The cricket world is up in arms about a moment an English star was brutally exposed in a situation Ricky Ponting has called “pathetic”.
Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of the second day of play in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba.
Australia’s first innings began on Thursday morning after just 50 overs were bowled on the opening day before Brisbane’s notorious summer storms struck.
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It was the only thing that saved England after the humiliation of being rolled for just 147 inside two sessions.
England, however, returned fire on the morning of Day 2 with Ollie Robinson removing Marcus Harris for just three runs.
It left the Aussies 1/10 in the sixth over and it could have been 2/30 with David Warner clean bowled by Ben Stokes on a no-ball.
Rain is again expected to play a part on the second day of play with Brisbane expected a top of 32C and up to 15mm of rain.
‘Can you believe it’: Stokes blunder exposes ‘pathetic’ situation
David Warner has been given a second life after Ben Stokes clean bowled him in his first over of the Test match, on a no-ball delivery.
Warner was brought undone defending forward to a delivery that sailed between his bat and pad and edged onto his off stump.
Stokes was subdued in his celebrations and the umpire immediately had a word with him to let him know the video umpire was checking for a front foot no-ball.
Replays showed Stokes had clearly overstepped the crease.
“Can you believe that,” Aussie Test legend Adam Gilchrist told Fox Cricket.
“We thought we saw some drama yesterday. How big a moment is that going to be?”
Warner was on 17 at the time and his dismissal would have left Australia 2/31.
That was just the beginning of the drama as Channel 7 analyst Trent Copeland exposed Stokes’ no-ball spree.
The English all-rounder was seen bowling four consecutive no-balls to start his first over of the Test with none of them being called by the third umpire.
It was only the wicket delivery, Stokes’ fourth ball. that was reviewed and found to have been a no-ball.
It led to outcry from cricket commentators about the on-field and video umpires failing to police the front foot.
Copeland suggested the on-field umpire should have been communicating with Stokes to let him know he was getting close over-stepping the crease.
Aussie Test legend Ricky Ponting was much more scathing.
“By the sounds of things now they are not actually even looking at the front line because it is left to someone off-field to do the calling,” he said on Channel 7.
“If someone upstairs is meant to be checking these, and they haven’t decided that any of those are a no ball, it is pathetic officiating as far as I’m concerned. We saw what happened late in the over… it was a wicket… If it he’d have been called for the no ball the first one he bowled there, then of course he’s going to drag his foot back.
“I’m not sure what’s going on.”
Ugly Harris is worst in history
Marcus Harris’ summer is off to a shocker after he was sent packing on the back of an average poke at a good bouncing delivery from Ollie Robinson.
Harris never looked comfortable as he crept to three runs from 17 balls with David Warner repeatedly walking down the pitch to speak to his partner as he made a rattled start to the innings.
Warner’s words weren’t enough to help Harris, who is ow under renewed pressure to keep his spot in the Aussie XI.
Dawid Malan had to take a nice catch moving forward at third slip after Harris’ prod took a thick edge.
It took Harris’ Ashes record to the unfortunate position of being the worst opener in the history of Ashes cricket.
As first pointed out by news.com.au’s Nic Savage, Harris’ failure on Thursday means he is now averaging 8.71 runs, the worst average for a batsman to have featured in at least four test matches.
In seven innings opening against England, Harris has a top score of 19 and has scored just 61 runs.
‘Speechless’: Conspiracy theory explains England bombshell
Aussie Test great Stuart Clark says the likelihood of the fifth Test being switched to a pink-ball Test could be behind England’s decision to overlook key quicks Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Meanwhile, former Aussie Test captain Michael Clarke has predicted England’s Ashes campaign is already over, declaring there is no way back for the tourists, despite the series being just one day into a five-Test battle.
England dropped a second selection bombshell on Wednesday morning when Broad and Anderson weren’t picked — the first time in five years England has played with neither bowler.
England are going with Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes as their quicks, alongside spinner Jack Leach.
Clark on Thursday morning suggested there is chatter England left its two senior bowlers out as a plan to keep them fresh for the two pink-ball Tests as well as Sydney’s traditional New Year’s Test and Melbourne’s Boxing Day Test.
“They’re as speechless as the rest of us. Nobody can understand that decision,” he said of his discussions behind the scenes in an interview with RSN Breakfast.
“The only thing they could give me yesterday is that the pink ball Test, they’ll both play in that. With the last Test now looking like it will be a pink ball Test. That’s what their plan would have to be.”
The two swing bowlers have previously been lethal under lights with the pink ball.
Police ‘launch investigation’ into England’s humiliation
It was not only the Australian bowlers who tore into England’s cricket team on the first day of the Ashes on Wednesday — the local police also got in on the act.
Queensland Police did not pass up the chance to poke fun at the demoralised England team, tweeting: “Queensland Police are launching an investigation into a group impersonating a Test batting order at the Gabba.”
England made a disastrous start to the hotly anticipated series, bowled out for 147 at the Gabba ground in Brisbane.
The police force had already shown that it was keenly watching the Test match, name-checking several of the Australian team when it provided a “traffic update” in Brisbane, capital of Queensland state.
“A large crowd for the first Test so plan your Cummins and goings,” it tweeted, a reference to Australian skipper Pat Cummins.
“We’d be Lyon if we said there’ll be nothing but Green lights near the Gabba. Don’t say we didn’t Warner.”
Warne reveals phone call with Steve Smith
Australian cricket great Shane Warne has revealed Test vice-captain Steve Smith confronted him over the phone following “harsh” remarks about his recent appointment as vice-captain.
Smith captained the Australian Test team for three years before the infamous ball-tampering saga in Cape Town, following which he was banned from any leadership positions for 24 months.
Warne argued before the first Test Smith should not have been named Australian vice-captain, questioning why David Warner was the only player banned from a leadership position for life.
The Spin King revealed on Wednesday he and Smith have since spoken about his critical comments.
“I spoke to Steve Smith,” Warne revealed. “He messaged me and said, ‘Jeez, you’re a bit harsh on me aren’t you,’ and we talked it out. That’s what respect does.
“Just because someone doesn’t like your opinion doesn’t mean you have to get nasty and personal about it. Everyone’s allowed to have their opinion. Just because you don’t agree with it.
“I was happy Steve Smith contacted me because I consider him a friend. We’ve worked together at the Rajasthan Royals, I used to work with him when he was bowling, was he a leg-spinner a long-time ago? So we’ve got a respect for each other and it was nice of him to actually ring me and say, ‘Mate, why did you think that?’
“I told him my point of view and he said, ‘I understand it and I’m sure a lot of people have that point of view too.’
“But it doesn’t mean we don’t like each other, so we respect each other and I like Steve Smith.”
— Nic Savage