Arch-rivals England and Australia are renewing their old rivalry by facing off against each other in the Ashes 2019 which started on Thursday at Edgbaston in Birmingham. The English side is led by the charismatic batsman Joe Root while the Aussies are led by Tim Paine. With the first Test in progress, the battle will only get more intense as the series progresses. Australia will be looking to retain back the 'Urn' which they had won in the 2017/18 season Down Under. However, as England are playing at home, one can expect the partisan crowd to act as the perfect 12th man.
The trio of Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were featuring in a Test match for the first time ever since their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year. After they were found guilty, Smith and Warner were suspended from international cricket for the next 12 months while Bancroft was handed a nine-month suspension. Therefore, the English crowd had no hesitation in reminding them about their mistakes when they took to the field once again.
Both Warner and Bancroft opened the innings for Australia after they won the toss and elected to bat first. The home fans' joy knew no bounds after both were dismissed early by Stuart Broad as the visitors were reduced to 17/2 in the eighth over. What caught everyone's attention was the sight of the fans waving sandpapers at the duo after both were heading back to the pavilion.
Smith and Warner were earlier booed by the English crowd during the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Nonetheless, there were some fans who were disappointed with the English crowd's behaviour and took to social media and urged them to respect the spirit of the game. Here are a couple of tweets:
Having lost the opening pair of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the Aussies suffered yet another blow when Usman Khawaja was dismissed at the score of 35. Former skipper Steve Smith and left-handed middle-order batsman Travis Head then steadied the ship with a 48-run stand for the fourth-wicket as Australia finished at 83/3 going into lunch. Smith remained unbeaten at 23 while Head was unbeaten at 26.
Veteran pacer Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers for England with figures of 2/17 which included a maiden at an economy rate of 2.83.