Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes hit their straps as they provide compelling cases for retention in the England side for the Ashes
- Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad made compelling cases for their Ashes inclusion
- The new-ball pair wreaked havoc against the inexperienced Ireland squad
- It’s a timely reminder that England have multiple match winners with the ball
It might be stretching a point to suggest that Ireland’s second innings at Lord’s was effectively an Ashes bowl-off between Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad but both men provided compelling cases for retention when England’s Test summer moves up a notch next week.
England’s new-ball pair wreaked the kind of havoc one might expect when a team in its Test infancy is burdened by both a raised level of expectation and unfavourable conditions.
The Irish batsmen simply lacked the skill to absorb the pressure. All 10 wickets fell in 71 deliveries as Woakes continued his love affair with Lord’s Tests.
Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad have made compelling cases for retention in the England side
England’s new-ball pair wreaked the kind of havoc one might expect against Ireland on Friday
Career-best figures took his overall tally to 24 wickets in four appearances and followed his maiden hundred here against India last summer. Full and straight proved a failsafe tactic on a pitch that behaved as petulantly as a tired toddler.
This was the kind of scenario that suits Woakes, a hugely popular member of the side. Allowing the ball every chance to arc through the drizzly air before its seam dug into the surface, he either kissed the outside edge or dodged it on the inside for his six successes.
From the Pavilion End, Broad was initially a smidgen short of the optimum length but appeared to click into gear at just the right time. Having spent six months dedicated to peaking for Australia’s arrival, he bounded in with extra vigour once he had snared Ireland’s first-innings top scorer Andrew Balbirnie with a beauty.
Broad was initially a smidgen short of the optimum length but appeared to click into gear
Career-best figures for Chris Woakes took his overall tally to 24 wickets in four appearances
Perhaps the news at noon that Australia had selected a glut of left-handers put an extra spring in Broad’s step.
Stiffer challenges await but this was a timely reminder that England have multiple match winners with the ball as they await the recoveries of James Anderson and Jofra Archer from injury.
Australia’s shamed trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are all set to start the Ashes series after being named in a 17-man squad.
Australia squad — T Paine (capt), C Bancroft, P Cummins, M Harris, J Hazlewood, T Head, U Khawaja, M Labuschagne, N Lyon, M Marsh, M Neser, J Pattinson, P Siddle, S Smith, M Starc, M Wade, D Warner.