England’s gamble of picking two spinners was reaping important dividends on the first day of the Second Test. Both Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar took a wicket each as Australia reached 174 for 4 on an extremely amiable batting surface.
After days of conjecture about the composition of their team, the tourists decided on boldness with twin spin for the first time in Australia for 22 years. It also meant that Ben Stokes, the Durham all-rounder, made his debut, filling the dual roles of number six and third seamer.
Australia looked to be going along comfortably after the early loss of David Warner, who had looked in splendid form until he cut a short ball from Stuart Broad carelessly to point. Amid three short rain breaks, Chris Rogers and Shane Watson assembled an untroubled century partnership for the second wicket without any need to dominate.
With the total on 155, Watson drove at a ball from Jimmy Anderson which lifted more than he expected. It went back in the air to the bowler who stooped low to take a sharp catch.
In the next over, Swann produced a beauty to Rogers, which turned just enough to take the edge through to wicketkeeper, Matt Prior. Worse was to follow for Australia when in the last over before tea Panesar also produced some turn and beat Steve Smith’s crooked forward prod to hit his off stump.
AUDIO: Stephen Brenkley and Tom Collomosse discuss the days play. Listen below…