Ashes: Khawaja’s brilliant 137 . After Australia’s announcement, the England opener survived the tough test

In Brisbane, first, and in Melbourne, third, he bowled first in England in just a few seasons. Here in Sydney, as in Adelaide, Australia batted first, slow-roasted England. The first method of cooking engulfs the mind of the victims. The second rips their bodies apart.

At the end of the second day, Australians are realizing it’s time for a feed. On a good pitch that was already taking a bit of a misbehavior, he scored 416 runs from the declared eight, largely thanks to a brilliant comeback century from Usman Khawaja.

It was a statement from Pat Cummins, with Nathan Lyon launching Stuart Broad – who completed his second five-wicket haul in Australia – into the Sundar members’ pavilion for six, then running off the ground with Mitchell Starc.

With the light fading and the crowd, Haseeb Hameed and Zak Crawley faced a severe test of five overs from Cummins and Starc. There was a scare when Crowley was caught for a duck off Starc at first slip; Replays showed it was a no ball – the kind of error you’d expect England to make, not Australia.

In the field, England was gradually torn apart. There was a crucial missed opportunity, as Jos Buttler and Joe Root dropped Khawaja for just 28 off a poor Jack Leach delivery. A key player, Ben Stokes, was injured, injuring himself while pursuing a strategy that was never going to work: Steve Smith and Khawaja returned to the ground with bouncers.

He left the field before lunch, returned after the break, but did not bowl again. The all-rounder’s dubious side put the England side under strain.

This meant that the dangerous pace of aging champions Jimmy Anderson and Broad, as well as Mark Wood, were forced into a spell after a commendable spell. These are the kind of days that would hasten the retirement of old boys, or break the wood, but they kept on running. While Anderson and Wood didn’t add up to crucial wickets taken on the first evening, Broad got the reward he deserved.

It was clearly evident Australia were in no hurry in the morning session, as Smith raced to the pavilion as soon as he felt a splash of rain falling. This happened three times, with the umpires obediently following their lead, arranging for short breaks in the game.

Australia’s Usman Khawaja celebrates his brilliant comeback century at the SCG

, Getty Images

It halted a gruesome morning session for England in which a dropped catch fell to the head. Leach bowled very defensively, he found the edge, which went to Root in Butler’s glove and straight slip off the thigh. Opportunity to react.

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