Stokes, England’s captain, suggested that coping with hostile crowds was “part of the job” during Ashes series. “I definitely think it’s going to be ramped up,” he said. “Australia have had their past and have come here a few times since and I think they’re all used to the English crowd.
“When we go to Australia we get lambasted as well. Look, I think that’s part of the sport we play. You get thousands of people who want their team to win and they’ll just jump on something. We get it in Australia: 90,000 Australians at the MCG all cursing at you. It’s part of the job.”
Australia have grown used to hostile crowds, particularly when playing in England since the 2018 Sandpapergate incident, and their captain, Cummins, said they would not be thrown off course by a boisterous Headingley atmosphere. “There’s nothing like loud crowds that brings the team together,” he said.
“It seems like every Ashes has some drama to it – even one-sided Ashes in the past, things get stoked up halfway through a series,” Cummins added. “It just feels like you’ve got two old rivals who are playing against each other. Is it going to change anything? I don’t think so.
“I don’t think it’ll change anything for us. I think we’re still amicable, so we’ll see how it plays out. Being up two-nil is something we should be really proud of. I don’t feel like this series needed any more attention because there’s a lot going on – but maybe there is some more.”
Stokes also suggested that Stuart Broad, who was visibly fired up by Bairstow’s dismissal, had thrived in the fervour of the situation during his rearguard innings of 11 off 36 balls. “Broady, he was on one, wasn’t he? He was really on one,” Stokes said. “He’s played 160 games and it’s not the first time he’s been expressive with his body language or niggle towards the opposition.
“If you look at the situation of the game when he came out, he needed that. He wanted to get into the battle, he wanted to pick a battle – I was about to say with someone, but he picked it with the whole Australian cricket team. That’s Broady, and what he did for the team in that situation with myself particularly was incredible.”
Cummins bowled 25 second-innings overs and all three of Australia’s main fast bowlers – himself, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc – had an increased workload due to the absence of Nathan Lyon, who looks set to be ruled out of the series with a calf injury sustained on the second day.
Todd Murphy looks set to replace Lyon, while Cummins hinted that Scott Boland could return to the side. “Physically backing up after a few days isn’t anything new for Starcy, Joshy or [me],” Cummins said. “Murph will come in fresh and obviously Scotty missed this one, so he might enter the conversation for the next one.
“I don’t think you’ll see many of us bowling many balls in the nets the next few days. It’ll all be about recovering for the next one. It’s a quick turnaround but it’s important we just take a pause for a moment and appreciate being up two-nil.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98