The third Test of the Ashes 2023 got underway at Headingley in Leeds on Thursday. By choosing to bat first, England’s bowlers have infused the game with energy and have posed some challenging issues to the Australian batters.
Mark Wood, who is rejoining the playing XI after being injured, has been the main architect behind it. He frightened the Australian batters as soon as he had the ball in his hands and made life difficult for them.
In his maiden spell, Mark Wood spun four over while only allowing two runs to be scored. He regularly exceeded 150 kph and caused difficulty for the opposition. His spell had an average pace of 92.90 mph, making it the second-fastest spell for England since 2006.
MARK WOOD 🔥
He is on fire in Ashes, Total pace.pic.twitter.com/djccOAKLPP
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) July 6, 2023
How did the first session of the third Test pan out?
Stuart Broad’s brilliance helped establish the mood for England before Mark Wood’s scorching spell. During the first over of the match, the seasoned bowler got rid of his “bunny,” leaving Australia reeling at 4/1.
Zack Crawley caught David Warner’s bat in the slips after Stuart Broad managed to catch the outer edge of his bat. He pulled him from a test 16 times in total. Notably, the batter averages only about 25 against him and against England. The pacer’s figures are much better because he has struck out the opener 16 times.
After the dismissals of the openers, Usman Khawaja and David Warner, it was up to Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to take the innings forward. As the hosts took control following that, Chris Woakes backed it up by ejecting Labuschagne. Although Broad returned later in the session and sent Smith back to the pavilion on his 100th Test, Jonny Bairstow ended up dropping both Travis Head and Steven Smith, which could prove costly.
Somehow, Mitchell Marsh and Head were able to finish the session without any more damage to their team. England is now dominating Australia and will want to increase the pressure after lunch. They will need someone to infuse some composure into their batting.