Crawley’s weakness is around the 5th-6th stump where he just lets his hands go without leg or a smooth swing of the bat. His bat comes down at an angle, which is not conducive to executing those strokes. Yet the Australians, to the chagrin of their former captains Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting on live television, batted too straight and too full. Moeen Ali had problems with bouncing into the hull, but they didn’t try it until he reached his 50th birthday. Joe Root came up with a strategy to deal with the bounce — taking an open-faced defense almost on the outside of off stump with his bat up, but the Aussies kept throwing short — yet low — punches and he ran forward swiftly. At times in the second session, when England were hitting at a rate of more than 7 runs per knock, Australia looked so confused (perhaps dazed) that they kept changing pitches — and were never able to pick the right line of attack.
And the home spectators enjoyed a thrilling game by Crawley and others. For some time, his inconsistency drew attacks from former England batsmen. Alastair Cook and David Gower have called him frenetic on the field, Mark Ramprakash has said he should be suspended, Nasser Hussain has questioned him, but Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes — the ones who matter — like him. On days like this, it’s easy to see why.
While almost in an off-stump, he kept chipping in and crossing balls to raise doubts in the best of captains, but it was chaos. On a pitch where the odd ball rose awkwardly and some were kept low over the stumps, they rarely took advantage, spraying all over the pitch.
Having retired for lunch at 61/1, England unleashed their beast in the second session, scoring 178 for 25 off 25 overs.
Sometimes I have a series of low scores because I’m betting, but if I was more consistent maybe I wouldn’t have days like today. It’s more of a pattern for me. Definitely fair enough that I wasn’t consistent, but I showed in m