BUMBLE ON THE TEST: A lack of concentration and Jimmy Anderson’s injury let Australia off the hook in conditions that reminded me of England in April… and I wouldn’t recommend my new barber!
- Australia recovered from 12 for three to end the first day in the ascendancy
- England were left rueing lapses in concentration with Labuschagne dropped
- James Anderson surely could have played with Ben Stokes also only half-fit
- Usman Khawaja has become the Jonny Bairstow of the Australian side
- I needed a hair cut but didn’t fancy the barbers – step forward Vipers!
England started well but Australia fought back superbly on the first day of the fifth and final Ashes Test in the new surroundings of Hobart.
The hosts ended the day on 241 for six having recovered from the depths of 12 for three, with Travis Head hitting a classy century and Cameron Green ably supporting him with 74.
But David Warner and Steve Smith were both dismissed for ducks and Marnus Labuschagne was left flat on his face after being bowled round his legs.
Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD offers his thoughts and insights on the opening day.
A superb century from Travis Head changed the complexion of the first day of the final Test
That first session is exactly what you get in England in April. They were archetypal early season County Championship conditions.
But, after reducing Australia to 12 for three, England’s bowlers inexplicably lost their lengths. And Australia went on the attack…
The green-tinged pitch at Hobart really should have suited England’s bowlers perfectly
It could have been even better for England but their catching malaise kicked in again when Zak Crawley dropped Marnus Labuschagne on nought.
It must be down to concentration. It’s a huge factor in Test cricket. I can’t think of any other reason for drops.
Joe Root can’t believe it as Zak Crawley shelled Marnus Labuschagne in the slips on nought
Sam Billings is a grand lad and I’m delighted he’s made his Test debut but perhaps he didn’t help the concentration levels of the slips with his constant chatter.
I thought he’d become a commentator, he was talking so much! It looked like he was standing there thinking of what his next good line would be…..
Sam Billings took the gloves and wasn’t short of anything to say on his Test debut
I was soon shouting ‘Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy’ at the TV. Where was he? Australia wouldn’t have made 150 had Anderson been there.
They say he’s got a niggle but even a half fit Jimmy would have cleaned up on that pitch. Ben Stokes clearly has a niggle too – he can hardly move. But he’s still out there…..
Jimmy Anderson, out with an injury, was restricted to presenting Billings with his Test cap
Usman Khawaja has clearly become the Jonny Bairstow of the Australia side. They are moving him up and down the order.
No sooner had Khawaja made two centuries in the middle order than they moved him up to opener. It didn’t work against the pink ball.
Root takes the catch to remove Usman Khawaja, who was bumped up the order to open
This Test is being played in a lovely spot. Hobart has a wonderful wharf for fish and oysters and, if you want to hang out with the cool crowd, head to Salamanca and the swanky bars.
I prefer to head up the hill to the Shipwrights Arms. It’s a proper boozer and on a good day you might get a glance of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race finishing line.
Competitors in the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, which took place over Christmas
My hair had become unruly and Vipers suggested I had it cut. Trouble is, I don’t fancy going to the barber with Covid about so Vipers had to do it herself.
What do you think? She had no conversation or repartee. She didn’t ask if I’d been to the game or if I was heading to the pub.
And she certainly didn’t ask if I wanted something for the weekend…..
Bumble models his homemade haircut – but wouldn’t recommend his barber’s chat