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Stokes and Broad within the foreground – England's take a look at yr in assessment

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Stuart Broad had a brilliant 2020 doing 38 test wickets at 2:76 p.m.

As the late afternoon sun set in Cape Town, Ben Stokes plunged cheerfully, but with an expression that suggested he was just as amazed as the rest of us at his recent brilliance.

With two wickets in as many balls, Stokes had brought England to the brink of dramatic victory over South Africa in the final hour of the second Test. The all-rounder completed the win with the third wicket of a great spell of reverse swing bowling as the tourists leveled the streak.

Ben Stokes continued his heroics in an English shirt in 2020

Ben Stokes continued his heroics in an English shirt in 2020

When Joe Root and his young team celebrated their first win in the South African capital since 1957, one thing was clear: 2020 would be a year 2020, a delirious away support that serenaded them like during the five days of their takeover in Newlands great year …

Comeback success in South Africa

Just rewind a few days and it was a whole different story. England entered the new year with a humble defeat at Centurion, the build-up of which had been dominated by disease that eventually wiped out almost every member of the squad.

After a series defeat in New Zealand, this was an English team that seemed to have made no progress – impressive at home, ill-equipped to compete with the top teams overseas. Two and a half years into his reign, pressure built on Root as he and new head coach Chris Silverwood tried to find a range of talented but inexperienced new players as well as a different, more patient approach to the racket.

In Cape Town everything seemed to come together. Ollie Pope had fought conservatively to get the tourists to a competitive first innings total, but left only Jimmy Anderson as a companion. He pulled the party tricks out with a series of ramps in front of Kagiso Rabada. For the final wicket, 35 extra runs were added as the youngster had an unbeaten half century earlier. It was not for the last time in the year that it was up to England's senior statesmen to cause the damage with the ball.

Stuart Broad claimed two early wickets, Anderson added a third and although Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen put the English prosecution on hold for some time, Anderson came back with the second new ball with an excellent spell to give Roots' side a valuable head start first innings and he set an England record 28th Test five for himself.

Another representative of the new generation was in the foreground in the second innings. Dom Sibley emerged as the personification of the much-discussed, harder-working approach as he sought to wear down the South African attack on its way to a memorable first test of the century.

It gave England control, but in a place that was becoming less and less for the bowlers, time was against them to force a result. Enter stokes. The lead was 264 when the all-rounder came to the kink, he left for good an hour and a half later with England 356, his brutal hit display – 72 of 47 balls – put the game on fast forward and bought his idle time, which proved to be invaluable would.

Stokes' fantastic tapping at Newlands helped usher in a nerve-wracking final day

Stokes' fantastic tapping at Newlands helped usher in a nerve-wracking final day

The Proteas never thought of chasing the 438 they needed to win, but after an opening score of 71 they had very realistic hopes of a draw. England had South Africa with four people at lunch, soon got a fifth, but was again frustrated by Van der Dussen, this time with Quinton de Kock as a companion.

It was still five o'clock at tea, the partnership was well established, the pitch lifeless and England's hopes faded. Despite all the encouraging signs in Newlands, they seemed destined to go 1-0 on the series by the time they arrived.

Little did anyone know that all it took to change that was a dirty long-hop from a part-time Leggie. But Joe Denly threw it, De Kock smashed it right on Zak Crawley in Midwicket and England had an opening.

Five overs later, Van der Dussen was gone and fell straight into the trap when he tossed Broad at Anderson, who had been positioned on the leg gully moments earlier to end his 140-ball vigil.

There were three wickets left, Anderson sustained an injury that would exclude him from the rest of the tour and be unable to roll, and the final hour of the game was about to begin. The ball did nothing. Root tossed the ball at Stokes and suddenly the batsmen who were so comfortable before his introduction were bouncing around, playing and missing.

First to go was Dwaine Pretorius, who had kidnapped Root on the first slip. England's fans and players, inside and out, broke out, but it was nothing compared to the noise that came at the next ball. A snort from Stokes, an edge from Anrich Nortje and quietly taken with one hand on the second attempt by Crawley on the third slip.

Four overs later it was over, Vernon Philander had no answer to a ball that sprang up to hit his gloves and jumped to Pope in the ravine. England back in the series, Stokes the hero with runs, wicket and six catches in the match, five of them in the first innings.

0:26 Stokes fired Vernon Philander in Newlands to take a 189-run win for England in the second Test

Stokes fired Vernon Philander in Newlands to take a 189-run win for England in the second Test

The celebrations in front of the traveling fans suggested that this wasn't just any test win, it felt like the beginning of something for this team and they certainly carried that euphoria into the third Test in Port Elizabeth when South Africa was blown away.

Stokes was authoritative again, and hit a century as the first innings of visitors piled on the runs. It was the teenagers who really kept the feel good factor up, even though the Pope's class was evident to all as he scored a brilliant first Test hundred, finished unbeaten at 135 and with Mark Wood flashing five, putting on 73 six for the ninth wicket declared in a memorable 42 of 23 balls to help England 499-9.

Dom Bess then made his way through South Africa's top order, his first test with five wickets, including five of the Proteas top six. The home team was asked to continue and fought again against an off-spinner from England, this time despite the fact that it was the skipper Root with the wickets. It ended at four and could even be forgiven for staying long after his threat was removed as he tried to end his five. Even a 99 run stand for the final wicket couldn't detract from a good performance in England. They won by an inning and went to Johannesburg avoiding loss to keep the Basil D & # 39; Oliveira Trophy.

Joe Root was a surprise star with the Port Elizabeth ball

Joe Root was a surprise star with the Port Elizabeth ball

After the efforts of the spinners in PE, the Quicks, as expected, took control of the Wanderers – even with the bat. Half a century before Crawley, Root and Pope had helped England break the 300 mark, and by the time Nortje scored his five-on-five win with the sacking of Chris Woakes it was 318-9. A decent but unspectacular sum. Until Wood and Broad went to work. Wood joked about being considered a true all-rounder based on his performances in the previous Test and helped the cause with a rapid fire 35, while Broad scored four sixes in a 28-ball 43 in a partnership of 82 in 8.2 overs to the 400.

Perhaps demoralized from the final wicket stand, South Africa was folding its first innings when Wood, who was bowling at a scorching pace, fell into an uproar. The fast bowler ended with 5-46 and only one brave stroke of 76 by De Kock gave the Proteas scorecard an indication of seriousness.

England decided against enforcing the succession at this time, instead, led by another Root fifty, led an insurmountable lead on almost everything to guarantee the series victory. There was no slacking off from the away team, however, and although South Africa showed some fights and Van der Dussen barely missed a ton, England only sealed their second away win in four years with a tough win in 191 runs.

Mark Wood won nine games when England scored a 3-1 win in South Africa

Mark Wood won nine games when England scored a 3-1 win in South Africa

Wood was the standout once again, four wickets with the second inning got him to nine in the match, while it was fitting that Stokes and Broad claimed two apiece for their contributions to a successful tour.

It may have been just a streak against a less-than-outstanding South African team, but it came from behind to book three straight wins, with older players producing at key moments and a young batting team battling one area of ​​real strength in the world that Proteas team, a high-profile bowling attack that included Kagiso Rabada, Philander and Nortje, was enough to turn fate and darkness into cautious optimism about this English team's future.

False start in Sri Lanka

Perhaps the last time Roots England showed a similar positive feeling was in late 2018 after a 3-0 streak in Sri Lanka. That broke up soon after a loss in the Caribbean a few months later. The challenge this time around was to prove that the latest impressive win in the away series wasn't a false dawn.

Instead it was a false start. Despite coronavirus concerns, England traveled to Sri Lanka and began preparations in hopes of preparing for the usual spin-friendly surfaces on the subcontinent.

Handshakes were banned, but they made it to the final warm-up game before the call came: the pandemic spread worldwide and on March 13 the tour was postponed. When the sport stopped, no one could say for sure when and in what form it would return.

Broad is frustrated with the West Indies

After months of lockdown of clock reruns and watchalongs, the news cricket fans had been waiting for came through on June 2nd. England played in three friendly matches against the West Indies, all behind closed doors and in biologically safe locations with players from both sides staying in on-site hotels in the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford.

Training bubbles formed and a little over a month later the teams in Southampton were ready to kick off a historic streak – the first test matches since the pandemic. With COVID substitute players, players banned from using saliva on the ball, no crowds, and the few in the ground who are all part of the bio-safe bubble, the intrigue wasn't just in the action in the middle.

5:29 Ebony Rainford-Brent says she has sometimes asked why she stayed in cricket after being exposed to racist comments during her career in sports

Ebony Rainford-Brent says she has sometimes asked why she stayed in cricket after being exposed to racist comments during her career in sports

In the run-up to the series, it was also decided that players and staff from both teams, as well as the referees, would take a knee before the start of any test in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Sky Sports experts Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent have since been awarded the City of London Freedom for defending themselves against racism and speaking passionately and powerfully about the systemic racism they have faced and the need for change.

In the field, England was without Captain Root, who left the bladder when their second child was born, meaning Stokes was ruling his country for the first time. It was his counterpart, Jason Holder, who however made headlines by 6-42 when England was bundled for 204.

Stokes did his part with the ball, taking four wickets, but couldn't prevent the Windies from taking a commanding 114-run lead in the first innings. Would Broad have made a difference? The man himself was convinced of it and spoke of his anger and disappointment that he was expelled from the XI.

4:56 Stuart Broad says he was angry and disappointed after being expelled from England for the first test

Stuart Broad says he was angry and disappointed after being expelled from England for the first test

England have opted for the express pace of Jofra Archer and Wood, but the pair only managed a wicket for the first innings between them – that of Shannon Gabriel's # 11 – which only served to bolster Broad's fall.

The hosts fought their way back into the argument with half a century of Sibley and Crawley and seemed to be ahead of a collapse of lower order. Gabriel snapped his tail and while a chase of 200 was by no means easy for the tourists, it meant they were in control.

Two early wickets for Archer changed that, especially when opener John Campbell was forced to withdraw, also injured, and when Wood brought Shai Hope to a 27-3 win over the Windies England felt the win.

West Indies rallied through Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood, hitting 100 before Archer returned to remove the former. As Blackwood, it made little difference to show a serenity so often lacking in his career that his team coolly led him to his goal.

Blackwood eventually missed five less than a hundred, one of two wickets for Stokes late in the play, but even he could not deny the West Indies a famous victory.

It went on to Old Trafford for Tests two and three, Root was back and it was all a change in the English bowling ranks. Broad, Curran and Woakes came in and Anderson, Wood and Archer after breaking the bio-safe bubble between tests.

The new seam trio had to wait for their chance when Holder put England in the bat, a decision he was soon to forget when England's batsmen responded to criticism of their performance in the opening game with an impressive 469-9. Seldom was it free flowing, but the grit Sibley showed when registering his second test barrel was exactly what Root and Silverwood had asked for.

Dom Sibley celebrates reaching his hundred against the West Indies at Old Trafford

Dom Sibley celebrates reaching his hundred against the West Indies at Old Trafford

However, Stokes was the star again, scoring the highest score with a fabulous 176 points. With a hit rate of less than 50, it wasn't always his most fluid tap, but his control was great enough to allow him to move up and down the aisles as required in the innings.

The 260-run stand between Sibley and Stokes laid the groundwork for England, but after voicing his frustrations in the previous Test, there was no chance it would pass without Broad making his mark. It took more than 80 overs, but his moment came, a three-wicket breakout with the second new ball breaking the back of the Windies innings.

Visitors managed to avoid the succession, and after the third day washed out, time was of the essence for England. Stokes and Jos Buttler went out to open and, despite the failure to score, Stokes smashed 78 of 57 balls before England declared they would bet the Windies 312 but more pertinent to lead to 85 overs for the draw.

0:42 The best moments from Stokes' innings of 176 in England's second #raisethebat test match against West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford

The best moments from Stokes' innings of 176 in England's second #raisethebat test match against West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford

Broad was back in the thick of the action, taking three early wickets when the Windies slipped to 37-4. A stand of the century between Blackwood and Shamarh Brooks increased their chances, but Stokes, always the man for a crisis, came and broke the stand with a aimed bumper that Blackwood left behind.

Holder resisted before being bowled by Bess, who scored a win in the series for England in the final session with Kemar Roach's wicket.

A fascinating final test was conducted before it was announced that the Wisden Trophy would become the Richards-Botham Trophy in future series. But while the Windies dominated in the era of these two greats, it was England that was in charge throughout the decision-making process.

The third test turned out to be a bridge too far for the West Indies, three of which – Gabriel, Roach and Holder – had played in all three back-to-back games and incurred many overs.

"Stuart Broad, with the fire he showed, has more to come and not only does he want 500 wickets – he wants up to 600 as well."

Mike Atherton

They held on for much of England's first innings when Pope made 91, and there was much needed half centuries from the pressured couple Rory Burns and Buttler. However, a late attack by Broad, which supplied 62 of 45 balls, appeared to break them for good.

The Windies eyelash had been suspicious throughout the tour, and the top order had withered again. The sailors shared these gates before Broad did light work of the middle and lower order to cope with 6-31 and get to the brink of an important personal milestone.

First, however, he was able to put his feet up when England's top three made hay against an increasingly tired Windies attack. Burns helped himself to 90, there was another half century for Sibley, and Root played wonderfully for his 68no. England drove to 226-2 before declaring and setting out to take whatever it takes to win the series.

Woakes was brilliant at winning a second inning for five, but even so, he was just a supporting role in leading Man Broad on the last day of the series.

2:16 We look at some of Stuart Broad's best moments on his journey to hit 500 test wickets

We look at some of Stuart Broad's best moments on his journey to hit 500 test wickets

The 34-year-old's two gates the night before had brought him to 499 in Test Cricket and didn't have to wait long for No. 500. He pushed one back on Kraigg Brathwaite, it stayed a little low and hit the opener plumb bob in the front. The umpire's finger rose, and with that Broad joined an elite group of bowlers to reach the milestone.

In a sort of quirk, his 500th victim was the same batsman who was fired by his new ball partner Anderson to hit 500 wickets in 2017.

1:01 Broad was the second Englishman and the seventh bowler overall to take 500 test wickets while capturing Kraigg Brathwaite lbw from the West Indies

Broad was the second Englishman and the seventh bowler overall to take 500 test wickets while capturing Kraigg Brathwaite lbw from the West Indies

When the tributes for Broad came in, the Windies folded. They were skipped for 129 as England secured a devastating 269 run win to secure the series. No prizes for guessing who took the last wicket.

Wonderful Manchester chase enough to take down Pakistan

Pakistan were the next team to enter the test bubble for another three-game series. With a slew of exciting young fast bowlers to support the metronomic Mohammad Abbas and a top notch leg spinner in Yasir Shah, England's batsmen were facing another difficult time. A batting team with Babar Azam was also expected to make life harder for bowlers than it was for the Windies.

Sure enough, halfway through the first test in Manchester, England, there were problems. A splendid hundred from Shan Masood, supplemented by 69 from Babar, had brought the visitors to 326, and England, 12-3 in six overs, owed half a century to a Pope for bringing them to 219.

England's bowlers rose in the second innings, Broad claimed three more as Pakistan bowled for 169, but on a rapidly deteriorating pitch, Yasir 33 swung a fine game in favor of Azhar Ali's men on the fourth morning on the fourth morning.

Abbas was soon in charge of Burns before Sibley and Root forged a partnership to gain a foothold in England. However, when they fell in quick succession, followed by Stokes and Pope, the game was certainly over.

Buttler, who later admitted that he feared this might have been his final Test innings, was supported by Woakes. England need 160 more, the field behaved badly and there were only the bowlers left.

Jos Buttler did brilliantly in England's dramatic chase at Emirates Old Trafford

Jos Buttler did brilliantly in England's dramatic chase at Emirates Old Trafford

Instead of just trying to survive, the couple counterattacked, with Buttler leading the charges. It was a feat that put the Pakistani bowlers back under pressure when they broke up their 50 partnerships in 49 balls just before tee.

It was a little tougher after the break, but Buttler and Woakes stayed proactive and went on for up to half a century each. As England drew closer, the pressure built up, even in a nearly empty stadium with a defiant final stand that had turned into a potentially game-winning partnership.

A wicket could change the whole complexion of the game, but the English duo fearlessly fought so far that fans watching at home might just have believed the game was won. Unfortunately it's never that easy, Buttler was lbw to Yasir for an excellent 75 with 21 still needed for the win and the second new ball just around the corner.

Woakes led England to the sidelines in a lush straight ride, though the tension rebounded when Yasir got broad lbw on the next round – even if it only took four and had three wickets in hand.

Even the winning moment was not without incident. Shaheen Afridi found Woakes' edge with a beauty just for the ball, the fly through the cordon and the path for four! A miraculous victory for England, one of the great car chases, and perhaps just the fact that it came so soon after the greatest of them all at Headingley last summer prevented it from being viewed as such immediately afterwards.

Chris Woakes' 84 did not help England chase 277 to beat Pakistan

Chris Woakes' 84 did not help England chase 277 to beat Pakistan

With the 1-0 win against England, the bubble moved south again into the Ageas Bowl, with Stokes being excluded from the rest of the series for family reasons. Murmur Anderson could be ready to retire after a disappointing performance in Manchester.

England's greatest bowler of all time, however, had none of this, which in the days leading up to the second test made it clear that he was far from finished. He soon proved it on the pitch, keeping Masood lbw in a welcome return with his eighth ball of the game at Southampton.

That was about as exciting as the rest of the game. A mixture of rain and bad light left no chance of a result, as no game was possible on day three and hardly more than 10 on day four.

A wet outfield added to the farce on day five, but by the time they kicked off Crawley was able to get in shape with a tie and rack up another Test fifty.

It only took England a third Test draw to win the series and end an exceptional year of red ball cricket after collecting all three trophies at their disposal.

The hosts who hit first were precariously at 127-4. From then on, Pakistan no longer had a cold. Crawley reached 50 just before lunch and just kept going on and on.

Crawley knocked to the highest quality and demonstrated the ability to play safely on either side of the wicket. He went on to his first test a hundred and turned it into a double and up to 267 before blunting on the leg side.

3:37 It was a day of domination for England in the Final Test when Zak Crawley scored 267 and Jos Buttler scored 152, with the two combining for a fifth wicket stand of 359

It was a day of domination for England in the Final Test when Zak Crawley scored 267 and Jos Buttler scored 152, with the two combining for a fifth wicket stand of 359

He had previously shown his talents in his seven tests despite being pushed up and down in order, but this was his true "coming out party". An inning that told England to stop looking for a Test # 3 was right here and at 22 he was here to stay.

At the other end, Buttler, eight years older than him and with 47 tests, was doing something not entirely dissimilar. The wicketkeeper batsman, still oozing the confidence of his match-winning innings in the first Test, played like a man who finally cracked red ball cricket. His eyelash was calm and sure, which was regularly seen in white ball cricket but was too often missing in the longer format. The attack strikes were there when they were called, but he was just as happy to trust his defense and work on the singles too.

Buttler made his second testing century a big one, his partnership with Crawley on the fifth wicket hit a record 359, and England had topped 500 by the time he left, climbing to 583 before declaring.

The draw they needed was a given, but with the World Cup points to be won, England had reason to push for victory. Anderson might have started the summer slowly, but he ended it like a train, wiping out four of Pakistan's top 5 in a breathtaking spell of New Ball bowling to get out of them 30-4.

The only man he didn't get was Azhar Ali, the Pakistani skipper, who saved the innings with an excellent ton of their own and ended up unbeaten at 141 when his team was knocked out for 273 – Anderson eventually completed a 29th Test with a five over Innings after a series of thrown catches from his bowling – and he begged to go on.

The weather intervened again to make England's task so much more difficult on an increasingly flat field, and as soon as rain and then a wet outfield prevented any game on the fifth day before tee, the game was set for a draw.

2:17 Check out some of James Anderson's milestones after bagging his 600th Test wicket for England

Check out some of James Anderson's milestones after bagging his 600th Test wicket for England

Still, there was a determination among the English players to be out there again. Anderson had switched to 599 test wickets when he caught Abid Ali lbw on the fourth night, and with no guarantee of a five-day cricket in the near future, the Lancastrian risked being stranded close to another milestone.

The players finally came out of the locker room for the evening event in damp and bleak conditions. Unfortunately for England the pitch was just as bleak and for the first five overs after resumption the ball did not move from the straight.

Then out of nowhere, in typical Anderson fashion, he managed to find movement where others couldn't, and he nibbled the ball a fraction of Azhar Ali with a little more bounce to take the edge and slip right away to fly to root. 600 up, only the fourth bowler in test history to hit the mark and the first bowler to get there.

1:00 Anderson war der erste schnelle Bowler, der 600 Testpförtchen nahm, als er Pakistans Azhar Ali im The Ageas Bowl entließ

Anderson war der erste schnelle Bowler, der 600 Testpförtchen nahm, als er Pakistans Azhar Ali im The Ageas Bowl entließ

Das Spiel endete unentschieden, aber mit Andersons Leistung und einem Seriensieg zum Feiern endete ein einzigartiger Sommer des Test-Cricket auf einem Höhepunkt.

Was kommt als nächstes für England?

England wird auf eine Rückkehr zur Normalität im Jahr 2021 hoffen, aber im neuen Jahr wieder in der Blase für Touren durch Sri Lanka und Indien sein. Virat Kohli und sein Team sind im Sommer auch unter den Besuchern in England, während Neuseeland seit 2015 auch seine ersten Tests in Großbritannien absolvieren könnte. Die EZB hofft, dass zumindest einige Fans für diese Serien anwesend sein können.

Die Frage ist, welche Art von englischer Mannschaft werden sie beobachten? Die Umstände im Jahr 2020 machen es viel schwieriger zu beurteilen, aber drei Seriengewinne von drei erzählen ihre eigene Geschichte.

S Afrika gegen Sri Lanka

26. Dezember 2020, 7:55 Uhr

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Über den englischen Eröffnern und Spinnern bleiben Fragezeichen – sechs Tests auf dem Subkontinent in diesem Winter sollten einige Antworten auf letztere liefern.

Fast überall sonst sehen sie stark aus. Crawley und Pope haben beide Grund zu der Annahme gegeben, dass sie noch viele Jahre in diesem Team sein werden. Sam Curran, erst 22 Jahre alt, produziert weiterhin, wann immer ihm eine Gelegenheit gegeben wird, und in Stokes haben sie mit beiden einen echten Superstar Schläger und Ball.

Wenn Buttler sich wirklich mit Test Cricket beschäftigt, haben sie vielleicht noch einen in der Hand.

Broad ist Bowling so gut wie nie zuvor. Anderson muss seine Spiele möglicherweise von Zeit zu Zeit verwalten lassen, hat aber erneut gezeigt, dass er mit 38 ein Weltklasse-Performer bleibt, und Woakes, der zu Hause durchweg ausgezeichnet ist, zeigte in Südafrika Anzeichen dafür, dass er könnte seine Rolle auch in Übersee spielen.

9:39 Ein Rückblick auf James Andersons Karriere, als er als erster Seemann 600 Testpförtchen erreichte

Ein Rückblick auf James Andersons Karriere, als er als erster Seemann 600 Testpförtchen erreichte

In Archer haben sie einen der aufregendsten schnellen Bowler im Spiel, während ein vollwertiger Wood mit seinem uneingeschränkten Tempo eine großartige Option ist und eher von zu Hause aus eingesetzt werden kann.

Was den Skipper betrifft, hat Root bessere Jahre mit der Fledermaus gehabt, aber es besteht kein Zweifel an seiner Klasse und er wächst weiter als Anführer.

Nächstes Jahr um diese Zeit wird er mitten in einer Ascheschlacht in Australien sein. Wie immer in England wird dieses Team dann wirklich beurteilt …

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Steven Gregory