Heading into the second Test with a 100 percent win record in day/night Tests, Australia suffered an early blow as their skipper Pat Cummins was ruled out of the Test after COVID close contact. Steve Smith captained for the first time since the sand-paper incident and won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first.
It was a rather different start for the Australian openers. Though the opening partnership lasted only 45 balls, they scored only four runs before Marcus Harris was dismissed. Then it was David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne, the most successful pair in day/night Tests to the rescue with a 172-run partnership for the second wicket. Warner, similar to the first Test, was dismissed for another score in the nineties (95). Labuschagne continued his form with another 50+ score and ended the day unbeaten at a score of 95. Smith, similar to the top three batters, has taken time to settle down. On another note, England once again have been poor on the field. Jos Buttler, who took a blinder to dismiss Harris, has dropped Labuschagne twice. A difficult one down leg when he was on 21 and a sitter when he was on 95. Here are a few notable stats from the first day:
Broad into the 150’s
After missing out a place in the playing XI of the side for the first Test, Stuart Broad etched his name in the record books minutes before the toss as he became the third player to play 150 Test matches for England. With 525 wickets in the longest format, he is second in the list of the leading wicket-takers for the side. His new-ball partner, James Anderson is on top of the list with 167 matches followed by Alastair Cook’s 161 games. Among proper fast bowlers or fast-bowling all-rounders, Broad is only the third player to 150 Tests after James Anderson and Jacques Kallis.
An opening partnership at snail’s pace
The onus of the side relied heavily on Warner and Harris to steady the innings against the most formidable opening bowling pair of Anderson and Broad. In an attempt, both the openers went into a shell. The first runs of the Test came in the last ball of the third over. For the next three overs no-ball was the only solitary run that was added. At the dismissal of Harris in the eighth overs (7.3), Australia had just four runs on board at a run rate of 0.5. This is the lowest run rate for an Aussie opening pair who have played six-plus overs.
Warner continues his merry way in Adelaide
Every batsman has that one particular venue in which a failure is as rare as a blue moon. For Warner, Adelaide has been that venue. He has scored 1140 runs at the venue in 16 innings at an average of 81.4, the only venue in which he has hit over 1000 runs. Out of those runs, 1129 have come as an opener with four hundred and two half-centuries. This is the most runs scored at a venue by an Australian opener at a venue in Tests. He surpassed Matthew Hayden who had scored 1103 runs in 19 innings at an average of 68.93.
Labuschagne, quick rise to the top
Labuschagne, just like his skipper Smith, is growing from strength to strength and his average of 64.2 in 20 matches is a testimony of it. To add more, among batters who have scored 2000+ runs in Tests, his average is the best after, everyone knows it, but still, Sir Don Bradman (99.9). En route his unbeaten 95, Labuschagne became the third fastest Australian batsman to score 2000 Test runs. Sir Bradman reached the landmark in 22 innings and Michael Hussey in 33 innings.
Warner nervous in the nineties
Following a poor start to the year 2021, Warner has made it up with two back-to-back 50+ scores. However, he has fallen short in both the innings searching for the extra mile. In the first Test, Warner fell short of six runs from a century and in this match by five runs. By virtue of it, he became the fourth Australian player to suffer two or more successive scores in the nineties. Bill Lawry in 1902 had three consecutive scores in the nineties, Steve Waugh in 1988 and Matthew Hayden in 2006 had suffered two.