El Nino comes too late to save England
Scott Bailey |
At last, El Nino has arrived to offer England some saving grace.
The only problem is it’s one month too late and the Ashes have already been signed and sealed to stay Down Under.
Four weeks ago, Australia’s big wet of a summer was meant to come to England’s aid.
Former England coach Trevor Bayliss predicted it could have the ball moving like it was on English wickets.
Just maybe Stuart Broad would feel like he had a Dukes cricket ball in his hand and he’d be terrorising Australia’s left-handers like he did in 2019 when Bayliss was in charge.
Until Wednesday, most of the rain this summer had worked against England.
It virtually washed out all their preparations, a point that has constantly been referred to by England as the moment it all started to go wrong.
A session was lost in Brisbane, but that only acted to save Australia batting late on day one of the series when the tourists were all out for 185 in tough conditions.
Rain lingered around before play on Boxing Day too, but when England lost the toss and were sent in they found themselves 3-61 at lunch.
But as has so often been the case in the recent years, the most precipitation of the summer has come in the Sydney Test.
In the first five hours of play on Wednesday, only 21.4 overs were possible.
Rain has now significantly impacted five of the past six SCG Tests, while the ground has famously had had more days washed out than any other in Australia.
Disrupted days of Test cricket in Sydney have seemingly become the only guarantee in the wild world of COVID-19.
A look at the forecast ahead suggests it could be enough to help England avoid a 5-0 whitewash, with a draw the favoured option in Sydney.
Since those hopes of Broad feeling at home in Australia, England have lost the Ashes in record time.
Five coaches have gone down with COVID-19, with head coach Chris Silverwood and his two bowling mentors included in that.
England’s batsmen have been rudely exposed on Australian pitches, their pace attack have got their lengths all wrong in the first two Tests and they have bowled too many costly no-balls.
And Broad himself bowled just 36 overs in the first three Tests, playing only once as captain Joe Root sent down almost just as many overs.
El Nino may have finally returned to rain on the Ashes, but it’s come far too late to offer any real help for England.AAP