Former cricketers and current commentators Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton criticized the Team England players. They received major flak for repeatedly complaining about the condition of the ball during Australia’s second innings of the first Ashes Test.
With Steve Smith and Travis Head constructing an enviable lead on day four, England skipper, Joe Root looked for ways to hinder the flow of runs.
The ball offered little to no movement for the England fast bowlers, and thus became a cause of worry for Root.
He requested the ball to be changed within the first 40 overs of the Australian innings when it was meant to be bowled for 80.
He claimed that the ball was not in good shape. But the circular tool of the umpires proved that there was no issue at all.
Plenty of nagging went on in the morning session. Root also made umpire Joel Wilson smell the ball. The play was brought to a halt three times in less than six overs for the umpires to check the Duke’s.
In fact, one of the requests came after Stuart Broad had bowled only five balls. All the drama took place even before the over was completed.
Former England Test captains, Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain weren’t pleased with the tactics employed by Root and his bowlers. Atherton felt that they were trying to “fool” the umpires.
“Oldest trick in the book, isn’t it?” Atherton said in the commentary box.
“If you’re not happy with the ball and it’s not doing enough, you try and get it changed but the umpires are not easily fooled.”
Hussain added, “So what if it’s (ball) out of shape a little bit? You get a ball for 80 overs, you keep it and then you change it.”
“It’s part of the natural progression of a ball when it gets battered around.”
“Stop all these delays, mind games and tricks. They are basically trying to change it because it’s not doing anything.”
England was all the more charged up due to a ball change made by Australia on day two after 60 overs. The ball was said to be out of shape, and when a new Duke’s was given to them, Australia rattled a couple of wickets in the next six overs.
As the day concluded, England couldn’t stop Australia from building a big lead of 397 runs.