Saturday, March 2, 2024

Australia Dominated Day One at MCG as England Failed With the Bat Again

Australia and England are playing the third Test match of the Ashes Test series. The 3rd match of this el classic series is being played at the MCG – Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Aussies are ahead in the five-match Test series by a margin of 5-0. Australia was comprehensive in the Gabba Test match and Pink ball Test match at Adelaide. But England has failed to raise the batting bar in this Ashes series so far.

The tourists, England, have batted first in this match, and again they failed to deliver in their must-win game. If England loses this match, they will officially lose the Ashes Test series. The bowlers of the baggy green team have put their team in dominating position. Pat Cummins returned as the team captain, and the toss, too, went the Cummins way.

There was an interruption due to the rains in Melbourne. But that made Australia’s chances even brighter because they used the overcast conditions to good effect. The bowlers picked up three important wickets in the first session and one in the second session.

England’s skipper Joe Edward Root again slammed a half-century. The year 2021 has been excellent for the skipper of the England team, and he will look to notch up a ton in the second innings of this Boxing day Test match to end 2021 on high. But his quest of getting a ton in Australia is still not accomplished. Root scored a half-century at Brisbane and Adelaide. Today’s half-century was his third in the three matches till now. Still, he has got the three-figure mark.

Root was dismissed for exactly 50 runs when he tried to fetch a delivery which should have been left alone. England’s skipper was caught behind, and then Ben Stokes and Johnny Bairstow kept the scoreboard ticking for the visitors without taking many risks. Stokes even danced down the track and disturbed the line and length of the bowlers by using his feet. This play kept The Aussies bowlers at bay.

But Cameron got the much-needed breakthrough for the baggy Green. The pace bowling all-rounder was good in the middle overs for Australia, and finally, he was rewarded with the wicket of England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes, who tried to play the cut short of short delivery. Stokes mistimed the ball to give Natan Lyon a good low catch. Stokes fell for just 25 runs.

Jos Buttler, who hung in to save the Pink Ball Test match at Adelaide, was out early in Melbourne. The wicket-keeper batsman of England was teased by the line and lengths of Cameron Green. Eventually, Buttler was dismissed by Nathan Lyon’s spin and because of a poor shot selection. England’s three key players were dismissed in the second tea session, and all eyes were on Johnny Bairstow to save the blushes for the touring side in the last session.

The Australia bowlers were commanding with the red cherry in the first two sessions of the Boxing day Test match. The Aussies had picked up six wickets with just 128 runs when it was Tea time at MCG. With England already on the mat, it was expected that Australia would bundle out England quickly in the last session. Despite Johhny Bairstow keeping England in the game. The visitors didn’t last for a long time.

Scott Boland, the debutant of the MCG Test match, got his maiden scalp in Mark Wood, and later the key player from England’s squad Johnny Bairstow edge the ball to Mitchell Starc’s short bowling. Ollie Robinson scored some vital runs to take England to the two hundred run mark. Robinson scored 26 runs from 22 balls. Nathan Lyon wrapped the tail quickly as England was bundled out for just 185 runs.

Australia’s reply for this small 1st innings score was a good one. Even though Marris Harris had his earlier struggles of form in this series, he is still not out after the first day of play. David Warner used his good form in the Test match and scored 38 quickfire runs to his name before he was dismissed to England’s star pace bowler James Anderson. Australis is still trailed by 124 runs behind, which will be easy for them.

But England needs to strike at regular intervals to make a comeback into this Boxing Day Test match. The Australian batters are in good form, and they will pounce on England again if the visiting team bowlers do not hit with correct pace, line, and length on this MCG wicket. A lot will depend on the England bowlers tomorrow. They should make big strikes to be in the game.

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