Root criticised after bowling first as England struggles

England skipper Joe Root won the toss but opted to send Australia in to bat in the day-night match, leading to criticism.

Joe Root's decision to bowl first in the second Ashes Test sparked criticism as England endured a frustrating start against Australia on day one at Adelaide Oval.   -  Getty Images

Joe Root's decision to bowl first in the second Ashes Test sparked criticism as England endured a frustrating start against Australia on day one at Adelaide Oval.

With England trailing 1-0 following its humiliating 10-wicket loss to Australia, eyebrows were raised when captain Root won the toss but opted to send the host in to bat in the day-night match on Saturday.

While there was some movement, Aussie openers David Warner (21 not out) and Cameron Bancroft (10 not out) were comfortable on the batter-friendly wicket, guiding Steve Smith's men to 33-0 as tea was called early following two rain delays.

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, ex-Australia captain Michael Clarke and spin king Shane Warne were among the pundits to question Root's decision to bowl first in Adelaide.

The shock call was immediately likened to the demoralising decision of former England skipper Nasser Hussain, who won the toss at the Gabba in 2002 and bowled first in the Brisbane sun as Australia scored 364-2 on the opening day.

England was not plundered by the Australians, though Root was not helped by his bowling attack.

Veterans Stuart Broad (0-8) and James Anderson (0-11) struggled to get their line and length right with the pink ball in windy and overcast conditions as Warner and Bancroft controlled proceedings, just like they did in the second innings at the Gabba – where they chased down 173 for victory without loss.

Read: Anderson 'bully' rant a bit rich, says Aussie captain

Anderson – under an injury cloud heading into the Test and vocal about Australia's sledging amid bullying accusations – was below his best.

Fellow paceman Chris Woakes (0-12) did not look threatening either as debutant Craig Overton waited for his chance after replacing Jake Ball in the side.

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