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Live: Day two, first Ashes Test, England v Australia, Trent Bridge

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    What a day. While the last session was very sedate compared to what preceded it the efforts of Cook and Pietersen to steady England should not be underestimated. Cook undoubtedly has the concentration to bat for long periods, and if Pietersen stays with his the scoring rate will no doubt be handsome.

    Day two was initially all about Anderson and his richly deserved five-wicket haul, but it finished as a mere footnote in Australia's stunning comeback from 9-117 to all out for 280. It was a privilege to witness - yes, even on TV - debutant Ashton Agar's record-breaking innings. That he fell two runs' short of a century must not taint what was an incredible innings. Credit must also go to Phillip Hughes for a stoic unbeaten 81. He was mature enough to assume a supporting role in his 163-run partnership for the last wicket once he saw the form Agar was in.

    Keep an eye on the website for a match report and news from Chloe Saltau, as well as analysis from our other pundits at Trent Bridge, Greg Baum and Malcolm Knox.

    Thanks for reading. Again, I apologise profusely for the technical issues that prevented us from accepting comments today. I'll be impressing upon our boffins the importance of fixing this in time for day three.

    STUMPS: Cook and Pietersen survive the last session unscathed to take England to 2-80 after 43 overs at the close, having so far put on 69 for the third wicket. Cook will resume on 37 (128 balls, 4 fours) with Pietersen on 35 (98 balls, 6 fours). The home team leads Australia by 15, with eight wickets in hand.

    The two English victims, Joe Root and Jonathan Trott, fell in successive deliveries from Mitch Starc, who has been Australia's best bowler so far.

    Cook bats out a maiden against Watson. This next over, from Siddle, likely to be the last of day two.

    Clarke evidently an avid reader of this blog. Gives Watto an over before stumps; maybe two if all goes to plan.

    Pietersen and Cook both looking completely unfussed at the moment. With only 15-odd minutes until stumps it'd be a shock if either of them departed.

    Siddle replaces Starc for the last spell from one end. Again, Michael Clarke employing a short mid-on to Pietersen, so close he's only barely got his left foot off the pitch. England 2-79 in the 39th over.

    Given Watson was asked to bowl a two-over spell before I'm assuming he's fit. On that basis I'd bring him back for a three-over spell now. Just can't work out from which end... probably Starc's.

    Game just ambling along at the moment, No reason it can't though, as not even finished day two. Ample time to get a result, England can afford to be restrained. England 2-71.

    Cook's third boundary for the innings, and first for 100 minutes, takes England to 2-67, eradicating Australia's first-innings lead. Good encouragement from Agar from next delivery though, spinning sharply into the left-hander from well outside his off-stump. Cook tried to play with soft hands, had to kick the ball away to ensure it did not roll on to his stumps.

    Very tough chance goes begging. Agar gets the edge from Pietersen - on 25 - as he opened the face and tried to guide through slips. Haddin barely had time to react, with the ball thudding into his right pad. With the next ball Pietersen crunches a boundary to bring up his half-century partnership with Cook (25*). England 2-62.

    Lefties from each end, with Agar now joining Starc. I think this is a good move as Cook is looking at ease versus the seamers. Also will enable the 19-year-old to again challenge himself against Pietersen.

    Pattinson benched, replaced by Starc. I picked Pattinson as my bowler of the series - yes, despite the presence of Anderson - but so far have been underwhelmed. Was decent in the first innings and while he has been accurate today he hasn't forced the batsmen to play and miss, or nick, as much as I would have expected. England 2-57 in the 29th over.

    Quite a lot of English cricketing types suggesting the ECB has sought clarification on the circumstances of Jonathan Trott's dismissal, lbw as part of DRS - presumably because the side-on Hot-Spot cameras was unavailable because it was in "play" mode rather than "record" mode. Can't do both simultaneously it seems. Don't understand their objection - from my vantage point on the couch the non-stumping of Agar more contentious than Trott's departure.

    Thought Cook had looked very restrained of late. David Gower just corroborated that on the TV commentary; said he'd faced 27 dot balls in a row before the single off Siddle that brought up England's 50.

    Drinks taken in the last session: England 2-49, with Cook 20* (72 balls, 2 fours) and Pietersen 21* (46 balls, 4 fours). Still trailing Australia by 16 runs.

    Ricky's last stand.

     

     

    Siddle just nagging away on the same line, good-length deliveries angling across the left-handed Cook. While Cook nicked off in that fashion in the first innings he's not looking likely to be so rash this time around.

    Watson used for only two overs; replaced by James Pattinson.

    Elsewhere, Ricky Ponting has just completed his sparkling first-class career with an unbeaten 169 for Surrey. As stats guru Mohandas Menon explains it was a helluva career.

     

     

    Punter, the cricketing world thanks you. You were a gem to watch.

    Partnership between Cook (20*) and Pietersen (20*) now up to 37, with England 2-48 and trailing by 17. Snaring one of these two before the deficit is overcome would be relished by Australia (well, it would be anytime, but particularly before its lead is erased).

    Shane Watson's England Test bowling record before this match: 5 Tests, 6 bowling inns, 37.5 overs, 11 wickets at 15.09. That's not totally representative of how England's batsmen face him though, as he bowled only eight overs in the last Ashes series over there. Instead dominated in a two-match series against Pakistan in 2010 that was played in England. I was there for that series, used the swing-friendly weather conditions to perfection.

    After all that conjecture about Shane Watson's leg injury yesterday, and the Australian hierarchy's refusal to elaborate on the severity on it, here's the answer to it: obviously not too serious as he's been given the ball. Agar replaced after a three-over spell. On the evidence of the first few deliveries he's wobbling it around a bit.

    Nope, Clarke decides an eight-over spell sufficient for Starc. Claimed a fine 2-12 off 8 overs with 2 maidens. Now first second-innings chance for Peter Siddle. Hopefully he keeps a fuller length, although without swing or reverse swing that could be punished by Kevin Pietersen.

    Starc has now bowled eight overs in this spell. The fact there was a lunch break in the middle of that could persuade Clarke to give him one or two more, but I'd be surprised if it was more than that. He'll want him fresh enough for a late flurry.

    Two balls into the Pietersen-Agar duel it's the Englishman who draws first blood, powerfully sweeping him to the boundary from on the stumps. Moves to 12* with England 2-34.

    After a couple of concentration blemishes before tea Alastair Cook seems like he's back into batting-robot mode, showing a lot of restraint. Pietersen not yet finding gaps but middling the ball well.

    Surprised to hear that Ashton Agar copping any grief about holing out two runs short of his century, but it seems he is. Australian golf great Greg Norman did not take kindly to either he or Agar being criticised.

     

     

    The Shark bites back!

    Here comes the man of the moment, Ashton Agar. Getting a bowl before Peter Siddle. Replaces James Pattinson, who was serviceable with 0-20 off 6 overs. Starc clearly the best so far, and not just due to his 2 scalps.

    Here's our correspondent Chloe Saltau's tea report, direct from Trent Bridge: Debutant steers Australia to first-innings lead.

    A lot of consternation in the Sky TV commentary box about the absence of a side-on Hot-Spot replay for the Trott dismissal. According to Mike Atherton, the reason was that it had been cued up to play the previous day's dismissal of Joe Root, and cannot plan and record at the same time. Must be one or the other. Still. I don't reckon there was an edge.

    No hat-trick for Starc - Pietersen survives - but deserved congratulations from teammates nonetheless.

    TEA: And with that wicket the tea break is taken, with England 2-11 after 7.4 overs, still trailing Australia by 54 runs. Alastair Cook 4* off 15 balls, with Kevin Pietersen to join him. Pietersen will start the session by facing Starc's hat-trick ball.

    It has been the lanky left-armer, Starc, that has made the huge blow(s) just before tea. Currently has 2-2 with 2 maidens from his 3.4 overs. His first three overs were very good, so that he was able to make such a telling contribution was no shock based on that form. His second wicket, of Trott, was a great delivery but his first was thanks to a lazy shot from Rott, who tickled a ball that was harmlessly shaping well past his legs.

    WICKET!!! Jonathan Trott out for a golden duck, lbw to a pearler from Mitch Starc. Searing full delivery he - and Dar - seemingly thought inside edge, but replay disagreed. That's why Australia has so much faith in Starc. England 2-11.

    REVIEW!! Huge lbw appeal first ball against Trott from Starc. Dar rejected but Aussies call for review. No more reviews if it fails, but looks worth it.

    WICKET!! Root given out, nibbling a rare bad ball down leg-side from Starc. Doesn't review, gone. So much for my praise! He's gone for 5. England 1-11.

    Very impressed by Joe Root so far. Not a hint of flinching against pace, gets firmly in behind the ball when defending, but also willing to leave if given the opportunity. Reckon England's big raps on him are justified.

    Starc against starting well but, unlike in first innings, looks capable of maintaining that pressure. I know cricket nerds love to talk up the importance of "bowling in partnerships" but there's merit in it. Means the batsmen can't just sit on one accurate bowler because they now they can profiteer from the other end.

    Other noticeable thing early: a bit of uneven bounce for the seamers.

    Congratulations, Australia. The boss says it's cool to pull a sickie on Friday - at least that's how I read it. #longweekend #honourtheagar

     

     

    Alastair Cook came close to nibbling at a full delivery angled across him from Pattinson, almost identical to his first-innings dismissal. Already a couple of concentration lapses from England's captain in this Test - probably more than we saw from him in the entire 2010-11 Ashes series in Australian, when he was immovable.

    NOT OUT. The umpire's call the difference again. Shaped a ball back into Joe Root but slightly too far. Hawk-Eye predicted the ball would've hit the outside of leg-stump, but given Dar rejected the appeal it needed to be more conclusive to overrule. Australia now 0 from 4 in reviews so far.

    REVIEW BY AUS - Michael Clarke refers a failed lbw appeal by Mitch Starc against Joe Root, knocked back by Aleem Dar.

    Oh, by the way England's second innings has started. Pattinson and Starc again sharing the new ball. Sun still shining brightly so will be much harder for them to get swing. May have to rely on the first few overs.

    Our PM Kevin Rudd renowned for his long hours, but even he found time to huddle around the TV with his fingers crossed.

     

     

    Some of the well-deserved tributes.

    Trent Copeland...

     

     

    Tasmania's Steve Cazzulino...

     

     

    Dirk Nannes...

     

     

    Ian Healy...

     

     

    My words can't describe the grace with which Agar accepted his dismissal two runs short of a century. Fortunately this picture can - and does.

     

     

    A.Agar - 98 runs from 101 deliveries, with 12 fours and 2 sixes. Shared a Test-record last-wicket partnership of 163 with Phillip Hughes, who himself finished unbeaten on 81 from 131 deliveries, with nine fours. A truly remarkable fightback from Australia after it was 9-117 mid-way through the first session.

    NO FAIRYTALE HUNDRED, BUT A FAIRYTALE NONETHELESS!!

    Agar holes out to Graeme Swann at deep mid-wicket for 98. The whole Trent Bridge crowd - and probably a fair chunk of the world's cricket fans - held their breathe to see whether it was bound for the boundary, but not to be. Extraordinary stuff. Just magnificent. Wish I had a better vocab because I can't do him justice.

    Australia all out 280, with a lead of 65.

    Agar on to 98*. If tons up he - at 19y, 270d - will rank 18th for that feat, between Adrian Barath and Graham Pollock. But didn't spy any "tailenders" in the list above him!

    Swann and Broad currently operating for England. Just realised I don't think I'd mentioned anyone whose name wasn't Ashton Agar for the past two hours.

    Phew. Now that buys me another two hours of Agar Mania.

    Of all the time for technical glitches to prevent us from accepting comments why oh why did it have to be tonight?? DAMN YOU, COMPUTER GODS!

    Again, very sorry!

    And to think we thought it a big deal earlier this year when Bangaldeshi Abul Hasan made a century on debut, versus the West Indies. He was only at number 10!

    Another milestone passed: 150 partnership between Hughes (79*) and Agar (91*). Australia 9-271. And now the record last-wicket partnership in Test cricket (154*). By anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. Beat previous record of 151.

    The first hint - to the wider public, anyway - that Ashton Agar could more than hold a bat came in March, when he played a massive role in Western Australia snaring a two-wicket win against Tasmania. He arrived at 6-203 with still 153 needed to win. In just his third first-class match he made an unbeaten 71 to, with wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman, lead the Warriors to a stunning two-wicket win.

    One from Chloe Saltau at Trent Bridge. Suddenly West Indian Tino Best's 95 against England a year ago may fall as the most astonishing performance by a No.11 in recent memory.

     

     

    Can things get even more astonishing? Evidently yes. Agar majestically on-drives Anderson for four. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Now on to 86*, taking Australia's score to 9-253.

    A second driven boundary from the Broad over by Agar lifts he and Phillip Hughes' partnership to 129, now the record last-wicket partnership by Australia, exceeding 127 by Johnny Taylor and Arthur Mailey in 1924, against England at the SCG.

    First ball after lunch from Broad.... dragged through mid-wicket by Agar to the boundary. He moves on to 75, Australia on to 9-242.

    No-one mucks around in the internet age. "Arise, Sir Ashton..."

     

     

    Jimmy Anderson resuming for England. Agar proving much harder to dislodge than the majority of Australia's batsmen were. Clips a single off his hip second ball to move to 70.

    Almost back for a start. In the meantime here's our correspondent Chloe Saltau's lunch report from Trent Bridge: Debutant Agar steers Australia to first-innings lead.

    Amid Agar's brilliance it's probably only fair to acknowledge his survival from a stumping appeal when he was on 6, and Australia 9-131 and still trailing by 84. Agar dragged his back foot out trying to play Graeme Swann then pushed it back just as wicketkeeper Matt Prior dislodged the bails. There margin for video umpire Marais Erasmus to adjudicate on was incredibly tight, although it looked like Agar's foot was only on the line at the point the stumps were broken rather than over it. Nevertheless, he survived the borderline call.

    Australian Trent Woodhill, the batting coach for Pakistan and also a long-term batting mentor for David Warner, was unimpressed with the decision, despite it benefiting Australia.

     

     

    Lunch - and Australia is still batting!! What a remarkable second hour by Australia. After crumbling to 9-117, with a deficit of 98, 19-year-old debutant Ashton Agar launches a remarkable counter-attack to lead the recovery. At the break the visiting team to Trent Bridge was 9-229 after 55 overs, with Agar and Phillip Hughes' last-wicket partnership unbroken on 112. And, similarly remarkably, Australia has a lead of 14 runs.

    While Agar was helped by his brainless bowling - step forward bouncer-happy Steve Finn - he played with no fear at all, and was rewarded for it. Once he reached 46 he snared the record for the highest score by a debutant at No.11, beating Warwick "The Big Ship" Armstrong's 45. Just before the break he brought up a stunning half-century by guiding Anderson through slips to the boundary. His milestone came off 50 balls, with 7 fours and a six. He was joined at that mark later in the session by Hughes, from a more-restrained 94 deliveries. Agar also usurped Glenn McGrath, who presented him with his cap yesterday, as Australia's top-scorer at No.11.

    The pair will resume after lunch with Hughes 63* (105 balls, 8 fours) and Agar 69* (68 balls, 9 fours, 2 sixes).

    Great vision of Agar walking off. Was absolutely beaming. Fair to say the only rivals for that level of elation were his teammates and coaches in the pavilion!

    Perfectly summed up by Darren Lehmann's old state team, Queensland - for Australians, anyway....

     

     

    For anyone wondering where in the hell Agar came from here's Chloe Saltau's interview with him from April: Prince of spin ready to step up.

    Pretty sure whoever wrote that headline would be feeling pretty chuffed right about now.

    Superb cover-driven boundary from Phillip Hughes momentous - not only puts Australia into the lead but also brings up the century partnership with Ashton Agar. Follows up with a fortuitous boundary edged through a gap in England's slips cordon. Australia now 9-223, with Agar 67* and Hughes 59*.

    Really is panic stations now for England - Stuart Broad bowling for the first time in the innings. No doubt Cook would've preferred to rest him given his shoulder injury, but no such luxury now.

    Ashton Agar shows his appreciation to Glenn McGrath for presenting his baggy green gap yesterday by snaring his Australian record for high-score by an Australian No.11 a day later.

    Follows up with a late-cut boundary to level the scores, Australia 9-215. Incredible!

    Of Ashton, what a beautiful wagon wheel you boast....

     

     

    And the candidate for best supporting actor in a Test innings, Phillip Hughes, reaches his half-century, the seventh of his career. Came off 94 deliveries, so has been willing to grind it out. Australia 9-206, deficit now only nine.

    Job done for Agar? Hardly. Just heaves Swann for his second six of the day. Last time long-off, this time long-on. On to 56.

    Half-century for Ashton Agar, brought up with a controlled boundary off Jimmy Anderson through slips. Came off 50 balls, with seven fours a a six.

    Remarkable. Just remarkable. Australia 9-192.

    Actually, by moving to 46 Agar already has become the highest-scoring debutant at No.11 in history, surpassing Australian Warwick "The Big Ship" Armstrong's 45.

    After Finn's four-over spell consisted of 0-32 with five boundaries, and was totally representative of the manner he bowler, exasperated England captain Cook returns to his ever-dependable chief seamer, Jimmy Anderson.

    Probably only one over after his until lunch. Agar's batting alone has been a huge fillip for Australia, survival to the break would top that off.

    Agar approaching Test-record territory - and not just for an Australian!

     

     

    Amazing. Ashton Agar slices his eighth boundary, a drive behind point, to move to 43. Australia now 9-178, just 37 runs behind. Stirring, stirring stuff.

    More short dross from Finn, another great hooked boundary from Agar, into the gap between the boundary-riders at fine-leg and square-leg.

    "This is almost embarrassing for the bowler. Why on Earth is this tactic being employed??" - Ian Botham on Sky TV commentary.

    The half-century partnership for the last wicket is reached, from just 60 deliveries. But no supporting hand from debutant Agar, has played like the senior partner, scoring 35 runs compared to Hughes' 16. Agar now only two runs from catching Hughes. Michael Holding lauding him in the TV commentary, Michael Vaughan doing likewise on Twitter.

     

     

    South Australia coach Darren Berry also shows he is a huge fan.

     

     

    I'm very sorry but this is one technical tantrum that cannot be rectified. To prevent you from sending your comments into the ether I've had to turn off feedback. I apologise for that. I really enjoyed all the feedback on day one. Most of it was very learned.

    And some more epic dumb bowling from Finn, short around the wicket to Agar, results in the debutant hooking him behind square-leg to the boundary to move to 29. What is he thinking? Was trying to bounce Smith this morning too, to no avail. Nothing intimidatory about it.

    Ian "Beefy" Botham laments on the Sky TV commentary they had been "way, way too short" to left-handed Agar.

    This boy's got some pluck - Ashton Agar heaves Graeme Swann over long-off for six, to move to a run-a-ball 25, taking his team to 9-157. Only Hughes and Smith have outscored the No.11.

    150 up for Australia. off 40.5 overs. Hughes' last-wicket partnership with Agar now up to 33. Deficit is 65.

    The lack of comments is not due to my laziness; just that technical problems with them have escalated. We're doing what we can. Not deliberately ignoring you!

    Not out. Agar gets a favourable call from third umpire Marais Erasmus. Was bugger-all in it though. Agar survives, Australia resumes at 9-131.

    I think it's all over. Third umpire looking at a stumping appeal against Agar from the bowling off Swann. He dragged his foot out, then pushed it back. Seems like Prior dislodged the bail when Agar's foot on the line but, crucially, not over it.

    A maiden Test boundary from Ashton Agar, driving Anderson hard into the pitch and bouncing over his head down the ground. While the 19-year-old leftie has a massive backlift he strikes the ball crisply and looks an otherwise capable batsman.

    Amid the carnage a conspicuous - and probably lonely - highlight for Australia. Hughes advances to Anderson., coming around the wicket, and crunches him along the turf to the cover boundary. Moves to 26* and his team to 9-124, still with a 91-run deficit.

    Our correspondent Chloe Saltau offers some reflections from Trent Bridge.

    No.1: "Australian team management has been evasive about the nature and seriousness of Shane Watson's injury this morning. Does not inspire confidence in his ability to get through back-to-back Tests."

    No.2: "Time to ignite the debate about who's better, Anderson or Steyn. Steyn has the Englishman covered for pace but Anderson with an old ball is a serious menace."

    Both fascinating topics, albeit with the former having much more immediate consequences for Australia.

    A great observation from cricketing stats guru Ric Finlay re Jimmy Anderson's career stats.

     

     

    To make it worse Australia is now out of reviews, although at nine-down that might not be overly consequential.

    WICKET!! A probing over from Graeme Swann is finally rewarded, with James Pattinson trapped lbw playing forward but playing outside the line. Pattinson challenged Dar's decision to give him out but failed. He's gone for 2. Australia 9-117; new boy Agar in.

    From our correspondent Chloe Saltau at Trent Bridge: Australia has lost 4-6 in 17 balls.

    Feels even worse than that. Brutal. But that's balanced by the ability to work such a brilliant bowler in action, in Anderson.

    WICKET!! Finally a well-deserved fifth wicket for Jimmy Anderson. Shaped a ball away from Starc that the left-hander, again playing with an open face, edged behind to Matt Prior. Gone for a duck. Australia 8-114, Pattinson in now.

    So much for my compliment about the strength of the tail...

    I am hopeless at gauging when seamers are getting reverse swing, but the consensus from pundits and players alike is that Anderson most certainly is getting it to move the other way.

    DROPPED!! Anderson should have had his fifth, but Graeme Swann dropped a shin-height chance from Mitch Starc at second slip.

    WICKET!! Anderson again. Siddle fends outside off-stump, looked destined to fall between wicketkeeper and first slip but gloveman Matt Prior takes a fine one-handed catch low to his right. Siddle gone for 1. Australia 7-114.

    The masterful Anderson now has 4-39 off 14.2 overs.

    While it's never good for a team to be down to its tail - alongside a specialist batsman (Hughes) - while still trailing by a hundred at least Australia's bowlers are all capable batsmen. There are no bunnies among Peter Siddle, Mitch Starc, James Pattinson and Ashton Agar. Fair chance their willow wielding will be needed.

    WICKET!! Sharp turn from Graeme Swann confounds Brad Haddin, bowled comprehensively between bat and pad. Gone for 1. Australia 6-113.

    WICKET!! And it's Anderson again doing the damage again - unfortunately for Australia it's Smith who goes. Tried to drive a ball angled into him, undone by the subtle movement away from him, edging behind to Matt Prior. Gone for a an impressive 53 off 79 balls. Australia now 5-108, with Brad Haddin joining Hughes.

    False alarm - Broad back on field.

    What a start against Swann by Smith! After clubbing him straight for six yesterday he greets him today by skipping down the pitch and crunching him through cover to the boundary. A fourth Test half-century for Steven Peter Devereux Smith, off 72 deliveries with 7 fours and 1 six.

    Interesting stuff from England. As Graeme Swann enters the attack, in place of the wasteful Finn, Stuart Broad again leaves the field.

    And there's the hundred up for Australia from 26.5 overs, with Phillip Hughes punching Jimmy Anderson to the extra-cover boundary. Also the 50 partnership between he and Steve Smith. Assured from both, particularly so far this morning.

    I don't know why Steve Finn keeps bowling near Steve Smith's hip. He keeps scoring with the swatted pull of his with ease. Unbothered by short-pitched bowling. Smith now 48* off 68 balls, Hughes 13* off 27. Australia 4-99.

    The latest on Shane Watson's injury from Chloe Saltau at Trent Bridge. Well, sorta. Team management keeping mum about it: Lehmann coy on Watson's leg injury

    Huge worry that's emerged already, after bowling just four overs.

    Apologies from our end about comments appearing twice. Technical glitch.

    Jimmy Anderson starts with a something he wasn't able to produce yesterday: a maiden. But that's deceiving though, as yesterday he was hooping them both ways and in his first overs today there was a lot less movement in the sunny conditions.

    And we're on. Very sunny conditions, unlike anything we saw yesterday. Finn starts, bowling to Smith and Hughes. Stuart Broad, who didn't field at all in Australia's innings yesterday due to a shoulder injury, is on the field. We're unlikely to know much about his fitness - or lack thereof - for a while though as Jimmy Anderson will surely start from the other end.

    Sun out in Nottingham, which is - theoretically - good news for Australia because it will hinder the ability of England's seamers to swing the ball. But based on what Jimmy Anderson has produced over the past five or so years you would be foolish to write him off. Bends them both ways, irrespective of the conditions.

    For anyone who didn't see the Fairfax coverage from overnight here's a recap.

    Match report from Chloe Saltau: Five-star Siddle delivers for Australia as batsmen struggle

    Wrap of the post-match press conferences from Chloe Saltau: Injury concern for Watson as Lehmann admits Siddle nearly missed out

    Implications of Australia's spinner change, from Chloe Saltau: Agar, Lyon in a spin

    Greg Baum's view: For two nervous, skittish teams, the tone is set

    Malcolm Knox's view: Old heads Siddle and Anderson take lead at Ashes' debutant ball

    Former Australian captain Allan Border tells the Fox Sports TV coverage he has high hopes for the impact of Australia's not-out batsmen, Steve Smith and Phillip Hughes, today at Trent Bridge.

    "It's time for someone to stand up, and there's a real chance for one of these two here at the moment," he said.

    Border said he wanted at least one of the two to following the lead of Steve Waugh in the 1989 Ashes series, in which the Border-led Australia won despite low expectations, and "announce themselves" with a commanding performance

    It's a big day for Steve Smith. He's already Australia's top-scorer, on 38, and has significant responsibility to right the wrongs of yesterday's last session. I've always been a bit baffled why Smith is so derided by so many cricket fans. Is it is awkward but effective batting technique, or is is the fact he has been a limited-overs regular for Australia without ever really excelling in that format.

    I was lucky to witness his Test debut in a series between Pakistan and Australia in England. Amid Australia's calamitous collapse at Headingley - it was bowled out for 88 in the first innings - he was the who gave his team the best chance of a come-from-behind victory in the second innings, with a slashing 77.

    I think the key is to look at him as a batsman who can bowl a bit, rather than an all-rounder, which I've been guilty of labelling him as in the past because of his leg-spin. His primary value is from his batting. Whatever he can do with the ball is a bonus.

    I'm back for another night (sorry for late start - thankfully I type quicker than I cook). A big issue this morning - England-time - will be the fitness of Stuart Broad. Last night he was unable to take the field due to a blow to he right (bowling) shoulder, suffered while batting from a James Pattinson bouncer. Michael Vaughan, the former England captain who now commentates on TV and radio, was evidently not too buoyed by what he saw during the warm-up at Trent Bridge.

     

     

    England's Jonny Bairstow leaves the pavilion after the tea break. Click for more photos

    Ashes - Day 1

    England's Jonny Bairstow leaves the pavilion after the tea break. Photo: Reuters

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    Day one summary: Across the day at Trent Bridge 14 wickets fell for 290 runs. Root, Trott and Smith the only batsmen to look really settled throughout, particularly Trott. Smith again showing his fighting abilities - not Walkabout Pub-style - are severely underrated. Anderson and Finn, particularly the former, were close to unplayable for a while and he played the key role in the damage not being worse. Australia was helped by Stuart Broad being unable to take the field due to a shoulder injury, as it prevented England from launching an all-pace barrage (although Anderson, with 2-25, and Finn, with 2-37, did bowl all but three of the 21 overs).

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    11 Jul Ashton Agar's inclusion for the Nottingham Test match is the best selection pick since Max Walker came into Ian Chappell's team against Pakistan at the MCG in 1972. And Big Max proved a trump card in the Caribbean just a few months later.

    Ashton Agar the Ashes hero: debutant steers Australia to first innings lead over England

    11 Jul Not even falling two runs short of a century on debut could dim the smile on Ashton Agar's face.

    Ashton Agar the Ashes hero: debutant saves Australia with record Test innings

    12 Jul Not even falling two runs short of a century on debut could dim the smile on Ashton Agar's face, and England spent the evening session at Trent Bridge trying to recover from the teenaged No.11's history-making innings.

    Teen's rampage a world beater

    12 Jul One of cricket's enduring joys is that it is limited only by imagination.

    Agar, Hughes party, then the hangover

    12 Jul Sunshine lit up Trent Bridge on Thursday, intensifying both the colours and the shadows.

    Hot Spot inventor sorry over Trott incident

    12 Jul Inventor of Hot Spot offers apology to England over Jonathan Trott dismissal.

    Waugh story inspires Agar's stunning debut

    12 Jul Ashton Agar's favourite Ashes memory is recorded on a DVD called A Perfect Day.

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    • Big ups to Ashton. Looks like he is better than our current #3!

      Commenter
      agar's bat.
      Location
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:49PM
    • A 19 year old batting number "last" in his first test and scoring runs just shows that the rest don't really want to put their country before themselves: for if they did they would have told the selectors they didn't believe they were worthy of donning the Baggy Green

      Commenter
      RTP.
      Location
      Sawtell
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:41PM
    • Agar needs to be promoted to number three! Great to see the young fellow having a crack. Batting seems easier now, bad sign for Aussie bowlers.

      Commenter
      Hick from the sticks
      Location
      Canowindra
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:40PM
    • Lehmann is under rated.

      Commenter
      Andy
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:39PM
    • So Agar the new opening bats men.

      Commenter
      Dude
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:33PM
    • I have a dead uncle, he'd be over a hundred now, he was a life member of a bush cricket team in NSW he played against Bradman. He couldn't move to Sydney to play grade or beyond because he had commitments to family, he was lucky enough to not see T20 cricket and how it has further de-skilled test cricketers because he nearly exploded every time he saw the 50 over game and how it started the deskilling of those who once played the the beautiful game.

      Commenter
      RTP.
      Location
      Sawtell
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:32PM
    • Woohoo, five players reaching double-digit run scores! No pressure Agar and Hughes...

      Commenter
      Barnacle
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:24PM
    • I got no problem with the curator not watering the pitch for 9 days so it suits Swan, but this reverse thing stuff so early is blatant cheating, as Bob Willis, former England captain and bowler says:

      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/cricket/4969510/Alastair-Cook-slams-England-ball-tampering-talk.html

      Anderson is a good bowler but his average of 30 is flattering when considering Willis's comments...

      Commenter
      Dave
      Location
      At least give us a level playing field
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:23PM
    • I think we need to check jimmy anderson's passport, if he has some welsh, scottish or even better south african in him it would sooth the pain and explain everything for Australia.

      Commenter
      stump mike
      Location
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:14PM
    • As predicted, Australia's feeble batting lineup have crumbled again. The only batsman that has tried to build an innings and 'dug in' was Steve Smith. Admittedly, Tatt Man Clarke got out to a pearler, but the rest have slashed at balls that should have been left. The Poms will win this series 5 blot.

      Commenter
      The Taranaki Pig Farmer
      Location
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:13PM
    • I wonder how Mickey Arthur is feeling . . .

      Commenter
      krt
      Location
      Date and time
      July 11, 2013, 9:07PM
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