Following the emphatic win in the 2nd Test Match in the Ashes in Adelaide, Australia have once again taken the command in the 3rd Test Match against England at Melbourne Cricket Ground at Stumps on Day 1. The Boxing Day Test Match saw wickets raining as England collapsed to the deadly bowling attack of the hosts. England were bowled out for 185, before Australia reached 61-1 at stumps.
England were dominated on Day 1
England were previously humiliated with a 275-run defeat in Adelaide and this time around as well, they faced a tough task to bounce back on Sunday. Australia captain Pat Cummins won the toss and put England to bat first on a green-tinged, seaming MCG pitch.
England was 61-3 at lunch. By tea, the tourists were in serious trouble at 128-6, having lost the key wicket of skipper Joe Root for 50.
England’s resistance with the bat lasted just 65.1 overs. Cummins (3-36), spinner Nathan Lyon (3-36) and left-arm quick Mitchell Starc (2-54) combined to keep the pressure on England’s batters.
A loose shot outside off stump by Root, a questionable cut by Ben Stokes, and a wild heave by Jos Buttler have been questionable moves as the visitors saw another difficult day for who trail 2-0 in the five-match series.
Cummins ripped through England’s top order. The skipper took three wickets in the opening session after winning the toss and bowling. Rain delayed the start of play for 30 minutes before Cummins removed Haseeb Hameed without scoring and Zak Crawley for 12.
Dawid Malan added 48 for third wicket with Root, before Cummins was rewarded in the final over before lunch, as Malan was caught at first slip for 14. Australia claimed another three wickets in the middle session, dismissing the dangerous duo of Root and Stokes (25). Buttler departed for a mere three, after aiming a wild slog to deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Lyon in the last over before tea.
Root added to his side’s woes outside off stump by offering a catch to wicketkeeper Alex Carey off the bowling of Mitchell Starc at 82-4. While Stokes tried to rebuild England’s scoring rate by launching into an aggressive cut shot off the bowling of Cameron Green, but the left-hander was caught at gully.
Jonny Bairstow hit 35 before falling over as he edged a bouncer from Starc. Lyon removed tailenders Jack Leach (13) and Ollie Robinson (22).
David Warner and Marcus Harris (20 not out) shared an opening stand of 57 for Australia. Warner was caught at gully off the bowling of Jimmy Anderson for 38. Harris required medical attention during the following over after being struck on the hand by a bouncer from Stokes, but survived to the end of play with nightwatchman Nathan Lyon.