England v Australia, 4th Investec Test, Chester-le-Street, 1st day August 9, 2013

Polyhedral dice decide Starc's fate?

George Dobell, Jarrod Kimber and Brydon Coverdale
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the opening day at Chester-le-Street

Contrast of the day

Alastair Cook had already been batting for close to three hours when he was joined by Kevin Pietersen. Whereas Cook's innings had been a study of resistance and reserve, Pietersen signalled his intentions by charging down the pitch to the first delivery he faced, a ball bowled by offspinner Nathan Lyon, and attempting to hit it back over the bowler's head. Instead Pietersen was only able to gain a thick inside-edge on the ball and was fortune to see it pass just over midwicket. While Pietersen could claim, with some justification, that he is best to play his natural, positive game, this shot had an air of recklessness about it and came in sharp contrast to Cook's grim determination.

Dismissal of the day

England appeared to have weathered the storm and finally found calm waters when, from nowhere, Jonathan Trott was out. After a poor Test at Old Trafford, Trott looked back to something approaching his best and batted with fluency that none of his colleagues could match. But, not for the first time, he played more than a small part in his own downfall when, facing a tidy but hardly vicious delivery from Lyon, he attempted to flick it into the leg side to register his half-century, but could only edge the ball on to his pad and then see it carry to short leg. While it would be an exaggeration to state it precipitated a collapse, Trott's demise did see the England innings subside from a high point of 107 for 1 to 155 for 5 barely an hour later.

Non-selection of the day

In the first Test, Mitchell Starc took five wickets. He bowled everywhere, including past second slip. He was Mitchell Starc. Australia dropped him. Then for the third Test, they brought him back. He took three wickets in one innings, made 66 not out from one bat. He bowled everywhere, he hit the ball very well. He was Mitchell Starc. Australia dropped him again. Starc has never played back to back Tests in a series. It would seem that Starc's career is currently being governed by someone throwing polyhedral dice.

Contest of the day

After four overs and one wicket, Michael Clarke removed Lyon from the crease. It was because Pietersen was trying to end his bowling career. In one and a half overs Clarke had seen enough. The same happened at Old Trafford, and Lyon was barely seen again. This time Lyon was only out of the attack for seven overs and then brought back. This time Clarke resisted the urge to hide him forever, and few overs later Lyon was up against Pietersen again. Pietersen lasted five balls before being sucked in to arm ball from Lyon that he nicked behind.

Hot Spot of the day

After all the talk of Hot Spot and silicone-tape over the past few days, the Australians were pleased on the first morning that the technology had not been dumped. When Joe Root was given not out by umpire Tony Hill off the bowling of Shane Watson, the Australians were quick to ask for a review and Hot Spot confirmed a small tickle on Root's outside edge. It was a rare DRS victory for Australia; until then, they had not successfully challenged an umpire's decision since Chris Rogers had his caught-behind dismissal overturned in the second innings of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    All the DRS-woes of this series have one thing in common - Umpire Hill who gives marginal decisions against batsmen and clear ones against bowlers.

  • Marvellous on August 10, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    few things: 1. cooks lbw was by far the dismissal of the day. 2. starc has bucketloads of potential but he sprays it everywhere. i think he could be one of the great all rounders if he could only tighten up his line and length. saying "he was mitchell starc" doesnt justify him sending it to 2nd slip. 3. questions must surely be asked of the umpires by now for mine, i was looking at the computer screen and i heard joe roots nick, it was clear as a bell.

  • Dazza on August 10, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    But if you guys take a step back the only thing that has changed is Boof. The selection panel and Pat Howard are still there, I think it will take some time before Boof gets 100% say, as I believe he should.

  • Chris on August 10, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    @popcorn. It's ironic isn't it. All the talk about things being different under Boof, and really, they're not. Bowlers still get swapped in and out as if there's a rotation policy. Some batsmen still get preferential treatment. Others get dropped after one failure.

    I Really aren't seeing how things are any different under Boof than they were under Arthur. The players say it's different, but if they stepped back, they'd realise they're having a lend of themselves.

  • Rajaram on August 10, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Simply fail to understand this chip-chop that Boof is doing. First he drops Nathan Lyon from the the first two Tests discarding the 9 wickets that he took in the 4th Test at Delhi,and selects uncapped Rookie Ashton agar, who did not perform well with the ball in the first two Tests. he dropped Agar, opted for Nathan Lyon who proved his worth, AS EXPECTED, in the Third Test as well as this one,the Fourth. He drops Mitchell Starc who was brilliant with the bat and ball in the third Test, and selects Jackson Bird who was no great shakes yesterday. In contrast, England,even though they were thoroughly dominated by Australia in the Third Test named an unchanged squad for the fiourth, despite the fact that Durham is Graham Onions home ground. Does Boof understand the word MORALE?

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