Australia closed on 273-5 at the end of an entertaining opening day one at the Adelaide Oval which was marred by three dropped catches by England which could have given the tourist’s the ascendency.
As it stands the side that are leading the series 1-0 will feel they have the upper hand, with Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin at the crease at stumps after winning the toss on a flat pitch in South Australia.
A key moment of the day came in the last few overs as Michael Carberry dropped a routine chance to dismiss Haddin when it looked easier to catch then drop. That would have brought Mitchell Johnson in to bat but that wasn’t the case with the wicket-keeper still standing alongside his captain.
England sprung a couple of surprises in their team as Alastair Cook revealed at the toss. All-rounder Ben Stokes came in to the team to replace Jonathan Trott while spinner Monty Panesar was preferred to Chris Tremlett as the second spinner.
The tourist’s would have been desperate to win the toss and bat first with their team selection suggesting the pitch will turn as the match progresses. Nevertheless, England soon had a breakthrough after Stuart Broad had David Warner caught by Michael Carberry for a gusty 29 before the hosts took control at the Oval.
Graeme Swann and Panesar were introduced into the attack and bowled for long spells throughout the day while fast bowler Stokes was used sparingly, sending down a tidy eight overs for just 26 runs.
The key breakthrough of the day came when Australia were on 155 which led to three wickets for just 19 runs in the afternoon session. Anderson had Watson caught and bowled for 51 before Chris Rogers was caught behind for a well-made 72 in the last over before tea.
England initially continued their momentum after tea when the returning Panesar produced one of his trademark dismissals as he bowled Steve Smith for six which meant George Bailey joined Clarke at the crease.
Bailey was the aggressor and hit three sixes in his innings of 53 which also included four boundaries until a superb catch by Swann sent him back to the pavilion with Broad celebrating his second wicket of the day.
It was the lower order batsman’s second chance after he was dropped on 10 and he went on to make England pay as their fielding let them down on more than one occasion. Panesar only had himself to blame on this occasion though as he spilled the chance off his own bowling.
When Bailey was dismissed that brought Haddin to the crease who was swiftly dropped by Carberry whilst on two and that could be crucial as he is still at the crease on 7 not out overnight while skipper Clarke is on 48*.