Australia vs England: 1st Test, Day Two Preview

If there’s one statistic from the first day’s play that allows a small degree of optimism about England’s chances this series, it was that the stand of 125 between Stoneman and Vince exceeded anything in the hideous 5-0 thrashing last time out.  For it to have come from two lesser lights is equally promising, though it has to be balanced by the lack of runs in the first innings from the two batsmen most would think need outstanding series for England to have a chance.

Still, 196-4 not only represents a perfectly reasonable position, but it’s also wildly in excess of the generally fearful expectations once England had won the toss.  That in itself was interesting, in that it was probably more of a bowl first pitch than is normal at the Gabba, but given the Nasser Hussain toss decision in 2002, it would be an exceptionally brave captain to make that call, and batting first was probably still the right option.  Root backed his batsmen, as he had to do, and by and large they justified that decision.

The pitch certainly took more spin than expected, and was slower than expected too.  Yet Australia were also able to gain reverse swing as the ball got older, which tends to imply that the slowness wasn’t down to it being damp, at least not excessively so.  But the sight of Nathan Lyon extracting considerable turn on the first morning was rather startling, and raises the interesting question of how this will develop in the coming days.  If it were to quicken up, then Moeen Ali, who very much likes bounce, could become a serious threat with the ball.  This is of course the beauty of Test cricket, that after the first day, all the possibilities and potentialities come to the fore about what will happen.

But the pitch is usually incidental to the central issue of how the teams perform.  England are in a decent, but not strong position, and the new ball is only three balls old, with middle order players in but not set.  That makes the first hour absolutely critical, even taking into account the first hour usually being critical, on a critical second day.  If England survive that intact, they will have hopes of making a decent score, but it’s equally easy to imagine Australian hopes of blowing away the England middle order early on.

As for what a decent score is, that does come back to the pitch.  Having 200 on the board already may yet prove to be a fine start, certainly compared to the surface expected, but 250 all out probably is not.  England are going to need to bat extremely well to turn a solid position overnight into a strong one.  Without Stokes in the middle order, it is a bit weaker than usual, but compared to most around the world, it is still potent, and Chris Woakes is still a very good number eight.

The reality is that this pitch is so atypical of the expected Brisbane that forecasting how it will play for the remainder of the game is a matter of total guesswork.  If it returns to normal tomorrow, then everyone  will sigh and the world is back on its axis, but otherwise, this could be genuinely intriguing, and offers England a real opportunity.  A sluggish pitch, with swing – both conventional and reverse – plus offering turn is something that would fit fairly neatly into the “wildest dreams” category for England’s attack, and thus certainly not what Australia had been hoping for.

For Australia, the build up involved a lot of trash talking, not least about the pace attack bombarding England, so there has been some amusement that only one ball got above 90mph all day, but the slowness of the surface undoubtedly nullified the seamers, and shouldn’t be taken to be representative of the rest of the series.

In summary, we don’t know what the pitch will do, we’re not sure how well England will bat, we’re not sure how Australia will bowl, we’re not sure if spin will be an increasing factor, we’re not sure if it will become uneven, we’re not sure what a good score is, we’re not sure how England will fare against the new ball or how well Australia will bowl with it and we’re not sure where this match is going.

Sounds like perfect Test cricket.  Bring on day two.

Housekeeping note

Periodically, we have to re-state the commenting rules of this blog, so now is as good a time as any.  It’s about cricket, and very occasionally about other sports where there might be felt to be a connection to cricket.  The simplest commenting (and posting) rule is “no politics”, one which we abide by ourselves for the very good reason that the four of us have highly differing political beliefs, and believe me, when we get together, we often argue about them.  But they are my blog colleagues, and over the last couple of years they have become my friends, and I can completely accept that they are unfortunately frequently wrong.  Politics discussion is a no-no because it would descend into acrimony and rancour in no time, and take us away from the purpose of this place.

The second reason we might moderate is if a comment exposes us to potential libel claims.  The same applies to our posts – we have in the past been told information we simply cannot publish because we can’t verify it, and the Ben Stokes affair is a perfect example of tiptoeing around a legal minefield. As I recall, that subject was the last time we moderated a comment, precisely because we were uneasy about it.  It’s us that gets sued you see…

The final reason we might moderate is for persistent trolling. This is difficult for us, and we aren’t perfect, we can get it wrong. The line between strong disagreement and trolling is a fine one.  We try our best.

That’s it.  And for good reason, because any number of issues can have any number of views, and removing something because we might not agree is a terrible reason for doing so.  As Voltaire never said “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”.  You have the right to call me wrong, misguided, stupid, a piss poor writer or whatever else you wish, and while we might not like it, we feel passionately that we can’t ever intervene just because we don’t appreciate the opinion.

The moment we do step in, we are directing the opinion of those who are kind enough to read what we say and more importantly express their views as to why we are right, or why we are wrong.  It’s a hideous, slippery slope leading to an echo chamber, and it would kill this place stone dead.  It would also be somewhat ironic, a blog that gained attention for saying what others wouldn’t, denying people the right to do the same.  We’d have reached full Animal Farm.

Not moderating has it’s own price. We know.

In line with this, any comments on this are absolutely fine – but personally, I’d prefer to talk about the cricket.

Day Two Comments below



111 thoughts on “Australia vs England: 1st Test, Day Two Preview

    • Nicholas Nov 23, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      Absolutely fucking ridiculous, the mercenary bastards. It’s remarkable how many people are now moaning that they can’t get BT and that the series is on the ‘wrong’ pay broadcaster. Leaving the quality of coverage to one side, this two-faced attitude from the Sky-supporting press and the ECB is quite remarkable. And, frankly, as someone with access to BT Sport but not Sky Sports, I’m delighted that the roles are reversed for once.


        • thelegglance Nov 23, 2017 / 10:39 pm

          They do indeed. Of course it’s their delightful friends who try to make it as hard as possible for people to access BT Sport in the first place, and who also try and restrict their own channels on BT Vision. Scandalous really. BT are not some innocent wronged party, but bloody hell, the idea Sky are the good guys is laughable.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 23, 2017 / 10:14 pm

        Not read (yet) but Martin Samuel at the Gabba…

        Oh holy fuck. Look at the intro….

        “The ball pitched up invitingly. It was a perfect height but still a good take, one handed and in mid-stride. In a single fluid motion, Nathan Lyon took aim at the stumps and threw.
        Zing bails are used, even in Test cricket, now. They light up when dislodged. It’s a gimmick introduced from the Twenty20 format, but it adds a splash of colour to the drama, to the spectacle of the occasion.
        Zing bails are made for those moments when a fast bowler strikes – as Pat Cummins did with Mark Stoneman, sending them flying – or a fielder succeeds in shying at the stumps.”

        It’s horrendous. Newman, for all his sins, and Booth have to wonder what the hell the Mail are doing letting this jobbing idiot loose. It’s a match report, trying so hard to be something more than a football reporter from the Hold the Back Page generation going above the scandal-ridden, derive a controversy Premier League and bring a bit of gravitas to the old game. Instead he waffles on about a run out for what seems a week. What an angle.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 23, 2017 / 10:24 pm

          Top quality, knowledgeable comment BTL on Newman’s piece…

          “Nathan Lyon needs a punch in the face”

          And we worry about our moderating policy!


          • Pontiac Nov 23, 2017 / 10:35 pm

            Nathan Lyon’s not all /that/ far from 300 test wickets.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Mark Nov 23, 2017 / 11:22 pm

          Up the Hammers!

          I’m for ever blowing bubbles….pretty bubbles in the Australian air……


    • Mark Nov 23, 2017 / 11:12 pm

      The sky subsciber who cant or won’t get BT is becoming a winging pain in the arse. And a hypocrite. They have had no sympathy with those that couldn’t aford Sky. They looked down on such people. But now they are the ones who can’t get or can’t afford BT and their sense of entitlement is vomit making.

      There is a group of Sky elites who are also quite vocal in the media, who,seem to want to have just one sports broadcaster who they can aford. It looks like the ECB is pisses off that their media luvie chums are not getting their way.


  1. Elaine Simpson-Long Nov 23, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    If I want to watch the Ashes I can add BT Sport to my Sky package. But I have to take out a 12 month contract at £30 a month. Forget it. I am still.not so invested in this team that I want to spend good money on watching Alastair or Stuart or James. Some of the others yes, but not these three. I will survive….


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 23, 2017 / 10:43 pm

      I switched to Virgin Media, through necessity rather than love, and I get BT Sport for not very much, while maintaining all my Sky Sports channels. I’m lucky that I prioritise that as an expense, but I saved a lot of money moving from Sky (and BT Internet). Still around £40 a month even when all the discounts disappeared.

      It’s the folly of having the companies owning the means of conveyance. Sky made the investment in digital and want protection. BT (when public but also since privatised) have the telecoms lines and made the investment. Consumers lose.


      • thelegglance Nov 23, 2017 / 10:46 pm

        Yep. I have BT Broadband, so the cost is pretty minimal. The same strategy Sky use of course. I get the frustration of people, but it’s not down to Sky being robbed here. And part of the reason for the high cost is that despite losing all these rights, Sky haven’t cut their prices.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 23, 2017 / 10:49 pm

          They got torched on the football rights. It’s £11m per match in the Premier League (at least). How do you, as Sky, make Brighton v Stoke pay for itself? And it will get worse because Amazon, Facebook and Netflix are snooping around. And these companies can murder Sky in the financing stakes. Especially Amazon.


          • thelegglance Nov 23, 2017 / 10:51 pm

            It was the irony of when they went after the broadband market – BT’s core business. They didn’t seem to consider that they might react and retaliate. And even before you get to the likes of Amazon, BT are much bigger and more profitable than Sky. It serves them right. The trouble is we are the ones who have to pay for it all.


          • Mark Nov 23, 2017 / 11:19 pm

            Yup, Sky thought it was really clever going after BTs broadband users. They thought it was a one way street. Now they have lost Champions league football, Ashes tour, Premiership rugby.

            It’s the people who had no sympathy with those that could not afford Sky who now whinge who get on my nerves.

            Go with BT telephone and broadband and get the sports package for very little. It is interesting how the domestic sports bodies are rather too close to sky for comfort in my view.,looks like the ECB has been taking some heat. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people.


      • Elaine Simpson-Long Nov 24, 2017 / 10:42 am

        I xhose to have Sky minaly dor their sports coverage. After five years without any I finally cracked. I do not begrudge it as it shows the entire ATP tennis tour and that is worth the paymnet alone. since writing this comment I had a call from Sky who have offered me a reduction of £10 a month off my sports package. Why? I have no idea. I also cancelled Sky movies as I realise I do notuse it. So I have just realised I have £20 I can put towards BT Sport. So I think I may give in! I am in Sydney in the New Year but not at the time of their Test sadly. My daughter is going lucky her.

        Ok so I am off to eat humble pie and get BT sport. Mainly because it looks as if the series is going to be interesting….


    • thelegglance Nov 23, 2017 / 10:45 pm

      I think you can get online only access much cheaper than that, and then hook that stream up to your TV (that’s not dodgy, is perfectly allowed), but whether it’s worth it for one series depends if you like the rest of their sports content or not.


  2. Sean B Nov 23, 2017 / 11:18 pm

    Cricket writing tips from one of the most appalling cricket journalists around:


    • Mark Nov 23, 2017 / 11:37 pm

      Except it happens to be true I think today. Has he said anything about Stoneman or his chum Cook?


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 23, 2017 / 11:41 pm

        His monthly treasure in the Cricketer starts…

        “The summer before last I emerged from a lengthy retirement to play a match against Bedford School, alma mater of Alastair Cook and my sons…”

        The article is about, in the main, a cobbler. Write your own gags.


        • Mark Nov 23, 2017 / 11:46 pm

          “Alastair Cook, and my sons……”

          Pathetic, No wonder the Guardian got shot of him.


  3. Mark Nov 23, 2017 / 11:32 pm

    Ladies and gentleman, I give you Lovejoy doing his audition for BT.


  4. dannycricket Nov 23, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    With that 4 with a drive over mid off, Moeen takes his score to 17. This means that Cook (2) and Root (15) have been outscored by the other 4 batsmen in the top 6, with more possibly to come…


    • Mark Nov 24, 2017 / 12:05 am

      They have gone without ties today. Dress down Friday.


      • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:08 am

        Probably done by the Health & Safety officer at the ground. Recognised the risk that anyone listening to them might use their ties to choke them into unconsciousness.


  5. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:10 am

    3 maidens by Australia, followed by Moeen and Malan having trouble against Pat Cummins. Both batsmen looking uncomfortable against the short ball.

    In other news, Dan Norcross has just started his stint on TMS.


  6. dlpthomas Nov 24, 2017 / 12:16 am

    Good over from Lyon – he could be in the wickets today.


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:21 am

      I think Moeen left all 6 deliveries that over. It’s economical, but not threatening right now. Moeen looks solid against Lyon whilst Malan is more comfortable against Cummins. Could be important for England to keep both players at the right end.


  7. Mark Nov 24, 2017 / 12:19 am

    That’s the most bizare advert combination I’ve seen. A video cricket game with voice over by Henry Blofeld.

    Ashes cricket at Sainsbury’s.


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:28 am

      I’ve never been a fan of cricket games, I don’t think the mechanics of cricket lend themselves well to video game conversion. They’re usually little more than timing games like Stick Cricket. That said, I do remember playing Graham Gooch Cricket back in the 1990s…


  8. Mark Nov 24, 2017 / 12:21 am

    92 overs so we are really just throuh the first day. Even though we have been going for nearly an hour.


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:24 am

      …and have only scored 216. Unusual for England, usually they score at a quicker rate having lost more wickets, comfortable in the knowledge that the lower order will add a hundred or more at the end.


  9. Mark Nov 24, 2017 / 12:26 am

    It’s Max Miller!


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:31 am

      I’ve switched to TMS, Norcross and McGrath on at the moment. Not regretting that decision.


      • thelegglance Nov 24, 2017 / 12:34 am

        Swann was talking about spin, and in particular Lyon bowling a pretty spell rather than a threatening one. He’s quite interesting when he talks about something he knows about.


        • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:35 am

          It’s even more interesting because it happens so rarely…


      • dlpthomas Nov 24, 2017 / 12:38 am

        I’ve got Mark Nicholas and Michael Clarke. I think my ear drums are bleeding.


        • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:40 am

          Ouch. Are there any decent commentators on the Australian coverage? The pickings seemed pretty slim from the lineup I saw…


          • dlpthomas Nov 24, 2017 / 12:47 am

            It’s the usual guy plus KP. It’s all too “matey” for me with cheer-leading rather than commentating but I’m a grumpy old fart.


        • dlpthomas Nov 24, 2017 / 12:43 am

          That was harsh – Clarke has made some good observations about the field placings and the length Lyon is bowling.


  10. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:34 am

    Shaun Marsh has just spiked Mitchell Starc in the deep. Both were racing to collect a ball in the deep and Marsh’s spikes ripped Starc’s trousers and cut him slightly. Australia will hope Starc is okay to bowl, otherwise Smith will have to bowl a lot of overs…


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:45 am

      Jonathan Agnew on TMS can’t tell if Mitchell Starc is on the field or not. He’s really taking over from Blofeld now as the senior commentator. On a serious note, surely players should have their names and numbers on their back. It’s just common sense.


  11. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 12:47 am

    Malan now on 50*. This means that the three Ashes debutants and most under-pressure batsmen have each scored 50. I’ve got to admit I never saw this coming…

    And that’s drinks.


  12. Mark Nov 24, 2017 / 1:08 am

    Malan out top edge hooking. Didn’t look good against the short ball.


    Who knows what a good score on here is? Can England get 350 from here?


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 1:12 am

      Looking at England’s scores in 2013/14, England have just beaten the longest innings of that tour at 103.2 overs, but are some way short of the 353 runs they scored in that innings. That said, at the Gabba they only managed 136 & 179 last time.


  13. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 1:08 am

    WICKET Dawid Malan top edges a pull from a Mitchell Starc and Shaun Marsh catches it at deep square leg. Disappointing from Malan, since the Australians telegraphed their intentions with a strong legside field. Still, at least he and Moeen have taken 20 overs of the new ball, useful for England. Bairstow comes out at #7.


  14. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 1:18 am

    WICKET And another one. Lyon finally gets a wicket as Moeen plays a defensive shot, but playing for spin that wasn’t there and it hits him on the pad. Umpire gives him out and Moeen reviews, but DRS says it’s umpire’s call for hitting the stumps and he has to go. Woakes in at #8, England’s last remaining ‘batsman’, England are 249/6.


  15. Mark Nov 24, 2017 / 1:24 am

    Ali gone now. LBW to Lyon looked pretty plumb. Replay showed it was quit high on the stumps but out. So much for England batting the day. They will be lucky to get 300 now.

    250 up and 4 wickets left.

    And as I write Woakes is out. Played on to Lyon. 7 down. Time for bed I think.


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 1:26 am

      Yeah, I don’t blame you. In a sense England rode their luck a little yesterday, and today their luck has run out. I’ve started drinking…


  16. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 1:25 am

    WICKET Lyon gets a second as he pitches one wide on the off side, Woakes goes for a loose drive and it goes straight through the gate and hits off stump. Poor from Woakes. Broad comes in next, and Bairstow is stranded with the tail. Not much left in the tank for England now, you’d think. 250/7.


  17. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 1:32 am

    Broad not enjoying the short stuff from Cummins, Bairstow might want to farm the strike here…

    4 byes allowed down the leg side by Paine too. I wonder how many he has to score to absolutely guarantee he’ll play at Adelaide.


  18. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 1:44 am

    Looked like intentional obstruction by Lyon there on Broad. Is that something the match officials might look at after the game?


  19. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 1:49 am

    WICKET The end is night as Bairstow hooks a short ball high and Paine gets under it. England’s idea for Bairstow to “bat with the tail” didn’t pay off as he only adds 9 runs. Jake Ball joins Broad, and England are 270/8.

    I’d assume Australia will get an extra half hour before Lunch is taken now, if they need it.


  20. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 2:03 am

    WICKET Jake Ball glances a ball from Starc off his hip, but straight to Warner at leg slip. A nice cameo from Ball with 14 runs, but it looks like England will fall short of 300 as they are now at 286/9.


  21. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 2:13 am

    DROP Shaun Marsh drops a high ball at square leg. Broad skies a hook, it bursts through Marsh’s hands onto his head, before rolling to the boundary. Bonus runs here for England. A couple more pulls by Broad and that brings up 300 for England, now 301/9.


    • thelegglance Nov 24, 2017 / 2:15 am

      I don’t think this is a bad score at all. There’s a lot of negativity around the collapse, but I’m not convinced. 300 on this surface is alright.


      • dlpthomas Nov 24, 2017 / 2:17 am

        Never judge a pitch till both sides have batted.


        • thelegglance Nov 24, 2017 / 2:18 am

          Yep. And I might be wrong, but that’s my call at this stage.


      • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 2:17 am

        I’d probably have taken 300 before a ball was bowled as a first innings score. After the end of the first day though, I’d have wanted at least 350.


        • thelegglance Nov 24, 2017 / 2:19 am

          Don’t think it was easy to score runs. A slow run rate lowers the equivalent totals for the time batted.


          • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 2:25 am

            If it wasn’t easy to score runs on the first day, and expected to harden through the game, is that not a possible argument for bowling first? Not that any captain would have done that, of course. If it didn’t pay off, they’d get stick for the rest of their lives about it.


  22. dlpthomas Nov 24, 2017 / 2:15 am

    Surely it’s time to pitch one up?


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 2:20 am

      I’m curious to see what Broad and Anderson do. I fear they’ll do a lot of short balls which just waste the new ball.


  23. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 2:19 am

    WICKET And that’s it for England, Broad skies Handscomb to deep square leg and Bancroft catches it comfortably. England finish the innings on 302, and that’s LUNCH.


  24. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 3:16 am

    WICKET Australian debutant Bancroft looked shaky against any bowling at or just outside off stump, and he’s just edged a full ball from Broad low to Bairstow. In comes Khawaja, Australia 7/1.


  25. Scrim Nov 24, 2017 / 3:45 am

    November 18, 2017 / 9:12 pm
    Getting Moeen on in the, say, fifth over, should a wicket fall early, is just the sort of radical, thought-out strategy that England would never employ in a thousand years. Sadly.

    And Khawaja is out in the 11th over to Moeen. Those 1000 years just whizzed by.


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 3:48 am

      Yep. That’s just the high level of cricket punditry we have here…


      • Scrim Nov 24, 2017 / 3:59 am

        Rooto the BOC reader is actually Joe Root and I claim my five pounds


        • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 4:08 am

          You’ll need to talk to the boss, I’m not allowed to touch BOC’s vast treasury.


    • quebecer Nov 24, 2017 / 4:12 am

      I think I’m more happy for Rooto than Mo.

      Way to go, Roo. At last. Tactical genius status achieved. It’s been a long road.


      • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 4:15 am

        Getting Khawaja out to off spin is one thing. I think to gain tactical genius status, Root has got to get these two out somehow.


        • quebecer Nov 24, 2017 / 4:31 am

          Don’t mess with the Roomeister.


  26. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 3:46 am

    WICKET Moeen Ali gets Khawaja out LBW after the Aussie plays the wrong line to a straight ball. The batsman will be disappointed as he looked fairly solid after a nervous start against Broad and Anderson. Australia 30/2.


  27. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 4:13 am

    Quiet period right now, Smith and Warner look pretty comfortable as you’d expect. Jake Ball has just been brought in to replace Woakes for his first spell of the game.


  28. Scrim Nov 24, 2017 / 4:23 am

    What kind of shot was that? Are you playing a pull shot or not, Davey?

    Smith and Handscomb at the crease. A batting technique purist’s nightmare.


    • dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 4:26 am

      Scorecards don’t have anything on them to say whether the runs you score are pretty or not. Sometimes I’ve been frustrated with England picking players with pretty techniques over people with ugly but somehow effective techniques.


  29. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 4:24 am

    WICKET And that’s half of England’s job done, you’d think. Warner pulls a short ball from Jake Ball straight to Malan at short midwicket. Warner will be disappointed by that, and Australia are now relying on inexperienced batsmen to get a big total. 59/3.


  30. quebecer Nov 24, 2017 / 4:26 am

    Fred: What we wanted more than anything – a good test.

    There’s something that speaks to the quintessential and fundamental brilliance of test cricket that there’s me up here on the tundra and my old sparing partner Fred in the middle of the desert/swamp/barrier reef (or wherever the hell he lives), with me tucking in to some poutine and pemmican and him snacking on another bowl of witchetty grubs, yet both feeling the same thing.

    And not just that the pemmican and witchetty grubs were a bad idea.


    • Deep Purple Fred Nov 24, 2017 / 5:25 am

      We may not be both feeling the exact same thing at the moment.


      • quebecer Nov 24, 2017 / 6:43 am

        The witchetty grubs really not agreeing with you?


      • Deep Purple Fred Nov 24, 2017 / 7:03 am

        Just starting to settle actually.
        I always thought Marsh was needed in the team. A good man to have in a crisis.
        Pemmican: “It’s made of lean, dried meat that is crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat.” Ugh.


  31. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 4:44 am

    TEA Australia are 76/3 and in trouble, although Smith and Handscomb look fairly comfortable. Strong fightback from England’s bowlers after the collapse in the morning, and they’ll be especially pleased to see the back of Warner.

    If I was going to be pessimistic, the next session worries me as England had trouble picking up wickets in their warmup games after the 30 over mark.


    • quebecer Nov 24, 2017 / 4:54 am

      It’s always been if we (and by me I mean Jimmy) can find reverse in the middle overs. The Aussies found some, so fingers crossed. What’s also going to help is that there still seems enough moisture in the track to allow for spin.

      Not that we shouldn’t worry, obviously.


  32. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 5:09 am

    WICKET Handscomb is out LBW after Anderson bowls a very full, straight delivery that the batsman misses. The umpire gave it not out, presumably thinking there was an inside edge as otherwise it seemed plumb, but England used a DRS appeal and were successful. Shaun Marsh is in, Australia are 76/4.


  33. Sri.Grins Nov 24, 2017 / 5:17 am

    302 vs 80/4 . You should be smiling Q


    • quebecer Nov 24, 2017 / 6:44 am

      You’re unflagging positivity is making me smile, certainly 🙂


  34. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 5:56 am

    DRS Appeal Marsh is hit on the back leg while not offering a shot. Given not out from the umpire, Broad persuades Root to review. Hawkeye shows the ball was both too high and wide to override the onfield umpire. Poor review.


  35. dannycricket Nov 24, 2017 / 6:33 am

    Australia bring up the 50 partnership between Smith and Marsh, and the situation I feared seems to be happening. Namely, that England can’t seem to trouble the Australian batsmen with the older ball. Now they are set, both Smith and Marsh are scoring at will, with England’s bowlers unable to contain them or build pressure.


  36. Scrim Nov 24, 2017 / 6:41 am

    When Shaun Marsh middles an attacking stroke, it’s a thing of beauty. You can almost forgive the selectors for falling for him 8 times.

    He’ll probably make a century this time just to remind us how much talent has been left unfulfilled.


  37. Deep Purple Fred Nov 24, 2017 / 7:48 am

    Bairstow’s hair glows flourescent orange in the late afternoon Australian sun. Never see that when he plays in England.


    • quebecer Nov 24, 2017 / 6:53 pm

      Lack of afternoon sun, probably.


  38. nonoxcol Nov 24, 2017 / 8:00 am

    Reading reactions to Lovejoy’s TV commentary is almost like watching everyone discover a band or show you’ve been banging on about for ages.


  39. Silk Nov 24, 2017 / 8:32 am

    Absorbing cricket. Slow as hell, but tense and competitive.

    Really could go either way tomorrow. Get a wicket early and England are ahead. But this partnership could bury us.

    No clearer now who was on top than it was yesterday.


    • oreston Nov 24, 2017 / 9:04 am

      One things clear: the next session could be crucial.

      (I’ll get me coat…)


    • Mark Nov 24, 2017 / 9:16 am

      If England can scrape together 250 in their second innings, as we stand now Australia will need about another 400 runs to win with 16 wickets left.


      • Silk Nov 24, 2017 / 9:37 am

        Which suggests they need another 200 in this innings. Chasing more than 200 is not easy.

        If I were a betting man I’d have a punt on the draw from here. It’s all very slow, and rain is forecast. Neither side wants to give an inch (good for them). Any declarations will be made on the absolutely safe side, and there doesn’t seem to be enough in the pitch to suggest that, if players eschew stupid pull shots (Mr Warner, Mr Malan), the batsmen shouldn’t be able to stick around.

        In short, I think if Australia can get a decent lead tomorrow, England have the batting to kill the game, and if England declare, say, with 80 overs left in the game, Aus should have the ability to secure the draw.

        But what do I know? If you’d told me Vince, Malan and Marsh would have been the glue that held their sides together…


        • Mark Nov 24, 2017 / 9:55 am

          I’m more worried about Lyon in England’s second innings to be honest. I can see him knocking over our batting for didly squat. If Aus get a lead of anything above 50 we will be under big pressure.

          I think England have done ok, but they haven’t rammed home the advantages they have had. Namely….. the pitch wasn’t as quick as they feared, England won the toss, and had first use of the pitch, and the weather has been quite mild. 25/26 degrees not the oppressive 34/35 you can get in Brisbane.

          England had the chance to bat 5 sessions and get 400+ on the board. We will see if they come to regret it.


          • Silk Nov 24, 2017 / 11:11 am

            Oh yes. From 240 for 4, with Malan and Moeen set, and Bairstow and Woakes to come, they blew it.

            Not clear to me that we have the bowlers to do better than they did, once the shine had gone of the Kookabarra.


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