Cummins shines, England crumble on rain-hit Ashes opening day

Australian Captain Pat Cummins (C) celebrates taking a wicket during day one of the first Ashes cricket Test match between England and Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane. Photo: AFP

Pat Cummins took a five-wicket haul in a dream start to his Australia captaincy as England were skittled for 147 before tea at the Gabba on a rain-hit opening day of the Ashes.

Australia's first fast-bowling skipper in 65 years, Cummins shone on a golden day for the home side which began with Mitchell Starc removing Rory Burns on the very first ball and ended early with a storm and bad light.

The rain capped a gloomy day for England at the Gabba, their traditional house of pain, but they may end up praying for more of it to avert defeat.

Their sole win on Wednesday was when skipper Joe Root called the toss correctly but his choice to bat first on a grassy wicket soon appeared dicey on a muggy, overcast morning.

Burns became the first player dismissed with the opening delivery of an Ashes series in 85 years when Starc bowled him down the leg-side.

It was an ugly dismissal for the Surrey man, who crab-walked across his stumps and trudged off with his sixth duck of the year, an all-time record for opening batsmen.

Within half an hour he had been joined in the dressing room by Dawid Malan (6) and Root as the metronomic Josh Hazlewood struck twice.

Malan dangled his bat out to catch an edge and gave debut wicketkeeper Alex Carey his first test dismissal.

But Root, out for a duck, was removed by a pearl of a delivery from the big quick, with David Warner leaping wide for a superb catch in the slips.

Cummins introduced himself after the morning drinks break, dismissing England's danger man Ben Stokes (5) with a brute of a delivery that induced a nick to a diving Marnus Labuschagne.

The captain had opener Haseeb Hameed out for 25 in similar fashion straight after lunch, leaving England 60 for five.

"It's been a good start to my captaincy stint," said Cummins. "I'm really proud of not only how everyone bowled but I thought everyone stayed really composed.

"It's a really long summer but I've got off to a really good start."

An aggressive Jos Buttler (39) and Ollie Pope combined to rally England but Starc broke their 52-run stand with a sizzling delivery that caught Buttler's edge and sailed to Carey.

Young all-rounder Cameron Green celebrated his first Test wicket when Pope (35) sent a panicky pull which Hazlewood pouched brilliantly in the deep.

Cummins (5-38) cleaned up the tail and led his team off the ground holding the Kookaburra ball aloft as the Gabba crowd rose to their feet to celebrate his first five-wicket haul against the English.

The tourists had earlier sprung a surprise by confirming Stuart Broad would be rested along with fellow pace veteran James Anderson, the first time in five years that neither have bowled in a Test.

The last time neither of them played England lost to Bangladesh on tour.

That left a combined 1,156 wickets on the bench and meant Wood and the inexperienced Robinson would lead the pace attack, with Jack Leach picked as a spinner.


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