Cricket

Australia won by 10 wickets.

Five things we learned from England’s first Test defeat to Australia

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England fell to a 10-wicket defeat during the first Ashes Test in Brisbane as Steven Smith and Cameron Bancroft hit the required runs necessary in comfortable fashion on the final day.

It was an opener to forget for Joe Root and co. as they fell apart in the second innings to gift wrap the Aussies an early Christmas present and hand them the early initiative going into Adelaide.

Here, we highlight five lessons learned from the five days at the Gabba, as Australia take an early lead in this year's Ashes series.

Nathan Lyon can walk the walk

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon caused an unexpected stir with his pre-series claims about ending careers and England players’ fear at the hands of Mitchell Johnson on their last whitewash tour.

He proved in Brisbane, though, that he can make the ball talk as well.

Expert on an unexpectedly slow surface, more responsive to spin than anything else, he completely out-bowled Moeen Ali and could easily have picked up better than his match figures of five for 145.

Alastair Cook fails to produce yet again

After two more failures, England’s all-time record runscorer’s last six Test innings – albeit since a double-century at Edgbaston in August – have brought him just 80.

It is a worrying drought for the 32-year-old former captain, all the more so because of the frazzled mode of his second-innings dismissal.

All eyes will be on Alastair Cook in the second Test, and he must deliver.

Australia v England - First Test: Day 3

England's tail options look weak

England have made a virtue over recent years of a tail which starts only at number 10, with Stuart Broad.

He is up to nine here, though, and if Jake Ball remains preferred over Craig Overton, the last three wickets can be expected to provide precious little all series.

Broad and Ball both made double-figures in the first innings, with some hopeful hitting, but will not be able to better that very often.

Ben Stokes absence hurting England (surprise, surprise)

England’s match-winning all-rounder Ben Stokes is still languishing at home, waiting to hear if he will be charged over the late-night fracas in Bristol in September.

England v West Indies - 3rd Investec Test: Day Two

The tourists knew he would be badly missed at some stage, and it has not taken long.

Runs from him would have been invaluable in either innings, and he might just have been able to find a way to stop Australia’s man-of-the-match captain Steve Smith proving the difference with his epic, unbeaten 141.

Joe Root is the right captain

It will help if the Yorkshireman can somehow negotiate an acceptable outcome to this series.

But, even if England are trounced over the next six weeks, Root has shown enough already to demonstrate he is the best man for this job long term.

Australia v England - First Test: Day 5

He did not match Smith as a batsman in Brisbane, but was still brave and skillful before one fateful mistake in the second innings.

In the field, he was proactive and inventive without being fussy – in tough circumstances.

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Topics:
Australia cricket
The Ashes
Cricket
England cricket
Joe Root

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