Its taken until the final test for Australia to bat like a real test team and make runs in a tough situation.
After ominously losing the toss and being asked to bat, Australia’s top order finally showed some nerve and application.
Chris Rogers and David Warner batted sensibly in the first hour, leaving the ball well and not really looking in any trouble, but not scoring heavily. The first boundary didn’t come until just after the drinks break. For a rare time in this series Australia batted a session without losing a wicket.
When Rogers was out for 43 just after lunch, Australia had 110 runs on the board, almost double their pathetic first innings in Trent Bridge.
This partnership set the scene for the rest of the day, with Australia compiling 3/287, giving them a great chance to build a big score on Day 2.
Incoming captain Steve Smith is unbeaten on 78 off 132 balls, along with Adam Voges on 47. Warner perished to Moeen Ali yet again for 85, his inability to convert fifties into big scores must be becoming a worry for him.
Pivotal moment – getting through the first hour unscathed once again showed the folly in their tactics in the first innings of the last two tests. Warner and Rogers were particularly circumspect against Stuart Broad, content to survive and build an innings. Old fashioned test cricket it was.
Moment to file in the memory banks – England formed a guard of honour for Australian captain Michael Clarke as he arrived at the wicket for the first innings of his final test. It was a classy gesture.
Unfortunately for Clarke, he was out caught behind off the bowling of Ben Stokes for just 15.
What Australia needs on Day 2 – bat all day and make 600. The wicket will crumble and was taking spin and bounce, even in the first session. It may not be a wicket you want to bat last on.
What England needs on Day 2 – looked to be out of sorts yesterday, like they had won the series and didn’t care anymore. Broad was all smiles and matey with the batsman. They need to get that hard edge back if they want to win this match. While this may be a dead rubber in terms of the series, world ranking points are always alive.
What the – Shane Warne went on a commentary rant about the selection of Peter Siddle over Pat Cummins. For once I agree with him. Cummins is the future, Siddle is the past.