Australia pacer Jhye Richardson had said that it was nice to contribute with the ball but there is no better feeling than winning the fixture after the team won in Adelaide Test. Australia won the second Test by 275 runs and Richardson picked a five wicket haul in the second innings for the hosts.
Australia are leading the Ashes 2021-22 by 2-0 with a 275 run victory in the Adelaide Test on Monday. Going into the fixture, Australia missed out on their two frontline pacers. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood missed the fixture and Michael Neser replaced them along with Jhye Richardson.
Marnus Labuschagne, David Warner, and Steve Smith played a crucial role for the team and scored a major share of runs for the team. Labuschagne was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his century in the first innings and a fifty in the second. Mitchell Starc along with Nathan Lyon used their experience to pick wickets.
The first innings was not very good for Richardson as he returned with figures of 0 for 78 with an economy of 4.10. However, Richardson came back strongly in the second innings and claimed the first five wicket haul of his Test career. Reflecting on his performance, Richardson said that he was relieved to perform in the second innings after having a tough time in the first. He further added that there is no better feeling than winning.
"More of a relief than anything else. Especially after the first innings, having a bit of a tough time out there. To come out again and most importantly get the win. It's nice to make a contribution as well but there's no better feeling than just winning,” Richardson said in a presser, reported Cricbuzz.
Australia declared their innings on 473/9 in Adelaide and restricted the opposition to a total of 236. The main difference between the bowling of these two teams in the first innings was the lengths they were bowling. England bowlers bowled on a shorter side while Australia pacers preferred to bowl on a fuller side. Also, the extra pace in Australia's bowling lineup played a part.
Richardson revealed that the Australia bowlers were encouraged to bowl the deliveries fuller watching their English counterparts unable to reap rewards bowling on a shorter length.
"The first thing, we were encouraged to pitch the ball up. We saw the English guys probably bowl a little bit too short and that was the feedback coming back from us that we needed to pitch the ball up,” he elaborated.
"I probably started a little too full and didn't give myself a chance to get it in the right area. I started too full and then struggled to bring it back a little bit and get into a rhythm. Whereas I think second innings I probably started a little bit back of a length and allowed myself to sort of creep up a bit more and get into a bit more of a rhythm. It was certainly spoken about and especially in the second innings we definitely gave ourselves a chance," he said.
Richardson has played just three Tests, 13 ODIs, and 14 T20Is for Australia owing to injury problems in his career. In March 2019, he sustained a shoulder injury while attempting a dive in an ODI against Pakistan. He then underwent surgery and missed the Ashes and ODI World Cup. Reflecting on his period while away from the sport, he said that there were phases when he was concerned whether he would get back to playing at his best.
"It probably didn't hit me straight away when I did my shoulder. I was probably a little naive in thinking that it wasn't going to be that long. I wouldn't need surgery, etc, etc. But I think one thing that helped me through that was that I always had something to aim for. After I first did it, there was a World Cup nine or 10 weeks away. I think it was an Ashes year as well. So there was always something to aim for whether or not it was those two things or Shield cricket or just playing club cricket,” he stated.
"So it gave me something to keep an eye on. But no doubt there were periods throughout that time that I questioned whether or not I'd get back to how I was playing before. I questioned the process a little bit as you do naturally in rehab scenarios. But to be out there playing Test cricket again, it's no better feeling."
Australia have announced their squad for the rest of the series. Cummins and Hazlewood have returned back to the squad and so Neser and Richardson might have to miss out on the third Test in Melbourne on Boxing Day. Cummins missed the fixture having come in close contact with a Covid-19 positive case in Adelaide while Hazlewood was out due to side strain. Speaking on the possibility that he may have to sit on the sidelines in the next match, Richardson said that he will be happy with whatever the selectors decide.
"The beauty of Australian cricket at the moment is we've got fast bowling stocks. I think that's a wonderful problem for JL and the selectors to have. Whatever happens, happens. I had an unfortunate first innings and then bowled a little bit better in the second inning. Whatever happens, happens. I'm happy to go either way. As long as we're winning, then that's all we can ask for,” he concluded.