By BV Swagath
Australia had a fabulous opening day’s play at Chester-le-Street by reducing England to 238 for 9. Nathan Lyon got the ball to turn on the first day itself to take four big wickets. Lyon’s strikes in the afternoon session led the way for a tremendous fightback from the Aussies. All the five bowlers used by Michael Clarke got amongst the wickets. Apart from Lyon, rookie fast bowler Jackson Bird bowled superbly, especially with the reversing old ball.
It is now up to how the Aussie batsmen would fare against the English bowling attack tomorrow which should set up the match either way. The initiative for now is very much with the tourists who would strive to get a sizeable lead in the first innings to put England under serious pressure of losing the Test.
Update at Lunch on Day 1: It was a boring morning session at Chester-le-Street with hosts England scoring 57 for 1 in 27 overs. The Australian bowlers mostly kept it outside off and the English batsmen kept on leaving them with respect. Joe Root was the only casualty of the morning session when he was forced to nick a forward defence off a late away swinger from Watson to the keeper.
Root was initially given not out by Umpire Tony Hill who had to change his decision thanks to the DRS. The young opener struggled to score only 16 having faced 52 balls. Australia’s much needed first breakthrough came only in the 18th over. At lunch, Cook is batting on 21 along with Trott, who is on 13*.
Toss and Teams: England has won the toss and elected to bat first in the 4th Ashes Test at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street under cloudy conditions. The homeside has gone with an unchanged team that played in the third Test. Australia has made one change with Jackson Bird replacing Mitchell Starc.
England: Alastair Cook (C), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonathan Bairstow, Matt Prior (WK), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson
Australia: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (C), Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (WK), Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird