NEWS

England seek fast answer after Brisbane loss

November 27, 2017

England will be seeking a pacy answer to their bowling problems after Australia won the first Test of the Ashes series at Brisbane by ten wickets.

The victory maintained the venue's 'Gabbatoir' reputation as a place where touring teams are habitually beaten by Australia - who have not lost there since 1988 - but the match was far from one-sided for most of its course.

Having been 246-4 in their first innings England had been on for a bg score, and even after being dismissed for 302 they had high hopes of a first-innings lead when the hosts slumped to 209-7.

However, Steve Smith's unbeaten 141 steered Australia to a narrow first innings lead and after a mix of Nathan Lyon's spin and some brutal pace bowling at the tail saw England dismissed for 195 in the second innings, openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft knocked off the 170 needed without loss.

While Broad and Anderson were outstanding in the first innings, the England attack lacked depth and a key contrast between the sides was the absence of any genuine pace to combat the speed of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. 

However, help may be at hand as England Lions are playing Queensland in Brisbane this week, and Mark Wood will be back in action.

The Durham speedster was left out of the Ashes squad due to a foot injury, but there was always a chance he could be drafted in were he to prove his fitness, providing an extra yard of pace to the attack. 

Fans booking corporate hospitality for next summer's Edgbaston Test when England play India will have reason for optimism ahead of the second Test at Adelaide, as this will be a day-night game with a pink ball. 

Playing their first ever day-night Test at Edgbaston this year, England demolished the West Indies by an innings and 209, with their bowlers taking 19 wickets on the third day with the help of a couple of run-outs. 

India are currently in hot form, having just beaten Sri Lanka in a Test match at Nagpur by an innings and 239 runs. 

Spinner Ravi Ashwin took his 300th Test wicket in the match in only his 54th Test, the fewest for any bowler to reach the landmark.

Image: Getty, from Keith Prowse subscription 

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