Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 1st day December 5, 2013

Missed chances cost England ground

  shares 163

Australia 5 for 273 (Rogers 72, Bailey 53, Watson 51) v England
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Adelaide's first transportable Test pitch, as far as batsmen were concerned, promised to be more check-in than drop-in. England, after fielding two spinners and losing an influential toss, had no option but to hang in there against an Australian side sensing the chance to build an unassailable lead. By the end of an engrossing first day, they had achieved their primary goal, but it was a close-run thing.

George Bailey's perma smile was becoming broader by the minute in the final session after registering his first Test fifty and Michael Clarke, although playing well within himself, a captain bearing his duties seriously, possessed the sort of Adelaide batting record - an average of more than 100 - to bring trepidation. The second new ball was doing nothing.

Then Stuart Broad, with the admirably combative attitude of a bowler always willing to shake things up, fired in a bouncer and Graeme Swann pulled off a thrilling catch at square leg. Bailey, who had attacked the spinners, Monty Panesar in particular, with verve, departed for 53, the third Australian after Shane Watson and Chris Rogers to make a half-century but not take full advantage. This second Test is engrossingly poised.

England could have been relishing unexpected riches if they had not dropped three catches in the final session, the most criminal a simple miss at backward point when Brad Haddin, on 5, cut Panesar: the culprit, Michael Carberry, has been a strange mixture in the field of brilliance and fallibility in his brief England career.

There were other blemishes with the old ball, far tougher chances both. Panesar spilled a quick return catch from Bailey, on 10; Joe Root sprang to his right at short midwicket, with Clarke on 18, but a demanding chance off Swann went to ground.

For all that, England, thumped by 381 runs in the first Test at the Gabba had cause for satisfaction. After the intimidating atmosphere of Brisbane, the challenge in Adelaide was a markedly different one. Expectations of a sedate batting surface persuaded them to select two spinners in a Test in Australia for the first time for 23 years, since Phil Tufnell and Eddie Hemmings combined in Sydney. There was enough grip in the surface to justify the gamble. This pitch is strikingly dry and, even if it will not disintegrate, it will dust up. They will hope for dividends later in the match.

The new-look Adelaide Oval - now a multi-sport stadium with AFL the dominant partner - has been largely commended. Even dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists conceded that, as stadiums go, it possesses more style than most. The protected Moreton Bay figs still stand behind the old scoreboard at one end of the ground and you can even still see the cathedral if you are seated in the right place.

England's attention, though, rested exclusively on 22 yards of South Australian soil. Somehow, in a Test that looked bound to be a long haul, they had to find a way to take 20 wickets. As showers strafed the ground in the morning, there was little superficially to revive memories of how Swann and Panesar had toiled so successfully in tandem a year ago as England recovered from 1-0 down in India to win the series, but they both have a wicket to their name.

Panesar, after a mediocre, not to say troubled season, did as much as could reasonably be expected. He bowled with a blustery wind coming over his left shoulder and, after a few short ones initially, produced an admirable holding operation in the afternoon. His post-tea spell was shoddy as Bailey met him adventurously, twice lofting him straight for six.

The middle session finished with England on a high they could barely have foreseen as Watson and Rogers fell in successive overs and Steve Smith succumbed to the last ball before tea, comprehensively bowled as Panesar straightened one; three wickets lost for 19 in 39 balls.

Rogers and Watson had ambitions on building something more unassailable. But Watson fell for 51 as James Anderson made one cut back slightly and responded lithely to a half-hearted drive with a low return catch. Rogers followed for 72 in the next over, Swann making one turn to have him caught at the wicket - the seventh time Swann's offspin has dismissed him in as many Tests.

Consolidation could be Rogers' middle name. He freely admitted ahead of the Test that his position would be under review if he failed in Adelaide, and although he made his first Test fifty in Australia, he would be frustrated at not making full use of a golden opportunity. He also needed one moment of good fortune on 27 when he marginally survived an England review for lbw as Panesar turned one back into his pads. As for Watson, the times in Test cricket that he has not taking full toll after a promising start are innumerable.

England also made good use of a rain-disrupted morning - restricted to 14.2 overs as squally showers forced three stoppages - by dismissing David Warner, who had looked in the mood to strut his stuff before he self-destructed against Broad, toe-ending him to Carberry at backward point. It was an intemperate moment, part of Warner's batting DNA and accepted with relief by England, who must have been fearing a repeat of his better than a run-a-ball hundred made on this ground against South Africa a year ago.

Panesar's inclusion meant that England gave Ben Stokes a Test debut, his cap awarded by the former England captain, Andrew Strauss, before start of play. It was a risk for England to field Stokes, the rumbustious Durham allrounder, as high as No. 6, and rely on him to fulfil the third seamer role; promising as he is, his form for England in one-day cricket and tour matches has so far been unremarkable.

Stokes was solid enough in his first day in Test cricket, but it was a difficult ask and Rogers, who had been cagey against the seamers, unsightly even against the spinners, was at his most confident against him as he brought his favourite square drive into play

This was a pitch which did not give its favours easily to the quicks, the sort of pitch upon which England have become attuned, the sort of pitch they might well have chosen upon which to try to get back into the series. Shane Warne suggested on Channel 9 before start of play that England had ordered extra chest pads and arm guards to combat the short-pitched menace of pace of Johnson. If that is so, on the evidence of the first day, many of them will remain unpacked until Perth

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cric_J on December 5, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Engaging day's play with the honours equally shared at stumps IMO.

    Must admit England stumped me with the team selection by going for 2 spinners and Stokes at 6. But after losing a crucial toss and being put in to bowl on a day-1 road-of-a-wicket, they will be pleased at having half the Aussie side back in the hut with the score under 300. Cooky was amazingly pro-active today and some of the chances he took really paid off, so credit to him.

    IMO Jimmy and Broady did a fine job on a wicket devoid of any natural swing and effectively got reverse swing into play.Monty was brilliant in the post lunch session, Stokes did a decent job in the few over he got and Swanny , though light years from his best, looked better than he did at Brisbane.

    Good stuff from most Aussie bats but couple of poor shots and some good bowling did them in.

    If (and it is a big,crucial if) England can bowl out Aus for about 400, they should be pleased otherwise they'll be left ruing those dropped chances.

  • JethroTell on December 6, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    After 1st days play, England could have but did not hold the advantage. This morning, the dropped catches are haunting England, as Australia forges to an score that will mean they cannot lose, only draw or win. The English bowlers look 2nd rate outside of the swing conditions and doctored pitches in their homeland, especially Anderson. So far in the 3 innings this ashes, he has only 3 wickets, and holds no fear for the Aussie batsmen with 125km pace and no swing. 5/389 at lunch with more pain for the English this afternoon. Clarke may get another double century and Haddin, with his 3rd 50 in 3 innings this series, is highlighting Prior's poor form with the bat. I hope the English enjoyed minding the ashes, as the urn is returning home.

  • Biggus on December 6, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster:-After last night's hilarity at the Wanderers I'd be a little more circumspect about calling Australian batsmen ordinary if I were you. You know, the whole thing about people in glass houses throwing stones and all that.

  • cyborg on December 6, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    this test match is awesome , has no boring segment in it

  • dunger.bob on December 6, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    @ Milhouse79: We crow because we know it annoys you. No other reason really.

  • ImpartialExpert on December 6, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    Looks like Aus have batted England out of the game here.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 6, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    What a great batsman Michael Clarke is, he really is a great player, he makes 100's look so easy, he does it all the time almost on demand. The best batsmen on either side by a country mile.

    Haddin is such a warrior, scores runs when he is most needed, i love his bravery, he can make a score or hit out first ball, what a legend, always gives it his all.

    Up, up Aussie!

  • jmcilhinney on December 6, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    @ScottStevo on (December 5, 2013, 12:43 GMT), the point was that Watson gets criticised having made 51 while Bailey gets praised having made 53 when Bailey should have been out much earlier.

  • brisCricFan on December 6, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    I think Australia would be slightly disappointed in seeing all but Smith get a start and no big innings... Warner out to an injudicious shot, Watson likewise... Swann at least played a part in Rogers' dismissal and Smith got a ripper from Monty when he was trying to shut up shop coming to tea.

    Who is on top, scorebook would probably say pretty even, but Australia would be thinking we were in a worse position after Day1 at the Gabba and look at how we came through... England must be thinking the same, we had them in a better position after Day 1 and managed to lose. Never underestimate the psychology of that recent loss... Add to that that England would have known they needed to field well, and those missed chances will also weigh heavily on the team psyche.

    I said a draw most likely before the start of play... watching this unfold, I think a result is very probable. But for whom?

  • The_bowlers_Holding on December 5, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    I would rate the test as pretty even with Australia ahead, if England skittle em in the morning (a big if given the strong tail) then I wouldhave England in front, it could go either way.

  • cric_J on December 5, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Engaging day's play with the honours equally shared at stumps IMO.

    Must admit England stumped me with the team selection by going for 2 spinners and Stokes at 6. But after losing a crucial toss and being put in to bowl on a day-1 road-of-a-wicket, they will be pleased at having half the Aussie side back in the hut with the score under 300. Cooky was amazingly pro-active today and some of the chances he took really paid off, so credit to him.

    IMO Jimmy and Broady did a fine job on a wicket devoid of any natural swing and effectively got reverse swing into play.Monty was brilliant in the post lunch session, Stokes did a decent job in the few over he got and Swanny , though light years from his best, looked better than he did at Brisbane.

    Good stuff from most Aussie bats but couple of poor shots and some good bowling did them in.

    If (and it is a big,crucial if) England can bowl out Aus for about 400, they should be pleased otherwise they'll be left ruing those dropped chances.

  • JethroTell on December 6, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    After 1st days play, England could have but did not hold the advantage. This morning, the dropped catches are haunting England, as Australia forges to an score that will mean they cannot lose, only draw or win. The English bowlers look 2nd rate outside of the swing conditions and doctored pitches in their homeland, especially Anderson. So far in the 3 innings this ashes, he has only 3 wickets, and holds no fear for the Aussie batsmen with 125km pace and no swing. 5/389 at lunch with more pain for the English this afternoon. Clarke may get another double century and Haddin, with his 3rd 50 in 3 innings this series, is highlighting Prior's poor form with the bat. I hope the English enjoyed minding the ashes, as the urn is returning home.

  • Biggus on December 6, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster:-After last night's hilarity at the Wanderers I'd be a little more circumspect about calling Australian batsmen ordinary if I were you. You know, the whole thing about people in glass houses throwing stones and all that.

  • cyborg on December 6, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    this test match is awesome , has no boring segment in it

  • dunger.bob on December 6, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    @ Milhouse79: We crow because we know it annoys you. No other reason really.

  • ImpartialExpert on December 6, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    Looks like Aus have batted England out of the game here.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 6, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    What a great batsman Michael Clarke is, he really is a great player, he makes 100's look so easy, he does it all the time almost on demand. The best batsmen on either side by a country mile.

    Haddin is such a warrior, scores runs when he is most needed, i love his bravery, he can make a score or hit out first ball, what a legend, always gives it his all.

    Up, up Aussie!

  • jmcilhinney on December 6, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    @ScottStevo on (December 5, 2013, 12:43 GMT), the point was that Watson gets criticised having made 51 while Bailey gets praised having made 53 when Bailey should have been out much earlier.

  • brisCricFan on December 6, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    I think Australia would be slightly disappointed in seeing all but Smith get a start and no big innings... Warner out to an injudicious shot, Watson likewise... Swann at least played a part in Rogers' dismissal and Smith got a ripper from Monty when he was trying to shut up shop coming to tea.

    Who is on top, scorebook would probably say pretty even, but Australia would be thinking we were in a worse position after Day1 at the Gabba and look at how we came through... England must be thinking the same, we had them in a better position after Day 1 and managed to lose. Never underestimate the psychology of that recent loss... Add to that that England would have known they needed to field well, and those missed chances will also weigh heavily on the team psyche.

    I said a draw most likely before the start of play... watching this unfold, I think a result is very probable. But for whom?

  • The_bowlers_Holding on December 5, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    I would rate the test as pretty even with Australia ahead, if England skittle em in the morning (a big if given the strong tail) then I wouldhave England in front, it could go either way.

  • milepost on December 5, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    Mitch should have a 5 for by the end of day two, if Australia chose to declare. There's no reason they shouldn't bat til close of day 2 though, such is their dominance, this is easy stuff for them, no rush.

  • Dun1 on December 5, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    To steal a phrase from Steve Waugh, I think Carberry might have dropped the Ashes

  • jmcilhinney on December 5, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    @JG2704 on (December 5, 2013, 17:16 GMT), it seems clear that England are not going to go outside their original squad without VERY good reason. They already have spare batsmen and they also consider themselves to have more than one player suitable of batting at #3 so bringing in Moeen Ali was never on the cards. As you say, Stokes has better FC stats than Bresnan so his being in the side is not so ridiculous as some want to imply. The main advantage that Bresnan has is experience and Stokes may not be ready for the big time just yet. Bresnan's fitness may also have been a factor, as well as the fact that playing him would pretty much have required Prior to move up to #6, which they didn't want to do even when he was in form. My main concern is that this bowling attack indicates a lack of confidence in the tall timber but, unless they do expand the squad, Finn, Rankin and Tremlett are the only choices to replace Anderson or Broad if they suffer an injury.

  • chicko1983 on December 5, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    If the ordinary English bowlers can take 5 wickets and many more chances against the great Aussie batting line up, I suspect there is more to this pitch than it seems. Once again, both teams need to bat before par score can be seen, but I am confident that the Aussie bowlers, being much more skillful than the English counterparts, will be able to take 20 wickets on this pitch.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-BowledThroughGate on December 5, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge 7:43 For a side that has been bettered by every other team for nearly the last decade, Australia did quite a 5-nil job on England in 2006-07 (that's seven years ago). Not bad for a mediocre side. Drawing on your vast knowledge of the game, you would know that there are more than five teams currently playing Test cricket. I don't recall Australia being beaten in a series by any of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, Zimbabwe or Pakistan over the last decade. In fact how did England go against Pakistan last year? Oh that's right, they were beaten 3-zip.

  • Chris_P on December 5, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    @Milhouse79 Not sure who you mean is crowing. Most Aussie supporters are still in hopeful mode, but a win by 381 runs does buoy the spirits somewhat. Take your point on MJ & Harries, but we do have Pattinson, Starc, Cummins & Bird out & these guys will be our frontline bowlers in the next year or 2 & offer as much, if not more than the present 3. Put it this way, I much prefer what we got coming up than England, & Jimmy A, you have to admit, is strangely off the boil. I enjoy tough close contests & this is shaping up as being one between 2 teams that are well down on their top form. Top effort by Monty btw.

  • MinusZero on December 5, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    Everytime Watson comes to the crease I have this awful feeling that he will get a big score and Australia will persist with his under achievements for even longer. I would give him till the third test, no big score and he should be dropped for the 4th and Faulkner or Henriques should come in. Enough is enough already!

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 5, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    Even steven after the first day IMO. Also, England should stop whining about the ball every second. It makes them look silly and impotent. Having said that, once again the Australian batsmen prove they are ordinary. They had a good chance to convert those starts to big 100s. Still, Clarke and Haddin are at the crease. If they can strangle England, then they are set to score anywhere between 400 and 450. If they don't, England are right back in it. I honestly feel England will bat better than Australia on this pitch. It resembles an English pitch in every way with moderate bounce and seam movement. Day 2 will decide how this match is going.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 5, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    Isn't it great to actually witness more than 90 overs in a day ? Good day's cricket. This pitch is hard to read, but I suspect it's holding and seaming a little more than the general belief.

  • on December 5, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    Gosh. It was a fantastic match...

  • Jaffa79 on December 5, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    You'd take that score at 155-1 but the drops are disappointing. Big big couple of sessions for England; if we can bat for a long time then England are in this game and can exert pressure on Aus. It is clear that Australia's batting is still very much a problem and England are in this Ashes if Cook can take the sting out of the Aussie new ball attack. On another note, I am not sure why the Aussies are crowing so much: Australia, as it stands have won as many Test matches this year as Zimbabwe and the Gabba victory took them past Bangladesh! It is hard to see how England are past their prime when Australia's chances hinge on a 34 injury prone bowler and a 32 erratic bowler who has historically has sprayed it everywhere.

  • __PK on December 5, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    Good day for Australia. 5-273 is on target for 350+ which is a better than average score these days, especially given Adelaide's recent history of first day challenges, complicated by rain assisting English swing. Any thoughts that they needed to be better are based on crystal ball gazing about this being a good batting track and assuming England are well placed to take advantage of it.

  • johnnycash on December 5, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    How long before England change the ball because it is not swinging enough?? This is not a road, and anyone thinking that must be on the other side of the world.

  • landl47 on December 5, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Very adventurous team selection by England, which might have been a stroke of genius if they'd won the toss. The bowlers did well, contained the batsmen and created chances, but three drops is pretty much a disaster at test level, especially as Clarke and Haddin were both put down. Stokes looked useful, but when he bowled a bad ball it was a very bad ball and usually went for 4. However, he'll be a great fifth bowler in a balanced attack if his batting is good enough for him to play as a #6 or 7.

    Australia, apart from Warner, chose to grind with occasional big shots and didn't score as quickly as usual. Nevertheless, they'll be reasonably content with 273-5, as I suspect this wicket will prove not to be the road everybody forecast and will be tricky by days 4 and 5. The toss will seem even more important then.

  • GrindAR on December 5, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Aussies probably not reach 400. But their bowling will be lethal in this ground. Cook did not use Panesar and Swan wisely in Day 1. Couple miss fields may not decide the match, as the weather is going to provide more such opportunities than not. Good to see the drop in pitch showed some character. Probably, this will enable ICC to establish the spec for the pitch that should be used for all matches.

  • JG2704 on December 5, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    @ R_U_4_REAL_NICK/jmcilhinney - Ali may have been a better gamble. Swann complimented by 2 part time spinners and then we could have had a 3rd seamer. Actually Stokes has a better 1st class bowling and batting average than Bres so maybe I'm writing Stokes off a bit quickly. Also I guess it's always harder coming into a bad performing side. What I find strange is that Stokes has done nothing in the 2 warm up games with bat or ball so it's still a strange one for me. Hope I'm proven wrong

  • JG2704 on December 5, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin on (December 5, 2013, 9:09 GMT) You're not alone at all. Even if the pitch is as flat as they come 400 is a very competitive score. We must also put into the equation that our batting is much lighter. Tremlett is no great batsman but Monty is def worse and then there's the difference between what Trott and Stokes might have/will contribute with the bat. Add to that , England's struggle with the bat in recent years and esp the 1st test and it's not looking good at all. I also tend to find that the lower order/tail tends to wag more for the team which is on top as there is less pressure

  • GrindAR on December 5, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    So, search for Gilchrist replacement finally over...? Bailey is doing that role pretty fluently. Good for Aussies.

  • jackiethepen on December 5, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    The way that Australia play spin bowling I would take Bell out of short leg until maybe the ball is turning more. He's a very good in fielder which is why Strauss always used him to take catches at midwicket or cutting off runs.

  • Beertjie on December 5, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Well done, England on the selection of 2 spinners - way to go. That required picking Stokes, but he and Prior will be key. Should they fail the way is open to a batting slide. But if England didn't try this, the signs would have pointed to a lack of imagination and fight. Winning the toss would have helped, but they've had a pretty good day. Clarke and Haddin need to get stuck in and ensure that we bat till tea. Agree entirely @Big_Maxy_Walker on (December 5, 2013, 9:00 GMT) about the two spinners. SOK would have been priceless. This NSP are only marginally better than the last!

  • InfiniteWhite on December 5, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    I have to disagree with some comments here that England's tail is long. It's actually very long. It starts from Carberry.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    @Train_Stationer: Have you played cricket? It's next to impossible to dodge a ball that bounces off a length toward your throat at a good pace, the first instinct is self preservation because you can't duck fast enough otherwise you would duck into it! Unless you are prepared to wear a couple, but at 95mph i doubt it.

  • milepost on December 5, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    @Train Stationer 'Johnson didn't bowl a single delivery that needed to be played'. Well I suppose that's true if you should leave throat balls at 90mph lol! Australia could probably declare before lunch and still win by an innings going by England's form.

  • whoster on December 5, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    A pretty even day, but with the Aussies batting first, would rather be in their shoes. I thought England bowled with great discipline on a batsmen's dream of a pitch, but the late dropping of Haddin could be costly. England have to remove either Clarke or Haddin early tomorrow, or a big total could be racked up. If Australia pass 400, they'll be big favourites, but if England can limit them to around 350, all to play for.

  • on December 5, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    watto and rogerz return to form,

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK:-It's Vegemite down here mate.

  • cric_J on December 5, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    Re which team can be considered on top after day-1, IMO it should have been England had our batting looked in decent touch. After being put into bowl on a flat deck, 273/5 is a job well done by the bowlers, especially when there is no swing for the quicks and some minimal day-1 turn for the spinners. Even after those dropped catches, if England get Australia for about 400, it can be considered an excellent effort BUT ONLY IF our batsmen bat long and solid and get at least 400 themselves. ATM our batting looks pretty iffy so I'd have to say honours shared.

    Re the dropped catches, it was a mixed day in the field for our lads. Jimmy and Swanny pulled off two ripping catches and Prior grabbed a good one to get Rogers. IMO Joe dropped a pretty tough one. But Monty spilled one that should've been taken and Carbs dropping a regulation chance was heart wrenching to stay the least. Given Pup's record at Adelaide he'll make us pay. Fingers crossed for the contrary though.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 5, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Those of you questioning Watson's place in the team really need to ask yourselves which you'd prefer: a (usually) consistent ~50 knock + useful overs of bowling + a decent fielder (= Watson), vs. a consistent 0-10 score + non-bowler + average fielder (e.g. Hughes)?

    I don't think I know of any other player that fans are so fickle about. Surely Watson has to scoop the award for the most Marmite player in international cricket.

  • on December 5, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    I'm reserving my opinion of the pitch (and Australia's batting) until (at least) halfway through the English 1st innings. After all, Australia's 295 in Brisbane looked to be short, but England's 136 in reply said it was better than it looked.

  • ScottStevo on December 5, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, were you impressed with Root's 180 in Eng when he was dropped on 8 (Root's only score of note), or Pietersen's 150 at the Oval in '05 when Warne spilt a sitter when he was on not a lot? A rather odd point to be making...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge- on December 5, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Definitely not the road that everyone was talking about pre game. As Rogers said more like a day 3 pitch. Ball was holding in the pitch, was taking spin on day 1 and looks dry. Dark days ahead for England as the pitch will probably present their mediocre batting talent too big a challenge against a superior Aussie bowling attack.

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    I think those claiming advantage for one side or the other are jumping too soon. One thing for sure though, England will be savagely disappointed to have lost the toss.

  • on December 5, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Evenly poised at the moment. I have a horrible feeling the missed chances will cost England dear. I hope not.

  • RJHB on December 5, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    Too many of these promising but ultimately disappointing days for Australia's batsmen. You can't really say that any batsmen got out today because the bowling was just too good or the pitch played tricks. No, virtually every batsman got out throwing it away and that is bone lazy. It's a rubbish pitch, hard to believe its a home pitch really. It could be India or England this past winter, not Australia. Disgraceful.

  • jmcilhinney on December 5, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    @wellrounded87 on (December 5, 2013, 11:24 GMT), would you have been as impressed with Bailey if he had been caught by Panesar on 10 as he have been?

  • Shaggy076 on December 5, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Pretty even game and I think its a result pitch. There was quite a bit of reverse swing going on and don't think it was a particularly easy pitch to drive on. reckon its pretty much 50/50 on day one. Australia typically makes half there runs with the last 5 wickets and would want to getaround 400 here.

  • on December 5, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    England's team selection seems curious - can't see them making enough runs with only five batsmen (Stokes looks like work in progress, rather than the finished article). Clearly they hoped to be bowling last on a spinning track (oops) Now they need to catch well (oops). Australia's match to lose from here!

  • Marcio on December 5, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    It's hard to say who got the better of the day. If this was a normal Adelaide track, you'd have to say England. But the pitch seems very dry - rather like the ones the Poms coughed up over in England. And needless to say, this is the perfect pitch for England, and will favour risk-adverse, attritional cricket - as well as Swann and Panesar - while at the same time neutralising Johnson.

    But let's wait and see what happens when England bat. It is possible that Australia will be bundled out for around 350-400, giving England a chance to build a big first innings lead if they can rack up one of the dour big totals. But when was the last time England scored over 400? Can't remember, but this might just be the place for it.

  • anton1234 on December 5, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Australia can get to 400. I think England will do well to get 300. But because Australia won't be able to play England out of the match by scoring 600, we potentially have a great match on our hands, and one that will very likely get a result. I saw enough evidence on the first day to suggest Johnson and Harris can repeat their performance, maybe not to the same extent, but there was enough pace to suggest if they bowl at 90mph at the body, which they do, they would create lot of problems. Harris should look to bowl his mix of mostly pitching fuller with the odd bouncer while Johnson should do what he did at Brisbane i.e. pepper the English at their bodies at 90mph and more.

  • on December 5, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Three dropped catches ..... England may look back on the 2nd Test Day1 and say that this was the day we kissed The Ashes goodbye.

  • wellrounded87 on December 5, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    A pretty even day i would say. Poor shot selection hurt the Aussies and dropped catches hurt the Poms. Under normal circumstances i'd say England have the edge slightly. But with Haddin and Clarke in i think it's an even contest. Both have incredible records at this ground and Clarke hasn't looked troubled at all.

    Steve Smith has no place in the test side. I don't care about his century at the Oval. It came against a complacent English side experimenting with two debutants in a meaningless test. When the pressure is on Smith is found wanting consistently. Was impressed with Bailey, his dismissal was unnecessary though that was an easy leave.

  • Pindia on December 5, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Decent day for Australia, should get 400 and put the pressure on the England top order. Australia look like a very settled team now, with players like Faulkner and Hughes capable understudies. Admittedly no hundreds but think it is more important that no batsman failed. Watson and Warner should have a very good series with the bat...

  • crockit on December 5, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    England may not fancy chasing a large total if the wicket starts breaking up on day 4 and 5. That means need to bundle Aus out in the morning session for around 350 then score big - 500 to 600 to put overwhelming pressure on Aus. This is not easy with so few batters in good form.

  • on December 5, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    Very pleased both by Bailey's score and for the way he played. To come in with all his experience and play a counter-attacking hand even with the team in a bad situation shows why he could be a perfect number 6 for Aus. Pretty canny bowling all day from England though, showing why they're so hard to get away from. If they can get Aus out for 320-odd, then that'll give the batsmen an excellent chance to get a match-winning lead (if they can get over their recent frailty, which is no small ask!).

  • heathrf1974 on December 5, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    England slightly in-front. The wicket looks a little slow and may dry more as the game goes on. Don't know if the wicket will break-up though. But as usual like a lot of Adelaide tests the game is fairly well balanced. However, the Aussies will be hoping for 400.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on December 5, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Ominous signs already for Eng esp. with Clarke barely looking troubled and the best bat in the world well set to reach successive Ashes 100s tom. with a in red hot form Haddin and the world's best L/order yet to come for co. Eng will already be bereft of ideas how to get Clarke out and we are into 2nd match only ! Much to look forward as a rapidly crumbling pitch with Aus scoring 400-450 will be tough surviving against this Aus pace attack. Also the best spinner in the game -Lyon- will be even more of a threat here and is due for a rich haul -10+ wickets- and match winning as well when you consider he had Eng bats in all sorts on a surface like Gabba . Aus 2-0

  • dunger.bob on December 5, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    England in front by a short half head but we have the runs in the bank. I didn't see much play and only caught a bit here and there on the radio. Sounds like I missed a decent days Test cricket. England seem to have bowled tidily but it got a bit sloppy at times in the field. We batted great in patches and poorly in others but overall just about a par score. As others have said, if we can scramble together another 130 or so we'll get about 400 which is a decent enough first innings. A score like that makes you harder to beat at the very least.

    I did get to watch Bailey v Panesar for a while and that was entertaining stuff. I thought Monty bowled pretty well but George seems to love a spinner. .. England have made the right call with the two spinners it seems. On the plus side I don't think the pitch is quite the dodo everyone was expecting so our bowlers will have a little something to work with too. .. Both sides will be happy enough but rue dropped catches and soft dismissals.

  • stormy16 on December 5, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Eng the happier side and if they took their catches would have been well in front. The guys who needed runs got some but no big hundred and Aus are still 130+ short of being competitive. The wicket could hold a x-factor which may change significantly. It looks dead but there is already signs of difficult batting conditions to come so Aus must make the most of it tomorrow. While Eng did well with the ball, Aus should be bitterly dissappointed at not being able to bat properly and this is going on for too long. Even with 3 fifties, there is still a chance of not making much more than 300 and again it's all up to Clark.

  • Mervo on December 5, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Tragic how yet another great Australian cricket ground has become second rate. Drop in pitches in Adelaide shows how much we care about football, relative to Test cricket. Who not use real pitches at Port Lincoln or Gambier or even Townsville and at leaf develop some real local focus? Time for some re-evaluation.

  • ravi_hari on December 5, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    Interestingly Day 1 has ended at the same score at Gabba. Though Aus lost 3 wkts more. Today they have Clarke batting on 48. A few overs in the morning we will know how important his presence will be. The way a few batsmen got out, I feel the ball is stopping a bit before coming on. Watson and Bailey got out, probably due to variable bounce. If that is true, England will find it difficult to play as the match goes into day 2 and 3. I feel Lyon and Smith can do the damage and Jhonson will create problems with his pace. It will be a test for Harris though. Good to see 5 of top 6 getting decent scores. If Haddin and Clarke put on a partnership we are looking at a 400+ for Aus. You never know that could be more than enough for Eng. With a changed batting line up, Eng will find it difficult to cope with the pressure. Cook, Bell and Pieterson should take the responsibility and take the fight into Aus camp. For Aus Clarke should reach his avg. at this ground and leave it to bowlers for kill.

  • crockit on December 5, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Was Bresnan not fit enough even to play as a fifth bowler who can bat instead of Stokes. Stokes may well be a great player in the making but is probably a bit short of the required quality in both disciplines at this point - though you might see more of him if England can't find enough quality specialists batters to fil top 6 slots! I reckon Woakes might be worth another go at some point. He ended last season with a big century and to me looks like he could make a test batter. That would take the pressure off his bowling - he is low to mid 80s and not tall but it has to be remembered that this will be enough if he can get to a point of real mastery of swing and cut etc - look at the history of bowlers like Hoggard...

  • on December 5, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Dear all - Feels to me like England's first innings here predicts the series. Although the back end of the Aussie innings may well predict England's batting, don't you think? If England's combined bowling and catching fails to get them out for, at worst, under 400 that probably indicates the series is gone - deep down in England's bone marrow, i.e. the place where they decided, a couple of years ago, that having striven might and main and wonderfully to become world Number 1 they didn't like the relentless responsibility of actually being there so they'd better not play quite so well. Regardless, if the batting collapses again that's the QED on a lesser, parallel retreat from responsibility created by the burden of successive Ashes wins (and if no collapse, series back on!?). Of course, I don't mean this is a spoken "plan", it's just what's happened in English sports teams down the decades (what G Gooch called "will"?). Long-term success doesn't suit their psyche. Odd innit?

  • on December 5, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    I guess both teams would be somewhat satisfied with where they are. Australia are slightly short of what they might have wanted, but 273/5 is pretty respectable. England should be happy with what they have done here. Today would be England's day, but not my too much. However, my gut feeling tells me a KP daddy hundred is on the way.

  • jmcilhinney on December 5, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    @JG2704 on (December 5, 2013, 9:20 GMT), re Stokes and Woakes, I'm guessing that they like Stokes' extra pace but I'm inclined to agree that Woakes would be the better all-around selection.

  • on December 5, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Its a sticky 2-paced wicket,Not the usual Adelaide oval pitch.Any 1st inns score here is decisive.Lyon will play big role.Driving is difficult and the top surface has already come off.If 2moro is a scorching day say at 36-37 temp.This could well be a 4 day match .

  • Jagger on December 5, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Does anyone think that Shane Watson only does enough to keep his place? And if they made him captain he would lift to another level? Or is he really just a dumb player?

    He can't hit the gaps/ bisect the field. He can't turn over the strike. He is a shocking runner between the wickets. He is a senior player and should be dominating by now. Clarke has matured into a batsman of note. Watson has not.

    I second Mitty2's comment - we (Oz) will never become number 1 test playing nation with Watson in the side. Bite the bullet and make him ODI and T20 Captain, and be rid of him completely from the Test match arena.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    Too many people rushing to conclusions, especially on England's team selection. Monty may have bowled well, but don't forget Stokes is batting at 6 for them with an out of form Prior at 7.

    The Aussies won't say it publicly, but they feel as if they have Joe Root under wraps, Carberry's only played a couple of test matches, Cook is out of form, Pietersen is dangerous but you always fancy your chances against him. This means England has lengthened their tail by 2 men, also Anderson/Panesar at 10/11 is encouraging for the Aussies.

    Like i said, we might be lucky to get to 350, but that could be enough not to lose the game with this English side.

  • jmcilhinney on December 5, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    @JG2704 on (December 5, 2013, 9:34 GMT), I think we all agree that Stokes is not a genuine third seamer so he was always only going to be picked as a fifth bowler. With two spinners being selected, I think it makes sense to select Stokes. If they picked Rankin then that would mean an out of form Prior at #6 and a tail including both Rankin and Panesar. I would pick Bairstow ahead of Ballance and Stokes for batting alone but none of the three has really staked a claim so any would be a gamble. At least Stokes does have the bowling as another string to his bow and, now that they've lost the toss, that is probably rather important. While none of us know what's in the minds of Cook and Flower, presumably they can't be 100% sure of Bresnan's fitness and I can't help thinking that Panesar's selection is more of a vote-of-no-confidence in the tall timber than an endorsement of Monty. If that is the case then they really need to consider bringing Onions into the squad.

  • on December 5, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    @Anurag Australia hardly doctors pitches.The only time they did was in 84-85 vs WI at Sydney .Regrding wins away Australia hv lost in India/England only. Havent lost a series in South Africa after their reintroduction in 91 and beat SL away 1-0.When did India win a series in Sl anyway dude.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 5, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    @Rags57 There was more movement in this pitch than there was at the Gabba, it just doesn't have as much pace and bounce. Australias bowlers hit the pitch a lot harder than the English bowlers, with Broad the possible exception, and Broad looked threatening all day.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge- on December 5, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    More signs of England decline. A selection that smacks of trying to cover 2 bases but not covering either, and the catching was park cricket level. Why Bresnan didn't get a start with his record is beyond me. But what else to expect from a country whose golden era has them sitting at the lofty heights of only 3rd best in the world. Will be a worry as the slide inevitably continues.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 5, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    @JG2704 (post on December 5, 2013, 9:34 GMT): I would have gone for Bresnan instead of Stokes as, for some bizarre reason, Bresnan is classified as an 'all-rounder' after all and isn't he 100% fit? I'm really glad England didn't go for an extra batsman as I think four bowlers would not be enough on this pitch unless the likes of Root/KP have been bowling endlessly in the nets. An extra bowler like Rankin - yeah O.K. lesser of two evils I guess (batsman vs. bowler), but lengthens the tail too much and remember it was the batting that let us down last game. A 'supposed' all-rounder was the right way to go for England, and Woakes isn't there so it was always going to be Stokes/Bresnan in the running. Magic Monty was the surprise pick for me, and as I implied in the preview my feelings are moot. Peach of a delivery to dismiss Smith though! Keep it up Monty.

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    @Samdanh:-Clarke won't bowl, his back's playing up again as per usual.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Looks-Silly-Now on December 5, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    A good headline would have been "Chris Rogers England".

  • rickyvoncanterbury on December 5, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    IMO England had no choice but to play two spinners any other bowler they have on tour probably would have struggled on this pitch, but the two 2 strike bowlers got enough out of the pitch to suggest the Aussie paceman will keep the English batsmen honest, with Lyon bowling at the other end.

  • Rags57 on December 5, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    Too much was written about Australian ascendancy after the Gabba win but Australia have emerged second best at the end of day 1. People started talking about a whitewash but where are we at the end of day 1 here? A wasted toss and the top and middle order are both looking fragile as ever. Steve Smith is a failure at No. 5 and Clarke does not even trust him with his gentle spin. Australia could be in for a long haul given so little support for pace on this pitch. England did a smart thing bringing in Panesar while Australia's fast bowlers are going to struggle and tire before Perth. If the lower order can bail Australia out as they did at Brisbane in the first innings and Australia post a total in excess of 450, we can expect a draw else England could make them hunt leather on days 2 and 3. An interesting contest in store all the same.

  • warnerbasher on December 5, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    The wicket appears more challenging than Brisbane and the English/South African/New Zealand/Zimbabwean batting lineup seems to suddenly appear a bit fragile without Trott. Still their bowlers did alright today however the dropped catches let them down badly. Batting last on this wicket could present a real challenge but the game is set up for a great contest. As others have suggested it might require a KP special to separate the teams in this one

  • jmcilhinney on December 5, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    I say that honours are about shared after today. Australia would have been hoping for more but won't be too disappointed with that score. They still have enough batting left to post a respectable score and significantly more if Clarke especially gets going. As for England, they'll know that they could be in a better position but after losing the toss on an apparently placid pitch, they'll be happy enough. The bowling was mostly pretty good and they'll be pleased to have kept the run rate in check, but they'll be ruing those dropped catches. Root's was a 50/50 chance at best but Monty should have taken his. As for Carberry, that was a disgraceful miss. He was just too casual. For a reputedly excellent fielder, he's put down more than his fair share in an England shirt. At least Swann's was excellent and Anderson's very good too. England will be desperate for a good first hour tomorrow and to be batting by lunch. The question is, would they still be batting by stumps?

  • ScottStevo on December 5, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy, based on recent form, 315 should cover both of Eng's innings!

  • irishmancricfan on December 5, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Even enough so far. Maybe slight edge to england but with haddin and clarke still in australia will be looking for that 400 plus mark.

  • inthebag on December 5, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Both teams playing to type. England conservative, keeping up the pressure but nothing special when conditions don't suit. Australia with the positive, attacking mindset but, apart from Clarke, lacking the ability make an opposition pay consistently. The winning of the game will again be the bowling attacks. Australia have a definite edge when the poms can't doctor the pitches. Time will tell.

  • on December 5, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    @LoungeChairCritic, doctored pitches away? You're kidding right? Every team makes their pitches to suit their own teams. Just because Australia (like every team in cricket right now) are unable to win away from home, doesn't mean you immediately blame the pitches. Australia does have doctored pitches, every cricket country does.

  • JG2704 on December 5, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Re the Stokes selection - I'm also curious as to what they based it on? His scores in the 2 WU matches he played were 4 and 28 and his bowling aggregate was 1-100+ ? I genuinely hope I'm proven wrong but I feel that England are trying to bolster both the batting and bowling but for me (as already hit on by my friend Shan) in reality it probably weakens both areas. For me they could have either gone with the extra batsman in Ballance or the extra bowler in Rankin who looked to be the most consistent of our 3rd choice seamers and was unlucky not to get a chance in the last WU match

  • Samdanh on December 5, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Eng picked the right team I guess. It is increasingly becoming frustrating to see Aus not picking horses for courses. Why is there an inexplicable reluctance to play two spinners when the conditions warrant as it is in Adelaide now? I am concerned, as an Aus fan, that a talent such as SOK is being ignored and wasted. Had it been for countries like SA or Eng or even India, where there are plenty of spinners, SOK would have got umpteen opportunties by now. Big first innings score and more grinding batting in the 3rd innings are key for Aus, besides an equally disciplined bowling. I would like to see at least Smith and Warner and even Clarke bowling longer than usual spells, now that Aus have not gone with a regular second spinner. England 60 Aus 40 - first day. That is how I see it.

  • Mitty2 on December 5, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    On our players - well played to Rogers for gutsing it out despite not being in the best of touch (can't blame him for how he got out - pitched on middle and turned over 7 degrees), credit to Bailey who played the perfect no.6 counterattacking role and has now 33% of all his runs scored coming in sixes, Bailey could be a huge asset, well done to Clarke who, despite his evident physical restriction, absorbed the pressure and prevented a collapse. Now for Shane Watson, yeah sure credit for his usual fifty, but boy his dismissal just proves how he's not a test match batsman. His lack of temperament is unparalleled. What was he thinking? The day he's finally gone from the side is the day we can finally rebuild successfully. Unfortunately for us his fifty means that he'll stay in for the next ten tests.

    Cook's captaincy was much improved with his changing of bowlers but still... He made batting so easy for Bailey and Clarke after being in a perilous position.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    The boys would be lucky to get to 350 from here, but the way the poms have batted in the past few tests, that's a good score.

  • RednWhiteArmy on December 5, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Australia have won a crucial coin-toss & failed to take the ascendancy. England should be able to roll them for about 315

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 5, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    So is there a glitch in the matrix today or what? England finally playing five bowling options AND two of them are spinners...

    Pretty 'par-for-the-course'/'run-of-the-mill' score really; England MUST shake off their annoying habit of allowing the last 4-or-so wickets stack up a formidable score. I'm not saying either team's favourite at the moment, but once England get either Clarke or Haddin out tomorrow they must make it count and get the bowlers out cheaply. None of this "50's for MJ/Siddle/Harris..." stuff. Pretty obvious what England's batsmen need to then do.

  • InfiniteWhite on December 5, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    I think England has fallen into a trap by shortening their batting line-up, England will be lucky to get past 250. They really depend on Cook, Bell and Pietersen but without Trott shielding the middle order, it will be an even more difficult task. And let's not forget that Bell is Johnson's bunny. So apart from some random contributions from the other batsmen, eventually it will be Cook vs Harris and Pietersen vs Lyon/ Siddle that will determine the result. 2-0 for Australia.

  • JG2704 on December 5, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    Wasn't at all convinced by England's selection to begin with and I'd say this is Australia's day big time. I have little faith in our batting line up as it stands and felt we really needed to be well on top after the 1st day. The Carberry drop could also turn out to be very damaging. The Monty inclusion may work out as he's shown enough threat on a day 1 pitch to make me think he could be even more of a threat in the 2nd inns. I don't think there's too much for the seamers but I'm not sure there needs to be when Aus come to bowl. Also I'm unconvinced by Stokes and said this beforehand and still think Woakes is the best option we have for that role.

  • Mitty2 on December 5, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    If I'm going to be honest, that was probably one of the best days of the series so far. The pressure was high and this was by far the best Eng has bowled on this tour, and probably up there with last series (not just one bowler blowing us away - anderson at TB, Swann at Lord's and Broad at Durham). Good selection from Eng to include Panesar - he bowled very well despite the odd long hops and helped the seamers to rest , and he also complimented them in the pressure he built. Broad and Anderson both had good middle over spells, which is particularly good for Anderson, who has so far looked listless. Swann was much better and was a big threat with him now bowling more overspin. But all batsmen I thought until Rogers got out played him well. I think just five wickets isn't a fair reflection of how well Eng bowled on a relatively good batting wicket (still a fair amount of spin and a bit two-paced). However with the slow outfield our score would otherwise be a bit higher.

  • Simoc on December 5, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Watsons dismissal was disappointing as it was a nothing shot, very soft. The others just showed our batters up. Carberrys miss at the end was a shocker. It is one Haddin/ Oz can take advantage of if Haddin gets a score. With Pieterson due for a big ton the days ahead should be entertaining.

  • Nutcutlet on December 5, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    It looks to be a pitch that keeps players honest, I think. Thus far, bowlers earn their wickets, batsmen their runs - no easy pickings. The wickets that fell today were the result of lapses in concentration rather than unplayable balls ( exc. Steve Smith, who got a peach from Monty). What does this mean for England when their turn comes? The key word must be patience, but, conscious of the need to press on to a commanding score that doesn't take too long in its gathering, England must guard against getting ahead of themselves. The key could be KP. He is the one batsman capable of bucking the trend & scoring at a lick, even here. Only he has the skill set to make a nonsense of the pitch conditions that apply to lesser talents. Any score in the region of 400 will otherwise be difficult to match in brisk time (say, 100 overs), IMO. From an England point of view then, let's hope KP plays himself in & then goes through the gears.

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on December 5, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    Well with this pace and bounce Broad looked dangerous today I wonder what Johnson can do tomorrow. 350 would be a great 1st innings total, to me pitch never looked flat it always had something for bowlers.

  • on December 5, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    @FrontFootLunge..."What a road." If this is a road then so was the Gabba on which England folded twice for a score well under 200 and couldnt bowl Australia out twice for less than 700 odd runs so there's still no cause for optimism if your English...at least optimism of the rational kind that is.

  • on December 5, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Both team missed opportunities to gain upper hand on day 1. Eng will try to bowl them within 350. While aus will try to reach 400. This pitch wont suit team batting 2nd hence first inn lead of 100 will be important for either sides

  • Harlequin. on December 5, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    and I didn't even touch on the fact that England are dropping catches - as any club cricketer will tell you; poor fielding is the surest sign that you are on the back foot.

  • Harlequin. on December 5, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    How am I the only one who doesn't seem to think this match is evenly poised/England just ahead?! Call it innate English pessimism but the Aussie tail has been consistently adding 100-150 runs for the past 12 months, so it is more likely than not that Australia will get to 400, which is a decent first innings score in anyone's book. Bailey batted well, just a bit of inexperience stopped him from being there at stumps, which means there is another Aussie batsman we have to keep our eyes on.

    But forget all of this, England bowlers performed well in the first innings at Brisbane (2nd innings they were still knackered!), the question marks are not really on them, they are on the batting line-up. Until we have batted, one of the top 4 posts a ton, Prior at least looks like scoring runs and Stokes doesn't fail completely, then I will have a bit of confidence that this test is on level pegging. As for now, I'd say there are more smiles in the Aussie dressing room

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on December 5, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    Even game for me with England slightly ahead. Looks like 2 spinners was the way to go, as I thought it would be. As this seasons shield games showed, spinners were taking the majority of the wickets. Lyon and O'Keefe in tandem would have done very well here. They were very good together for NSW and with Steve being a left arm spinner he would have done well against the many right handed English batsmen.

  • Aztec_Bar on December 5, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    About as close to evenly poised as you can get. 5/273. Exactly 3.00 runs per over, not too slow, not super quick. Exactly half the wickets down, as mentioned previously, had one of those 5 wickets been Clarke, then the day would just belong to England. I love days of Test cricket like this :)

  • on December 5, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    @ train stationer.. you are kidding, right?? Or did you see a different test match then the rest of us???

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 5, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Australia well on its way to 400+. They just need Clarke to reach three figures and minor contributions from Haddin, Mitch and Co. Looks like a turning track to me. Let's see. Australia needs to use all the spinners in the team if bad Mitch turns up and ruins the match. Keeping my fingers crossed. Warner and Bailey gifted their wickets. Otherwise it would have been 350+ for 3 by the end. Substandard bowling from England and got some cheap wickets with batsmen gifting them on a platter. England is substandard not only in bowling but in fielding too. Dropped a couple of easy chances. Now, we all know that their batting is on the downward slope for some time now. Saw glimpses of it at Gabba. There's no reason to believe that their substandard batting is going to improve all of a sudden in this match. Good luck Australia.

  • on December 5, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    IMO and against this weakened and out of form English batting lineup; Australia will be ahead of the game with a 300 run first innings score and dominant in the game with a score 350-400 run first innings. There's reasonable pace and carry so Mitch will be a handful, there's also some spin for Lyon and I'm almost positive that Australia's bowlers who hit the deck considerably harder will extract much more movement. I hope the physio does a proper Job on Clarke's ankle and back so as to free up his movement for tommorrow morning. I dont condemn Warner and Bailey for falling to attacking shots as Australia needed just one dominant innings to take the game away and Swann's catch was a ripper. One of Clarke or Haddin need to really break the shackles tommorrow to take the score well past 350. Consistent bowling by England though Australia's attack are capable of turning the heat up a notch or 2 from that!

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    @rickyvoncanterbury:-Yep, I see Lyon using this pitch well. Both Swann and Panesar are still bowling too flat. Lyon will throw it up a bit. Of the three spinners in the game he's clearly the one with the most attacking mindset.

  • Redbackfan on December 5, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Points for mine have to go with England on day 1, 5 wickets on a batsmen friendly wicket is a good effort. The 3 dropped catches let them down, Roots catch was tough but the other 2 were sitters. Warner played a bad shot and he knows it. Watson same old story mentally fragile in test cricket even the commentators are saying it now. 1 he doesn't rotate the strike and look for single and 2 he does push on. 3 centuries from 88 innings is a bad conversion rate and gets out just before lunch/tea break again. We don't need an all rounder just pick 6 quality batsmen and 4 quality bowlers & WK. Rogers did all the hard work and then had a lapse but look good. Smith I thought he turned the corner in England but hes been ordinary so far this ashes. Bailey look more comfortable and was a bit unlucky to get caught by a good catch from Swan. Clark needs a big hundred and good partnerships with Haddin and Johnson and some handy runs from the tail. It's shaping for a good test match Go Aussie!

  • LoungeChairCritic on December 5, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    @frontfootlunge you have been getting to much sun down under my son. Australia have not been ordinary for nearly a decade. Last year we were playing for the number 1 ranking against South Africa and we held a top 3 test ranking probably right up to about 2009. I acknowledge that we had a poor tour of India and England but that's what happens when you play away and the opposition doctor the wickets. Australians may like sledging but at least we do not doctor our pitches. Comparing the Gabba to Adelaide proves that. Our pitches are very different as they have been for many a year. At the start of the day both captains would of taken winning the toss, batting and being 5 for 273. Cook would of even been more frustrated with losing the toss when you consider that he was playing two spinners.

  • DJAbacus on December 5, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    England would have desperately wanted to win the toss with two spinners but did a good job to take five wickets whilst keeping control of the run rate. Should have been a couple more as well. England just the happier.

  • Meety on December 5, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx on (December 5, 2013, 7:16 GMT) - I used to think the same about Botham..... == == == As with the 1st Test - we'll see what England can do IF, they are batting tomorrow. England missed some opportunities late in the day - but gee whiz, what about the missed opportunities for Rogers, Watto & Bailey? Once Rogers got his 50 - I thought he would carry his bat (they won't get him out), yes he did look scratchy early, but I thought he was ready. Then the usual Watto Brain fade, a long session is what did him in, he cant concentrate well after the 90min mark let alone 130min. Bailey should of cashed in on the lifes he was given. As for England - they should be pleased with where they ended up, a darn site better than where they finished in Brizzy. I didn't think the bowling was hostile (just disciplined) - but it was enuff to keep Oz under the pump for most of the day. If Clarke is still batting at Lunch time tomorrow - Eng could be in a bother.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on December 5, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    You can feel all the Lyon fans licking their lips, fingers on keyboard.

  • gm47 on December 5, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @ Eat_sleep_play_cricket "Wonder if England's honey moon period is coming to an end. 5-0 sweep for Australia."

    can anyone join your dreamland :) :)

  • on December 5, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    If England bat properly I can't see Johnson taking any wickets in this game. In the first test he didn't bowl a single delivery that had to be played.

  • CSpiers on December 5, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    @FFL, Nearly a decade? Dear oh dear you really are delusional, I can't blame you for being bitter though after all the thrashings the mighty Australians gave England through the 90's.

  • AussieSam on December 5, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    @Fan1619: Where are all Australia's 40+ averaging batsmen? They all retired. It's still a very fresh Test side. Of the Top 6, other than Clarke, only 2 players have played more than 20 matches and they both average above 35. After this series we'll have more of an indication of how good a side it is. Also, of the 4 batsmen who played the whole series in England and averaged over 40, three of them were Aussie with the other being Bell.

    I think it's been a fairly even day. You couldn't really say it's been a good day or a bad day for either side, though England will be happy to have the top order out. If Clarke was one of the 5 wickets you probably could say they are on top.

    The pitch isn't as good for batting as a typical Adelaide wicket typically was considering the amount of spin it's offering, and its definitely not as good as people were predicting. Also seemed like Broad got a bit of bounce which Johnson might enjoy. I think a decisive battle will be between Lyon and Pietersen

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    @GeoffreysMother:-Just did a little research vis-a-vis your attendance jibe. Some capacities of English grounds:- Lord's-28,000, The Oval-23,500, Old Trafford-25,000, Edgbaston-25,000. Official attendance today at Adelaide-33,943. Let's assume the 943 are Barmy Army. That means 33,000 Australians attended the game today. Population:- Adelaide:-1.203 million (2010 census), London:-8.174 million (2011 census). Not enough Barmies in my estimate? So let's make it 3,943. Guess what, GeoffreysMother? I think it's safe to say that more Australians attended the game today than have EVER attended one day of ANY test match in England.

  • milepost on December 5, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Haha the hilarious Lunge returns! Australia are over rated? Weren't they rated as abysmal prior to the Gabba test where they handed England the 5th largest Ashes defeat? Today just reflected that England's poor tour continues, dropping catches at every opportunity. 400 will be 200 too many for England anyway lol!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 5, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Out of all the possible teams that England could have gone for, I must confess this was one of my least expected. Stokes - yeah get that and really pleased that England have five bowling options; but Magic Monty there instead of Bresnan... Hmmm, brave decision. Could be a bit of swing around if there's dampness in the air - but on the other hand, there was a lot of chatter about the pitch taking spin from day 4 onwards... Grasp your chances boys, grasp your chances.

  • HatsforBats on December 5, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    A fairly even day but England are slightly ahead. Some fairly soft dismissals all round (Bailey apart, a good bouncer from Broad) but England should be happy with the days play (except the dropped catches!). Cook rotated his bowlers fairly well but for the life of me I can't figure out why Anderson/Broad were into the wind and Swann/Panesar downwind? I think Ballance for Stokes would've been a better option, the quicks got plenty of rest with Swann/Panesar bowling plenty of overs. Excellent stabilising batting by Clarke and Bailey, that was nearly the perfect no.6 innings. I've given his selection some stick but that was a good counter attack. I'll probably be pilloried but there's shades of Gilchrist about him.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    @Fan1969: Gayle, Chanderpaul,Clarke have played how many tests between them? It's unfair to compare those to Warner, Smith, Bailey and Rogers who are at the start of their careers.

    How do you know what Warner, Smith, Bailey, Rogers will average when/if they play 50/60 tests? These players aren't going too badly at this stage of their careers, it's normal. Hayden averaged 25 after 15 tests, Waugh averaged 30 after 30 tests, Ponting started off pretty well but wasn't anywhere near what he finished off with.

  • trumpoz on December 5, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    England slightly ahead today. The wicket seems to be holding up a little and is almost as dry as the pitches in England for the last Ashes. Both sides will rue missed chances. Australia had 4 potential hundreds thrown away in Warner, Rogers, Watson and Bailey. England dropped 3 catches, one of them a complete sitter. If the Aussies can post 400+ they will be in a good position, as England have only made more than than 8 times in the past 2 years and will have to bat last on this pitch which will take more and more spin from day 3 or 4. Clarke and Haddin are the key - if they stick around for an hour tomorrow morning then they should get to 400.

  • disco_bob on December 5, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    If not for two terrible dropped sitters, England could have been all over us like a hot flannel. Too close for comfort. Can't understand Watto's dismissal, what sort of a shot was it?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 5, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    @ xtrafalgarx: Watch much cricket? Broad been bowling rippers for years at Australia. Check out the last few Ashes to assist you in your learning discovery of this wonderful game. His 6-fer last Ashes at Trent Bridge is my fav,

  • CSpiers on December 5, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Hard to see England scoring 300 on this wicket, already turning and it's obviously a bit slow with the lack of timing even a greater driver like Clarke is showing.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 5, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    What a road. Great bowling by England in particular Swann and Panesar. Terrible drop by Carberry at the end cost England gound, but once England have bat on here I'd expect their spin twins to take control of the game on days 4&5. Australia are such a mediocre and overrated team, no wonder they've spent nearly a decade with everybody being better than them.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Stuart Broad gets so many wickets, but watching them through there are hardly any ripper deliveries, he just somehow manages to get bad shots out of batsmen. Not a bad habit to have for him i guess, but gee he is lucky.

  • Fan1969 on December 5, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Where is Aussie batting talent? Except Clarke, to see TEST batsmen all having averages below 40 is unthinkable. If Clarke passes through an ordinary patch, it will be horrendous.

    Even WI have Gayle, Chanderpaul and Bravo averaging above 40 that is a very poor Test side.

    Australia make up for poor batting with some good fast bowling to be above NZ, WI etc. but I am still stumped. Watson just gives it away. Rogers is 36 plus and is given a chance in Test cricket this year probably because youngsters are not stepping up.

    What is the problem, is it Big Bash coinciding with Shield cricket or is it just TEST cricket does not attract the interest and talent from youngsters in Australia? The ODI team has many batsmen averaging above 40 with good strike rates but TEST avg below 40? Anyone cares to explain please?

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    I reckon we should put Bailes at 5 maybe? Try and stop the rot early and let Smitty learn his trade at no.6

  • on December 5, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    if srilanka face this english sem attack they gonna get bowled out for 100 with their oldies and average young batsman.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on December 5, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    all Aussie batsmen out so far to poor batting. Not one good ball amongst them

  • grandad40 on December 5, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    GJ Bailey has to cash in on the start hes got if does not convert this into a hundred he might find himself out of the team.Rogers too seems to irritate me whenever he gets into a good striking zone he gets out.Watson is the Stephen Fleming of australia(Rarely converts a 50 into a 100).

  • milepost on December 5, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    @Biggus, nice one. While England are getting beaten I think all the English fans have to comment on is our grounds. Go figure. England are dropping catches all over the place which could be very costly.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    @electric: How was Warner unlucky? He got a bad ball and wasn't good enough to put it away, he got himself out, i don't see how that is unlucky. Watson played pretty well, he didn't exactly give his wicket away, it held up. Rogers got done but was being lazy, Smith played around a straight ball. 200/4 is an even position, if they can get to 350 it's a good position to be in, calm down.

  • milepost on December 5, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    200 odd for 4 is shaky? This wicket offers a bit of movement, seems slightly sticky and is already taking turn so it's not looking all one way traffic for batsman as predicted. Something tells me the England tail which really starts at Stokes will not be relishing facing Harris and Johnson. Swann, Anderson, Panasar - that's effectively England starting batting with 7 wickets. So much pressure on the England top order.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    @disco_bob: For the last time, Watson is an ALLROUNDER! Why replace him with Hughes who can't bowl?

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    @GeoffreysMother:-"Just looked at the crowd. Do any Australians turn up to watch cricket?" I can only imagine you've looked at the as yet uncompleted stand and come to an incorrect conclusion. All the stands that are open seem to be packed. When all the stands are completed the ground is set to accomodate 50 odd thousand. I haven't seen the crowd figures yet but I'd guess 30 odd thousand as a wild estimation. How many does Lord's hold when full? Maybe 20 something? The Oval? And what's the population of London in comparison to Adelaide? Dodgy comment mate.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on December 5, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    A toss 1 on day 1 ,a flat batting fresh pitch and a mediocre bowling unit - all that can ask for ,really .Clarke got all that and you expect your batsmen to go out and pile on the 100s ,but this Aus batting again living up to all too familiar bad habits . After an useful opening stand and well placed, they just gave it all away as gifts . Not as Eng have a Johnson to change the game in a spell .Watson has again let team down and will need a big 1 in 2nd dig to even justify his place . Warner looked good for real big 1 - a double ton ?- just was bit unlucky. But Aus has the best L/order batting in the world to give Clarke co. and good stands with the capt. by them will help Clarke to a 100 as well give Aus 'handy' 400+ to bowl to . With the best spinner in the game to yet bowl - Lyon - along with ripping L/B of Smith and signs of spin ,Aus will happpy with 400 odd.

  • ImpartialExpert on December 5, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    The first two sessions were fantastic. The way England came back augurs well for the series. But I have to say Aus got complacent and gave a couple of soft wickets away and allowed England to claw back. But if Aus can get to close to 400 it is pretty much even at the end of first innings. As a neutral I am enjoying this. Logic says England currently on top but Aus lower order contributes as much as their top order if not more.

  • on December 5, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    @Garp only 2 frontline bowlers lol? how are Swann and monty not frontline bowlers?and monty just picked up the inept smith's wicket just before lunch hes also bowled 15 overs only going for 2rpo id say eng made good decision to play 2 spinners on this pitch looks like its going to take some spin later...

  • disco_bob on December 5, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    Surely it's time to get rid of Watson and blood Hughes. Watson is too fragile to open and his lack of conversions and a surfeit of tame dismissals make him an extremely ordinary no. 3. His bowling has become redundant.

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    @wapuser:-Nothing unlucky about Warner's dismissal. Poor batting is what it was.

  • Garp on December 5, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    It's like David Moyes is selection the cricket team now, you couldn't of played into the Aussies hands any better with this line up. Why Stokes over Bresnan? That makes no sense what so ever! With Bresnan you have 10X's the bowler and the same if not better a batsmen. Like I said its like someone is asking Moyes for team selector advice. Bad enough England dded very little with the time between test' s to correct their issued now they compound out with only 2 frontline bowlers, unbelievable.

  • bhushanB on December 5, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    For me Panesar bowled really well... Not sure whey Cook did not have more men around the bat for him

  • on December 5, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    the bowling is not threatning at all. I guess the choise of two spinners prooves to be a bad decision!!

  • MaruthuDelft on December 5, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    England have lost the urn.

  • ShutTheGate on December 5, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    Gee, this is surprising from England. They are not known to take gambles and playing two spinners and giving Stokes a debut cap is what I'd consider a gamble.

    Unlucky for them that they lost the toss. The 2 spinner strategy would probably be more effective if the Aussies were batting last on the 5th day.

    If Australia builds a respectable first innings total it will be interesting to see how attacking the English batsmen are. They don't have the luxury of batting for a draw like they did at the Oval.

  • on December 5, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    Considering there is a reluctance to have more than 2 reviews, surely if a team loses a review based on an "umpires call" they shouldn't lose their review. I'm Australian so this isn't a biased comment based on this innings :)

  • samgannon22 on December 5, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    I would rather stick pins in my eyes than watch Chris Rogers bat.

  • on December 5, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    Rogers is an absolute Genius at using up his opponants reviews!

  • HatsforBats on December 5, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Warner really needs to learn how to use his top hand. An absolute belter of a pitch and the outfield looks quick, but not dry enough to help with reverse, anything less than 450 would be disappointing. Hopefully the pitch does break up significantly otherwise the draw is odds on, and I don't want Harris bowling 30+ overs in the 2nd innings with 3 days rest before Perth. Oh, here comes Monty...

  • on December 5, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    I think Australia is still in a good position.... 46-1.... is fine and warner scored sum quick fire 29 runs and was unlucky ti get out...

  • on December 5, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    Panesar OK but some wishy washy medium pace isn't getting it done. They should've picked Bres instead because he could probably get the reverse swing going.

  • Webba84 on December 5, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    Massive mistake not to play Bresnan.

  • cloudmess on December 5, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    Ben Stokes? Oh England, why do you always have to lose the plot with selection at the most critical moments? Bresnan would have got you some runs at no 7, and he'd also take wickets. Stokes has promise, but this was not the match to blood him in - as yet he is still a bits and pieces ODI player at best. England are doing what I thought they'd do - half-heartedly strengthening the batting, effectively picking a side for the last game (Brisbane) rather than the present. They will finally get round to picking their best side in the 4th or 5th test when it;s too late. I thought the days of having too many theories over selection went out after Darren Pattinson. We might as well just hand over the Ashes now.

  • Shan156 on December 5, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    Playing Stokes and Panesar is not going all out for a victory. When was the last time England played 2 specialist spinners in a test in Australia? By including Ben Stokes in the XI, they have successfully weakened the batting and the bowling, congratulations England. On top of it, we have lost the toss and would need to bat second. With the mood the Aussie pacemen are in, England need to bat really well. If not, that is curtains for our Ashes campaign. Based on our "performance" in Brisbane, a draw would be like a victory for England.

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Soft dismissal by Warner and I have to say I'm pretty disappointed at his lack of situational awareness. It's all very well being an attacking player but one really needs to understand the requirements of a given situation. We're in no hurry, we've won the toss, the pitch looks to be full of runs and ideally we'd like to keep England in the field for a couple of days. If we do this right we could break England for the remainder of the series. Warner should be kicking himself, he's just spooned a rank long hop to point when he should have been setting himself for a long stay and a big score. The boy has talent, but as he keeps reminding us whenever he gets near a microphone he's not much of a thinker. I see Anderson still wants to say plenty out there, well he better grab one of those new pieces of protective gear England are said to have acquired when he goes out to bat 'cause he's going to cop plenty. If you want to play with fire, well...best be prepared for the consequences.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    Unfortunately Warner is gone early, but Watson and Rogers at the crease. These are the two guys who have to make big scores today.

  • jimbond on December 5, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    Good aggressive team selection by England. If either Stokes of Panesar perform, the gamble would have paid off. Panesar with his consistent line and good pace with his spin could be a handful for the Australian batsmen. However, the Panesar factor could be negated if Australia put up a good first innings score- and as they have won the toss.

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on December 5, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Anderson and Broad look so average when there isn't an overcast. Sorry, irrespective of an overcast as it was raining this morning. Wonder if England's honey moon period is coming to an end. 5-0 sweep for Australia.

  • trumpoz on December 5, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    England needed to be bold - good luck to them. It has already partially been nullified as Clarke won the toss meaning that the 2 spinners probably wont be bowling on the final day.

    Lets see the Aussies bat through to 500-600 and put England in match saving mode

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    First round to Australia:-England play two spinners and lose the toss. Not the result they'd have been looking for. With the showers around I'd be keen as a batsman to get that new ball wet. Will be a test of England's intestinal fortitude today, unless we deliver one of our iconic collapses. Will their heads still be up at the end of play?

  • GeoffreysMother on December 5, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Just looked at the crowd. Do any Australians turn up to watch cricket?

  • GeoffreysMother on December 4, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Brave and interesting selection from England. Who says the selectors are conservative. Panesar can bowl defensively for a long time and the crowd pressure on the Australians will be to attack - should be interesting. Have Australia a plan for Stokes? I haven't.

    Lucky Australia winning the toss - haven't they been lucky over the last 6 months!

  • Chris_P on December 4, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    One thing that does puzzle me is why "God Save the Queen" is played as England's national anthem & not "Land of Hope & Glory"? Maybe someone can offer an explanation? We are playing England, not Great Britain.

  • disco_bob on December 4, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    As I predicted, England make a huge blunder by selecting Monty P, (one match too late for the bouncers), it is a desperate gamble that has played right into the Aussie hands. I presume now that Australia is batting that plan B from England will be to play for a draw. That will be their second mistake. We just need Rogers to take the shine off and Watson to finally play an innings that actually means something.

  • disco_bob on December 4, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    As I predicted, England make a huge blunder by selecting Monty P, (one match too late for the bouncers), it is a desperate gamble that has played right into the Aussie hands. I presume now that Australia is batting that plan B from England will be to play for a draw. That will be their second mistake. We just need Rogers to take the shine off and Watson to finally play an innings that actually means something.

  • Chris_P on December 4, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    One thing that does puzzle me is why "God Save the Queen" is played as England's national anthem & not "Land of Hope & Glory"? Maybe someone can offer an explanation? We are playing England, not Great Britain.

  • GeoffreysMother on December 4, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Brave and interesting selection from England. Who says the selectors are conservative. Panesar can bowl defensively for a long time and the crowd pressure on the Australians will be to attack - should be interesting. Have Australia a plan for Stokes? I haven't.

    Lucky Australia winning the toss - haven't they been lucky over the last 6 months!

  • GeoffreysMother on December 5, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Just looked at the crowd. Do any Australians turn up to watch cricket?

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    First round to Australia:-England play two spinners and lose the toss. Not the result they'd have been looking for. With the showers around I'd be keen as a batsman to get that new ball wet. Will be a test of England's intestinal fortitude today, unless we deliver one of our iconic collapses. Will their heads still be up at the end of play?

  • trumpoz on December 5, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    England needed to be bold - good luck to them. It has already partially been nullified as Clarke won the toss meaning that the 2 spinners probably wont be bowling on the final day.

    Lets see the Aussies bat through to 500-600 and put England in match saving mode

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on December 5, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Anderson and Broad look so average when there isn't an overcast. Sorry, irrespective of an overcast as it was raining this morning. Wonder if England's honey moon period is coming to an end. 5-0 sweep for Australia.

  • jimbond on December 5, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    Good aggressive team selection by England. If either Stokes of Panesar perform, the gamble would have paid off. Panesar with his consistent line and good pace with his spin could be a handful for the Australian batsmen. However, the Panesar factor could be negated if Australia put up a good first innings score- and as they have won the toss.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 5, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    Unfortunately Warner is gone early, but Watson and Rogers at the crease. These are the two guys who have to make big scores today.

  • Biggus on December 5, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Soft dismissal by Warner and I have to say I'm pretty disappointed at his lack of situational awareness. It's all very well being an attacking player but one really needs to understand the requirements of a given situation. We're in no hurry, we've won the toss, the pitch looks to be full of runs and ideally we'd like to keep England in the field for a couple of days. If we do this right we could break England for the remainder of the series. Warner should be kicking himself, he's just spooned a rank long hop to point when he should have been setting himself for a long stay and a big score. The boy has talent, but as he keeps reminding us whenever he gets near a microphone he's not much of a thinker. I see Anderson still wants to say plenty out there, well he better grab one of those new pieces of protective gear England are said to have acquired when he goes out to bat 'cause he's going to cop plenty. If you want to play with fire, well...best be prepared for the consequences.