Back to the MCG but on the other side of the ground among England followers as opposed to yesterday when I was the only Brit in a sea of green and gold! Great view but no drinks holders in these seats!
On the field Australia 3/244 with power to add, England have new ball only 3 overs old so if they use it well then we could be among the wickets but unless something dramatic has happened to the pitch and seam/swing/reverse/spin happens then I see Smith and Marsh S batting for a long time. Warm day today forecast to reach 35c but am in the shade!
Forecast at drinks 3/285
Drinks 5/284 Marsh S 49 Paine 2. Didn’t see those wickets falling. Pace of the wicket compared to WACA did for both Smith and Marsh M who both had hit big hundreds- both played on thinking the pace was faster. Great for Curran to take Smiths wicket – the first time he’s been dismissed here since 2014! Fear it’s batsmen mistakes rather than bowling skill which is the measure of the pitch but we shall see. If so, England should do well and a draw is possible.
Anyway the Richies are in and in full voice also in are the Warnies complete with stump in hand – suspect they’ll drink more than the Richies!
Lunch forecast 6/338
Lunch 8/326 Cummins 4 Hazlewood 0. England’s morning for once but three of the five to fall played on, assuming the bounce was more than it is…so batsman mistakes, one lbw with a large step forward but given out on review and one of the tail. Wickets to Woakes, Curran, B and A. There is something in this pitch today, doesn’t look like variable bounce but pace off the pitch could be…the faster the better but what does that foretell for England’s batting? We shall see during the afternoon I suspect.
Roots captaincy improves when he backs his own judgment- I fear he may have been listening to others too much so far this match and probably all series.
Forecast for drinks – Australia 350ao England 0/25
Didn’t see that happening – I thought that the tail would wag but instead fell away to 327ao – today 7/83. England have lost Stoneman early but Cook so far seems to be a bit more settled but his triggers don’t seem right- perhaps the more game time he has, the better.
Have succumbed to watching the test as Aussies do – from the bar on the TV for the past half hour in air conditioned cool – it’s 35C outside and whilst undercover, the shade doesn’t take away the heat. Anyway after 30 mins respite and fully lubricated, and refreshed am heading back outside!
Forecast for tea 1/65
Tea 1/72 Cook 37 and Vince 17 holding things together. Another 36 overs to be bowled today so a lot of cricket still to be played, possibly losing some overs. Cummins looks out of sorts physically so this may impact on the Aussie attack leaving the quick stuff to Bird and Hazlewood neither of whom looked in the form we’ve seen to take the Ashes. Lyon or goat you just cannot keep him out of the game- fielding in all areas and taking catches off his own bowling this series you would not believe unless you were there in the flesh!
Forecast for drinks break 3/126
Interestingly when MCG ‘full’ with 88000 in, free Wi-fi works ok, with 67000 not at all!
Drinks 2/127 Cook 67 Root 21. Vince went for 17 to his first ball after tea which looked out live but Cook/Vince decided not to review – it would have been overturned. Root took time to get off the mark but is gaining in fluency as is Cook. Supporters can be so one-eyed at times it’s amazing that I’m actually watching the same game- and this is on both sides. Cummins is really struggling, Lyon is not being used and smith dropped Cook which could be expensive but we shall see. In this heat everyone dashed for the cool of the air-conditioned Bar/lounge area which is now heaving!
Forecast for close of play England 2/184 and would really be back in the game assuming the tail has some gumption!
Close 2/192 Cook 103 Root 49 am exciting last period of play increasing in intensity towards the end as to whether Root would get his 50 and Cook his ton – the latter did in great style whilst we wait on Root overnight and even better things tomorrow. Cook has got his mojo back and worked out his triggers.
England’s best day of the series without question but it’s come 16 days too late but this game could be set up for a tight finish as batting last will not be pleasant or easy.
Also the hottest weather wise so far- 35c in the shade!
Cook goes to his 100
Cummins looks v poorly
Cooks got his mojo back!
The back of Smith – something the English have wanted to see for ages
As if yesteryear!