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That was a tremendous win for Australia. We should recognize their achievement before turning to England’s frailties. We should also acknowledge their captain Tim Paine’s good sense and generosity. Not every captain I can think of would have acknowledged the influence that the recurrence of Jimmy Anderson’s calf injury had on the match, and admitted that it boosted Australia’s confidence and deprived England of their most important bowler.
Of course it was Steve Smith’s match. He batted with wonderful skill and judgement. The comparison with Bradman doesn’t seem absurd. Certainly Joe Root is now faced with a version of the problem that confronted every England captain from Percy Chapman in 1930 to Norman Yardley in 1948. How do you get the blighter out? Only Douglas Jardine found an answer, but it was an answer that isn’t open to Root.