“For him to show he’s more than one type of bowler does us the world of good,” claims England captain
Josh Tongue, His Versatility, Delivers Victory and Boosts England’s Bowling Options
Ben Stokes met Josh Tongue for the first time when the England team convened in London on Monday in preparation for this one-off Test against Ireland. Less than a week later, Tongue has left an indelible mark on the Lord’s Honors board and the heart of his skipper.
The 25-year-old Josh Tongue has solved a growing dilemma for England with five for 66 in the second innings to secure a victory that needed much more of day three than anticipated. Olly Stone and Jofra Archer are both out of the Ashes, and Mark Wood cannot possibly play the fire-breathing role for the entirety of the five Tests on his own. When it appeared like England was a speedy light, another emerged.
Mayday requests to county cricket for fast bowlers in an emergency are rarely met as promptly or successfully. On his England debut, the Worcestershire seamer stood out, but he also easily adapted to the numerous positions that his captain wanted.
After leading the side to its 11th victory in 13 Test matches, Stokes jokingly said, “He must think I’m a pretty good bloke giving him his Test debut.” The Tongue’s knowledge and excitement show that the feeling is shared.
“I told him the role that I saw him playing in this team as our third seamer, and used him in a way to get different types of spells out of one bowler,” Stokes continued.
“He came on and bowled pretty well, throwing the ball up in his first stint. The wicket became flat as we tried to harness his pace to become the aggressor when necessary. Knowing we’ve discovered someone else who can fill the position of the men with the extra speed, it does us the world of sound as a team for him to demonstrate that he is more than one type of bowler moving ahead.
Durability was another quality that Stokes admired in others, even while his own was in the news due to ongoing problems with his left knee. The way took aback the skipper. Josh Tongue kept up his pace for more than simply two innings.
In this match’s last 24 hours, he has included eight consecutive overs on Friday night (3 for 27), followed by seven- (1 for 29) and six-over periods (1 for 10), which is a monument to Tongue’s path to this call-up. After spending 15 months on the sidelines, His right shoulder has thoracic outlet syndrome. He was considering retirement last year.
I wasn’t sure how to manage him so early since he bowled a lengthy stint yesterday and two long spells today, admitted Stokes. But the manner he just agreed to the ideas I wanted him to follow astonished me.
Josh Tongue returned from the England Lions tour knowing that he may play Test cricket after collecting five wickets against Sri Lanka A on his debut. Rob Key’s presence at that performance in Galle, where he had just given Josh Tongue his Lions cap, was also beneficial.
The managing director undoubtedly played a crucial role in arguing Tongue’s case at the selection table, especially when it became clear that England would need to fill in for Anderson, Wood, and Ollie Robinson. Key’s assessment would have ensured the seamer wasn’t assessed purely on a somewhat unspectacular total of 11 Division Two wickets, averaging 41.45 in the County Championship this season. Additionally, ECB performance director Mo Bobat, who coached the Lions, would have shared their opinions.
Some Worcestershire players felt that Josh Tongue was pushing a little too hard to go to the next level during those four Championship outings, as evidenced by the fact that he bowled a few more boundary balls than usual. However, there were also vital stretches at that time, such as when Steven Smith was lbw-trapped in the opening game of his time at Sussex.
Of course, that wasn’t the only factor in his selection for the first two Ashes Tests. But it confirms what many people who have seen Josh Tongue grow into this muscular, 6’4″ fast believe: he has a talent for bringing out good players.
Harry Tector may fall into that category, even though the Irishman was entirely to blame for his tragedy. Before Tector slapped a long hop to backward point, where Harry Brook grabbed the catch, a fourth half-century had already been scored. Similarly, Fionn Hand was responsible for Tongue’s sixth defeat with the precise type of flash-to-second slip that you would anticipate from a No. 10 batter.
But Tongue’s opening burst for his first three wickets on Friday night was appropriate and, in many ways, the ideal distillation of what he has to give. The 13 overs with a score of 0 for 40 on day one were also disappointing, but they served as a prelude to his Saturday all-around performance.
“They were already on the defensive against him, knowing he had that extra pace. Therefore, how he bowled contributed to the five wickets he gained in that innings. He can bowl full and short at 90 mph. Thus, how he bowled in the first innings gave him an advantage in the second innings.
Once James Anderson had given Josh Tongue his cap, Stokes made it a point to remove as much of the occasion as possible before that first spell. On day one, there was nothing close to a motivational talk until Josh Tongue started to bowl after 10 overs.
As Stokes put it, “I kept it simple.” I urged him to enter and carry out his duties; I will worry about the other details later. Allow the young man to bowl outside in the manner that brought him here in the first place.
By all accounts, he did not appear intimidated by entering a side on such a high. On Friday, vice-captain Ollie Pope observed that Tongue was not among the team for the first time. He fits in the dressing room both in terms of personality and ability.
“Everyone is so incredibly amicable, which I guess helps someone like that, who no doubt would have been quite nervous and anxious about being in his first dressing room as an England player for the first time,” added Pope.
It’s now official. Josh will return to that dressing room again, likely this summer. Tongue appears to have banked at least two Ashes Tests after seizing an improbable chance both on and off the pitch.
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