Birmingham: Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes tore through Australia’s batting line-up on the opening day of the first Ashes Test on Thursday, with Steve Smith fighting a lone battle to keep the rampant World Cup winners at bay.
The visitors were struggling at 154-8 at tea in the game at Edgbaston, with Broad (4-38) and Woakes (3-35) sharing seven wickets between them.
Smith, one of three Australia players returning to Test action after serving lengthy bans for ball-tampering, was unbeaten on 66 as rain started to fall during the interval.
England’s performance was especially impressive given James Anderson, their all-time leading Test wicket-taker, bowled just four overs before going for a scan on a right calf injury.
Australia struggled to combat the moving ball in English conditions but the true worth of their score will only become apparent when England, shot out for just 85 by Ireland at Lord’s last week, bat.
Joe Root’s buoyant side are looking to round off an already memorable season by completing a World Cup and Ashes double.
Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss for the Ashes holders, looking to win their first Test series away to England in 18 years, and took the bold decision to bat first....