Ashes 2019: ‘England waste their chance – it feels like Ashes are gone’

Ashes 2019: ‘England waste their chance – it feels like Ashes are gone’

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Stokes departs after chasing a wide delivery and edging to slip

It feels like the Ashes are gone for and that is a crushing disappointment.

It could have been so different. It should have been so different.

This was their to get back to 1-1 in the series. With the conditions as they were at Headingley on Friday – warm and sunny and in the batsmen’s favour – with the initiative that was taken from Lord’s, with no Steve Smith in the Australia team, there many reasons why England should have won this game.

They might have had more luck on the first day – they could have bowled Australia out for under 100 – but this was not a day when you should have been bowled out for 67. England were and it has cost them dear.

We have said it before but Joe Root’s side have got to look at the way they are approaching their batting.

One of the mantras of this team is that if the bowlers are on top you have got to attack and take it back to the them.

That is not right. You cannot do that in Test cricket. You soak it up and let the bowlers wear themselves out a bit. You don’t give the opposition another wicket. You don’t try and hit yourself out of trouble.

That seems to be the philosophy of this England team and it will come from the coach and the captain.

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Warner gets his fourth catch as Bairstow becomes the latest to nick behind

It is one of the reasons why England have been bowled out for less than 100 four times in the last 18 months – and three times this year.

They now have day two at Headingley to add to 58 all out against New Zealand, 77 all out against West Indies and 85 all out against Ireland.

With England, the wickets start to fall and the next batsman comes out in the wrong frame of mind.

They are not there to stop the collapse. They come to try and turn it around and it does not work like that.

If England had batted all day, they would have been comfortably ahead by 100 runs or more and could have come back on day three to try to win the game.

It is disappointing but not surprising because it has been happening like this for a number of years.

How do you correct it? I don’t know because until they get ‘it’ they will still have a problem.

These days batsmen have got many more shots in their repertoire and there is more going on in their heads about what shot to play to what ball.

Players from Geoffrey Boycott’s era would have played the ball carefully up to mid-off for no run, modern batsmen play so much cricket where they have got to keep scoring.

It is a mindset because these soft dismissals have been happening to different players in the same team.

There were lots of good balls bowled by Australia but too many of the wickets fell to poor strokes.

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Root edges to slip for a second consecutive duck

Root got a good ball and things are not going his way at the moment.

He has now made two ducks in a row after he was out first ball at Lord’s to another good delivery.

There is no doubt the pressure is starting to mount on him. He was pinning all his hopes this year on winning the Ashes and that is not looking like it is going to happen.

I also think it is now time to review Jason Roy’s position as opener.

He scored 72 against Ireland on debut but since he has managed only 49 runs across five innings against Australia.

With Australia having only made a small first-innings total of 179 on day one, this was Roy’s chance.

If he had got out there and hammered 60 – like we have seen him do in one-day cricket – he could have really dented Australia.

We know we are going to get aggressive, 50-over style batting from Roy, like we saw when he batted so brilliantly in the World Cup, but if you are going to pick him in Test cricket then there are specific times where he is going to be of value – and that was here at Headingley on day two.

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‘That’s what Australia wanted’ – Roy edges to slip for nine

If England do lose this match, they are going to have to make some changes for the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

There has been talk about not putting players of the future into the heat of an Ashes battle but the heat will be gone after this game. That argument does not really exist any more.

There are young batsmen like Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope. Just have a look at them.

There are two Tests left against Australia and two against New Zealand starting in November.

England have got to look at settling a team down to play South Africa later in the winter.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport’s Matthew Henry.

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