Early lunch in rain-delayed fifth Ashes Test

Erika Holt
January 12, 2018

The 5th Test between England and Australia will start from 4th January, 2018, Thursday. Scott Borthwick, Boyd Rankin and Gary Ballance all made their Test debuts in Sydney in 2014, with only Ballance going on to play another Test for England.

"We are a better team than what we've played on this trip and that is a benchmark for our side moving forward", captain Joe Root said after the Melbourne draw.

Starc was replaced in Melbourne by Jackson Bird, who failed to take a wicket in a pace combination with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

"You want him playing but you want him at 100% and you want to make sure next series he's ready to go at 100%, so if Starcy's not 100% I'd be tempted to rest him, unfortunately for the Sydney public", McGrath said.

Alastair Cook fell just short of becoming only the sixth player to tally 12,000 test runs and England stumbled late in the opening session to be 122-3 at tea on a rain-affected first day of the fifth Ashes test against Australia.

151 - It's hard not to keep mentioning him, but if you're picking a player of the series, right now it is this man. Smith is averaging 151 in this series and has been dismissed on only four of six occasions.

Australia captain Steve Smith admitted his side mentioned the "headbutt" to Bairstow during the first Test in Brisbane in an attempt to unsettle the England wicketkeeper.

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"It's really important that we can get a win off this tour and build on that for four years' time", he said.

"He's played a lot of cricket now". But he says it's in a good spot now.

At the same time, Starc naturally wanted to play at the SCG, to perform for his home crowd and also to feel he was ending this Ashes series as an active participant rather than a cussed spectator. "Being left out was one of the best things that ever happened to me".

"I've been here as a kid watching in the stands so to be out here playing in an Ashes will be pretty special".

Australia regained the Ashes with victories in the first three Tests of the five-match series.

"With the series lost it gives us the opportunity to look at some different people", England's Australian coach Trevor Bayliss said this week. I think now it's seeing how it recovers. As a batting group, you've just got to be prepared to bat for long, long periods of time.

Starc knows the conditions in Sydney and how to use them - how to swing the new ball early on, when there should be a little bit of seam movement as well, then bowl cross-seamers to rough up one side to make it reverse-swing.

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