Ashes 2017-18, 5th Test, Day 1 – 5 Talking Points
The Australian dressing room will be confident while England would feel gutted having allowing Australia back into the match.
Updated - Jan 4, 2018 3:12 pm
Australia won the first 3 Tests of the series to take an unassailable lead in the 5-match series. But England had the pride to play in for the last two Tests. In the fourth Test of the series, the visitors were able to give a better account of themselves. At one point, England seemed in a good position before rain and Steve Smith spoiled their chances.
On the first day of the fifth Test, Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat first. Smith would not be disappointed with that decision as overcast conditions favoured the bowlers. All 3 top-order batsmen got off to a good start before yielding away their wickets.
Root and David Malan steadied the England innings with a big partnership. These two put the visitors in a great position and England looked set to have an upper hand on Day 1. The bowling team took the new ball and the plan worked. Root gifted Mitchell Starc his wicket and Johnny Bairstow was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood. The Australia dressing room will sport the confidence while England would feel gutted having allowed Australia an opening in the match. Here are the five talking points from the match.
1. Alastair Cook’s dismissal
Cook had a torrid time in the first three Tests of the series. The former England captain looked his own self in the 4th Test where he scored an unbeaten 244 and carried his bat. The confidence from that innings seemed to have done a world of good to the left-handed batsman. He appeared to be in good form today.
When Cook was batting for 39, Hazlewood rapped one on his pads and a loud appeal followed. But the umpire was unmoved and though the ball had pitched outside the line of the leg-stump and thus gave his decision in favour of the batsman. The Aussies reviewed the decision and the replays showed that it had pitched in line and three reds meant Cook was out.
2. Cummins’ dual strike
Pat Cummins was running in every over trying to rattle the batsmen playing at his home ground. he has been in great form throughout the series. The Australian fast bowler has been chipping away with wickets throughout the series. He has led the bowling attack alongside Mitchell Starc.
The right-arm fast bowler looked in great rhythm today as he took 2 wickets. He dismissed James Vince and Mark Stoneman, who got a decent start and looked set.
3. Stoneman and Vince threw away good starts
All 3 England top-order batsmen got off to a good start today, before eventually throwing away their wickets. Mark Stoneman batted positively and scored his runs at a good rate. The left-handed batsman got his runs with a strike-rate of 100 but just as he would’ve wanted to capitalize was caught behind by Tim Paine off Cummins.
James Vince played a cautious inning and batted admirably for his 24 runs. He had put in the hard work to play out the opening spell in conditions that were favourable for the bowlers. The right-handed batsman looked on his way to be a big score before he was dismissed by Cummins.
4. Joe Root scores yet another half-century – but just that!
The skipper admitted that he was disappointed with his own performances in this Ashes. Root has failed to convert on starts throughout the season. Today, he scored yet another half-century which is his fourth in the series and has failed to take any of them into triple figures.
He would surely consider himself unlucky as he got out for a real losner from Mitchell Starc. The ball seemed to be going to the boundary before Mitchell Marsh took a brilliant catch at backward square-leg.
5. Joe Root-David Malan partnership
When Cook was dismissed the scoreboard read 95/3 and England were in a spot of bother. The impressive Dawid Malan joined Root at the crease and those two built a stabilizing partnership. Both the batsmen brought up their half-centuries as they put England in a good position. It would’ve given them the advantage had they both walked back unbeaten.
The 133-run partnership was threatening to take the game away from Australia before Root lost his concentration in the fag end of the day.