England set off its fifth Ashes campaign at Sydney. Although a dead rubber, the match is of significance. It is the last chance for England to register a win in the series. The five-match series turned on Aussies’ side, with the visitors losing the first three matches and drawing the fourth. However, the start of the match, the morning session of the first day, has been quite bumpy for England.
The match started late by more than two hours as rain cladded the morning. Root went on to bat first, winning the toss, but until the tea break, his team lost three wickets. Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Alastair Cook fell early, leaving the inning at 122 for 3. Pat Cummins was the first bowler to break in taking down Stoneman at the tenth over. The batsman scored 24 runs in equal balls. Cummins also nicked the next wicket. James Vince fell at 25 off 54 deliveries on a short delivery trying to slash. It was a poor shot selection what-so-ever. The batsman scored two half centuries so far in the series.
Alastair Cook played a long stretch of 104 balls to score 39. His unbeaten knock in the previous match had a resemblance as he faltered at the lbw off Josh Hazlewood. Australia used a review to let off the player as the appeal was turned down by the umpire. By the tea break, Joe Root and Dawid Malan steered the inning with a small but promising partnership stretch. Both players were batting at 16 runs each.
So far, for captain Steven Smith, the match is going fine and under control. When he lost the toss in the morning, he said there are no worries. The skipper rightly matched the conditions with weather and ground aspect like moisture on the surface.