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Ashes 2021-22, Boxing Day Test: ENG's opening woes to Root's conversion failure - Talking points from Day 1

Australia finished Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test against England of 2021-22 Ashes on top on Sunday. However, England's misery seems to continue. We analyse the talking points here.

Ashes 2021-22, Australia vs England, Boxing Day Test: ENG's opening woes to Root's conversion failure - Talking points from Day 1-ayh
Melbourne VIC, First Published Dec 26, 2021, 2:37 PM IST
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Despite suffering defeats in the opening couple of Ashes 2021-22 Tests against England, there has been no improvement from England. On Sunday, Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) went in favour of the host again, with the visitor looking clueless with the bat. As it struggles to impact with the ball too, we analyse the talking points from the first day.

England's opening woes continue
If it was Rory Burns in the past couple of matches, Haseeb Hameed failed to fire, falling for an unfortunate duck to pacer Pat Cummins. A good start plays a vital factor in the build-up of any innings, and it's about time England understands that. Furthermore, it needs to solve the puzzle soon, with the openers playing responsibly.

ALSO READ: Ranking the 5 best Boxing Day Tests in history

MCG track behaving way different
Generally, the track at the MCG is known to be slow, while the batters do get along. However, on Day 1, aided by the overcast conditions, it was lively, making the job tricky for the English batters. Although the Australians capitalised in the third session, it would be enjoyable to see how they perform with the bat in the opening session of Day 2. While the weather conditions are expected to improve, the host might have the upper hand.

Joe Root just doesn't seem to convert it
Root played a gutsy knock of 50 before falling to seamer Mitchell Starc. However, despite scoring his 53rd Test half-century, he has failed to convert it to his 24th Test ton, while his century drought in Australia continues. Root is one of the top batters in world cricket currently whose conversion rate has taken a hit in recent years, as he should buckle up and play more responsibly to assert his name for himself.

ALSO READ: Ashes 2021-22, Boxing Day Test - England announces playing XI, Bairstow replaces underperforming Rory Burns

England being conservative to hand debut in Australia
Australia handed three of its players debut in this series in interesting observation. While pacer Saqib Mahmood happens to be one of the Englishmen who is yet to make his debut in the longest format, England has been hidebound regarding handing debuts in Australia. The visitor needs to get out of the mindset to prolong chances of long-term success and play matches as per the conditions demand, not by the players' experience.

English bowlers need to be consistent rather than experimentation
In another notable observation, the English bowlers looked for the magic balls rather than bowling consistent lines that are troubling the Aussie batters. Most of the magic deliveries happened to be short of a length, which were ineffective against the host. It is where the English must learn from Cummins or Starc.

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