Thursday 21 November 2013 

Ashes Comment: Do We Make Too Much Of The Opening Day?

Brisbane, England v Australia
England won the opening session in Brisbane but does that mean they will win the series?
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Is too much made of the importance of the opening session of an Ashes Test? While it is important to make a good start to any game or series you are involved in, it doesn't mean to say that a good start guarantees success overall, nor is the opposite true.

England have up until quite recently been notoriously slow starters, losing Tests in India, New Zealand and the West Indies before either coming back to win or finding their efforts to do so in vain.

In 2005 they lost the opening Test at Lord's yet that had come after they made a superb start on the opening morning. They went on to win the series.

In 2009, although they didn't lose the Cardiff Test, they were outplayed throughout and only an extraordinary last-wicket stand between James Anderson and Monty Panesar saved them. Having come a distant second in that match, they went on to win the series.

In 2010, Andrew Strauss lost his wicket to the third ball of the series. Peter Siddle took a hat-trick and Australia took a handy first-inning lead at the Gabba.

The result? England scored 517 for one in their second innings and then went on to win the series 3-1.

This time around, Australia have closed on 273 for eight. If Brad Haddin keeps going and Ryan Harris can help him out, scoring 350 is not out of the question, which will leave those who jumped quickly to say that this was definitely England's day feeling a little nervous, to say the least.

Stuart Broad bowled magnificently and Australia will have to bowl as well, perhaps even better, if they are to stop England forging ahead, but it is always dangerous to judge a match before both sides have batted.

One inspired spell or one batting collapse is all it takes to put Australia in the driving seat.

But isn't that just the beauty of cricket?

What do you think - do we place too much importance on an opening day (1/25th of the series) or even the opening session (1/75th of the series)?

© Cricket World 2013

 
 
Fixtures & Results

21st-25th November: 1st Test, Gabba, Brisbane
AUS 295 & 401-7d. beat ENG 136 & 179 by 381 runs
5th-9th December: 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
AUS 570-9d & 132-3d beat ENG 172 & 312 by 218 runs
13th-17th December: 3rd Test, WACA, Perth
AUS 385 & 369-8 d. beat ENG 251 & 353 by 150 runs
26th-30th December: 4th Test, MCG, Melbourne
AUS 204 & 231-2 beat ENG 255 & 179 by 8 wickets
3rd-7th January: 5th Test, SCG, Sydney
AUS 326 & 274 beat ENG 155 & 166 by 281 runs