PHOTOS: Australia vs England, 3rd Ashes Test, MCG

IMAGES from Day 1 of the 3rd Ashes Test played in Melbourne on Sunday.

  • Scorecard

Australia captain Pat Cummins celebrated his return to the side with three wickets as England staggered to 61 for three at lunch on day one of the third Ashes Test in Melbourne on Sunday.

Fast bowler Cummins removed both of England’s openers, Haseeb Hameed (0) and Zak Crawley (12), cheaply after winning the toss and electing to bowl on a green-tinged Melbourne Cricket Ground wicket.

He then broke a budding 48-run partnership between England captain Joe Root and Dawid Malan, having the number three caught in the slips for 14 in the final over before lunch.

Root was 33 not out, with England’s next batter Ben Stokes to join him out in the middle after lunch.


“Good start,” said Cummins as his team walked off the ground to warm applause from a festive Boxing Day crowd.

“We got a good cheer when we won the toss and bowled so it’s normally a good sign.”

It was an impressive return by Cummins, who was forced to miss the second Test in Adelaide after being identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

Holders Australia, after winning in Brisbane and Adelaide, lead the five-match series 2-0 and can retain the urn with a draw or victory in Melbourne.

The MCG wicket had just over a centimetre of grass, promising something early for the seam bowlers on a cool, overcast morning. 

Root said he would probably also have chosen to bowl if he won the toss.

“I expect a reaction this week. We are more than capable of doing it,” he said before the match, which started half an hour later than scheduled because of rain.

Cummins replaced Michael Neser in Australia’s XI, while Victoria paceman Scott Boland made his Test debut in place of the injured Jhye Richardson.

England rung the changes, with opener Rory Burns, middle order batsman Ollie Pope, all-rounder Chris Woakes and paceman Stuart Broad all dropped after the 275-run defeat in Adelaide.


Hameed was caught behind with the fifth ball of Cummins’ first over, while recalled opener Crawley was soon out edging to Cameron Green in the gully.

Malan nicked Cummins to David Warner in the slips to leave England in trouble at the break.

England included batsman Jonny Bairstow, while recalling paceman Mark Wood and spinner Jack Leach for the must-win match.

Only one team has ever turned around a 2-0 deficit to win the Ashes. That was Don Bradman’s Australia who came back to win the 1936/37 series 3-2 on home soil.

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