Aussies on top, Cummins has perfect start

Ed JacksonAAP
Pat Cummins marked his first Test as Australia captain with a five-wicket haul against England.
Camera IconPat Cummins marked his first Test as Australia captain with a five-wicket haul against England. Credit: AAP

The Pat Cummins-era of Australian cricket has got off to a perfect start as the newly appointed captain took five wickets on the opening day of the Ashes series in Brisbane.

Cummins claimed 5-38 as the hosts seized the early advantage in the first Test on Wednesday, dismissing England for 147 before tea at the Gabba.

An afternoon thunderstorm washed out the evening session, meaning Australia's first innings will start on Thursday at the earlier time of 9.30am AEST.

Cummins lost the toss but England's decision to bat first on a steamy Brisbane morning with a tinge of green on the pitch always carried an element of risk.

When Mitchell Starc bowled Rory Burns with the first delivery of the match, the tone was set.

Full of confidence, Josh Hazlewood then removed Dawid Malan (6) and the prized scalp of England captain Joe Root (0) to leave the tourists reeling at 3-11.

Cummins secured another key wicket - his first as captain - when he dismissed Ben Stokes and after an hour of play England were 4-29.

A half-century stand by Ollie Pope (35) and Jos Buttler (39) was the only resistance offered by England before Cummins cleaned up the tail to secure his sixth Test five-wicket haul.

Starc, whose first over strike was the 13th time he'd achieved that feat in Test cricket since 2014, finished with 2-35 and Hazlewood 2-42.

There was even a maiden Test wicket for Cameron Green (1-6) after he'd toiled without luck in last summer's series against India.

"Just all bowled really well, did our job, and to keep them to 150 - tremendous start," Cummins said.

"Really proud of how consistent everyone was.

"Personally it was nice to get a couple of wickets at the end to make it a five-for but it's a really good start."

England's day began with the shock news Stuart Broad had been left out of the tourists' XI.

With fellow veteran quick Jimmy Anderson already omitted, it marked the first Ashes match since 2006 without either of the talismanic bowlers involved.

Things got even worse when Burns became just the second batsman dismissed of the first delivery of a series in Ashes history - recording his sixth duck of the calendar year in the process.

Despite a day to forget, the tourists were refusing to give up hope of responding with the ball on day two.

"Both teams have obviously got to bat on this wicket," Pope said.

"Disappointing start ... there was frustration that we haven't been able to put on that big score that we wanted, but the pitch did offer a fair bit especially early for the seam.

"Obviously frustrated as a unit but we're not going to get too down. It's a long tour, it's a long series. Going to keep the spirits high, come fighting tomorrow."

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