Australia's bid to regain the Ashes did not begin as expected. On a track that was a bit slow to start with, the hosts bowled too full: at tea, Australia had bowled 91 balls at a full length and conceded 65 runs at 4.28 runs per over. Of the 72 balls Josh Hazlewood bowled, 24 were full deliveries and yielded 28 runs. Nine of the 13 boundaries scored until tea came off full-length deliveries. Interestingly, on England's previous Ashes tour in 2013-14, Mitchell Johnson bowled only 13 full-length deliveries in the Gabba Test. Australia would look to bring that length back a little bit and make run-scoring a little harder for England.
James Vince on the off side
By tea, England's No. 3 James Vince had scored 72 from 157 balls, and 75% of his runs and eight of the ten boundaries had come on the off side. Australia did not seem to have much of a plan against Vince until minutes before tea, when Nathan Lyon bowled round the wicket to the batsman and created an opportunity that Tim Paine failed to hold on to. Vince brought up his maiden Test fifty at the Gabba - before this innings, he had four scores between 35 and 42 in Tests. However, he was run out for 83 after tea, while attempting an unnecessary single.
Mark Stoneman's form
Mark Stoneman came in to the Test with three fifties and a century in four innings of the three warm-up matches. He continued his good form, scoring his fifth half-century in as many innings on the tour. He played cautiously until lunch, leaving 39% of his deliveries. However, he fell in the last over before tea for 53, bowled by Pat Cummins. Stoneman's wicket ended his 125-run partnership with Vince, England's first century stand for the second wicket in 31 innings since Root and Cook added 185 at Manchester against Pakistan in July 2016. This was also the second time that two England batsmen making their Ashes debut in Australia put on a century stand - the previous instance was 114 years ago, in 1903 when Tip Foster and Albert Relf added 115 for the ninth wicket.