The deck did not offer enough swing, but Sam Curran’s persistence with full-length paid off. He created angles while bowling from over the wicket and most importantly, he generated pace to unsettle the Australian batsmen. His inswingers to the right-handers are deadly, they are skiddy – comes straight after pitching, moves late and traps the batsman lbw. Surely, he gave the English attack the cutting edge at the Oval.
Then there was that young Jofra Archer, who rediscovered his mojo at the Oval and bowled with an excellent rhythm to bag six wickets. Interestingly, Stuart Broad failed to create an impact early on. he leaked runs while his length, in my opinion, was pretty much on the goodish area rather than full. The same can be stated about Chris Woakes as well.
But when two young guns are bowling in a fantastic rhythm, it really does not matter.
The Australian batting lineup was all about Steve Smith, yet again. It has been his series and in each innings, he is taking his batting to the next level. That pull on the onside by sitting on his knee was one of the shots of the day for me. It was the Smith way of executing a pull shot – unorthodox, a touch of ultra-modernism and surely, not to please the eyes of the purists.
But, this is the cricket of the modern era. They are acceptable if they are executed with perfection to define greatness in a different way on the canvas of Test cricket.