Birmingham, June 21 Former Australia men’s head coach Justin Langer believes Pat Cummins’ showing ice in the veins composure in leading the team to a thrilling two-wicket victory in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston is the antidote to England’s ‘Bazball’ approach of playing Test cricket.
Cummins came out to bat when Australia needed 72 runs to win with three wickets in hand on day five’s play. After witnessing the dismissal of Alex Carey, Cummins displayed remarkable composure, remaining unbeaten on 44 off 73 deliveries to guide Australia to victory.
“Questions have been raised before, and indeed during this Test match, on what the antidote to Bazball might be. The Australian captain just showed the world; it is ice in the veins. Cummins showed that with the first ball of the series, and again last night on the last ball of the match. This time with a bat in his hands,” wrote Langer in his column for The Daily Telegraph.
Cummins even hit the winning boundary while sharing an unbroken 55-run partnership with Nathan Lyon for the ninth wicket to ensure Australia take a 1-0 lead in five-game Ashes series.
“Australia reminded us here that they are the No 1 Test team in the world for a reason. They trust their method. As they should. It works and they win consistently. For Cummins to keep his composure after a difficult first day, first ball even, showed the class of the man, especially in making his highest score for five years,” added Langer.
Langer also appreciated Lyon on hanging around with Cummins to get an Australian victory, while pointing out that not having a quality spinner played a part in England coming second-best in the match.
“Australia also have a key strength: Nathan Lyon. I thought he bowled brilliantly in this Test. Not only does he bowl a lot of overs and shoulder the load for the fast bowlers, but he also takes important wickets. He can also make a few handy runs, as England learnt at the death.”
“In this series though, if the summer remains dry and the pitches flat, Lyon will continue to rise. England’s lack of a class, or fit, spin bowler is certainly a major weakness in their make-up. This was evident at Edgbaston. Playing Moeen Ali was always a risk.”
“It was a risk England were willing to take, but like a marathon, Test cricket is about endurance, and it is hard to run a marathon, or play Test cricket, without the required conditioning. Ali’s spin finger is testament to this fact.”
Langer signed off by saying he expects Australia to stick to their approach in the rest of the series. “That said, I believe the Australians will continue with this approach when the conditions are as flat and lifeless as they were at Edgbaston. In Pakistan earlier last year they kept grinding. Discipline and calmness were their mantra. Success followed.”
(This article is from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by The SportsGrail)