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Jhye Richardson relieved after "tough" first innings in Adelaide with a five-fold comeback
 
He knows the five may not be enough to keep him on the team for Melbourne, but he's "happy to go either way"
 

Jhye Richardson's return to Test cricket couldn't have gone much better as he took a five-wicket haul in the fourth innings to help Australia claim a 2-0 Ashes series lead at Adelaide. But his reaction afterwards said a lot about his character.

"More relief than anything," said Richardson. "Especially after it was a bit difficult to get out in the first innings and, above all, to take the win. It's nice to be able to contribute, but there is no better feeling to have a test win."

He also knows that a test match for five is not enough to keep him on the team for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, with Pat Cummins sure to return and Josh Hazlewood pushing to be fit while he is off one side load recovered.

"The nice thing about Australian cricket right now is that we've had near-bowling stocks for days," said Richardson. "I think that's a wonderful problem for the selectors and JL [Justin Langer]. Whatever happens, I had an unlucky first inning and then bowled a little better second innings. I'm happy to go either way As long as we win, that's all we can ask for. "

Richardson, 25, marks himself harder than most young fast bowlers. He is a deep thinker and a perfectionist about his craft.

After nearly three years without test cricket following a shoulder dislocation that kept him away from the 2019 World Cup and the Ashes streak that followed, and several surgeries after that where he was nursed back by Sheffield Shield cricket while still unable Throwing poison on the field, Richardson could have forgiven himself the numbers of his first innings on his first appearance at Ashes.

But the disappointment was written on his face. After bowling superbly on the second night, repeatedly beating Haseeb Hameed's outside edge and bowling three maidens in a row, he returned on the third afternoon to lick more than four runs and overs without taking a wicket.

"I think getting back to the intensity of test cricket is obviously a step beyond playing domestic cricket," said Richardson. “You can often find that - if you haven't played in a while - you try too hard because you feel like you have to impress.

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Richardson walked away and came back as a different bowler in the second innings, something his deputy Steven Smith noted he had never played with before.

"I think the way Jhye adapted during this game has been really enjoyable," said Smith. "In the first innings we made every effort to fill the ball up a bit and we did a couple of runs in that first session, but I wasn't too disappointed. We were still way ahead." the game and we tried to bowl a lot fuller than England maybe did.

"In the second innings I think he wanted to work his way up the length. He wanted to go back a bit and push forward from there. So that was fine. He's a thinker. He thinks really well about the game and he has his skills well under control. "

Richardson explained that the second time he just wanted to get himself into a rhythm.

"I think for me personally I probably started a little too full and didn't give myself a chance to get it into the right area," he said. "I kind of started too full and then struggled to bring it back a little and get into a rhythm. While thinking about the second inning, I probably started a little backwards and allowed myself to crawl up a little more and get a little more into a rhythm. "

Richardson's skills are unique and he showed his full repertoire under his five wickets. At only 178cm, it's naturally slippery, but it can also create extra ricochets out of nowhere, as he did to take off Hameed's glove on night four and take off James Anderson to finish the match late on day five.

He even dismissed Rory Burns with a deft bowling around the wicket, angled in and hemmed away to catch the outside edge. His ability to move the ball either way did Chris Woakes frustrated Australia after his partnership with Jos Buttler. Richardson's wider trigger point always challenges the right-handed's inside edge, but his ability to sculpt him away threatens the outside edge as well. Playing for the latter, Woakes rattled the tip of his middle stump as he crashed through the gate sharply at 139 km / h.

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"It was pretty fun, I got frustrated every time I looked at the speed gun and saw a kind of 131-132 mph - I wasn't too happy with that," said Richardson. “So I said to Starcy [Mitchell Starc] in the middle [that] I was going to just storm in here and [and] try to get some airspeed because I was annoyed about the speed gun. I was just trying to bowl fast and bowl straight. Fortunately, the wicket did something. "

Most importantly, he ingested Buttler's key gate in unusual and random ways after stepping on his stump while setting off for a single after defending himself from the depths of the fold. Amazingly, it's the second time he's sacked Buttler-Hit-Wicket. The first came in a BBL match nearly three years ago in January 2019. Buttler, who was playing for Sydney Thunder at the age of 55, attempted to sweep a slower ball from Richardson backwards and cut the stumps with his bat in his follow-through away.

"Maybe it's worth noting if I get another test," said Richardson.