Strauss warns England: Learn from 2005 Ashes and build dynasty off World Cup glory

By Sports Desk July 18, 2019

Former director of cricket Andrew Strauss wants England to succeed where they failed in the wake of 2005 Ashes glory and build a dynasty off the back of their Cricket World Cup triumph.

Strauss was part of the side that defeated Australia 2-1 in a thrilling home series 14 years ago and was then a key figure behind the scenes as England ripped up their white-ball strategy following a humiliating group-stage exit at the World Cup in 2015.

Having been forced to step down from his director role last year to support his wife Ruth, who was being treated for terminal cancer, Strauss witnessed the culmination of his planning as Eoin Morgan's men edged New Zealand in an epic final at Lord's on Sunday.

But Strauss issued a warning to the side ahead of the Ashes starting next month on the back of his own experiences as a player, when the Test side failed to win any of the three series following that famous 2005 win, before being whitewashed 5-0 in Australia when the battle for the urn was renewed in 2006-07.

"I think there are a lot of similarities there," Strauss told Omnisport at the world premiere of 'The Edge'. "I think the lesson from 2005 is that was a high watermark and then we retreated back again.

"We need to make this a sort of stepping stone to even bigger and better things. You can't beat winning a World Cup but you can create a dynasty for yourself in terms of performance.

"But not just performance, how you are. We want our players to be people that people want to aspire to be. I think we've got a great group of players that are able to do that."

Two of England's World Cup heroes, Jason Roy and Jofra Archer, are set to make the transition to the Test format – although the latter will only do so once he has recovered from a side strain.

And Strauss sees no reason why the pair, full of confidence after Sunday's dramatic victory, cannot transfer their skills to the longer form.

"I'm not sure either of them are actually white-ball specialists," Strauss added. "I think they've played white-ball cricket up until now, I think both of them are really well-seasoned to play Test cricket.

"It's not going to be easy, Test cricket is a different game and it challenges you in different ways as well, but I think they'll be incredibly confident.

"They've done it on the biggest stage of all which is a great hurdle to overcome, and we've got a great opportunity to beat the Aussies again, so let's take it."

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  • Ashes 2019: Archer has shaken up series – Root Ashes 2019: Archer has shaken up series – Root

    Jofra Archer has shaken up the Ashes after living up to the hype on his Test debut, according to England captain Joe Root.

    An intriguing finish to the second Test at Lord's was in store when England declared on 258-5 in the second session, setting Australia 267 to win or bat out the final 48 overs for a draw on Sunday.

    It was the latter scenario which came to fruition as the tourists, missing Steve Smith because of the concussion he suffered following an Archer bouncer, batted out for a draw, meaning Tim Paine's side retained a 1-0 lead in the series.

    However, in Archer – who returned match figures of 5-91 from a heavy workload of 44 overs – England have fresh optimism heading into the third Test at Headingley, with Smith's availability for an encounter that begins on Thursday in "serious doubt".

    "He's come in and he really has made a massive impact, added a different dynamic to our bowling group," Root said at a news conference.

    "I think [he] has given Australia something different to think about so it's really pleasing to see someone come in on Test debut and really shake up things and live up to the hype, even some of the hype that he put on himself.

    "It's really pleasing to see and it makes for a very interesting last three games."

    It was one of Archer's rockets that clattered into Smith's neck and knocked Australia's talisman down on Saturday.

    Though Smith returned to complete his innings later that day, Australia announced on Sunday that he would play no further part at Lord's having shown concussion symptoms when he woke up.

    Smith's concussion replacement in their XI, Marnus Labuschagne, then copped another vicious delivery on the helmet grille from Archer, who had sent back David Warner and Usman Khawaja inside the opening six overs.

    Labuschagne survived that onslaught and went on to make a crucial 59, but Root feels Barbados-born seamer Archer can be instrumental as his side seek to retain the urn.

    "He makes things happen when not many others in world cricket can," Root added.

    "He's got such a unique action and way of bowling and natural pace which is always going to be in the game on any surface. When you've got that and the skill of the other guys around it, it makes for a tasty combination.

    "It will make them think about what way they're going to combat how he's going to come at them.

    "It's always nice when you're stood at slip and not batting against him. It's very different to the other options that we've had previously and have in this team, it's a different skill."

  • Ashes 2019: Q and A on concussion following Smith's injury Ashes 2019: Q and A on concussion following Smith's injury

    Steve Smith's availability for the third Ashes Test is in doubt due to the concussion the Australia batsman suffered at Lord's.

    England paceman Jofra Archer's vicious bouncer struck the former Australia captain on the neck.

    Although Smith returned to resume his innings on Saturday, Cricket Australia (CA) announced the 30-year-old would not play any part on the final day of the second Test, when his team batted out a draw.

    To understand why Smith's concussion may not have been spotted during initial assessments, Omnisport spoke to expert Dr Sam Barke, medical director of Return2Play, about the protocol and the measures typically taken.

     

    Australia team doctor Richard Saw asked Smith a series of questions on the field including, "Where are we playing?" and "Who bowled the previous over?" What can the medical staff ascertain from this?

    In the immediate aftermath you want to know how the player's feeling and then look at their orientation and memory, so asking those simple questions is just to see if they are responding correctly.

    The doctor and physio will know the player and they can try and work out whether the player's responding correctly in a structured way.

    CA said Smith "passed the CogSport and SCAT5 assessments" when he came off the pitch, so why was the concussion not spotted then?

    The key to those tests is there is not really a pass-fail situation, it's just evidence building. Along with how the player is responding, how they're feeling and their symptoms, we do these tests to gather as much evidence as possible to try and work out whether the concussion has happened.

    Unfortunately, there is not a 100 per cent test at the moment for concussion. It's adding all those pieces of evidence together to try and be as sure as we can.

    Not infrequently we end up with situations like we had with Steve Smith where all the evidence from those tests has said, 'No, we don't think a concussion has happened'. Then further down the line symptoms start to come on.

    Smith returned, misjudged a delivery and was given out lbw – later reviewing that decision when it clearly appeared he was out. Some people have said it was obvious from those acts that he was concussed - do you agree?

    Being struck by a ball at that speed is quite a shocking incident that's going to be quite painful. Often people say, 'He clearly didn't look right'. But if you're in pain and you've had a shocking incident, you're not going to look right anyway.

    That's not necessarily the same as concussion.

    It was revealed today that Smith suffered a "delayed concussion response" – what is that?

    The concussion itself hasn't been delayed. He had concussion from moment one. It's that he wasn't showing any signs or symptoms that concern that until now.

    In my experience, the vast majority of time players do have some symptoms at the immediate point of injury and then they go away very, very quickly. It may have been by the time they got out there he was feeling absolutely fine.

    So it looks like the Australia medical staff actually followed all the procedures correctly?

    We reckon that probably about 10-to-20 per cent of concussions have that delay in onset.

    As an outsider, it looks like everything's been done correctly and the right decisions have been made at every point, and he unfortunately fits into that small category of players that look fine at the time and then go on to develop symptoms further down the line.

    CA said Smith is a "serious doubt" for the third Test, which begins on Thursday, and that per its concussion policy, he must not play or train until at least 24 hours after he has been cleared by the doctor. What is the process for a player returning to their sport and why do medics have to be careful?

    You shouldn't be doing any activity until your symptoms have settled. In professional rugby they say you have to be 24 hours symptom-free before you start doing any sort of exercise. The theory is most people start to feel well when they do absolutely nothing and we want to see whether any symptoms come back with exertion and mental strain, so you gradually start to introduce exercise.

    The big thing about concussion and the way you manage it, is the risk comes from further injury, not the initial injury. The risks from a one-off knock that's treated well are almost non-existent, but while the brain's still recovering, if it takes further knocks, that's when risks happen.

    In the NFL, independent doctors are used to assess whether players have suffered a concussion. Do you think cricket should adopt a similar policy?

    There's pros and cons to the argument. There are benefits of the medical staff knowing the players and being able to tell whether they are behaving differently. Independent doctors wouldn't know those nuances.

    The vast majority of doctors make their calls that are in the best interests of an individual player rather than the team. They're more likely to be cautious than they ever have been.

    I'm sure the team doctors are trying to make the right decision for the player and I doubt an independent doctor would have made a different decision in this case. The protocols seemed to have been followed correctly.

  • Ashes 2019: Paine hails Labuschagne as Australia claim draw to retain series advantage Ashes 2019: Paine hails Labuschagne as Australia claim draw to retain series advantage

    Australia captain Tim Paine lauded Marnus Labuschagne's commitment to the Ashes cause as Steve Smith's concussion replacement produced a gritty half-century in his side's draw with England.

    Paine's team were set 267 to win inside 48 overs on the final day at Lord's after the hosts declared on 258-5 following a century from Ben Stokes (115 not out).

    However, they were more concerned with batting out the day when Jofra Archer swiftly removed David Warner and Usman Khawaja to bring Labuschagne to the crease.

    The 25-year-old was only thrust into the action as the first concussion substitute in Test history after Smith withdrew having been struck on the neck on Saturday by a bouncer from Archer, who then delivered a 91.6 miles-per-hour rocket that flew into Labuschagne's helmet grille and knocked him to the ground.

    After receiving treatment on the field, Labuschagne went on to make a valuable 59, sharing an 85-run stand with Travis Head (42 not out) that took the game beyond England's reach – Australia eventually finishing with 154-6 to retain their 1-0 series lead.

    "[It was] really pleasing for us to see him do that, particularly after the second ball he copped," Paine, speaking to Sky Sports, said of Labuschagne. 

    "To get 150 kilometres per hour in the face and be able to stand up and play the way he did, for such a young player in Test cricket, was fantastic. Travis Head was the same."

    Smith had returned to bat on Saturday following assessment from Australia's medical staff, yet it was confirmed on the final day that he would play no further part in the Test having displayed concussion symptoms in the morning.

    Australia have said it is unlikely that their talismanic batsman will feature in the third Test, which begins at Headingley on Thursday.

    "He's okay," Paine revealed.

    "Obviously it was a really nasty knock. He felt okay yesterday and then, as concussions tend to be, [the symptoms were] delayed. He woke up, not feeling at his best today, so the decision was made to leave him out."

    Asked whether he was happy that Smith was able to return on Saturday, Paine added: "I'm no doctor but we've got some professionals behind the scenes that make those decisions.

    "Steve passed all his tests [on Saturday], was feeling okay. He deteriorated a little bit overnight, he retested, they weren't as good this morning so the medical professionals made that call.

    "He will need to improve [to play at Headingley], there's no doubt about that, but hopefully for our sake he does improve in the next few days."

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