Smith undone by debutant and other talking points of an enthralling first day at Adelaide

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Steve Smith fell to debutant Craig Overton on the first day.

The first ever day-night Test in Ashes history got underway at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Hosts Australia were coming into the game with a 1-0 lead after picking up a 10-wicket victory in the opening Test at the Gabba.

England meanwhile were fighting against history have overturned a 1-0 deficit in any Ashes series Down Under only twice before.

At the end of the day, Steve Smith’s men were well placed at 209-4 with Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh at the crease. Here, we look at the key talking points of an eventful first day.

JOE ROOT’S BRAVE CALL

With a first-innings average score of 430 since 2000 at the Adelaide Oval, one would think that batting first would be the normal thing to do after winning the toss.

England skipper Joe Root though, delivered a surprise when he put the Aussies into bat after getting the rub of the green in the toss. Overcast conditions and overnight rain might have played a factor in Root’s decision but only time will tell if it was a brave call or a regrettable one.

ENGLAND COME ALIVE UNDER THE LIGHTS

Despite losing Cameron Bancroft early to a bizarre run-out, Australia had started strong with David Warner and Usman Khawaja getting going nicely.

Australia’s batsmen had clearly been on the front-foot for the first half of the day but England found some joy once the lights came on at the Adelaide Oval.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad were a completely different proposition under the lights. Eventually the pressure told for Australia as they lost Khawaja and Smith in the final session of the day.

ANDERSON GETS CHIRPY

Before the start of the game, England’s leading pace Anderson had compared the hosts’ behavior to that of bullies. Smith had hit back at the 500-wicket man by saying that the Englishman was no angel himself on the field.

Hence it was no surprise that Anderson was a bit chirpier than usual when Smith arrived at the crease. Root inventively stationed Anderson at mid-on right next to the non-striker. There the 35-year-old wasted no time in getting engaged in a war of words with Smith and it had to take umpire Aleem Dar’s intervention to separate the two.

Anderson had some more words at stumps for Handscomb as they departed off the field. You can expect the friction to only increase come day two.

SMITH FALLS TO DEBUTANT

Craig Overton was handed his maiden Test cap as he was brought into the side in place of Jake Ball. The 23-year-old has impressed for Somerset this year and he sure had a debut to remember on Saturday.

The right-arm pacer had bowled excellently throughout the day and had troubled Smith on a couple of occasions. Smith had weathered the storm and was threatening to take the game once away from the Englishmen when Overton got the big breakthrough.

The Australian skipper played on to a harmless length delivery to hand Overton a maiden scalp to remember forever. Getting Australia’s best batsmen as your first Test wicket in an Ashes series to boot is the stuff of dreams for an Englishman.

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