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Thread: England disintegrating like in 2013-14 Ashes - Johnson

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    England disintegrating like in 2013-14 Ashes - Johnson

    One thing that Australia has done so well, (especially their former cricketers and the current team should thank them) is make England believe their issues are 'mental' and the only reason they are losing the Ashes is because of 'mental scars'. The fact that they are 0-2 facing another 0-5 has absolutely nothing to do with their joke batting line up, Cook's decline as a Test opener overall (not just now, it has been for over 4 years), Root's lack of growth as a Test batsman, and the lack of skill, temperament and application in the top order. Or the fact that England just don't have the bowling attack to take 20 wickets in these conditions and they cannot really sustain any sort of pressure unless Broad and Anderson are bowling.

    England are so far behind Australia for these conditions and yet I'm sure all they are thinking about it 'if we can just get over these mental scars'.


    Mitchell Johnson believes England have enormous mental hurdles to overcome if they are to keep the Ashes series alive in Perth, reckoning that Alastair Cook is contemplating retirement while the England captain Joe Root will be questioning his decision to send Australia in to bat in Adelaide.

    As the spearhead of Australia's 5-0 Ashes sweep of England four years ago, Johnson watched Steven Smith's team train at the WACA Ground on Monday and said he could see major parallels between that series and this one in terms of the escalating mental battles being fought by the visitors. The 2013-14 series ended in the resignation of Andy Flower as coach, plus the withdrawal of Jonathan Trott from the tour and the retirement of Graeme Swann. Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, never played for England again.

    Having been in complete control of his mental and technical sides to dominate that series, Johnson said he could see England's players doubting themselves and their decisions. "England will struggle mentally," Johnson said about the remainder of the series. "You've got guys like Alastair Cook struggling. He can't find form. And I'd say he's thinking about retirement. He has played 150 Test matches; it's got to take it out of you.

    "Joe Root is the skipper, and there's a lot of pressure on him with what's happening outside the game but also winning the toss and what he did last game was debatable and that's got to mentally take its toll on him as well. He'll be questioning and doubting himself. We're still talking about [Ben] Stokes and then there's [Jonny] Bairstow who I thought was a little bit up and down, whether he was going to be their next senior player to step up, and we haven't seen that yet. They don't really have a lot going for them to be honest, and I can say that now sitting on the outside - its' easier to say. That's just what I see."

    Watching the series from the sidelines, Johnson also felt that the short ball in the hands of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins was also beginning to take an accumulating toll on the English psyche. "It's not easy coming here [to Perth]. After seeing in the first two Tests, once the wickets had quickened up a bit - Brisbane, Adelaide - the short ball was really effective and this is not going to be any easier for them," he said. "[From] what I've seen now the Australian team is focused on what they need to do. Very similar to 2013-14, we just knew we needed to prepare ourselves the best way at trainings and then get ourselves physically and mentally right for the game. And it wasn't thinking we were 2-0 up, it was just starting a new game. Seems like they're in that sort of mind frame too.

    "England seem like there is a lot of stuff going on off the field at the moment for them. I think there's a lot of distractions. Think they'll be deflated from the last performance because it was talked about that was their best chance of winning in Adelaide: pink ball, conditions suited them more. And we saw what Jimmy Anderson did for the team: he bowled 11 overs straight when the conditions suited him and his bowling, which I found quite interesting [and] his comments after that as well.

    "They were on a high and then to be deflated the way that they did, probably coming into the last day thinking they were going to win, and then for the Aussies to get that early breakthrough and roll through them, that'll be mentally hard for them to come up into this Test."

    Currently in preparation for the Big Bash League with the Perth Scorchers, Johnson admitted he chose not to bowl to the Australians because he did not want to disrupt their current rhythm. "I definitely would have had a bowl, I'm in my season now," he said. "Been bowling with a red ball at training down at my club, so would have been nice to come and have a bowl but, at the same time, I think I would have been a bit nervous if I did slip a short ball in especially not this part of the series, we're going along really well.

    "I didn't talk to the bowlers about much, more how they're feeling and giving a little bit of feedback on what I've seen. Just rhythm and lengths and stuff like that. I still think they'll get better throughout the series. They haven't all clicked together and, I think, once they do click, we're going to see a pretty potent attack.

    "The [quicks] all bring something different and the good thing about these guys is they've played a lot of junior cricket together, they know each other really well - which is a huge bonus, to be able to know your mate who you're bowling with at the other end... you could sit at mid-on or mid-off and you're helping your mate when he's bowling in a spell, if he's not going so well you know what to say to him, if he's going well you know what to say to him."

    England disintegrating like in 2013-14 Ashes - Johnson - ESPNcricinfo
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    Cricketer Of The Year TheJediBrah's Avatar
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    Hall of Fame Member zorax's Avatar
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    this is more fun than 2013-14 IMO.
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    International Regular S.Kennedy's Avatar
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    They talk a good talk. Bairstow, sent out on ''damage limitation'', was recently speaking the usual bollocks, about ''knowing they have three tests to win'' etc etc but they did this before Adelaide and spent the first part of that match bowling short stuff!
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    The disintegration in 13/14 came as a result of severe pace from Johnson but thats not whats happening now. Its spin that is the killer and yes, England have had spin issues for decades but, and all respect to him, but Lyon isnt Warne or Ajmal or murali or Saqqy etc

    Even the younger English lads should be having a go at Lyon but they arent because they are trapped between defending and attacking, committing to neither.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oblongballs View Post
    The disintegration in 13/14 came as a result of severe pace from Johnson but thats not whats happening now. Its spin that is the killer and yes, England have had spin issues for decades but, and all respect to him, but Lyon isnt Warne or Ajmal or murali or Saqqy etc

    Even the younger English lads should be having a go at Lyon but they arent because they are trapped between defending and attacking, committing to neither.
    Lyon's bowled very well so far, I wouldn't say he's bamboozling us (so far) in the way others have in a series and hasn't picked up a five-for yet, so he's not exactly running through us. That said we do look short of any real plans in which to counter him and he is doing a fine job for the Aussies, mainly against our lefties, Chris Woakes the only right-hander he's dismissed so far.
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    International Regular S.Kennedy's Avatar
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    They are too inactive against Lyon.

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    They should down a couple of pints before going out to bat imo. Can't do any worse.

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    International Coach GotSpin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodster View Post
    Lyon's bowled very well so far, I wouldn't say he's bamboozling us (so far) in the way others have in a series and hasn't picked up a five-for yet, so he's not exactly running through us. That said we do look short of any real plans in which to counter him and he is doing a fine job for the Aussies, mainly against our lefties, Chris Woakes the only right-hander he's dismissed so far.
    He might not have a 5-er yet but I feel like Lyon has been consistently threatening. He's tied down his end every time, applied pressure and allowed the quicks to rest, rotate and attack from the other hand. Not much more you can ask of him tbh
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotSpin View Post
    He might not have a 5-er yet but I feel like Lyon has been consistently threatening. He's tied down his end every time, applied pressure and allowed the quicks to rest, rotate and attack from the other hand. Not much more you can ask of him tbh
    Absolutely, I'm not suggesting he hasn't been anything other than very good in this series so far, I don't think his effect on this series is in any way comparable to that of Johnson in 13/14, even allowing for the completely different style of bowling.

    I do think we've lacked any plan against him thus far. The lefties are nervous about coming down the pitch to him (Malan tried a bit of this at Adelaide without any real joy), and the likes of Vince don't have much of an offensive plan against him.

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    Because he's ripping them miles. It's not the English way to come down the deck anyway but even if it was, can't slate them for not being attacking enough when it's far too risky to do so. The English are batting their balls off just to keep him out and one feels the damn will break soon enough.

    Notwithstanding that none of the English bats came into the series in sparkling form, they've been confronted with a bowling attack where there's basically zero let-up. All 4 bowlers are attacking types but going at or below their career rpo's for the series so they're bowling dry when necessary. The pressure must be immense.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 12-12-2017 at 05:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Because he's ripping them miles. It's not the English way to come down the deck anyway but even if it was, can't slate them for not being attacking enough when it's far too risky to do so. The English are batting their balls off just to keep him out and one feels the damn will break soon enough.

    Notwithstanding that none of the English bats came into the series in sparkling form, they've been confronted with a bowling attack where there's basically zero let-up. All 4 bowlers are attacking types but going at or below their career rpo's for the series so they're bowling dry when necessary. The pressure must be immense.
    You can be positive without trying to whack him out of the park, we don't have the batsmen that can look to play him like that, the obvious one is playing for Canterbury. It's unfair to ask any of those, certainly in the top five, to look to dominate Lyon, it's not how they go about their business against spin. Root will look to be the busiest and work him around and try and put the odd boundary ball away. But somehow we have to find a way to put some pressure back on Lyon, as difficult a task as that is, you can't just say 'it's turning' so we just have to survive. It seems like you're saying Australia have got good bowlers that won't give you heaps so we just have to take it! No, we have to come up with a solution or at least get a gameplan in place, especially against Lyon because there will be more opportunities to score off the quicks.

    Personally this adds further weight to moving Bairstow up the order in my opinion, where he can look to dictate a little more rather than have to react to the below par situation he generally finds us in.

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    Getting singles off Lyon and the other bowlers is an absolute must, and is a major difference between the sides. Malan and Stoneman have been gritting it out but neither of them seems to be able to work the gaps, it's all block or play a nice shot to the fielder. Not that Lyon's fairly flat trajectory at 91 or so kph, big spin and length are the easiest to work. But they have to try.

    A plan of all out attack isn't going to work, but subtler ways of breaking his rhythm might.
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Top_Cat's Avatar
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    England aren't failing because they're letting the Aussies **** them. They're failing because the Aussie bowling attack is better than they are. You had every pundit worth their salt saying this is a better attack than the group who whacked a better team 5-0 three years ago, a bloke with 150 Tests and million runs who looks clueless and one of the best bats in the world having to battle his knackers off to survive past 50 and their best player playing for a club in NZ. You think guys at their level don't have a gameplan or haven't once thought "Ohhh, we need to break up his rhythm! Of course!"?

    It's Test cricket. It's hard. A lot of what they're doing is working, they were right in the game after the Aussies batted in Brisbane and until day 5 in Adelaide. They're not hopeless and barely surviving, just not been good enough against a great attack.
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