Tom Curran has debut heartbreak and other talking points from the opening day of the fourth Ashes Test

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Curran was denied his maiden Test-wicket due to a no-ball.

The Ashes resumed after a short break with the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Having won the first three Tests comprehensively, Australia batted first after Steve Smith won the toss and the hosts finished the day in a strong position of 244-3.

On a day which saw the fourth highest ever Test attendance at the MCG with 88,172 spectators, we examine the key talking points.


The last time David Warner batted at the MCG in a Boxing Day Test, he scored 144 against Pakistan. He might not have scored at the same clip on Tuesday but he looked fluent and in control at all times.

The left-hander was on song in the opening session where he completed a century stand with Cameron Bancroft, but it was Warner who was the dominant force.

The opener raced away to 83 runs before lunch was called with Australia at 102-1. He would survive a reprieve on the way to his 21st ton in the second session but it was the only time he wavered during his 151-ball stay at the crease.

Warner also breached the 6,000 Test runs mark during his stay and became the joint-fourth quickest to get there after Don Bradman, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden and Greg Chappell.

Warner exults after completing his 21st Test ton.

Warner celebrates after completing his 21st Test ton.


It was a special day for Surrey youngster Tom Curran who made his Test bow for England on Boxing Day in front of a 88,000 plus crowd at the MCG.

The pacer bowled with a lot of desire throughout the day but he was unfortunately the only England quick who ended up wicketless.

The 22-year-old should have had his maiden Test scalp in the form of Warner with the Australian vice-captain one short of a century.

Warner attempted his trademark short-arm pull to a short Curran delivery but could only gift a simple chance to Stuart Broad at mid-on.

What should have been a joyous moment for the England debutant quickly turned to despair as the umpire checked for a retrospective no-ball.

Replays showed the pacer had over-stepped and the MCG let out a sigh of relief.

Curran's joy quickly turned into despair.

Curran’s joy quickly turned into despair.


The scorecard at the end of the day might have only showed three wickets but it was not entirely reflective of the day’s play.

While Warner had dominated the opening session, England found some life in the pitch post lunch. Only 43 runs were scored by Australia in the second session as they lost their opening pair of Warner and Bancroft.

James Anderson ended the former’s stay as he equalled Courtney Walsh with 519 Test wickets and now only lies behind Glenn McGrath in the pace bowlers’ all-time wicket-takers list.

Stuart Broad also ended his miserable 414-ball and 67-over wicketless drought since his last wicket in the Adelaide Test when he had Usman Khawaja caught behind by Jonny Bairstow.

Chris Woakes was the one who provided England the initial breakthrough when he trapped Bancroft plum in front of the wickets for a scratchy 28.

Broad broke his 67-over wicketless drought with Khawaja's dismissal.

Broad broke his 67-over wicketless drought with Khawaja’s dismissal.


While Joe Root’s men might have bowled with ferocity, things are once again looking ominous for them with Steve Smith looking impeccable by the time stumps were drawn on day one.

The Australian skipper scored his 22nd Test fifty as he went past India’s Cheteshwar Pujara to become the leading run-scorer in 2017.

The No1 ranked Test batsman is in the form of his life and things could get bad for the tourists on day two if Smith keeps firing.

Since being dismissed by Umesh Yadav in the Boxing Day Test of 2014, the 28-year-old has registered knocks of 134, 70 and 165 at the venue without being dismissed.

It is safe to say Smith likes a Boxing Day Test at the historic venue and one wouldn’t bet against the right-hander to complete his 23rd ton come Wednesday.

Smith is looking ominous for England once again.

Smith is looking ominous for England once again.

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