BRISBANE – Did cricket confuse you? You don’t know your Ashes from your dust?
Ahead of one of the biggest cricket matches on the calendar, with Australia aiming to win the Ashes’ five-game series against England early next week, here’s a quick rundown.
Storyline: Australia’s part-time leg spinner Steve Smith throws a nasty blow at England captain Joe Root, who doesn’t choose variation, edges and is caught at a dumb point to complete a wicket just before the day 5 tea interval.
Clear as mud, isn’t it!
Here’s what that means: Smith throws a pitch that goes against the conventional spinning motion after the leather ball bounces and confuses the batter, who only hits it with the edge of the bat and is caught by a defensive player standing nearby, right next to the intended end of the match.
Few rules or terminology have changed in a rivalry with Ashes that dates back to the late 1880s, when England still exercised colonial rule over Australia.
For the uninitiated it can be very confusing. For curious souls who wish to explore the intricacies of the game, they can check with the Marylebone Cricket Club, the keepers of the laws of the game.
BOXING DAY TEST
After outright wins in the first two tests, Australia can retain the Ashes – the traditional award for the winner of the regular series between Australia and England – with a victory at Melbourne Cricket Ground in the five-day match. starting Sunday.
The Boxing Day test has become one of the biggest days on the international cricket calendar. It’s still scheduled at Melbourne Cricket Ground and still from December 26th.
It is a perfect vacation spot for many Australians, giving millions of people across the country time to connect via TV or radio in relative calm a day after Christmas.
The first recognized test match was between teams representing Australia and England at Melbourne cricket ground in 1877, with the Ashes series becoming a regular rivalry within a decade. The hosting rights alternate each series.
During that time, only one team rallied 2-0 to win an Ashes series: the Australian team led by the great Don Bradman in 1936-37.
England captain Joe Root isn’t put off, although England haven’t won a test match in Australia since 2010-11, when they won the series 3-1. Since then, England are 11 defeats and a draw.
“It’s clear that we will have to play a lot better than we did in the last two games. We absolutely have to believe it, ”Root said of his side’s prospects of an unlikely series victory, provided the players seize the odds. “I have no doubts that we have what we need to win try-outs here.”
The MCG can hold over 100,000 fans, and Ashes tests have averaged over 88,000 on Boxing Day since 2006. The state government has lowered crowd limits at outdoor venues, but MCG organizers don’t expect a full house.
The traveling fans from England, the so-called Barmy Army, are considerably smaller in this series due to international restrictions and some fans in Melbourne who have tickets may not attend due to the recent increase in COVID cases. -19.
HISTORY OF ASHES
According to the Marylebone Cricket Club, based at Lord’s in London, the term Ashes was first used in August 1882 in a false obituary for English cricket published in the Sporting Times after the representative team lost at home to Australia for the first time.
The obituary said the body of English cricketer would be cremated and the ashes would be taken to Australia. English captain Ivo Bligh led a team to Australia later in 1882 with a vow to salvage “the ashes”.
A fan presented Bligh with a small terracotta urn as a symbol of the ashes after England won a social match near Melbourne. And so the ashes and the urn, symbol of the great rivalry between England and Australia, became intrinsically linked.
Bligh met his future wife that day. After getting married, the couple moved to England and took the urn with them, keeping it in the family until Bligh’s death and it was bequeathed to MCC.
There are three main forms of international cricket, the Twenty20 being the shortest, the one-day format being the most self-explanatory and test matches being the longest in duration and tradition.
All involve 11 players on each team. Test matches are scheduled to last for five days, with each team expected to beat for two sets. In this format, the winning team must rule out the opposition twice, which usually means taking 10 wickets in each inning.
As players and coaches so often say, a test match is called a test match for a reason.
The five-day format can be a character test, intelligence test, endurance test, patience test, etc.
In last weekend’s commentary on the second Ashes Test – a day-to-night game in Adelaide – TV analyst Matt Hayden explained that each hitter has an individual routine or mantra for dealing with each delivery. The former Australian opener should know it, having scored 380 in one inning in 2003 to hold the world record for an individual inning. That was until the great Brian Lara of the West Indies reclaimed the mark with an undefeated 400.
This is more than the score of many teams combined in one set. Australia posted two team totals over 400 in this series; The best of England is 297.
Hayden said it’s important to “break the monotony” in the test format, when hitters can face hundreds of deliveries and be in the crease for more than a day.
“It’s not over in 80 minutes. It’s a long game, “he said, to put it mildly,” it’s five days. “
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