4th December 2023

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has warned England’s push for flatter pitches might come again to chunk them within the Ashes collection.

Earlier this yr, England captain Ben Stokes declared he wished “quick, flat” wickets.

It will not essentially profit their bowling assault however will go some strategy to permitting England to proceed its so-called ‘Bazball’ type of batting.

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“We wish to rating rapidly,” Stokes informed Sky Sports activities in April.

“If that brings (Australia’s) guys in, they are going to be completely happy. I am smiling, as a result of I am wanting ahead to it.”

Australian captain Pat Cummins and head coach Andrew McDonald examine the Edgbaston pitch on Wedneday. (Ryan Pierse by way of Getty Photos)

Stokes mentioned curators have been receptive to that request, and pictures of a sun-baked brown pitch circulated on-line within the days main as much as the primary Check at Edgbaston counsel as a lot.

It is simply not cricket although, based on Chappell, who mentioned curators should not be coerced into manipulating the pitch a technique or one other for the advantage of the house aspect.

Watch each ball of the Ashes collection dwell and unique on 9 and 9Now.

“The primary query I might ask is why is a captain, or anyone for that matter, aside from the curator – or head groundsman as they name them in England – why is it as much as anyone else to resolve what kind of pitch you are utilizing? It needs to be left to the curator,” mentioned Chappell on Vast World of Sports activities’ Outdoors The Rope.

“And I do know for a incontrovertible fact that after I was the captain if I had gone to any curator in Australia and mentioned ‘I need this kind of pitch’ I might have been informed to bugger off and thoughts my very own enterprise, which is sort of the right reply. 

“I do not know why they need (flat pitches). Clearly, Stokes has acquired a purpose for wanting that kind of pitch. We’ll discover out if he is proper by the top of July.”

Check Legend goes into bat for Warner: Outdoors the Rope – The Ashes

If the inexperienced wicket at The Oval that Australia beat India on within the ICC World Check Championship ultimate is something to go by, then runs needs to be plentiful at Edgbaston.

Nevertheless, which may hang-out England if in-form Australian gamers like Steve Smith and Travis Head get going.

Smith averages 60 in England whereas Head has been a revelation this yr, scoring a ton within the first innings of the Check ultimate.

“Any wicket fits – he is simply acquired this methodology and starvation to attain runs,” mentioned former Check participant Steve O’Keefe of Smith.

“We’re speaking about legacy and one factor that he needs to tick off is an Ashes collection win in England. An enormous query mark over the Australian batting order. Smith is a banker.”

England has sometimes had a propensity to serve up inexperienced seamers to assist the likes of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson.

England bowler Stuart Broad celebrates after dismissing David Warner throughout day one of many 4th Ashes Check match between England and Australia at Previous Trafford on September 04, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photograph by Stu Forster/Getty Photos) (Getty)

A flatter pitch could also be music to the ears of David Warner and Usman Khawaja, too, who common simply 25 and 17 respectively in England.

Stuart Broad has had the wool over Warner traditionally, however a batter-friendly floor could be what he wants in his Ashes swansong.

“The massive questions are excessive, the opening batters,” mentioned O’Keefe.

“Each aged 36. We have not had guys at that age since 1926 open the batting, each averaging lower than 20 in England, however each coming in off hitting loads of runs. 

“I am backing them to have tailored, grown, and present maturity to steer from the highest of the order to do properly over there – regardless that Stuart Broad particularly, 14 occasions, has had David Warner’s quantity in earlier Ashes collection.”

Australia is in search of its first away Ashes collection win over England since 2001.

That yr, Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist led Australia to a 4-1 win.

The opening Check at Edgbaston will get underway on Friday at 8pm (AEST) with protection dwell and solely on 9 and 9Now.

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