Pick of the day
We review day one of the third Ashes Test in Perth
Last Updated: 13/12/13 12:55pm
Yet again, England had the hosts rocking after reducing them to 143-5 after lunch but, as has been the pattern in this series, Alastair Cook's men couldn't complete the job.
In the searing heat, the pacemen were guilty of bowling too short as the day went on and they were punished.
A superb century from Steve Smith (103 not out) plus able support from Brad Haddin (55) and Mitchell Johnson (39no) saw the Aussies finish the day on 326-6 and in strong position to kick on towards a healthy first-innings total.
We take a look back on events on day one in Perth with a range of opinion, analysis and video.
Smith's turn to shine
The Australian No.5 had missed out in the first two games of the series, making 31 & 0 in Brisbane and 6 & 23 not out in Adelaide. But here the 24-year-old all-rounder showed his value to the side with an excellent and deserved century to pull Australia out of trouble and put them firmly on top. Smith is an excellent puller and hooker and put the bad balls away with aplomb. He also dealt well with the spin of Graeme Swann as his second Test century (both now against England) came off 173 balls and featured 14 fours and two sixes. The pattern in this series has been for one Aussie top-order to shine while the tail wags with them. That played out again today, with Smith the man to shine. "I was probably under a little bit of pressure so it was nice to get some runs," he admitted.
Saker admits bowling errors
England bowling coach David Saker was critical of the England attack after another difficult day in the field. "We pride ourselves on being able to restrict teams from scoring, we put pressure on teams very well, and we found it hard today," said Saker on Sky Sports. "At 143-5 we had a chance there but we let it slip and we weren't as good as we have been. We didn't bowl the areas we would have liked but we had a chance to put some really good pressure on and we didn't take that. To be fair we probably bowled a little too short. We probably got a bit excited but that's not good enough." He also suggested that England may have picked the wrong attack. "We could have made a mistake this game but I'm sure if our bowlers bowled to their capabilities we wouldn't have got it wrong."
Haddin a thorn in the side again
It's fair to say that England are fast becoming sick of the sight of Brad Haddin. Just when they think they're in prime position to bowl out the hosts cheaply, the dogged Aussie wicketkeeper comes in and helps take the game away from them again. Haddin has already registered scores of 94, 53, and 118 in his three innings so far in the series and he passed fifty for the fourth time in a row with another gutsy knock of 55. His sixth wicket stand of 124 with Steve Smith was a real momentum changer and his batting is becoming one of the main reasons why Australia find themselves in such a strong position.
Nasser: England lack 'X' factor
England missed a chance to seize control of the third Test by bowling too short just when Australia were wobbling, says Nasser Hussain. "The key for me is what has happened to the three big lads - Steve Finn, Boyd Rankin and Chris Tremlett who were picked for this tour? These are perfect conditions for them to bowl in, on one of the bounciest pitches in world cricket and the difference between the sides is that when Australia have England 140-6, Mitchell Johnson is blowing them away with short, quick stuff. England haven't got that X-factor."