The Ashes 2015 – Fifth Test, Day 1: Too Little Too Late

With the hopes and dreams of an Australian Ashes outfit stacking like Bronwyn Bishop’s role as speaker of the Federal Parliament, the loss of interest in the Ashes series had never been lower.

With such a dispirited and unenticing display that was served up in the Third and Fourth Test, how could anyone expect an Australian fan to look forward to the concluding test match in an otherwise demoralising series.

The fact that the series was being fought out in another distant land added to the lack of interest, as only the keen and die hard cricket supporters turned on their televisions to see Cook win the toss yet again, as, surprise surprise, Clarke and his men were sent in to bat first on a pitch greener than Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba.

Remarkably, in Rogers’ last test match in a testing yet rewarding international career, he managed to set the template for what could be an improved Australian effort, as his application and deep concentration showed future batsmen how they should leave balls on swinging English pitches.

His stand of 110 with Warner proved to be the ninth between the pair; a remarkable effort between contrasting batsmen who had utilised their short amount of time together well, as they now sit ranked equal third amongst the all-time great Australian opening partnerships.

Warner’s 85 accompanied the watchful 43 made by Rodgers, as the pocket rocket furrowed his brow and knuckled down in an innings full of grit early before some lusty stroke making later on when conditions lightened up.

For once, the majority of the top order clicked, with captain-in-waiting Smith strolling to the crease and setting the tempo with some tough yet controlled batting, as he followed the sterling example set by his opening batsmen.

With his shots growing and flourishing the longer the day drew on, his delightful innings was only brought to a halt by the departure of Warner, which signified the arrival of Captain Clarke. In his last game, Clarkey accepted honoured ovations and well meaning handshakes, as he attempted to carve out an innings that could send him off in style.

After an early scare off Ali, Clarkey knuckled down and attempted to ease into the slipstream that the whirlwind Smith was creating, only for a thin tickle off Stokes to end an innings that looked all so promising.

With Voges arriving and thriving, the English bowlers appeared to turn from destructive to docile in just a fortnight, as the searing heat of Broad and slide of Wood not proving to trouble the previously frail Australian middle order.

Smith and Voges managed to fight their way through to stumps, with Smith knocking up a classy and important 78*, showing that he was ready to take up the reigns of a team that has a thirst for improvement. Voges found his best form of the series, as the decline in intensity after a red hot first four tests relaxing the old timer, with the West Australian reaching 47 not out at the close of the day’s play, which was brought to a halt by rain.

For day one, both rain and reign could be used endearingly, as the reign of Australia appears to have shifted already. If Warner and Smith continue their leadership roles with the application and concentration that they showed on day one, then they should be headed in good stead for the rest of their exciting international careers.

And for England, after finally calling to bowl one time too many, can the rain save them after a disappointing day?
Who cares, the urn is undercover and safely in English hands.

Stumps- Day One
Australia- 3/287 (79.4 overs)
Warner 85
Smith 78*
Voges 47*
Rogers 43

Wood- 1/41 (18)
Ali- 1/49 (10)
Stokes- 1/59 (16)

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Gee some actual value placed on there wickets and players actually letting the ball go didn’t no that was allowered any more thanks,Sean

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