England have come out slightly ahead after the first day of the 1st Ashes Test. Despite my prediction of Siddle being the Aussie bowler to apply pressure and lead this young attack being correct, unfortunately it was the Aussie batters that didn’t keep the momentum going.
Resuming at 4/75, young guns Smith and Hughes had an important first hour ahead on the second day to put Australia in a commanding position of chasing down England’s total of 215. All was going well with the first 30 min allowing both batters to get themselves in and even Smith to reach his 50.
With the sun out and Australia holding on in the first 30 mins, it was noticeable that Anderson was doing a lot of work on the ball between each delivery. Sometimes he was evening making the batters wait until he was happy with the condition of the ball. All of this hard work seemed to pay off as he started to reverse the ball and with that the Aussie wickets started to crumble.
The next 30 mins was disastrous. Following the departure of Smith, Australia proceeded to lose 4 wickets for 9 runs.
Ashton Agar, selected for his left arm orthodox spin, was now about to play his first innings in Test cricket. No mickey with the bat and with Australia 9/117, the brash young WA originally from Victoria went about resurrecting the Australian innings with Hughes.
It was great to watch Agar bat so effectively, but it also meant the lower order out scoring the top order. Unfortunately something that the Australian fans are used to these days.
So my prediction for the rest of the day. Once England treat these batters as actual batters and bowl in the right area they maybe trailing less than 50. Momentum is with the Aussies thanks largely to Hughes and newbie Agar, but with the nerves now out of the way, I think that the English batters will enjoy the batting conditions.
It may be the man (or should I say boy?) of the moment Agar who might change Australia’s fortune with the ball as Swan certainly got spin during his spells. Look again to Siddle to keep Australia in this test, but he is going to need a lot of help from his mates. If they bowl in consistent lines and lengths, they will achieve success on this pitch.