BUMBLE ON THE TEST: I see no issue with Smith being Australia captain

BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Steve Smith has done his time and I see no issue with him being Australia captain again… but I don’t get what Joe Root is doing with his seam bowling attack!

  • Australia ended day one of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide on 221-2
  • Stuart Broad took the early wicket of Marcus Harris on his return to the side
  • But David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne both hit half centuries in response
  • Sportsmail’s David Lloyd picks out the best of the first day of the pink ball Test… 

Australia took the initiative in the first day of the second Ashes Test against England as David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne hit half centuries in Adelaide to leave the hosts on 221-2. 

It was the visitors who got off to the perfect start, however, as Stuart Broad marked his return to the side with the early wicket of Marcus Harris, via a superb catch from Jos Buttler. 

But Warner and Labuschagne steadied the ship and while Broad caught the former for 95 from Ben Stokes’ delivery, the latter remains unbeaten on the same runs total with Steve Smith next to him.

David Warner (left) and Marnus Labuschagne (right) hit 50s on the first day of the second Ashes Test for Australia

Australia’s first day total of 221-2 leaves a lot for England captain Joe Root (above) to ponder

With England left with plenty to do with the pink ball on the day/night second Test, Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD picks out the best of the action from day one… 

It’s the redemption of Steve Smith! It has taken Covid protocols ruling out Pat Cummins for Smith to be made captain again but I think it’s what Australia always wanted. They wouldn’t have named him vice-captain otherwise. 

He’s done his time after Sandpapergate and as long as the players and coach Justin Langer are happy for him to be in charge then I can’t see a problem with it…

Steve Smith (left) is back captaining Australia as Pat Cummins misses out due to coronavirus

England may have had a highly frustrating day one but, with Cummins and Josh Hazelwood not playing, this still represents a fantastic opportunity for their batsmen. 

There’s a massive hole in the Australian bowling and even if they’re responding to a big total England should have nothing to fear. There will be no excuses if they fail again…

So, Mark Wood is ‘rested’ from the England attack? He bowled just 25.4 overs in the first Test, all but one ball of them in the first innings, and he put the fear of God into Australia. 

They were very apprehensive and shaky. And England ‘rested’ their two best bowlers in Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad from the first Test. 

All of them seemingly fit. I just don’t get it…

Stuart Broad (left) and Jimmy Anderson (right) are back for England but there is no Mark Wood

We have said before Joe Root can adequately do the spin job for England instead of Jack Leach and day one provided evidence of that. 

Leach bowled 13 overs for 102 runs in Brisbane whereas Root bowled 11 yesterday for 37. 

Australia respect Joe more than Jack and the brutal reality is they hit Leach out of the series in the first Test….

Australia’s plan will be to bat once and even though they are missing two of their big guns they do have arguably the best spinner in the world in Nathan Lyon. He will be the main man now with Cummins and Hazlewood out. 

Make no mistake Lyon is a wonderful bowler. They looked everywhere for a replacement for Shane Warne before they found this bloke and if England are at all timid when it’s their turn to bat he’ll be right at them…

Nathan Lyon is arguably the best spinner in the world and is Australia’s new Shane Warne

News from my local parish council. Neil, the retired prison warder, knocked on my door and said ‘we’ve got a favour to ask. You opened the batting for England, will you open our new renovated phone box in the village.’ 

It’s been lovingly restored and re-painted and looks an absolute picture. I just hope we don’t get any of those little cards inside asking us to ring Tiffany on this number to have a good time. It’s not that sort of village!

Made a trip to my local vinyl store to treat myself to a live recording of Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel. 

It reminded me of that walk to the Adelaide Oval over the bridge on the River Torrens. It would have felt troubled for England on Thursday night…

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