After all the pomp, including a flyover from the Red Arrows, Aussie firebrand James Pattinson took the brand new Duke ball after Cook won the toss and didn’t hesitate putting his pads on.
The first delivery was greeted with the outstretched arms of umpire Aleem Dar, more than worrying Aussies who recall Steve Harmison’s 2006/07 shocker which went to second slip and became the enduring image of what became a 5-0 whitewash to Australia.
Following some wayward early overs from Pattinson and leftie Mitchell Starc, they find a line and length that troubled England’s openers Alastair Cook and Joe Root.
Pattinson was the first to strike, drawing a false shot from usually disciplined Cook (13), who tickled it into keeper Brad Haddin’s gloves with the last ball of the ninth over.
Root, opening the innings for his country for the first time after selectors preferred him to Nick Compton, looked steady and took advantage of a good batting wicket while negotiating the occasional swinging ball aided by overcast conditions.
The baby-faced batsman appeared to have done the hard yards before he was suddenly sent back to the sheds for 30 courtesy of a yorker from Peter Siddle to leave his side at 2 for 78.
Shock debutant Ashton Agar was given his first overs in Test cricket, and was tight enough although he gave England a couple of easy boundaries to go for eight runs in his three overs. He’ll have to figure much more heavily later in the Test.
Johnathan Trott is in rude form, racing to 37 from 47 balls without taking any major risks, and is being ably supported by Kevin Pietersen on 10 not out at lunch.
Australia will have to bowl tighter, full and just better to rein in this dangerous duo.
England 1st innings
Cook c Haddin b Pattinson 13
Root 30 b Siddle
Trott 37 not out
Pietersen 10 not out
Pattinson 1-31 off 9 overs
Starc 0-25 off 9
Siddle 1-28 off 5
Agar 0-8 off 3
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