Poor batting or good ball? Our verdict on all 10 England wickets on day one of the Ashes

·5-min read
Poor batting or good ball? Our verdict on England's batsmen and an first-day Ashes nightmare - Shutterstock
Poor batting or good ball? Our verdict on England's batsmen and an first-day Ashes nightmare - Shutterstock

After all the build-up and intrigue it was same old England in the opening innings of the Ashes as they were bowled out for just 147. Here's how the wickets fell — and whether bad batting or good bowling was the cause.

Wicket 1 (England 0-1)

Rory Burns 0 (1) – 0.1 overs – b Starc

Bat on ball, bat on ball, just get bat on ball. Those words might have been circling through Rory Burns’ head but to little effect. Full, straight yorker-length and the already unconventional left hander dances all around it. Bowled around the legs to one he should have kept out; this dismissal will sit comfortably in the pantheon of ‘horror-England-starts-at-the-Gabba’. Verdict: poor batting

Wicket 2 (England 11-2)

Dawid Malan 6 (9) – 3.2 overs – b Hazlewood ct Carey (wk)

The bouncy Gabba pitch comes into its own. Combined with the height and consistency of Hazlewood, Malan needs a discipline he can't muster. Should have left it. Verdict: poor batting

Wicket 3 (England 11-3)

Joe Root 0 (9) – 5.5 overs – b Hazlewood ct Warner (first slip)

The perfect set up from a bowler who has the wood over the world’s top-ranked Test batter. Eight balls of perfection, each slightly different to the one before and Root has to play at the next one directed perfectly at top of off. Unplayable. Verdict: good ball

Wicket 4 (England 29-4)

Ben Stokes 5 (21) – 12.4 overs – b Cummins ct Labuschagne (third slip)

That bounce again and Stokes, with a dearth of Test cricket in recent months, can't match it. Captain Cummins gets his first and it’s as good as any, rearing at Stokes’ torso, all he can do is fend it to third slip. Verdict: good ball

Wicket 5 (England 60-5)

Haseeb Hameed 25 (75) – 26.4 overs – b Cummins ct Smith (second slip)

Every Hameed dismissal seems to break the heart; he’s done all the hard work, lasted a full session where four others couldn’t but then the first over after lunch he prods at one he possibly shouldn’t have. Good use of angles by Australia’s new Test skipper but a needless, desperate wicket for England just when they need Hameed most. Verdict: good ball, poor batting

Wicket 6 (England 112-6)

Jos Buttler 39(58) – 40.3 overs – b Starc ct Carey (wk)

England look to be settling, Buttler has just punched four through the covers the ball before…and all of a sudden he’s gone. A humbling reminder of England’s dire predicament. A reflex prod, a feather through to the keeper and Australia haven’t dropped one yet. They probably won’t either. England’s top scorer but should have withheld. Alas. Verdict: good ball, poor batting

Wicket 7 (England 118-7)

Ollie Pope 35(79) – 43.1 overs – b Green ct Hazlewood (deep fine leg)

Oh Ollie, just as you had things under control, this shot is anything but. Cameron Green grabs his first Test wicket as a bit of extra Gabba bounce rears up. A Pope hook takes a top edge into the bucket-like hands of Hazlewood and the end of the innings is in sight. Verdict: poor batting

Wicket 8 (Englang 122-8)

Ollie Robinson 0(3) – 44.3 overs – b Cummins ct Carey (wk)

From one Ollie to the other, the handover is seamless and runless. A Cummins classic: short, short and then back of a length, coaxing the drive. Cummins is too good a bowler and Robinson not good enough a batter and the nick flies through to the keeper. Verdict: good ball

Wicket 9 (England 144-9)

Mark Wood 8(15) – 48.3 overs – b Cummins ct Harris (short leg)

Chest guard, arm guard and evasive mode on – the England tailender knows he'll get a short-ball barrage and is proved right. Captain Cummins might have a smile to soothe you but he has a ruthless streak too. Flies off the handle and this isn’t Wood’s job to do. Verdict: good ball

Wicket 10 (England all out 147)

Chris Woakes 21(24) – 50.1 overs – b Cummins ct Hazlewood (deep fine leg)

Woakes is already lashing out in a bid for a few desperate runs. One too many shots but inevitable, really. Speed, tight lines and bounce, a classic Gabba wicket rearing up faster than expected and the skipper completes his five-for. Verdict: good ball

Listen to Sir Geoffrey Boycott's verdict on day one

"When a series starts we have hope, we have expectation — but when you only score 147 and look poor, it really hurts...Now the bowlers will have to produce an exceptional performance to keep the Ashes alive, because if England lose they'll have to win two of the next four."

Listen to the full audio briefing below

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