I’ve never seen a pitch as flat as the one at Edgbaston.

I've never seen a pitch as flat as the one at Edgbaston.

Australia’s batting coach Michael di Venuto

I've never seen a pitch as flat as the one at Edgbaston.
“To see him come out in a Test match and perform like that was outstanding,” Di Venuto said about Pat Cummins (image)

Although the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston provided a match for the ages, Australia’s batting coach Michael di Venuto was unambiguous in his assessment of the pitch. Even though the Test match continued well into the fifth day’s final session, several people, notably James Anderson, criticized the surface for being too peaceful. When pressed on the subject, Di Venuto expressed a similar opinion.

Di Venuto noted that the first day, mainly, “was the flattest pitch I have ever seen.” The lack of pace, bounce, and movement is Prolonged. Even county pitches always remain flat and lifeless. The swing and overheads grew as the game progressed. We witnessed the game come to life when we had the ball for eight overs one evening. However, it was a dilapidated pitch.

Flat pitches may be the way forward for the home team, given how England has played their Test cricket since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum teamed up. However, the captain-coach combination is unlikely to have favoured the Edgbaston track’s slowness. Di Venuto is aware that Australia must be adaptable no matter what the Lord’s plan brings.

“We have no power over that. We’ll adjust and have fun with what is in front of us. The pitches are not under our control. Who knows what will be in this one?

The twin failures of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, the cornerstone of Australia’s batting unit, were the only uncommon setback for the hosts amid their triumphant victory in the series opener. Di Venuto decided against doing too much research because it is rare for both of them to perform poorly, and to see both of them struggling would typically be cause for concern.

To prepare for the forthcoming Test match, Labuschagne and Smith were observed conducting hard net sessions, with the former in particular appearing to put in a lot of work. It might have appeared to the outsiders that two batters were fuming over their failures from the previous game, but Di Venuto dismissed any such chatter.

The World Test Championship Final occurred at Edgbaston before the first Ashes match

The World Test Championship Final occurred at Edgbaston before the first Ashes match

They’ve had a few days free from playing shadow baseball in their bedrooms. Their feet itched. So, because they both enjoy hitting cricket balls, we welcomed them down here to do so. They both have similar characters. Whether they had scored runs, they both would have been present. They enjoy hitting and constantly strive to improve, so that I wouldn’t read anything else into that.

The only momentary worry for the guests was when Labuschagne sustained a finger blow. The 29-year-old has had a difficult month after taking numerous impacts to his finger. 

The World Test Championship Final occurred at Edgbaston before the first Ashes match. The most recent failure in the online session was unexpected, but Labuschagne is doing well.

“He continued to bat, so he must be okay. In any other case, he would have left. He has a finger that has received some bumps. I believe he recently received another. He claimed that the blood began to flow through and made it feel better. Therefore, if that’s what you desire, it makes sense.

Since making his Test debut, Labuschagne has shown to be a difficult opponent for bowlers worldwide. His biggest pluses have been his patience and ability to leave well outside the off stump, but at Edgbaston, Stuart Broad twice set up the Australian, resulting in him being nicked off to the keeper in both innings. Smith wasn’t far behind either, as he was dismissed in the second inning after unusually edging one back—almost exactly the same as Labuschagne.

Despite the unusual method of dismissal, Di Venuto didn’t think Labuschagne has to make many changes to his batting style and added that considering the calibre of players that both he and Smith are, neither of them needs much assistance from him in the net sessions.

“It would be good if he could leave a few balls on the 12th-stump line. Marnus is continuously improving his skills. You have all seen him work out before; he is methodical in his approach to getting ready. He constantly fumbles around with various technical issues. All of that is rather typical for Marn.

“That’s all marn (the preparation). Neil D’Costa, with whom he collaborates closely at home, occasionally sends me a message. We each monitor various things. Marn, however, is his finest coach. Smudge-like in every way. Their finest coaches are themselves. They have long been outstanding players for Australia because they are excellent problem-solvers. We are available to assist with anything else we observe. Those two are their own finest coaches, as we’ll mention.

Di Venuto also had kind words for Australia’s captain Pat Cummins, whose clutch strike helped the team cross the finish line alongside Nathan Lyon. The batting coach emphasized Cummins’ batting potential and said that much effort had been put into ensuring Australia’s bowlers could bat if and when necessary—along with Lyon and Cummins, Scott Boland, who filled in as the night watchman late on day four, also contributed significantly.

“Cummins had worked extremely hard both before and while we have been here. It was undoubtedly a significant emphasis for him, mainly with myself and occasionally with Andrew McDonald. Watching him enter a Test match and put on such a show was terrific. He was outstanding in that final inning, and Nathan Lyon also shone in that duo. Not to mention Scott Boland, who serves as a night watchman. Our lower order fared much better in the second inning than the first.

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