It was rumoured for weeks but now it's official. Daniel Vettori is the Australian men's cricket team assistant coach alongside Victorian Andre Borovec. Vettori…
Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood fell victim to a prank from the Barmy Army with a member of England’s supporter group getting him to unwittingly sign a confession “document” over the infamous 2018 Sandpapergate incident.
While signing what he thought were autographs for spectators during the First Ashes Test at the Gabba, he was handed a sheet which read ““I Joshua ‘Joshie’ Hazlewood do solemnly swear that I knew it was sandpaper.”
Hazlewood played in the Test at Cape Town but has constantly denied any knowledge of the ball-tampering which led to hefty bans to David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith.
The Barmy Army are way down on numbers for this Ashes tour due to the global travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic but a hardy bunch of “Brisbane Barmies” found full voice at the Gabba with their series of chants and songs entertaining the crowd.
— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) December 11, 2021
Hazlewood took two wickets in the first innings and despite appearing to be bothered by injury, he added Jos Buttler’s scalp to his list on day four as Australia ran through England’s batting order to win by nine wickets.
Joe’s drought Down Under continues
Joe Root’s Australian century drought is now up to eight years, 10 Tests and 19 innings after he again fell short of triple figures at the Gabba.
The English captain is embarking on his third tour Down Under and after registering a duck in the first innings, he looked set to finally register a ton on day four of the First Test but stumbled on 89.
Root became young all-rounder Cameron Green’s second Test victim when he played a tentative shot at a ball outside off stump at a crucial time for the visitors in the lead-up to the second new ball.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell on ABC Grandstand said Root’s century drought would continue if he kept playing shots like that.
It was the seventh half-century, the third time he’s reached the 80s in Australia and it was his highest score in an away Ashes Test but not enough to get England ahead of Australia’s total.
Root averages 38.76 in Tests in Australia which is well down on his overall career mark of 50.09.
He has 23 centuries from the remaining 100 matches of his career against other nations or in home Ashes Tests.
Tech dramas cause more headaches
The technical issues which have dogged the First Test continued on Saturday with the global feed dropping out, which meant television viewers on Seven and Fox Cricket in Australia as well as people watching overseas missed several overs of England’s second innings during the morning session.
Cricket Australia released a statement to say “there has been a power issue affecting the broadcast compound at the Gabba, resulting in the world feed going down and all resulting technology not working”.
It meant DRS was not available during the outage. The broadcast initially returned with one camera at one end of the ground showing the action but has returned to normal. CA announced DRS was again available if required.
There is Test cricket happening at the Gabba, but only the couple of thousand who have shown up can see it, because of a power issue affecting the broadcast compound. Tech issues all week linked to Queensland closed border. 1st Test should never have been in Brisbane.
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) December 11, 2021
Seven said they are only allowed four of their own cameras inside the ground to complement the ICC’s world feed.
Technical issues caused havoc on day one with the third umpire being unable to check front-foot no balls, which led to Ben Stokes overstepping the mark several times, including when he dismissed David Warner on 17 before he went on to make 94.
Carey claims record, kinda
Alex Carey became the first Test keeper to snare eight catches in his Test debut but fell short of the record for someone in their first match behind the stumps.
Cricket Australia tweeted on Saturday after Carey took a catch off Chris Woakes, his fifth of the innings, as England were bowled out for 297, a lead of just 17 runs.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 11, 2021
However, South African Quinton de Kock holds the record for most dismissals for a men’s player in their first Test as keeper. After making his debut as a batter, he was the Proteas’ designated gloveman in his second match against Sri Lanka in 2014 and took eight catches and added a stumping in the clash at Galle.
Although he only scored 12 with the bat in the first innings, Carey was an assured presence with the gloves for Australia at the Gabba in his first match in the Test arena after taking over from former skipper Tim Paine, who has taken an indefinite break from cricket following reports emerged last month about a sexting scandal.
He then went out to open the innings with David Warner nursing his bruised ribs and fell for nine with Australia just a boundary shy of the target.
Warner ribs on the mend
David Warner’s bruised ribs confirmed he could have batted in the second innings but he was not needed after England only overtook Australia’s total by 19.
The veteran opener was only allowed to bat after the fifth wicket fell in the Australian second innings because he did not field in England’s reply on days three and four.
Under the laws of cricket Warner can bat no higher than seven after being off the field for more than two hours.
The player [who has been off the field] shall not be permitted to bat in the match until his team’s batting innings has been in progress for the length of playing time that is equal to the unexpired penalty time carried forward from the previous innings, subject to a maximum cumulative penalty time of 120 minutes. However, once his side has lost five wickets in its batting innings, he may bat immediately.
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 10, 2021
“They’re quite sore. I’m sure I’ll have a nice word to the doc before I go out there,” Warner said before the start of play.