Stuart Broad still believes England can overcome Australia and the weather to win the second Ashes Test at Lord’s but accepts time is running out.
Just 24.1 overs were possible on Friday, meaning a total of five sessions have been lost to rain in the first three days, rendering a draw the likeliest result.
England had most reason to feel aggrieved by the early finish after picking up three wickets for 50 runs before the downpour began, one each for Broad and Chris Woakes and a first at Test level for debutant Jofra Archer.
Having lost the series opener at Edgbaston, the hosts will also be more eager to force matters when play resumes with Australia 178 runs behind on 80 for four.
And Broad has already started plotting how they might engineer a result.
“We’d have liked to continue because we put ourselves in a good position. It’s a real shame,” he said.
“But we feel pretty positive. We’d need to bowl Australia out by lunch tomorrow. Our bowling unit’s aim is to get the next six wickets by lunch and then ideally bat until an hour, or half-an-hour, before lunch on day five and try to force a result that way.
“This pitch has got 10 good balls in it in each day. There’s 98 overs for the next two days, which for both teams has been enough to bowl each other out.”
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, travelling with the team in a mentoring role, was also keeping hopes of a result alive.
“From our point of view we need to score some runs. We’re still 178 behind, so that’s our first target,” he said.
“If we can get there and get some more runs after that we believe we’ve a chance. Both sides will be confident that they can force a victory, but there is a lot of work to be done.”
Broad was impressed with his latest new ball partner, with Archer showing pace and control in a seven-over spell that cost just eight runs and brought the wicket of Cameron Bancroft, trapped lbw.
“He’s got all the attributes and he’s already been a successful international cricketer, having been involved in a World Cup win,” said the 122-Test veteran.
“In our minds, because he’s been involved with the World Cup and he’s been talked about so much in the last six months, we think he’s an experienced, older, knows-it-all cricketer.
“He’s still learning his trade a little bit, but he’s doing it with great success. There will be times when he blows teams away.”
With James Anderson out injured, Broad is the senior bowler in the side and he has performed his new-ball duties admirably by dismissing the dangerous David Warner cheaply three times in a row.
He has had no such luck with Steve Smith, though, and it is the latter who once again holds the key for Australia. After his match-winning twin centuries in the first Test he is ready to resume on 13 in the morning, knowing another epic could end England’s prospects.
Smith’s elaborate sequences of tics, routines and flourishes at the crease have become social media fodder over the past couple of weeks and Broad went as far as suggesting the batsman had begun to influence the on-field decision-making.
“He is quite fidgety. I think he might have even done (umpire) Aleem Dar on Travis Head’s lbw because he threw his arm out as if to say, ‘That’s going down leg side’,” offered Broad.
“I think Aleem was going to give it and maybe saw Steve’s hand go. He explains every bit of cricket on the field with his movements after it’s happened.”
Provided by Press Association Sports
West Indies have roped in Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan to help the team’s batsmen prepare for the upcoming two-Test series against India at home.
The two former West Indies batsmen will be a part of the team’s pre-series camp in Antigua ahead of the first Test against India which gets underway on August 22.
The hosts have called up two uncapped players in all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall and batsman Shamarh Brooks while another batsman in John Campbell has played just three Tests so far in his career.
Cricket Windies director of cricket Jimmy Adams believes the presence of Lara and Sarwan for the pre-series camp will immensely benefit the slightly inexperienced line up.
“We have some good young batsmen in the team who we believe will form the future of West Indies cricket,” Adams stated.
“We saw some very good signs of development earlier this year in the Test matches when we played so very well to beat England and we want to see them grow and become outstanding players for the West Indies.
Former captains Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan to work with WI batsmen ahead of 1st Test match vs India Test Series in Antigua 🌴🏏🇦🇬https://t.co/NzaWh5TCSo— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) August 16, 2019
“We have taken the step to have Brian and Ronnie [Sarwan] work with these players, who have demonstrated a will to learn and succeed. We know they still have the passion and love for West Indies cricket and are eager to assist and share their information with the present generation.”
Lara is the all-time leading run-scorer for West Indies in the Test format with 11,912 runs in 130 matches and registered 34 tons along the way. Sarwan, meanwhile, has nearly 6,000 runs to his name in 87 Tests and slammed 15 centuries in the format.
India has far clinched both the T20 and ODI series in the Caribbean without tasting a single loss and the hosts will be hoping to turn the tide around in the upcoming Test clashes.
On an overcast and gloomy day at Lord’s, England found plenty of joy in the small chunks of play that were possible on Day Three of the second Ashes Test against Australia.
Having been bowled out for 258 runs in their first innings, the hosts came roaring back into the tie in the morning session of day three with the pacers making early inroads in the Aussie response.
Stuart Broad was the pick of England bowlers with two scalps while Jofra Archer bagged his maiden Test wicket as the visitors were left reeling at 80-4 before play was abandoned for the day.
England’s nemesis Steve Smith was still unbeaten at the crease but David Warner’s miserable Ashes continued with the opening falling to Broad for the third time in a row in the series.
Warner was bowled around his legs for just three runs before to give England the first opening before Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja steadying things down with a gritty stand.
The pair added 49 runs for the second wicket amidst some excellent bowling by the hosts before Bancroft’s luck ran out. The Australia opener became Archer’s maiden Test scalp after being caught plumb on the pads by a sharp in-swinger.
Things went from bad to worse for the Aussies with Khawaja departing after his solid 36 in the very next over. Lord’s favourite Chris Woakes was the man to do the damage with Khawaja getting a thick edge which was gobbled up safely by Jonny Bairstow.
Broad had his second of the day with the help of a review after Aleem Dar had originally turned down his lbw shout against Travis Head as Australia slumped to 71-4.
The hosts were celebrating a fifth wicket soon after when Dar raised the finger to Ben Stokes’ appeal against Matthew Wade but the Aussie batsman was the one to benefit from a review this time around with replays showing the delivery as pitching outside leg-stump.
Smith remained a solid figure in his 40-ball vigil at the crease and the right-hander will hold the key on the fourth day if Australia are to remain in the hunt in the Test.
‘Twitchy’ Smith’s theatrical leaves
Smith’s idiosyncratic movements at the batting crease can be off-putting for most bowlers and England skipper Joe Root had hoped that his bowlers will be able to ignore them in the second Test at Lord’s.
“It’s something you’ve got to look past. A lot of what he does is to try to put you off in a way, trying to make it look extremely different so you have to think way outside the box,” Root had said ahead of the Lord’s Test.
“You look at his dismissals over a period of time, it’s not far away from everyone else’s – the movements before and after it might look slightly different but it’s just being really clear on how we want to go about it.”
Smith was even more extravagant with his trigger movements on Friday with the right-hander displaying some theatrical leaves during his unbeaten 40-ball vigil at the crease. Whether it put off England’s bowlers is debatable but Smith was the only Aussie batsman who looked untroubled on a day which was highly conducive to swing bowling due to the overcast conditions.
Better forecast for final two days
While the unfavourable weather has already cost more than one and a half day’s play in the Test, there is cause for optimism for the final two days.
The weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday is largely favourable and two complete days of play is a real possibility. Whether that is enough for either side to force a result remains to be seen but it is the hosts who look to be ahead at this stage and they will be desperately hoping to dismissing Smith early on day four and bundle out Australia cheaply in the first innings.