Australia warned to expect a Headingley backlash after Lord’s controversy

Australia warned to expect a Headingley backlash after Lord’s controversy

Australia have been warned to expect a Headingley backlash as they attempt to complete an Ashes series victory in the wake of their controversial second Test win over England.

The old foes reconvene in Leeds on Thursday with the fall-out from Sunday’s dramatic success at Lord’s, which was due in part to Jonny Bairstow’s disputed second innings dismissal, still ongoing.

Chris Millard, managing director of the England supporters group the Barmy Army – which received no allocation at headquarters but will be in full voice at Headingley – is convinced the tourists will feel the full force of a home crowd still furious with the way in which they edged into a 2-0 lead.

Millard told the PA news agency: “The Headingley crowd is usually a louder, noisier crowd, to put it one way.

“There are still going to be quite a few upset people, I think, at Headingley and it will be a very lively atmosphere, and that potentially could play quite a pivotal part in the result, and I’m hoping that’s an English benefit.

“It’s a really strong ground for England. I was there, Ben Stokes, 2019 – that was one of the greatest days in my time of being with the Barmy Army, one of the greatest days I’ve ever had watching England cricket.

“You just get that real sense of togetherness at Headingley and community and they will get behind the team. It’s a very proud cricketing county, is Yorkshire. It’s gone through a lot of jeopardy recently and it needs a bit of positive energy going there.

“Hopefully the England team will provide a spectacular win and make it 2-1.”

Yorkshire’s Bairstow, batting at number seven as England chased an unlikely 371 for victory, was stumped by wicketkeeper Alex Carey for 10 after leaving his crease at the end of the 52nd over believing the ball was dead.

The Australians’ appeals were rewarded amid anger on and off the pitch and skipper Pat Cummins opted not to recall the Englishman, whose side were reduced to 193 for six as a result.

Inspired skipper Ben Stokes then unleashed an all-out assault on his way to a remarkable 155, but was unable to prevent England from slipping to a 43-run defeat, although even his heroics were not the main talking point afterwards.

Millard said: “If you look at the rules of cricket, in the book it is out and there’s no questioning that, really. But what you can question is the spirit of cricket and the core values and competencies of cricket as a game is established on.

“Unfortunately, I think the spirit of cricket has to be questioned now, what that actually means and will we use the term, ‘It’s just not cricket’ ever again?

“The way the game is played is ultimate competition, but there’s always that element of conduct and the spirit of cricket that usually gets to the fairest and the right result.”