Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day November 28, 2010

Hobbs and Sutcliffe? No, it's Strauss and Cook


Partnership of the day
Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook's invaluable alliance was still in its early stages when, with the score on 23, they notched an unexpected mark in the annals of English Test history. With a chancy snick through a gap at third slip, Cook carried the pairing to the highest aggregate by any England opening partnership, eclipsing the figure of 3249 amassed by none other than Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe. In mitigation, those two legends racked up their runs in 38 innings rather than 82, and their average stand is more than double (87.81 to 42.68), but nevertheless, such a stat underlines the experience that they bring to England's top order.

Costly drop of the day, part one
Mitchell Johnson is a confidence player without much self-belief at the moment. After his 18-ball 0 on the third day, Johnson followed up with a crucial miss when Strauss was 69. Strauss tried to clear mid-off when he charged at Xavier Doherty and the ball went hard and over the head of Johnson, who looked like he had it under control but couldn't hold it. His head went down and the Australians sighed.

Costly drop of the day, part two
The problems for Australia continued after tea when Peter Siddle had a difficult diving chance, with Cook hooking Ben Hilfenhaus to fine-leg on 103. That one went to ground too - and for four. Jonathan Trott, on 34, was the next to benefit when Michael Clarke leapt at point and lost his grasp of the ball as his left-hand bumped the ground. On day three it was Australia who enjoyed the good fortune, but the roles have reversed.

Painful blow of the day
Simon Katich is the toughest player in the Australian side but the strength of a Cook cut eventually forced him off the field. Katich was at bat-pad when Marcus North came on to aim at the footmarks in the middle session, but a short one resulted in a fierce blow to Katich's ankle. While Katich didn't flinch or show any pain, he did start to limp shortly after and a couple of overs later left the field for treatment. He returned after tea in a little discomfort.

Dive of the day
Katich's absence provided a chance for an understudy to shine, and the Queensland veteran Lee Carseldine didn't disappoint. At the age of 35, his hopes of a Test debut are slim to say the least, but he did his best to give the impression that he's still a spring chicken with a desperate diving save on the deep cover boundary. With a full-frontal swallow-dive and a clatter of boundary-board, he clawed the ball back into play to cut off a certain four. It wasn't quite up there as a Gary Pratt moment, but he did his bit to keep the team's pecker up.

Yelp of the day
With lunch approaching and England's partnership going strong, any viewers back in Blighty who had been tempted into a quick power-nap found themselves being jolted violently back to reality by a piercing yelp from the Sky Sports commentary box. The yelpee was none other than the usually ice-cool David Gower, whose mellifluous flow was painfully interrupted when his sidekick Nasser Hussain parked a chairleg squarely on his toe.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo and Peter English is Australasian editor

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • buddima on November 28, 2010, 21:42 GMT

    if this run scoring feast happen on a srilankan or indian pitch people will talk about dead pitches, killing the game and dead pitch bullies. but how about this one now. i did hear aussi commentators keep saying this is a very good cricket pitch. i wonder how?

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    It is a bit harsh to blame the pitch for the situation of the match as of now. It is a fact that this is not the typical Gabba track of yesteryears, but that is what has happened to many other tracks worldwide with the best example being WACA that is a belter of a track for batsmen nowadays though a decade back it used to be a nightmare for batsmen. Anyways, there were some instances that has put the match in this scenario. Aleem Dar let of Hussey yesterday and after that he went on to score another 110+ runs. Today Strauss, Cook and Trott all were dropped once. Had the chances been taken, things might have been interesting as of now. On top of it, we must realise that the present Aussie attack is not as great as it used to be few years back and hence it should not be surprising that the opposition is raking up runs. To add to it, we must not forget that Siddle and Finn have had good returns in the first innings. In other words, a track that has got something for everyone.

  • Neil on November 28, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    if I am working Statsguru properly, Strauss and Cook are the highest scoring English partnership overall, not just opening. Tells us a lot about how much cricket is played now - I don't think these two will ever be the legends Hobbs and Sutcliffe are.

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    This is TEST Cricket .At the end of day 3 you think we have two full days to bowl the opposition out.On 4th day you are left wondering can we extract a result from this :)

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    Regarding the Gower yell, here in India we got only the Channel 9 feed. So none of us can comment on that. Regarding action on field, Strauss and Co have virtually ensured a draw unless we have a Siddle part 2 or Finn part 2 played by Johnson or Hilfenhaus.

  • Mradul on November 28, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Well look at this, SA bowlers fail to get Pakistan out and the next thing they cry out LOUD for making Bouncy Tracks. When Indians or SL does it (Spinning tracks) people cry fowl. Suddenly a mountain of runs being scored in a test in Australia. Specially when only 6 wickets have gone down in last 2 days and a staggering 570 runs have been scored an average of 90+ runs per wicket for over 2 days of play. Anybody for "Dead" pitches?

  • Ryan on November 28, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    agreed something whitty and sarfraz!! a terrible cricket wicket, reminds me of the test in perth a few years ago where south africa compiled an effortless 450 or so to win the test on the last day. and approaching adelaide the bowlers must be praying to the bowling gods of luck for some assistance... The games result is in the hands of andrew strauss, when england reach 250 ahead by the middel of the 2nd session 2moro will he declare? You can be sure australia will have a go at that, but do england have the nerve to risk the test match and a series deficit? I can't see 10 or so wickets falling 2moro at all. The smartest thing to do would be to rest his weary bowlers going into adelaide, ( surely they pulled up sore today) and put some miles in the aussie bowlers legs...back to back tests and 2 day innings' will hurt even the fittest fast bowler

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    One of those days when australia really missed the services of the greats MCGRATH AND WARNE :( not enouh agrression in the australian bowling to back up SIDDLE who still needs to improve a lot as a bowler. Must bring bollinger back for the next test and play north as a speciliast spinner can't see dorthy getting another test .

  • John on November 28, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    What a thoroughly coma-inducing day's play. I don't know about anyone else, but I am rather disappointed at how flat this pitch has become, it has offered almost no assistance for the last two days. If this match ends in a draw, it would be a very disappointing result for both sides, as the quicks from both teams have bowled well without luck, only to be confronted with a pitch that is closer to SSC in Colombo than your typical Brisbane wicket. The first two days were great and showed very promising signs that this might be a low scoring thriller, but since then it seems destined to become yet another buffet for batsmen. A real shame given the thrill of the first two days, with runs hard to come by and wickets tumbling.

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    'keep the team's pecker up' hahahaha

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