Root holds key to England’s chances on the other side of Tea break. © Getty
Joe Root brought up his 45th Test fifty but not before being dropped for the third time, the defaulter this time being Steven Smith at second slip. But dropped chances aside, the latest being off Peter Siddle in the first over after Lunch, Root continued to drive England forward in the second session that witnessed 83 runs and the wickets of Rory Burns and Ben Stokes.
Burns fell to Josh Hazlewood, falling to a short-ball that rose on him. Stokes, having looked good for his brief stay at the crease, fell to an innocuous delivery from Mitchell Marsh. Trying to play the delivery on the leg-side, Stokes found a leading edge to cover-point. That his wicket came right after the drinks break was also a testament to Australia’s tight lines and lengths in the first hour after lunch.
Peter Siddle wasn’t the best in his comeback, and failed to keep the pressure on from his end. Nathan Lyon, though, has looked increasingly threatening on a dry pitch, especially in the over just before Tea, but bowled only three overs in the session. Jonny Bairstow was quick to get off the blocks and along with Root, holds key to England’s chances on the other side of Tea break.
Brief scores: England 169/3 (Joe Root 53*, Rory Burns 47; Josh Hazlewood 1-29, Mitchell Marsh 1-17) vs Australia