Captain Pat Cummins claims his maiden Ashes five-fer on the first Day of Gabba Test
Brief Scores: England 147 (Jos Buttler 39, Ollie Pope 35, Cummins 38/5) against Australia at Stumps on Day 1
On the first morning of Ashes 2021-22, England captain Joe Root won the toss at Gabba Cricket Ground in Brisbane and opted to bat first.
England left out Stuart Broad; Alex Carey made Test Debut for Australia
England left out experienced campaigned Stuart Broad out of their eleven; Chris Woakes was included in place of him in the team.
England team management had already announced that leading pacer James Anderson will not play in the series opener at Brisbane. So, the English team played this Ashes opener without both their premier seamers. Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood formed the pace contingent of England, whereas Jack Leach will be the lone specialist spinner in the eleven.
On the other hand, Pat Cummins captained his first Test match in his career. Wicketkeeper batter Alex Carey made his Test debut for Australia as Tim Paine took an indefinite break from cricket after the recent scandal.
Mitchell Starc knocked down Rory Burn on the first ball of the Ashes opener
Left-arm pacer Mitchel Starc and right-arm seamer Josh Hazlewood shared the new ball for Australia. Starc always comes up with something special early in the match. He dislodged the stumps of opener Rory Burns on the first ball of Ashes as he fired a full-length yorker to uproot the leg stump. Burns had no answer for such an incisive yorker and had to return to the pavilion on a golden duck.
This was the worst possible start for the tourists in Brisbane, which also signifies things coming next. Also, one down batter Dawid Malan edged the first ball, which went in the gap between third slip and gully towards the boundary, fortunately for the batter. Although Hazlewood produced his classical late outswing not much later, which took the thick edge of the bat of Malan and went into the hands of debutant wicket-keeper Alex Carey.
England four down after the wicket of Ben Stokes
England skipper Joe Root came in the middle to arrest the batting collapse, however, Hazlewood forced him to give a catch to first slip by his sharp out-swinging ball. Thus, Joe Root registered a duck here in the first innings after a phenomenal series with the bat against India, in which he hammered three centuries.
England found themselves three down after the first six overs; they were on the verge of getting all-out on a very low total in the first innings of Ashes.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins came to bowl in place of Starc and didn’t take much time to give the first blow to the opponents. Cummins bowled a sharp angling delivery towards him, which straightened after pitching and took the edge of the bat of Ben Stokes and Marnus Labuschagne didn't make any mistake while taking the catch. Next batter Ollie Pope and opener Haseeb Hameed battled hard to stop the fall of wickets. Cummins brought medium-pacer Cameron Green and spinner Nathan Lyon into the attack in the last few overs before lunch. England went into lunch without any further damage.
However, Cummins removed Hameed in the first over after lunch. Hameed made 25 runs off 75 balls. Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler started with his usual attacking strokes from the start. He smashed a few cracking boundaries off Hazlewood and Lyon. England reached the three-figure mark in the innings, where opponent pacers dominated the game.
Mitchel Starc terminates fifty-run stand between Jos Buttler and Ollie Pope
Buttler and Pope completed a 50-run partnership with a graceful boundary by the former off Starc, though Starc hit back with his wicket on the next ball as the batter edged the delivery and was caught by wicketkeeper Carey. Buttler made 39 runs off 58 balls with the help of five boundaries. Pope was playing calmy till then without playing any flashy strokes. However, he played an ambitious hook to medium pacer Green which he couldn’t control and got caught by Hazlewood with a terrific dive in front of him. Pope made 35 runs off 79 deliveries.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins took the last three in a hurry to complete a five-for
Cummins sent back lower-order batter Ollie Robinson for a three-ball duck to make England eight down on the score of 122. All-rounder Woakes pummeled two back-to-back boundaries off Hazlewood in the next over to get some quick runs before his side got all-out.
However, Cummins didn’t take much time to clean up Mark Wood and Woakes to complete his fifer on captaincy debut.
England crashed out on a meagre total of 147 against the might of the hosts’ pacers.
Rain plays spoilsport forcing abandonment of proceedings
Umpires decided to take a tea break, although rains started pouring in the middle of the break which continued till the end of the day. Australia will return tomorrow in the middle to put up a giant total on board to put the visitors out of the game which is a standard strategy in Test matches down under.