'Is this Ashes in England or Australia?' - Mohammad Kaif surprised with effectiveness of bouncer barrage in English conditions
England and Australia are currently playing the second Test of the Ashes at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground.
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Australia had some decent practice going into the Ashes as they defeated a strong Indian side in the World Test Championship final in June. Pat Cummins and Co. continued their winning momentum as they won the first of the five Ashes Tests by two wickets.
The second Test at Lord's began on Wednesday, and it has been mostly dominated by the visitors. Australia used the short ball to good effect in England's first innings at the iconic venue. Especially in the morning session of Day 3, the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins used the short ball to good effect, making the English batters dance to some 'chin music'. The hosts lost six wickets for just 47 runs in the morning session on Day 3.
England took a page out of their arch-rivals' book and adopted the short-ball ploy to good effect in the first session on Day 4. Set batters Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith perished to the short ball, and Travis Head also followed suit.
Former Indian cricketer, Mohammad Kaif, expressed his astonishment after seeing so many wickets falling to short-pitched deliveries, especially in English conditions where swing and seam usually do the damage. Australian conditions, on the other hand, are known for suiting short-pitch bowling.
"Is this Ashes in England or Australia? Never imagined the short ball will be so effective in a country where bowlers generally try to hit the top of off stump," Kaif wrote on Twitter.
Cameron Green and Alex Carey take Australia's lead past 300 on Day 4
England's morale would have been lifted when they dismissed Khawaja, Smith, and Head in quick succession. The lead was below 300 back then.
However, all-rounder Cameron Green and wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey have forged a vital partnership and taken Australia's lead past 300. A 300+ score has been chased only once in the fourth innings at Lord's. England will have to play out of their skins to level the series.