England suffered a crushing defeat in the first Ashes Test at Gabba. The team was bowled out for a mere 147 in the first inning before Australia strengthened their position in the match by scoring a mammoth 425. The game looked over for England but Joe Root and David Malan brought them back with a century stand.
At the end of Day 3, England were 220-2, with Root and Malan batting at 86 and 80 respectively and England trailing Australia by 58 runs. The team must have been very pleased with how things panned out on Day 3. However, their hopes of an unlikely win were shattered when England lost Root and Malan cheaply on Day 4. The wickets triggered a collapse as England were bowled out for 297, setting a target of just 20 runs to win. The runs were easily wiped off by Australia.
England made a few shocking decisions before the match. This was the first instance of them going into an Ashes Test without James Anderson or Stuart Broad. At least one of the two pacers has been part of every Ashes game since 2006. Dropping Anderson from the match was beyond explainable. Former England cricketers Alastair Cook and Steve Harmison have called for the inclusion of Anderson in the upcoming Day-Night Test in Adelaide.
“The thing about the pink ball when the sun is out it doesn’t move,” Cook, part of the last England side to win the Ashes down under in 2010/11, told BT Sport.
“We’re talking about this dusk period when the floodlights come on in around the middle session for an hour and a half if you get the new ball there it does all sorts. All the other times it is quite flat.
“The thing about the pink ball is it throws up different connotations which is exciting.
“If England get really lucky at the right time and they get a new ball and James Anderson against the Australians say four or five down, you can get six or seven wickets very quickly.
Harmison went on to add, ” The one thing I would say about James Anderson, if he got the ball at the right time he could win the game in a session. He could get four or five wickets for 20 runs and blow a team away because of his skill level.
“I don’t want to drop Robinson. Wood gives me energy and aggression. Woakes gives me batting. If Ollie Robinson can’t play in five Test matches that would be the one I’d give him off but the way he is bowling at The Gabba I might have to leave Chris Woakes out.”
England have lost three of their last four Day-Night games.