30/05/2024

Cameron Green made one of the big statements of Day 3, removing Joe Root as England were looking to gain the ascendency. Image: @WisdenCricket

England started fruitfully before another familiar batting collapse derailed their positive morning. As Cameron Green continues to make an impression on the world stage and Mitchell Starc notched up yet another milestone

England started fruitfully on Day 3 before another familiar batting collapse derailed their positive morning. As Cameron Green continues to make an impression on the world stage and Mitchell Starc notched up yet another milestone.

Here are the moments that mattered.

Proactive Root, Malan make important stand for England

The first session of play was key for many reasons. Not least for England and their skipper Joe Root to put a flag in the ground and make a statement that they won’t be bullied around, as they had been for the first two days in Adelaide. Starting again on the third afternoon, in the best of the batting conditions, Root, along with his second innings partner from Brisbane Dawid Malan set about making inroads to a mammoth first-innings deficit.

The pair raced quickly to a 50 run stand and set into a rhythm against the Australian bowlers, attacking the poor deliveries, making it to the first drinks break unbroken.

Australia was relentless last night under lights with the new ball. But as the ball begins to get softer and the lateral movement begins to move away, so did their potency.

Root and Malan have been a steady and reliable pair for England out in the middle in 2021, passing the 50 run stand mark at last four times.

It was nearly brought to a close on 78 with an edge off Michael Neser falling inches short of what would have been a phenomenal one-handed screamer from Steve Smith at second slip.

Malan reached his 50, his second of the series, and third in four games since his return to the Test side in the home summer against India, as he continued to attack Australian bowlers.

The pair continued to tick the scoring rate over quickly, passing the 100 run partnership and looking increasingly comfortable.

Root continues to profit in 2021 but ton down under awaits

Joe Root started the day in 7th position on the charts as he continued to rise up the page with the most runs scored in a calendar year. On the way to his eighth half-century in Australia, he already moved up two places, passing Indian greats Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar and moved up past Michael Clarke not long after to go into 4th spot. With three hits left in 2021, it’s moving closer to a matter of when not if he tops the charts and dethrones Mohamed Yousuf’s tally of 1,788 in 2006.

His wait to raise his bat for a century in Australia continues though, with Cameron Green accounting for him for the second innings in a row not long after the resumption after dinner, getting the English skipper edging behind to the slips cordon.

Green and Lyon lead Australia’s hour of power after dinner

The spotlight was right on England to see whether or not they could continue building on a fruitful first session. Having bowled two slightly expensive overs prior to the break, Cameron Green was the first Australian to emerge from the dressing room after the dinner break and spent 10 minutes with assistant coach Andrew McDonald working on the right length to bowl.

He was given the ball first up to start the second session, entrusted to continue his spell, and hit the right length as the front line quicks were resting. Sharing the ball with Nathan Lyon after the break, the pair suffocated the well set English batters, a stretch that included bowing 6 maidens in succession.

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Green’s spell got better with every passing delivery, finishing with the reward of the wicket of Joe Root for the second time in as many innings.

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Green’s work provided the opening for Starc to claim the wicket of Malan, being able to run and attack and feed off the pressure that both Green and Lyon created.

Lyon meanwhile, swapping around to the Cathedral end, constantly beat the bat and looked more and more threatening with every passing over. Finally claiming his first wicket of Ollie Pope just before drinks were called to cap a dominant hour for the hosts.

Australia claimed 3 wickets for just 24 runs and heaped the pressure straight back onto the tourists.

Starc milestone sets him out on his own with the pink rock

Mitchell Starc with a pink ball in his hand is different gravy.

The often scattergun left armer was the first player to notch the milestone, taking 50 wickets in Day/Night cricket, proving time and time again he is a weapon with the pink ball.

He got Australia off to the perfect start last night when he got Rory Burns cheaply in his first two overs again, a period where across his test career, no matter the colour of the ball, he is so lethal and damaging.

Today, he rode off the excellent work and pressure that Cameron Green and Nathan Lyon created at the start of the second session, removing Dawid Malan, cut-edging to slips as he eyed off a century before bookending his spell with the wicket of Jos Buttler, who fell nicking to the slips for a 15 ball duck.

The milestone wicket was the last England wicket of the innings, Stuart Broad hoiked the ball into the air for it to fall into Travis Heads hands into the ring, bringing the milestone to the towering left armer.

No Follow-on as Australia build on lead after England collapse

From 2/150, England finished 236 all out, 237 runs behind on first innings and 37 runs short of the follow-on. As the floodlights set in and the nighttime took over, Steve Smith and Australia opted not to enforce the follow-on, subjecting both David Warner and Marcus Harris to a 17 over period batting under lights to start their second innings.

Comparisons will once again be drawn to the corresponding Ashes Test in Adelaide four years ago. Australia had bowled England out cheaply in its first innings and was under the follow-on target when their innings end and twilight was approaching.

Steve Smith opted against enforcing the follow on and Australia lost four wickets between then and the close of play.

Australia went on to win the Test quite comfortably in the end, but Smith did remark post-game that the decision did leave him sweating as Australia lost wickets and England had the game delicately poised at Stumps on Day 4.

This time around, Australia had no such dramas against the new pink ball, losing 1 wicket courtesy of a calamitous run-out, finishing the day 1/45, with a strong lead of 282 runs.

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