Having struggled in the opening days of the Adelaide Test, Jhye Richardson starred in the second innings with a five wicket haul (Picture: Cricket Australia)

Returning from a long absence from the Test arena, Jhye Richardson impressed many with his maiden five-wicket haul in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval.

Having been hampered with a shoulder injury since 2019, Jhye Richardson looks to have asserted himself back into the Australian setup, following an impressive performance in the second Test of the Ashes Series in Adelaide.

Working in tandem with fellow pace bowler Mitchell Starc, Richardson, despite a brilliant opening spell under lights where he consistently beat the bat, had a quiet day in the first innings failing to take a wicket but would star in the second innings taking five wickets to help guide the Aussies to an emphatic 275 run victory.

Having struggled in the opening inning and coming out strong in the second, Richardson says it was relieving to have won the second test in such convincing fashion.

“It’s more a relief than anything, especially after the first inning having a tough time of it 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 a test win,” Richardson said.

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Having spent the past 18 months sidelined and hampered by injury, having dislocated his shoulder in 2019, Richardson says he always remained ambitious to return but at times questioned whether he would get to the same level he was at prior to the injury.

“It’s obviously less than ideal [that I spent 18 months away], it probably didn’t hit me straight away when I did my shoulder, I was a little naive in thinking it wasn’t going to be that long and wouldn’t need surgery,” Richardson told media.

“I think one thing that helped me through that is that I always had something to aim for, I think after I first did it [my shoulder], there was a World Cup 9-10 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 playing for WA, club cricket, there was always something to aim for.

“It gave something to keep an eye on, but no doubt there were periods throughout that time I sort of questioned if I was going to get back to how I was playing before, questioned the process as you do naturally in rehab scenarios, but to be out there playing cricket again there’s no better feeling.”

Though wicketless in the opening inning in 19 overs he bowled, going 0/78, Richardson felt that it gave him an opportunity to find his touch and come out firing in the second innings.

“I think getting back into the intensity of test cricket, it’s obviously above domestic cricket, you’ve got the crowd there, you’ve got a few things to pick you up and you find yourself if you haven’t played for a while trying too hard because you feel like you need to impress,” he said.

“But having said that I don’t think I bowled too badly, in the first innings there were few nicks that went through slips, still felt like I was creating a few chances, but I think [once the] second innings came around and having that extra run in the first innings helped settle the nerves and pump the adrenaline.”

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Richardson noted the change in tactics from the bowlers in the second innings, saying that change-up in length was enough to help find his touch on days four and five.

“The first innings we were encouraged to pitch the ball up, we saw the English guys probably bowled a little too short and that was the feedback coming back to us that we needed to pitch the ball up,” he said.

“For me personally I started a little too full and didn’t give myself a chance to get it in the right area, I started to full and struggled bring back a little bit and get into a rhythm.

“Whereas in the second inning I started a bit back of the length and allowed myself to creep up a bit more and get myself into bit more of a rhythm, it was certainly spoken about and in the second innings we definitely gave ourselves a chance.”

Having dismissed Englishman Chris Woakes for 44 runs on day five, Richardson says he was frustrated in the lead-up to the wicket, admitting he wasn’t pleased with the pace he was bowling at during the over.

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“It was quite funny, I was getting frustrated with myself, looking up at the speed gun each ball and seeing 131km, 132km, I wasn’t too happy with that,” he said.

“So I said to Starcy at mid-off or mid-on I think where he was at the time said I’m just going charge it here and try and get some air speed because I was getting annoyed at the speed gun, so I was just trying to bowl hard and bowl straight and thankfully the wicket did something.”

Richardson also commented on Jos Buttler’s dismissal with the Englishman going out in bizarre fashion, hitting his own wicket after facing 207 balls. The 25-year-old says he wasn’t too enthralled on ending Buttler’s long batting session, saying sticking to the basics allowed him to get the much sought-after wicket of the English wicketkeeper.

“It was just about trying to bowl your best ball, hit the stumps, and try and bring in as many dismissals as possible and I didn’t really foresee a hit wicket,” he said.

“Credit to Jos, he batted really well, and to face that many balls is a credit to anyone to put that sort of mentality in place and get the job done the [England] team needed.

“It’s about trying to stick to your guns and not get too carried away [dismissing Buttler], in those sort of situations you can try too hard and try many things and then the game ends up getting away from you, so keep things as simple as possible when things like that end up happening,” he said.

Richardson would also praise Mitchell Starc for his performance, saying that the experienced bowler led by example for the rest of the bowlers, and felt Starc was a great support during the Adelaide Test.

“I think it was very obvious from the way he bowled, he took 6/80 or something for the test match which is an outstanding effort, and I think you can see the way he bowls and the presence he had out on the field, you can tell he was taking that role in his stride and really nail in the opportunity to be that senior bowler,” he said.

“And credit to him [Starc] he did a fantastic job, he’s amazing, he’s always supportive of fellow fast bowlers, and I know the few games that I’ve played with him, he’s been really supportive and makes sure he goes out of his way to let you know you’re doing well and making sure you’ve got your plans clear and everything like that…credit to Mitch he’s done a fantastic job.”

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