Cummins, Strac, Lyon share eight wickets among them and bowl England out for 185 runs on Day 1 of Boxing Day Test.
Brief Scores: Australia 61 for 1 (Warner 38, Anderson 14/1) trail England 185 all-out (Root 50, Cummins 36/3, Lyon 36/3) by 124 runs at Stumps on Day One
Australia won the toss and chose to bowl first in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Scott Boland replaced Josh Hazlewood in the Australian eleven. As England have lost two back-to-back Test matches in the ongoing Ashes series, England made many changes in their eleven. England omitted Rory Burns, Stuart Broad, Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes from the side and included Zak Crawley, Jack Leach, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood.
Opening woes continue for England
England opening pair of Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed have failed miserably in the current Ashes Test series. So, England hoped that the inclusion of Zak Crawley in place of Burns will change their fortunes. However, Australia skipper Pat Cummins broke the visitors’ opening partnership in the second over of the game. A late out-swinging delivery bowled by Cummins took the fine edge of the bat of Hameed and wicketkeeper Alex Carey took an easy catch. Hameed could not score a single run in his short stay on pitch. Second opener Zak Crawley got surprised due to the pace and bounce generated by Cummins and edged a short ball, which was caught by Cameron Green at gully. Crawley made only 12 runs off 25 deliveries.
Root completes fifty but England batting collapses again
As both openers went into the hut early in the innings, visitors looked in deep trouble again like in the previous two Tests. Most successful England batting pair this series, Joe Root and Dawid Malan, were in the middle to rescue their side. Root batted well to accumulate some runs. Both batters played cautiously, however, Cummins took another wicket before the lunch break. Cummins bowled too close to the body of Malan who could not leave the ball, also ball slightly came in towards the batter to take the edge of the bat and went straight in the hands of David Warner at slip. England lost their top three in the first session on a paltry score of 61.
After the break, Joe Root looked to dominate host bowling and hammered two back-to-back boundaries off Scott Boland. He completed his half-century in 76 deliveries. However, Root couldn’t add a single run after reaching his fifty as he slashed at an away-going delivery of Mitchell Starc, which resulted in a thick edge and Carey took an easy catch to send the England skipper back in the hut.
Visitors get all-out on 185
Next batters, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, tried to steady the innings, however, Stokes cut a short ball bowled at his body straight into the hands of Nathan Lyon at the point. Stokes could make only 25 runs in 60 deliveries. Bairstow also got out on the score of 35 off the bowling of Starc.
England continued to lose wickets regularly to get all-out on a meagre total of 185. Cummins bowled a great fast bowling spell in this innings to get three wickets and spinner Lyon also bagged three wickets.
Australia lose David Warner, make 61 runs till stumps
Australia openers David Warner and Marcus Harris came to bat in the middle. Warner started the innings with attacking strokeplay. Both batters milked runs early in the innings. Warner smashed two boundaries off Mark Wood. However, Warner poked at an angling delivery bowed by right-arm pacer James Anderson which resulted in an edge and Crawley took the catch at slip.
What Lies Ahead?
Australia is trailing England by 124 runs with nine wickets in hand. Tomorrow, they will look forward to take a substantial lead over England. However, visitors would like to take early wickets tomorrow morning to put the hosts under pressure. The second day is critical for the visitors as it may be the last opportunity for them to turn the tables in this prestigious Ashes series. On the other hand, if Australia take a considerable lead tomorrow over England, they are likely to conquer this Test and the series by 3-0.
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