumper of the lot. Green took the pull and roped it straight into Square’s gorge.

The two layoffs showed that neither Head nor Green is the finished article. But Head is now Ashes’ leading scorer with two centuries and fifty, averaging 69.80 at a staggering 87.46 strike rate, while Green has two vital scores of 74 to go with his nine wickets at 15. , 44. Together with Khawaja, they have been Australia’s top national hitters for the past two years and are now starting to prove their mettle at Test level.

Alex Malcolm is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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