Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - England burnt early after opting to bat. Josh Hazlewood finished the morning session with a spell of 7-4-3-2
Josh Hazlewood finished the morning session with a spell of 7-4-3-2
It may not turn to be quite dramatic as Nasser Hussain's ‘we'll have a bowl first' from 2002 but on evidence of the early exchanges of this 2021-22 Ashes series, the fears of a similar apocalyptic narrative panning out aren't entirely misplaced. First session of the series, England were reduced to 59/4 and pushed squarely into survival mode.
Joe Root admitted that the decision to bat first wasn't straightforward given all the weather around Brisbane in the build up to the game. His opposite number, Pat Cummins, said he'd have batted first too but given that call was taken away from him, the spotlight will shine harshly on Root and his fellow decision makers. That inquistion began one ball into the Test when Rory Burns shuffled across and missed a full ball from Mitchell Starc to be bowled round his legs. It was the fourth time a wicket had fallen off the first ball in an Ashes and the first time to mark the start of a series since 1936.
Josh Hazlewood, starting from the other end, may not have matched Starc for the theatrics but was just as, if not more, effective in his first burst. First he had Dawid Malan nicking off to a ball angled across him. And then he went back to troubling England's captain and the No.1 Test batter by going in and out at him. After setting him up with a nip-backer, he produced the full ball that left Root late and had him nicking off to first slip for a nine-ball duck. Australia's seamers had the ball on a string and England were tottering at 11 for 3. Hazlewood conceded just three runs from his first seven overs.
England's misery had more company when Cummins joined the wickets party by reeling in the other big fish, Ben Stokes. The all-rounder, eager to drive the full balls, was squared up by a back of length delivery that left him and flew to third slip. England were 29 for 4 and brutally exposed by a top-quality attack on a helpful Gabba surface.
To their credit, Haseeb Hameed and Ollie Pope, arrested the bleeding for the remainder of the session. But with Nathan Lyon just coming into the attack and finding spin, Australia will be hopeful that the second session will follow in the template of the tone-defining first.
Brief scores: England 59/4 (Haseeb Hameed 25*; Josh Hazlewood 2-3) vs Australia