Dawid Malan has said that day one of the Sydney Test was representative of England’s Ashes tour as a whole.
England looked to be in a good position with just over ten minutes left of the day only for Australia to strike twice and remove Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow and leave the team on 233-5 at the close.
Malan could only watch from the non-striker’s end as the wickets fell and afterwards he said, “I think it sums up where we’ve been on this tour. We’ve been on top for so long in games, we make one or two mistakes and suddenly we let the Aussies back in so it is disappointing.”
Root put in a good 83 before being caught at square leg off Mitchell Starc. However, his inability to convert his fourth fifty of the series into a century is the continuation of a frustrating trend for the England captain who has converted just two of his last fifteen fifties into centuries.
However, Malan said that Root “is disappointed when he gets out whether he scores 150 or 50 so he doesn’t really change”.
When Root left with less than two overs left in the day many were surprised when Bairstow chose to replace him rather than a night watchman. Bairstow then lasted just seven balls before Josh Hazlewood had him caught behind.
Malan said that he was “a little bit” surprised but said that “the decision is not for the coaches to make, it is down to the batsman who is in next and Jonny made that decision and good on him.”
Australia’s all-rounder Mitch Marsh also expressed surprised at seeing Bairstow come out but having seen the back of him it is obviously a decision he was happy with.