Careless Broad characterizes England’s tail with little supply or delivery | England v New Zealand 2022

JThe word at the end of day one, hard to quibble under the circumstances, was that innings two was where this game would be decided. But with 30% of England’s first inning wickets still standing overnight, it left the rest of their opening shot in a strange backcountry of presumed irrelevance. He stood overnight like the stump of an already felled tree, his demise already mourned, no one expecting him to grow much. Those already looking beyond likely included most of those actually tasked with extending it, minds wandering to the efforts ahead with the ball rather than bat in hand.

There was a memorable moment in England’s last Test against New Zealand, at Edgbaston last summer, when their second leg stood at 122 stumps, six more than their tally here, and with nine wickets instead of seven. The defenders emerged the next morning and took up their positions, the batters headed down the middle, the crowd settled down and fell silent. Olly Stone took his guard, Trent Boult took the ball, the ball got the upper hand, the keeper took the hold, and they all turned and walked away.

Tempers returned at this moment as Boult took the ball back on the second morning at Lord’s, with Stuart Broad preparing to face him this time. What followed could hardly have been more different, Boult’s hopelessly misguided first delivery, bouncing sharply off the batter’s right shoulder and away for four byes. History hadn’t repeated itself, and perhaps here England’s tail could tell a different, more heroic story.

Broad did his best to hit each of the remaining balls he faced, of which there were only four. A few years ago he scored 62 from 45 against the West Indies at Old Trafford and spoke of ‘significant runs’ which ‘changed the momentum of the innings’. It was an opportunity to change momentum and score important points, but ones that required discipline and focus and which he seemed much less enthusiastic about.

Broad’s stick is increasingly characterized by nothing more than negligence, of which he again appeared guilty as Tim Southee ripped the stump off his leg. In only two of his last 16 Test innings has he scored more than the nine he has had here. That day in Manchester his batting average was 18.7, but his average since then has been 10.5, and in the last 12 months just seven.

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Ben Foakes was next, pushing a wide Southee delivery that looked easier to get away. Foakes averaged 98.75 in six runs for Surrey in the County Championship this year and must have floated to Lord’s on a cloud of confidence, but here there was no evidence of that. It feels like he deserves a run in the team, and England certainly benefits from his talent behind the stumps – he’s already taken several great takes that his glove rivals may well have knocked down. It’s ahead of them that his problems lie – this is his 12th test, and averaging 41.8 in his first six he’s run at 13.7 since – and with Matt Potts at No.8 he it’s not clear the team can afford it.

Enter, to loud applause, Matt Parkinson. The unlikely England debutant, called up from Manchester on Thursday as a concussion substitute for Jack Leech, was cheered as he headed for the crease, cheered as he turned Southee in front of the square leg to take England in the lead, wildly celebrated when he shoved the same bowler onto the floor for a beautifully timed four, and instantly forgiven when he edged Boult on the first slip, just half an hour into the game. things had been expected from England’s tail and little had been delivered. Maybe he needs a little more attention.

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