England find themselves in strong position as Australia's top three back in hut.
Brief Scores: Australia 126/3 (Harris 38, Anderson 24/1) at Stumps on Day 1
Australia and England geared up to play the fourth Test match of Ashes 2021-22 at Sydney Cricket Ground. After losing the first three Tests in the five-match series, England are facing some serious questions about the quality of their cricket. Also, there have been talks about the weak cricket system in England in the present times.
Australia won the toss and opted to bat
In the morning, the toss was delayed due to some showers. An hour later, Australia skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to bat first. The visitors made one change in their XI by including Stuart Broad in place of Ollie Robinson. Australia picked Usman Khawaja in place of Travis Head in their side.
Openers brought up a fifty-run partnership
David Warner and Marcus Harris opened the batting for hosts. However, rain returned in the fifth over only. After waiting half an hour, play started again at SCG. Warner pummelled two boundaries off James Anderson in the seventh over. Anderson hit back with a close LBW call in the next over he bowled. Again, rain spoiled the game, so umpires announced the Lunch break.
After the break, Warner continued to play in his natural style and cracked two boundaries off Ben Stokes in the 18th over. Aussie openers completed the fifty-run partnership in 19 overs. However, Warner poked to a slightly out-swinging delivery bowled by right-arm pacer Stuart Broad. It took the edge of his bat and went straight into the hands of second slip Zak Crawley. However, rain returned and halted play; also, it forced umpires to take the Tea break early.
In the third session, one-down batter Marnus Labuschagne who is in good form, started playing positively right from the moment he took guard. He smashed two fours off Broad in an over. The batter survived a close LBW appeal off the same bowler but the umpire turned it down.
Two blows to Australia after which rain played spoilsport
Marcus Harris and Labuschagne added a fifty-run partnership for the second wicket. However, Harris got out after Australia reached the three-figure mark. Anderson bowled a sharp delivery very close to the batter which the latter couldn’t leave and edged straight towards Joe Root at slip. Harris made 38 runs off 109 runs with the help of four boundaries.
Mark Wood bowled a breathtaking good-length delivery to Labuschagne which swung away from the batter and took the edge of the bat. Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler made no mistake while taking an easy catch. Labuschagne made 28 runs off 59 balls comprising of four boundaries. New batters Steven Smith and Usman Khawaja batted cautiously. Heavy rain returned which forced umpires to call Stumps on day one.
What lies ahead?
Unbeaten Australia batting pair of Smith and Khawaja would try to build the innings tomorrow morning and set up their side for a huge score in the first innings.