We heard before the series that they needed hard and flat wickets. They got them in the first test, but it didn’t quite work out. Skipper Ben Stokes said before the series that England needed fast and flat pitches to help implement their attacking style of play.
However, the defeat at Birmingham seemed to force the hosts to change their game plan, as Payne said a green wicket had been prepared for the second Test at Lord’s.
If you look at the pitch today, it looks like a backyard in Australia, so it will be interesting. They are clearly trying to get (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson back in the Test match. They didn’t make much of an impact (in Birmingham). Paine also said that while a green wicket would bring the leading bowlers Anderson and Broad back into the game, it would be difficult for the home team’s batters to play on it.
They rely heavily on Joe Root, their top three are pretty suspect, and on the green net, although it will bring Brode and Anderson back into play, I think their batters will find it very difficult. On the other hand, the Aussies need to improve, too.
We’ve had some good players out, and I think our depth and ability to play in any situation, in any condition and at any pace is a real advantage in this series, given that we know how England will play, Paine said. They’re going to play very tough, and that makes them pretty predictable. They’re going to play into our hands a little bit, and we’re going to be able to play into their ego. Still, Paine is confident that Australia will get better as the series goes on.
Our depth and the fact that some of our best players are out means I think we will get better as the series goes on.At the moment I think they are relying on too few players. They know they can’t stand up to Pat Cummins for long without making mistakes, so they’re trying to take you before you effectively take them, Payne said.
If you can stop their boundaries and get them to work on their runs a little more, we saw in the first test that they’re not good enough for long.
Stokes and McCullum are aggressive and have big egos
Payne thinks that new coach McCullum and team captain Stokes’ penchant for aggressive and spectacular cricket sometimes hinders their reasoning.
It was interesting and really fascinating to watch Capt.(Stokes) and Coach (McCallum) are very similar. They both have pretty big egos, are both very aggressive and always want to push the game forward.
The brand they are trying to play under is excellent, it’s a pleasure to watch. I think sometimes it translates into their decisions, we saw that with the declaration (in the first inning) and some of the things they did during that test game, he said.
At times you just have to use a little bit of cricket savvy and know when to put your foot on the gas pedal and when to take the pressure, he added.