Australia will be ruing the loss of four wickets before close after having restricted England to a modest 215 in their first innings. We’ll have live scores and commentary of the first Ashes Test from Trent Bridge starting at 8.00pm AEST.
Shane Watson began the Australian innings quite rapidly but it was hardly the sort of pitch where batting was going to be easy.
Even in the absence of Stuart Broad, the conditions and the quality of the opposition needed respect and that was the one thing Watson did not show.
Nor did Ed Cowan, who flashed at a delivery outside the off stump and was caught in the slips.
It was a surprising shot on two counts – one, it was wide enough to be left alone by a batsman facing his first delivery and secondly, it came from a batsman who is usually more of a accumulator of runs.
In fact, knowing Broad was off the field, it would have augured well for the openers to see off the first few overs before going for their hits but that’s probably where they lack in – technique to survive patiently without playing flashy cricket.
But it was an exceptional day which saw the other accumulator, Jonathon Trott start off quickly too.
He slowed down later before getting bowled when he tried to go after the bowling when on 48.
Then, there was Siddle who went for aplenty in his first four overs but a change in ends is all what he needed to grab five wickets including that of Trott.
Back to the Australian innings, and Michael Clarke received what can easily be defined as the ball of the match while Chris Rogers tried his best to grind the opposition but fell to a dubious lbw decision.
Steven Smith, as is usually his want, has taken the attack to the opposition but he needs to bat deep into the second day, as do the likes of Phil Hughes, Brad Haddin and the tail.
Because getting the opposition out for 215 is one thing but to build a substantial lead will be the need of the hour if they want to remain in the game.
Expecting England to capitulate for the second time in as many innings without the pressure of a big lead is difficult to see.
Australia will take heart from a couple of facts. One, Stuart Broad’s injury could reduce the potency of the English bowling as it did towards the end of the day.
Secondly, the weather forecast is for more sunshine and less of clouds, which could take the swing out of equation on the second day.
Having said that, the ball is already 21 overs old and the abrasive nature of the pitch could bring reverse swing into picture.
Already the experts reckon the track will crumble a little quicker than most other English pitches and if that’s the case, Swann could come into his own too on the second day.
Live coverage of the game begins from 8.00pm AEST tonight and you can join me for this live blog on the second day of the Test match.