Sloppy England crumble on Day One in Brisbane
December 09 2021 12:57 AM
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England’s Joe Root (left) departs for nought after his dismissal by Australia’s Josh Hazlewood on da
England’s Joe Root (left) departs for nought after his dismissal by Australia’s Josh Hazlewood on day one of the first Ashes

Reuters/ Brisbane

• New Australian Test captain Cummins picks up 5 wickets

Pat Cummins took a five-wicket haul in a dream start to his Australia captaincy as England were skittled for 147 before tea at the Gabba on a rain-hit opening day of the Ashes.
Australia’s first fast-bowling skipper in 65 years, Cummins shone on a golden day for the home side which began with Mitchell Starc removing Rory Burns on the very first ball and ended early with a storm and bad light.
The rain capped a gloomy day for England at the Gabba, their traditional house of pain, but they may end up praying for more of it to avert defeat.
Their sole win yesterday was when skipper Joe Root called the toss correctly but his choice to bat first on a grassy wicket soon appeared dicey on a muggy, overcast morning.
Burns became the first player dismissed with the opening delivery of an Ashes series in 85 years when Starc bowled him down the leg-side.
It was an ugly dismissal for the Surrey man, who crab-walked across his stumps and trudged off with his sixth duck of the year, an all-time record for opening batsmen.
Within half an hour he had been joined in the dressing room by Dawid Malan (6) and Root as the metronomic Josh Hazlewood struck twice.
Malan dangled his bat out to catch an edge and gave debut wicketkeeper Alex Carey his first Test dismissal. But Root, out for a duck, was removed by a pearl of a delivery from the big quick, with David Warner leaping wide for a superb catch in the slips.
Cummins introduced himself after the morning drinks break, dismissing England’s danger man Ben Stokes (5) with a brute of a delivery that induced a nick to a diving Marnus Labuschagne. The captain had opener Haseeb Hameed out for 25 in similar fashion straight after lunch, leaving England 60 for five.
“It’s been a good start to my captaincy stint,” said Cummins. “I’m really proud of not only how everyone bowled but I thought everyone stayed really composed. It’s a really long summer but I’ve got off to a really good start.”
An aggressive Jos Buttler (39) and Ollie Pope combined to rally England but Starc broke their 52-run stand with a sizzling delivery that caught Buttler’s edge and sailed to Carey.
Young all-rounder Cameron Green celebrated his first test wicket when Pope (35) sent a panicky pull which Hazlewood pouched brilliantly in the deep. Cummins (5-38) cleaned up the tail and led his team off the ground holding the Kookaburra ball aloft as the Gabba crowd rose to their feet to celebrate his first five-wicket haul against the English.
The tourists had earlier sprung a surprise by confirming Stuart Broad would be rested along with fellow pace veteran James Anderson, the first time in five years that neither have bowled in a Test.
The last time neither of them played England lost to Bangladesh on tour.
That left a combined 1,156 wickets on the bench and meant Wood and the inexperienced Robinson would lead the pace attack, with Jack Leach picked as a spinner. After the end of the day’s play, former skipper Nasser Hussain said England captain Root made the wrong decision by opting to bat first against Australia on a green pitch. Hussain said it was a harder toss for Root than his own “diabolical decision” in 2002 when he put Steve Waugh’s Australia in to bat and the home side reached 364-2 on day one before comfortably winning the match.
“It was a green pitch here and it had been raining but while everyone focuses on what the pitch is doing on the first morning, as a captain you have to think what the pitch look like on days three, four and five,” Hussain wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“The humidity, the cracks in the pitch, the fact it tends to get a bit quicker - you have to think ahead. Obviously 147 all out tells you it was the wrong decision with the way it (the ball) seamed around and bounced and sometimes you can confuse it all. I know, I did it.”
Hussain, however, said that Australia have a “fragile” batting line-up and that England could bank on their bowlers to get back into the contest. “They (Australia) have two world-class players in Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith but David Warner is under a little bit of pressure and they have a few players coming back into Test cricket,” Hussain added. “The pitch will still do a bit and (Ollie) Robinson and (Chris) Woakes in these conditions will be a handful... England have a decent bowling attack and Australia have vulnerabilities with the bat.”  

SCOREBOARD
England Ist innings
R. Burns b Starc 0
H. Hameed c Smith b Cummins 25
D. Malan c Carey b Hazlewood 6
J. Root c Warner b Hazlewood 0
B. Stokes c Labuschagne b Cummins  5
O. Pope c Hazlewood b Green 35
J. Buttler c Carey b Starc 39
C. Woakes c Hazlewood b Cummins 21
O. Robinson c Carey b Cummins 0
M. Wood c Harris b Cummins  8
J. Leach not out  2
Extras (lb5, w1) 6
Total (50.1 overs)147
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Burns), 2-11 (Malan), 3-11 (Root), 4-29 (Stokes), 5-60 (Hameed), 6-112 (Buttler), 7-118 (Pope), 8-122 (Robinson), 9-144 (Wood), 10-147 (Woakes)
Bowling: Starc 12-2-35-2, Hazlewood 13-4-42-2, Cummins 13.1-3-38-5 (1w), Lyon 9-2-21-0, Green 3-1-6-1.



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