England will have to hope an overcast morning gives James Anderson the chance to shine on Day Two.
If England has learnt anything after day one of the Investec Ashes it’s that this youthful Jekyll and Hyde bowling attack Australia possess can cause some serious problems to England’s top order. Much of the build-up revolved around this being the worst ever team to leave the shores of the Land Down Under. However the appointment of Darren Lehmann as coach seems to have given the tourists a renewed sense of belief and optimism; two characteristics which all but left the Aussies under previous coach Mickey Arthur.
The day started with the usual glitz and glamour which now comes as standard with the Ashes. You would be forgiven for thinking it was in fact Bonfire night and not the start of a test match as both teams entered the field to a chorus of cheers from the Barmy army and co (minus Billy the trumpeter). The famous Red Arrows although spectacular, there sense of direction somewhat lost them and flew to the left of Trent Bridge instead of over the ground as perhaps was planned.
England Captain Alastair Cook won the toss and chose to bat on what looked a decent batting pitch. Australia started slowly often bowling erratically giving newly promoted opener Joe Root a chance to find his feet at the very top of the order. The Aussies soon found their feet with the scalp of Alistair Cook edging behind a ball from Pattinson in a productive new ball spell for just 13. Root soon followed for 30 after a wonderful delivery from Peter Siddle evading Roots defences. England went into lunch with a solid 98-2 but Siddle started to work his way through England’s middle order at an alarming rate taking Pietersen for 14 just after Lunch. Trott soon joined him after an unusually entertaining innings dragging on an average at best ball from Siddle.
After all the hype surrounding Joe Root it was the Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow who has rather slipped under the radar during the build-up that led from the front for England putting on an entertaining 54 run partnership with Ian Bell before that man again Siddle resumed his mauling taking the wickets of both Bell for 25 and Prior for a mere one run in consecutive overs.
It didn’t take long after the tea break for the support cast to Siddles onslaught to get in on the action with James Pattinson taking the wicket of Broad off his own bowling for 24. Starc took the resilient Bairstow (37) and Finn for a duck in consecutive balls setting up his hat-trick but Anderson managed to hold on leaving Graeme Swann in the very next over to bring the England innings to a close with a rather tame poke into the covers. England 215 all out with the impressive Siddle taking 5-50.
England’s below par batting left 21 overs in the day to make a dent in the rather suspect Australian batting line up. With Stuart Broad off the field after taking a nasty nick to the shoulder during his attacking batting display, Steven Finn stepped up in style to open the bowling alongside the ever impressive Jimmy Anderson taking both Shane Watson (13) and Ed Cowan for a golden duck in his second over. With Finn on a hat-trick, Australian captain Michael Clarke almost succumbed to a superb delivery narrowly missing Clarkes off stump which would have sent the Barmy Army into wicket heaven. Clarkes reprieve was short lived after Jimmy Anderson cleaned Clarke up with a superb ball summing up Andersons status as the best swing bowler in the world.
With Australia dwindling at 22-3 , Middlesex man Chris Rogers and the awkward to watch at times Steve Smith halted England’s advance putting on a 31 run stand however Anderson soon got his man after Rogers found the ball crashing into his pads for a borderline lbw decision . Rogers appealed but to no avail. At the close of play Smith found himself at 37 not out joined by Phil Hughes contributing seven runs. Australia closed on 75-4 which leaves the game hanging in the balance. England will look to Anderson on day two for more inspiration to cover up the gaping cracks left by England’s batsmen.