England’s hopes of reclaiming the Ashes finally disappeared after a brave 11th-hour resistance against Australia came up short on a nerve-racking final evening at Old Trafford.
Charged with the improbable prospect of nullifying the touring attack for 98 overs on the fifth day, the home side bristled with determination only to end in disappointment.
Australia finally dismissed them for 197 at 6.15pm, with a 185-run win giving them an unassailable 2-1 lead that means they will retain the urn regardless of events at The Oval next week.
That makes Joe Root the first England captain not to see off the old enemy on home soil since Nasser Hussain in 2001, and means outgoing head coach Trevor Bayliss will end his World Cup-winning reign on a sour note in the longer format.
Australia celebrated joyously on the outfield when Josh Hazlewood claimed the decisive lbw against Craig Overton, but they had been made to wait for their party by a gutsy batting performance.
Overton was one of three batsmen to face 100 or more deliveries on the day, joining Joe Denly (53) and Jos Buttler (34), but their collective efforts were not enough to conjure a sequel to Ben Stokes’ miracle of Headingley last time out.
Provided by Press Association Sports
West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite has been reported by the match officials for a suspect bowling action for the second time in his career.
The part time off-spinner’s action was reported after the completion of the second Test between West Indies and India at Kingston where the visitors ultimately prevailed by 257 runs.
Brathwaite bowled two overs of his off-spin in the match in the first innings and even managed to pick up the wicket of Ishant Sharma.
Brathwaite had earlier been reported for a suspect bowling action in August 2017 but was cleared following an independent assessment.https://t.co/eqCW9QGO7J— ICC (@ICC) September 8, 2019
The 26-year-old has been given until September 14 to submit himself to a bowling action test but he will be allowed to continue bowling at the international till the results of the tests are known.
This is the second time that Brathwaite has been pulled up for a suspect action with the first instance coming in 2017 during Windies’ tour of England. On that occasion, the West Indies opener was ultimately cleared to bowl again a month following an independent assessment.
Brathwaite and West Indies’ next international appearance will not become before December this year when the side tour India. They are slated to take on both Afghanistan and India in their extensive tour which will see them also take on the former in a one-off Test.
Ravichandran Ashwin failed to make a single appearance in India’s recently concluded tour of the West Indies but Anil Kumble believes that the 32-year-old is still the best available spinner in the country.
Ashwin’s status in the pecking order took a big hit in the Caribbean with Ravindra Jadeja being preferred as the sole spinner for both the Tests against the West Indies. It follows from a difficult 2018 for the off-spinner which saw him miss six of India’s last 13 overseas Tests due to both fitness issues and poor form.
Ashwin was overtaken by Kuldeep Yadav in the pecking order when India toured Australia at the end of last year and his latest snub in West Indies will only add to the uncertainty regarding his place in the Test setup.
However, Kumble believes that Ashwin still has a role to play as India’s lead Test spinner.
“He is still the best spinner that you have,” the former India leg-spin icon told cricketnext in an interview.
“Yes, there have been a few incidents where he has had injuries and not performed to his potential, but Ashwin is your No. 1 spinner in the team.
“He should be a part of the squad, he should be in the playing XI, you have to make a way of getting him in.”
While the Indian team management has recently placed their trust in Jadeja, Kumble feels that Ashwin should still be included in the playing XI in a two-man spin attack.
“I strongly believe that the team certainly can have two spinners in the squad, because both Ashwin and Jadeja are wonderful batsmen,” he said.
“Ashwin has had four Test hundreds, Jadeja has been really consistent with the bat. He did that again in the West Indies, he’s a wonderful bowler too and both of them in tandem can certainly be handful for the opposition.
“So yes, when India travel outside, it’s not always that you get four bowlers to pick up 20 wickets.”
Ashwin will now hope to get back into the thick of things when India host South Africa in a three-match Test series which begins in October.