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Root’s decision to bowl first sparks criticism

Article image for Root’s decision to bowl first sparks criticism

Joe Root’s decision to bowl first in the second Ashes Test sparked criticism as England endured a frustrating start against Australia on day one at Adelaide Oval.

With England trailing 1-0 following their humiliating 10-wicket loss to Australia, eyebrows were raised when captain Root won the toss but opted to send the hosts in to bat in the day-night match on Saturday.

The shock call was immediately likened to the demoralising decision of former England skipper Nasser Hussain, who won the toss at the Gabba in 2002 and bowled first in the Brisbane sun as Australia scored 364-2 on the opening day.

England were not plundered by the Australians, though Root was not helped by his bowling attack.

Veterans Stuart Broad  and James Anderson  struggled to get their line and length right early, with the pink ball in windy and overcast conditions as Warner and Bancroft controlled proceedings, just like they did in the second innings at the Gabba – where they chased down 173 for victory without loss.

Anderson – under an injury cloud heading into the Test and vocal about Australia’s sledging amid bullying accusations – was below his best.

Fellow paceman Chris Woakes did not look threatening either as debutant Craig Overton waited for his chance after replacing Jake Ball in the side.

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