The second test between Australia and England in the Ashes 2019 seems to be nearing an inevitable draw as Joe Root decides to play safe with the declaration.
England have arguably lost the chance to bowl Australia out on Day 5 of the second Ashes test. In a rain-affected test match, time has been precious and every over has mattered.
With a lead of over 200 runs and the absence of the pivotal Steve Smith, England would surely fancy their chances to take a stab at the seemingly weak Australian batting lineup.
The wicket has been a bit two paced and bounce hasn’t been the most regular either. In an effort, arguably to allow Ben Stokes to get another century, it appears that England have chosen to bat longer than required.
With a weary Australian side on the field, there should ideally be nothing stopping a determined England side from striking while the iron is hot. Especially when they have a raring Stuart Broad in the wings and the Jofra Archer factor to their advantage. So, fans and experts would argue whether Root’s decision to now enforce the declaration with 4 hours of play and a required run rate of over 5 per over was the best decision or not. One thing is for sure – it is going to end up being a tame draw to a thrilling Ashes 2019 test match.
What Joe Root and almost all other contemporary captains don’t understand is the additional pressure put on the opposition through an early declaration. The message sent is that of confidence and domination – the attitude of “We are coming for you”, which carries forward through the remainder of the series even if the current match results in a draw. After all, sport is more psychological than number based isn’t it?