Mitchell Starc sends England captain Joe Root a warning that Australia ‘have their plans down’ on keeping him quiet after he begins the Ashes series with a duck at the Gabba
- England captain Joe Root was out for a duck on day one of the first Ashes Test
- Josh Hazelwood took the wicked as hosts Australia made a dream start
- Mitchell Starc has warned Root Australia have plans in place to combat him
Mitchell Starc warned England that Australia’s attack intend to keep Joe Root quiet after he began the first Test at Brisbane with his fourth duck in eight Ashes innings.
Starc had kickstarted England’s opening-day collapse to 147 by bowling Rory Burns round his legs with a dramatic first ball of the series, before Josh Hazlewood removed Dawid Malan and Root in quick succession to leave the tourists on 11 for three.
And Australia’s left-arm swing bowler wasted no time in bringing up the 2019 series in England, when Root averaged a modest 32 and was dismissed without scoring three times — once by Hazlewood and twice by Pat Cummins, now his opposite number.
Mitchell Starc has sent Joe Root a warning after the England captain was out for a duck
Root makes the lonely walk back to the pavilion on a disastrous day one for England
‘Jos and Pat have brought that blueprint from the previous Ashes, where they seemed to have their plans down pat to Joe,’ said Starc. ‘It’s fantastic to get off to the start we did and have him for nothing. Hopefully that continues. To stay on top of the opposition captain is a big one.’
Starc also expressed surprise that England had left out both Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad for the first time in 37 Ashes Tests, as the tourists stood accused of botching their selection as well as their first innings.
‘To take, what, 300 Test matches and over 1,000 wickets out of their side is pretty interesting,’ he added.’ I’m glad I don’t have to tap those two on the shoulder and say they’re not playing.’
Cummins, who began his stint as captain with a five-wicket haul, agreed. ‘I thought England would play one of Broad or Anderson in each Test, so to leave out both was a bit of a surprise,’ he said. ‘Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson are pretty similar bowlers.’
Josh Hazelwood celebrates after taking the prized scalp of the England captain
Meanwhile, Ollie Pope, who scored a careful 35 in his first taste of Ashes cricket, insisted England didn’t panic after the first-ball dismissal of Burns on a day limited by the weather to 50 overs.
‘I wouldn’t say it created panic at all, because you have to stay calm,’ he said. ‘But it wasn’t the ideal start. It’s a long tour and a long series. We’ll keep spirits high and come back fighting.’
Asked about Root’s decision to bat first on a well-grassed surface devoid of proper preparation time because of the Gold Coast rain, Pope replied: ‘I wouldn’t look too much at the toss. We just had to execute the first couple of hours.’
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