The Ashes: England suffer again after quick start

14 January 2022 23:17:16 GMTPlus10
Craig Overton has not bowled a ball in Australia

The first couple of hours of the opening day of the Fifth Test were England's, but normal service resumed soon after as Australia fought back.

The hosts were reduced to 12-3 inside the opening 10 overs and then fell to 83-4, before Travis Head blasted the England bowlers to all parts in Hobart, as Australia ended the day on 241-6.

After the first day, which started late and ended slightly early due to rain, Australia are now 1/1000 to claim another victory, with England 1000/1 and the draw available at 1000/1, with all the action available on the Sports Live Streaming.

Head offers Australia middle-order power

Walking to the wicket with Australia already three down, Head was under pressure and Australia were staring at a sub-200 total.

But the man from Adelaide stepped up when his country needed him and smashed his fourth Test century to put his team back in the driving seat.

Head, who made 152 in the first Test in Brisbane, took the game to the England bowlers and scored 101 off just 113 deliveries in what was more like a limited-overs innings.

The 28-year-old dominated the England attack and put together a 121-run partnership with Cameron Green, who scored a second successive half-century (74).

The left-hander, who will be frustrated at the way he eventually lost his wicket, now looks to have cemented his place in the Australian side and has shown England how a middle-order can take a game away from their opponent in quick fashion.

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England have lost the Smith fear

It seems strange, with this Test still to be completed, to be looking ahead to the next Ashes series but there has been one factor that will give England some hope.

In the last series on English soil, Steve Smith dominated at the crease – scoring an incredible 774 runs in seven innings, which included a double century at Edgbaston.

However, England's bowlers have enjoyed some success against the former captain on this tour, with Smith scoring just 217 runs in seven innings so far.

On Friday, Ollie Robinson removed Smith for a second-ball duck and the way they have contained Smith in this series, will at least give Joe Root's men something positive to take into the 2023 Ashes.

England need a better bowling plan

Understandably, the England batters have been the main focus of the criticism for the tourists' Ashes failure so far.

But on Friday, the bowlers were questioned over how they let Australia off the hook having taken three very quick wickets on a green Tasmania pitch.

Mark Wood and the recalled Chris Woakes were under the greatest scrutiny, with Wood ending with figures of 1-79 in 11.3 overs and Woakes 1-50 in his 12 overs.

The display also leaves questions over England's bowling plans and their ability to make things happen on a pitch that isn't offering much help.

Some have questioned the decision to not play Craig Overton who, at 6 foot 5 inches, could use his height to get some more bounce and who hasn't bowled at all during this series.

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