Cummins leads brutal Aussie bouncer barrage
Australia’s relentless pacemen inflicted plenty of blows on day two of the second Test, but England has warned the tourists to expect the same punishment
Sam Ferris at Lord's Cricket Ground, London
16 August 2019, 10:03 AM AEST
Pace ace Pat Cummins sent a fierce reminder of just how dangerous he is after he hammered and hurt England's batsmen with a bouncer barrage at Lord's.
While the Lord's pitch seamed around for most of the second day, it offered little in pace and bounce which forced Cummins to bend his back and fire down a volley of hostile deliveries in his 21 overs that yielded 3-61 as England were bowled out for 258 having been sent in to bat.
Cummins struck England opener Rory Burns on the upper body three times, thudded a bouncer flush into the helmet of allrounder Chris Woakes and peppered England's tail with relentless short-pitched bowling.
Cummins wasn't alone as Josh Hazlewood, who took 3-58 in his Test return, clocked England No.4 Joe Denly on the helmet as the Australians evoked memories of the 2017-18 Ashes, where their pace attack bombarded the tourists' lower order in their 4-0 series win.
But it was Cummins who led the bouncer onslaught. Late in the day he had a deep square-leg, fine leg, mid-wicket, leg gully and bat-pad when right-handers Woakes and Archer were taking strike.
The 4-5 field and aggressive bowling strategy conjured rousing boos out of the Lord's crowd, but those taunts did not last long as Cummins and his teammates took constant wickets.
The tactic is often used when the ball loses its hardness and stops moving in the air and is employed to intimidate the batters, particularly the tailenders.
Having struck him repeatedly in the torso from over the wicket, Cummins removed Burns for a team-high 53 with a nasty short ball that was very well handled by the left-hander but a looming Cameron Bancroft at bat-pad intercepted the shot to take of the great close-in catches in Ashes history.
Cummins ramped up the bouncers in the evening session, and two balls after Woakes was hit on the crest of his helmet by a bumper that failed to get up, the Englishman gloved a pull shot down the leg side to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
Debutant Jofra Archer was greeted to Test cricket with a delivery that whizzed past his helmet before he was out for 12, caught by Usman Khawaja at gully off a leading edge defending a searing delivery aimed at his armpit.
Cummins could have had a fourth wicket had David Warner held on to a skied hook shot from Stuart Broad, who at one point was backing away so far to the leg side he left his stumps exposed but the Australian still dug it in.
Burns, who batted for almost eight hours in the first innings at Edgbaston to fashion a stubborn 133, said he enjoyed the challenge of facing the short-pitched bowling despite wearing a few blows.
"I've batted a few balls so far this Test series and they’re looking at different ways of getting me out," said Burns.
"Nathan Lyon ran past me this morning and mentioned it (impending bouncers) within about three balls, so I was well versed in what I was looking at and was prepared for what I was getting.
"It’s always nice to get into a scrap a little bit.
"He (Cummins) got two dead in the same spot which was nice, but yeah, just getting in amongst it and trying to tough it out."
But Burns warned Australia's tail-end batters to expect the same sort of punishment from England's pace attack, which features the rapid pace of Archer for the first time.
"(Archer) copped a fair few as well, so he’s probably looking forward to getting his own back," said Burns.
"The boys are preparing for it and luckily we can dish out some of our own in this game as well.
"We’ve got some boys in our armoury who can do the same thing, so it should be a brilliant Test."
Off-spinner Lyon, who is scheduled to bat at No.11 and who has not bowled a bouncer in his career which now boasts 355 Test wickets, is expecting to face short-pitched bowling when it's his time to face the music.
"They've got a world-class bowling attack," Lyon said.
"It's Jofra's first Test but he's a world-class bowler. We all know that. You know that. The whole world knows that.
"Broad – same thing.
"Of course it's going to be challenging but that's Test cricket, that's why we play it.
"Me personally, I want to challenge myself against the best player in the world and these guys are the best bowlers in the world so even though I can't bat I'll go out and give it a go."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval