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The gaps in Australia’s armour to encourage England before the Ashes


Australia’s performance in the World Test Championship final against India has been a far cry from their normally clinical standards, and they will certainly look to improve on that ahead of next week’s Ashes.

The mistakes started from the top and trickled down. Pat Cummins had a possible wicket denied on two occasions due to a front-foot no-ball.

Ajinkya Rahane would have been out lbw on 17 on day two, but the Australian captain was shown on to have overstepped in replays, and again on day three when Shardul Thakur was handed a reprieve due to the same error.

Had it just been that, it might be easy to overlook given that Australia were on top against India in a match that markets itself as ‘the greatest Test’, but there were other mistakes that crept into the performance.

The Australian seamers bowled well, with Scott Boland definitely pushing for a place in the team for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

But there were some thing Australia will want to put behind them. The dropped catches were spread around the team, Thakur had a thick edge put down by Usman Khawaja, and another dropped by Green at gully.

On 72, Rahane went for a booming drive, and sent a head high catch towards first slip, where David Warner managed to get a hand to it but it popped out.

There was eventually a stunning catch from Green at gully to dismiss Rahane for 89, but it all could have been wrapped up a lot earlier.

Mitchell Starc admitted Australia had a mixed day against India at The Oval

(Getty Images)

“It was certainly a mixed day. The wicket started to play a few tricks, a few staying low and a few jumping up a little bit,” Mitchell Starc said.

“We didn’t create enough chances, we bowled a bit inconsistent throughout the innings, we knew the score was going to be a bit quick because the square goes all the way across.

“I think we know we can improve on that performance as a group, which is pretty exciting when we took 10 wickets for under 300.”

There was another moment which at best can be considered complacent and at worse an attempt to deceive, when Australia believed the final wicket had fallen, and left the field immediately without waiting.

Cameron Green bowled at Mohammed Siraj, the umpire raised his finger after the ball struck the pad, but he reviewed the decision, and was recalled after DRS showed the ball hitting the bat first.

Khawaja had already left the field and Warner was heading off to get padding up, when they were all recalled and had to take their fielding positions again. It was a comical moment for the majority Indian-supporting fanbase in attendance.

When it came to the batting, the day got worse for Warner. The Australian opener, who made just 95 runs in the 2019 Ashes, passing 11 just once, was out for a single run against India at the Oval.

England will undoubtedly be keeping half an eye on the events in London, after Stuart Broad got Warner out seven times in 10 innings in the last series.



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