When discussing ferocious rivalries and mental gymnastics, it can be difficult for a cricket fan to avoid thinking of The Ashes. Less than two months remain until the highly anticipated Test series between England and Australia in 2023, but the planning and mind games have already begun. According to various reports, England, the current hosts, is considering playing with shorter boundaries to support their ‘Bazball’ style of cricket in the next series against Australia.
Notably, the Three Lions have won 10 out of the 12 Tests they have played since Brendon McCullum took over as head coach and Ben Stokes was named captain of England’s Test team. While Australia has kept the scoreboard ticking with 3.56 runs per over, the hosts for the Ashes have averaged 4.76 runs per over since May 2022, if we compare the overall run rate difference between the two fierce rivals. Therefore, in the five-match Test series, the home team is eager to use the short boundary plot to go all out against the elite Australian bowling lineup.
It’s interesting to note that Edgbaston, the site of the first Test, has a boundary that is slightly less than 60 meters while Melbourne Cricket Ground has a about 84-meter-long boundary. The boundaries must be at least 59 meters from the center of the playing strip, as required by the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the boundary ropes must provide enough room for the fielders to run across the field safely, which should be between three and 10 yards.
“Who cares?” ‘Both teams have to bat,’ said Clarke in reference to England’s Ashes strategy of using shorter boundaries.
Therefore, similar to a short-boundary ruse, Michael Clarke, a former Australian captain, thinks that this strategy will not benefit England in any way. The main justification for this is that both teams must bat at the same location, where it won’t really matter because Australian batters are accustomed to playing on considerably broader boundaries than English batters. Clarke considers this concept to be complete nonsense as a result.
What a bunch of garbage. The size of Australian stadiums is already twice that of English stadiums. That explains why Australian players are hitting fewer sixes. “If you bat at the MCG, your boundaries are 90 meters, but if you bat in England, your boundaries are 60 meters,” Clarke stated on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
Who cares? Both teams must come up to bat, he continued.
Clarke also stressed that England should be confident enough to face Australia since they have a team that does not fear losing a game and a captain and coach that support their players courageously. The former captain of the Australian team appeared to be confident in their ability to succeed because they have adequate experience playing in English conditions. Michael Clarke believes that with thorough planning and excellent execution, his nation can win the Ashes once more.
Notably, the Ashes opening match will begin on June 16, 2023, at Edgbaston.