Colly: we can be heroes, just for one day

England are in danger of making a horribly familiar start to an Ashes series after another dose of Australian domination at Sophia Gardens. Two more centuries followed by two big wickets left Andrew Strauss's team needing to bat throughout today to avoid losing the First Test.

They will resume on 20 for two, having surrendered a first-innings lead of 239, with Strauss and Kevin Pietersen in the firing line. Rain spared them from having to negotiate the final session but it arrived 20 minutes too late to save Alastair Cook or Ravi Bopara. Cook played across a straight ball from Mitchell Johnson but Bopara was the victim of a bad lbw decision by umpire Billy Doctrove.

England were in serious bother long before Doctrove raised his finger, however. Having failed to score enough runs themselves, they produced an increasingly listless performance in the field as Australia soared to 674 for 6 declared. Ashes newcomers Marcus North and Brad Haddin gave Australia four hundred-makers in a Test against England for the first time.

"The last couple of days have been tough but I guess that is what the Ashes is all about," said England's Paul Collingwood. "But we've got an opportunity to respond to that as a team by batting out three sessions. The batsmen have to take responsibility as individuals and not leave it to anyone else. We all got starts in the first innings but didn't go on. Now it is all about putting your hand up and being the man. It's a long series but it is a very important day for us. We want to be going into the next Test level and we believe we have the players to see the day through."

England, having picked two spinners and won the toss, hoped batting last at Sophia Gardens would be tricky. The problem is, they are the team having to do it, and Australia's much-maligned off-break bowler, Nathan Hauritz, could emerge as the main man. "There was a lot of talk about how English spin was going to cause us problems so to combat that is pretty pleasing," said North. "To wrap that up with a win, on a ground where a lot of people fancied England's chances, would be a great confidence boost."

Australia have won the first Test in eight of the last 10 Ashes series.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence