Day: 1- A Toss Root Might Want to lose:
When Joe Root won the toss, he looked up and down to find a green track under grey skies but he thought of going for an easy plan as Brisbane surface suggests always to, i.e., to bat; new Aussie captain Pat Cummins too wanted to bat. The decision didn’t take a single second to prove wrong as Mitch Strac with a brilliant in swinger sent Rory Burns to the pavilion in the very first ball of the Ashes; only second instance in the history of the rivalry. Well, Shane Warne somehow in the com box tried his best to defend his words thrown to Strac that he can’t swing the ball. Alastair Cook and Barmy Army tried their best to kept on reminding that 0-1 was the score in 2011 too; England won the Ashes then.
Well, all the tactics on Day 1 seemed to be picture perfect for the home side as the rain came in the right time to deny Australia’s batting for half an hour. Pat Cummins achieved his first 5-fer as a leader. England had been bowled out for 147 thanks to some respite from the lower order on first day playing just 50-overs. The question remains, why did they leave both Anderson & Broad, 1156-wicket holders? Rest for what?
Day: 2- Travis Head Century Burns out England
It was such a pure example of why touring Australia was never easy for England. After a tidy morning session, both David Warner & Marnus Labuschagne made a huge partnership to provide the platform. Ollie Robinson playing his first Ashes did make a little come-back for the visitors but it didn’t lust long. Finally, Warner ran out of his luck for 94 as injured Ben Stokes grabbed a good catch. England’s rescue man, Stokes was having a tough time with ball as his 14-no balls got overlooked by the TV umpire due to lack of technology but when it did, Warner got a life after being dismissed.
Travis Head aggressive century with a lead of almost 200 at the end of Day-3 somehow has already erased England from the game. And because Stokes and Leach were licking runs easily, Root always had to bring his tired bowlers for a new spell. The game has sat 90% in the home favor but tomorrow will show how England will spend their next 5-weeks in Australia.
Day: 3- Malan & Root Pulled England Back a Bit:
It was probably the only day England fans would want to watch in loop. After Travis Head reached 150 to take the lead for Australia in 278-runs with a massive total of 425. The visiting openers although survived a tricky 40-mins of session but could stretch the job as captain Pat Cummins straight-away after Lunch sent Rory Burns who was having a horrible time in Australia before Haseeb Hameed fell in the leg side trap of Strac and co. England suddenly in a bother welcomed captain Joe Root, still behind by 217. It was tactic that Langer and Cummins appeared to have grown of using the match ups against different bowlers. Well, it didn’t work this time.
There were always few problems with the unavailability of snicko as Australia failed to dismiss Dawid Malan to what they had too much faith. Both Root & Malan made good use of the flat pitch and tired legs of the Aussie bowlers scoring runs at a healthy rate. Nathan Lyon seemed to get frustrated for his 400 as England batters left the field with an unbeaten partnership of 159 but still behind 58-runs. The morning period will spice up this Ashes; England still want to bat deep but have to get away from the new ball whereas the fresh quicks would go hard.
Day: 4- Nathan Lyon wraps up Australia with 400-milestone:
For Ashes fans like me in India who use to enjoy the last two sessions due to late morning could only watch Australia chasing 20-runs to go 1-0 up in the series. Probably Sanjaya Manjrekar summoned it perfectly that as long as we have English batters, we will continue to get balls pf the century. The 4th morning was another example; when England have a bd session, they have the worst one. Nathan Lyon finally got his 400th to an inside edge being caught as he moves to number three in the most wicket list for Australia in Test.
Since Root’s dismissal, the whole English lineup fell like a pack of cards. They could only reach to 297 after resuming their innings at 220-2. The home side comfortably went on to win the Test but the pitch indicated that if the visitors had few more in the bank, we could be up for an exciting weekend.
Australia will love to have that extra-day for the recovery as they are sweating for the fitness of David Warner who didn’t open in the second innings. England should be confident even after a loss going to Adelaide for the D/N Test as they may welcome both Broad & Anderson back. And to be honest, all the results in Gabba will take the standards of the win in the start of 2021 by India up high. Meanwhile The ghosts of Brisbane are behind Root and England.
England: 147 (Jos Buttler 39, Pat Cummins 5-38) & 297 (Joe Root 89, Dawid Malan 82, Nathan Lyon 4-91) lost to Australia: 425 (Travis Head 152, David Warner 94, Ollie Robinson 3-58) & 20-1 (Marcus Harris 9*, Ollie Robinson 1-13) by 9-wickets.
Man of the Match: Travis Head.