The Ashes: England's assistant coach Thorpe to lead the side
England cricket team assistant coach Graham Thorpe will be leading the side with Chris Silverwood missing due to COVID-19. England head coach Silverwood has tested COVID-19 positive while isolating with his family in Melbourne. Notably, Silverwood had earlier entered quarantine when one of his family was caught up in the initial coronavirus outbreak in the touring camp. Here are further details.
Why does it matter?
- England have already surrendered the ongoing Ashes series, trailing 0-3.
- The visitors have been outplayed across all three Test matches so far and with COVID-19 impacting the set-up now, this is another setback.
- However, a change of voice could be helpful for England with Thorpe in command.
- He has already been critical of the performance so far and will want his side to respond.
ECB issue a statement
The England and Wales Cricket Board issued a statement saying that Silverwood has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been isolating in Melbourne since December 30 following a positive test from one of his family members. The statement also stated Silverwood will remain in isolation until January 8. Silverwood, who is asymptomatic is expected to return ahead of the fifth Ashes Test.
Thorpe critical of England batters
Thorpe was critical of England's under-performing batters and stated they have been handed a wake-up call. "With some players it's a wake-up call and could actually kick-start their careers because they've started training in a very, very different way. They don't waste time fluffing, hitting half-volleys," he said as per Cricket.com.au. He highlighted the opposition teams have identified the problems surrounding England batters.
The Ashes rocked by COVID-19 cases
England's training session on Sunday was disrupted after a net bowler tested positive. The touring side is currently without any net bowlers as others were deemed close contact. England were already hit by a number of cases as seven members in their camp had earlier tested positive. Australia's Travis Head has also contracted the virus and has been ruled out of the SCG Test.
Australia have sealed Ashes 2021-22
Australia have taken a 3-0 lead in the ongoing Ashes 2021-22 series. Australia humbled England by nine wickets in the first game. They hammered the visitors by 275 runs in pink-ball Test in Adelaide. Australia won the Boxing Day Test by an innings and 14 runs. The fourth (January 5-9) and fifth (January 14-18) games will be played at SCG and Blundstone Arena respectively.