England Is Going Strong After Burning, Root-fifties > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - England going strong after Burns, Root fifties

Burns and Root took the sting out of Australia's attack in the middle session

It took a good return catch from Peter Siddle to not just dismiss Joe Root on 57 but also wake the session up. Until then, cricket felt like a routinely predictable exercise. Australian fast bowlers would run in, keep things mostly tight except that one deliberate sucker ball that would find its way through the slip cordon. With a bit of luck going Australia's way, a lot could have happened in this session but the fact that it didn't traces back to just how disciplined Root and Rory Burns were, the latter still not out on 82 at Tea on Day 2. England, as a result, are 170 for 2, now only 114 runs behind.

England know the importance of a first-innings lead here. Not just because it's the first Test of a five-match series but also because they have to bat last on this dry Edgbaston track against Nathan Lyon, who managed to trouble both Root and Burns even in this innings. But the outside edges, the deliveries popping off the splice kept evading Australia, spurring the batting duo into bringing up a century stand for the second wicket, which is something of an anomaly for England in modern times.

If Root's strike rate saw a surge this session, the standard of umpiring certainly didn't. It was Aleem Dar's fifth wrong decision in this Test match, taking him at par with Joel Wilson's tally. Nasser Hussain even cheekily suggested a tie-breaker should the two be on 6-6 after the next bad decision, which admittedly doesn't feel far away. Dar's latest though related to Root, whose tryst with DRS ensured that England kept ticking along. Siddle's inducker had taken an inside edge before rapping Root's pad; just that Root knew and Dar didn't.

The only other real wicket-taking opportunity for Australia arrived in the 48th over, in the form of a run out chance. But Usman Khawaja couldn't quite hit the stumps, the throw being so off that it allowed Rory Burns not just a lifeline but also an overthrow.

But truth be told. Australia largely looked flat this entire session. Siddle went about with his metronomic line and lengths, Pattinson and Cummins came back with better spells but all counted for little. With only four bowlers in their team, a long evening session might be on the cards against England's host of dashy all-rounders in the middle-order.

Brief Scores: Australia 284 lead England 170/2 (Rory Burns 82*, Joe Root 57; Peter Siddle 1-31, James Pattinson 1-40) by 114 runs

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