Pat Cummins was the victim of "really, really bad luck" as Australia's captain was forced to miss the second Ashes Test and go into isolation.

That was the verdict of Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, who said the team had no option but to go into the Adelaide clash against England without their new skipper.

Cummins was dining at a restaurant on Tuesday and sat nearby to someone who has since been confirmed as a positive coronavirus case.

The star paceman did not breach any biosecurity protocols and isolated as soon as he became aware of the situation. Cummins has since had a PCR test, which produced a negative result, and said he was "gutted" to be ruled out of action. Michael Neser came in for his debut, replacing Cummins.

What it means for Cummins is that he could only watch on television as Australia made a bright start against England, reaching 211-2 in 78 overs as the first day continued to unfold.

Hockley said on BT Sport: "It's certainly been eventful, and it's so disappointing that Pat was ruled out as a close contact last night

"No one's more disappointed than Pat and everyone's been working extremely hard overnight to get the facts, and ultimately it was determined, working with the health authorities, that he had been in close contact with a positive case. It's just really 'wrong time, wrong place', and it's really, really bad luck. We're thrilled that he's going to be fit and raring to go on Boxing Day.

"We worked to establish the facts. We worked closely with SA [South Australia] Health. Ultimately, if you do become a close contact then the rules are to isolate for seven days, so there was really no option in the end.

"We've got protocols in place to make sure that multiple players don't get tied up in that situation, so they have to dine in small groups. If there's one consolation, it's that everyone else is available to play."

Hockley said Cummins should be available for the next match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and measures were being taken to ensure he can stay fully fit.

"He's in isolation now. He's watching the cricket," Hockley said.

"We'll be putting plans in place plans to make sure that when people are in isolation they get access to the right fitness equipment, and we all want to make sure he keeps his conditioning up to a level and that he's in optimum condition for the Boxing Day Test."

Steve Smith captained Australia in the absence of Cummins as the day-night Test got under way.

Australian captain Pat Cummins has sensationally been ruled out of the second Ashes Test against England, deemed a close contact of a person who received a positive COVID-19 test.

The news comes on the morning of the first day of the pink-ball Test at Adelaide Oval, with Queensland fast bowler Michael Neser confirmed to replace Cummins in the XI for his debut on Thursday.

Former skipper Steve Smith will captain Australia in the absence of Cummins in the day-night Test in Adelaide.

Cummins was dining at a restaurant on Tuesday and was sat nearby to someone who has since been confirmed as a positive coronavirus case.

The star paceman did not breach any biosecurity protocols and isolated as soon as he became aware of the situation. Cummins has since had a PCR test, which produced a negative result.

However, Cummins has been confirmed as a close contact by South Australia Health and will be required to isolate for seven days, ruling him out of the second showdown with rivals England.

Cricket Australia (CA) said it anticipated Cummins will be available to play in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG in Melbourne.

"Cummins is understandably very disappointed not to be able to captain Australia for the day-night Test in Adelaide," CA said in a statement.

The 28-year-old fast bowler had led Australia to a nine-wicket victory in the Ashes opener as skipper in Brisbane, after taking over from Tim Paine.

Smith's deputising marks the first time he will have captained his country since the controversial 2018 sandpaper-gate Test match in Cape Town, which led to his dismissal as skipper and 12-month suspension.

Australia may have dodged a further bullet, revealing Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were also dining at the same restaurant but at a separate table outdoors.

Both have been deemed casual contacts by SA Health and are free to play.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been included in England's 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.

The pair's omission for the opening match raised eyebrows and came under further scrutiny after the tourists slumped to a nine-wicket loss as Australia seized the upper hand in Brisbane.

But both are in contention as England seek to level the series in the first of two day-night Tests, with the final selection to be confirmed at the toss on Thursday.

Anderson is his country's leading wicket-taker in Tests with 632, while Broad – who is one shy of 150 Test caps – has 524.

Spinner Jack Leach, who endured a torrid outing as he gave up 102 runs in 13 overs at the Gabba, retains his place in the squad, while seamer Mark Wood has been rested.

Any lingering fears over the fitness of Ben Stokes, who jarred his knee in the field during the opening Test, appear to have been put to rest with his inclusion.

Joe Root's side face a tough task, with Australia boasting a 100 per cent record in day-night Tests.

England squad: Joe Root, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

Australia star David Warner will face rivals England in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, despite badly bruised ribs.

Warner was in doubt for the blockbuster day-night showdown at Adelaide Oval, starting Thursday, after the opener did not bat or field in the second innings of Australia's nine-wicket rout of England in Brisbane last week.

But Warner – who scored 94 runs in the opening innings of the first Test – has been declared fit to play after Australia captain Pat Cummins confirmed his XI on Wednesday.

"He'll be right," Cummins told reporters. "He had a bat yesterday, batted with a bit of discomfort but knowing Davey, he's not going to miss this one. Once adrenaline and everything kicks in, [he'll be] a little bit sore but he'll be fine.

"It's one thing batting in the nets but another thing when you walk out and it's a packed crowd. I don't think he had any kind of painkillers or anything yesterday.

"He's played close to 90 Tests, I'm sure a lot of them have been played in discomfort or with [niggles] going into the game. He'll be fine tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Jhye Richardson will make his international return for Australia after replacing injured paceman Josh Hazlewood (side strain) – the only change to the starting XI.

Richardson got the nod ahead of Michael Neser for the pink-ball Test, having not featured for Australia in cricket's longest format since his debut in 2019.

The Australia attack will be licking their lips at the prospect of doing more damage with the pink ball, where they will be hunting what would be a sixth win in seven matches in the longest format in Adelaide.

No side has a better record than Australia's eight out of eight in day-night Tests, while England have lost three day-nighters out of four and their only victory was against West Indies in 2017.

 

Australia XI: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.

Australia have a 100 per cent record in day-night Tests and another victory at Adelaide Oval will leave England's hopes of regaining the Ashes hanging by a thread.

The tourists made a nightmare start to the series at the Gabba, slumping to a nine-wicket defeat after Joe Root had won the toss and opted to bat first on a green pitch under cloudy skies.

England were rolled over for only 147 on day one in Brisbane after Rory Burns lost his off stump to the first ball of the match from Mitchell Starc.

Captain Root (89) and Dawid Malan (82) showed some resistance in the second innings after Travis Head had made the third-fastest Ashes century, but another collapse left Australia with the straightforward task of chasing 20 to go 1-0 up.

Pat Cummins could not have wished for a much better start to his reign as Test skipper, taking 5-38 on the opening day as England crumbled meekly.

The Australia attack will be licking their lips at the prospect of doing more damage with the pink ball in Adelaide, where they will be hunting what would be a sixth win in seven matches in the longest format in Adelaide.

No side has a better record than Australia's eight out of eight in day-night Tests, while England have lost three day-nighters out of four and their only victory was against West Indies in 2017.

Stats Perform looks at some of the selection issues both sides will be weighing up and picks out where the second Test, which starts on Thursday, could be won and lost.

Anderson and Broad to shine under the lights?

Eyebrows were raised in the Australia camp and far beyond when both James Anderson and Stuart Broad were left out for the first Test.

With 1,156 Test wickets between them, the pace-bowling stalwarts would have been rubbing their hands together at the prospect of racing in at the start of the series but watched on as Australia's bowlers had a field day.

Broad should be back in for his 150th Test and Anderson will surely return under the lights.

The selectors face a tough call when deciding who to leave out as Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes came out the first Test with credit, while spinner Jack Leach endured a chastening start to the series.

 

Hazlewood injury forces Australia into at least one change

Australia will be without Josh Hazlewood after he suffered a side strain in Brisbane and Jhye Richardson is the favourite to replace him.

Hazlewood took 5-8 when Australia bowled India out for an embarrassing 36 last December, but either Richardson or Michael Neser will get a chance to exploit England's vulnerability with the bat.

Richardson has taken 23 wickets in four Sheffield Shield matches this season at an average of 13.43 and looks primed to make his Ashes bow in what would be his third Test.

Australia are hopeful David Warner is fit to open after he took a couple of blows to the ribs in the opening Test.

Joe Root is confident England will bounce back from their chastening loss in the first Ashes Test.

The tourists slumped to a nine-wicket defeat in Brisbane, having been skittled for a paltry 147 in the first innings as Australia seized the upper hand.

Root's side will seek redemption when the second Test, a day-night match, begins in Adelaide on Thursday.

And the captain has no fears of history repeating itself, with England having failed to win a single Test across their previous two Ashes tours.

"It doesn't feel like previous tours leaving Brisbane where we have been battered and completely on the wrong end of the result," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I think we're leaving Brisbane with a slightly different perspective.

"There is a lot more optimism. I thought our bowlers did a brilliant job and created a lot of chances, but when you don't take them it makes it really hard."

England's team selection came under scrutiny after James Anderson and Stuart Broad were left out at the Gabba. Spinner Jack Leach was included and posted 1-102 from 13 overs.

Anderson looks set to come back into the fold as he aims to build on his record haul of Test wickets for his country, but the need for a spin option could see Broad sidelined again, with Dom Bess the possible beneficiary.

"No selection is straightforward and this one looks like it could be a fascinating one," said Root.

"The great thing is we have got everyone fit and available and ready, so whoever is given the opportunity, you would like to think they will be champing at the bit.

"We obviously have big decisions to make."

The returning Ben Stokes suffered a knee injury while fielding in Brisbane and Root conceded there is some doubt over the all-rounder's involvement.

"We will find out about Ben over the next couple of days," said Root.

"Hopefully that is something he's shaken off now and he can get back to full intensity, but all options are on the table. We will have to manage that and see where we are at."

Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test at Adelaide Oval due to a side strain.

The 30-year-old paceman did not bowl during the final session on day three of his side's nine-wicket win over England in the first Test at the Gabba.

Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed on Monday that Hazlewood will miss the day-night Test in Adelaide, which starts on Thursday.

"Hazlewood returned to Sydney yesterday afternoon for further assessment and rehabilitation with a decision on his fitness for the Boxing Day Test to be made in due course," the CA statement said.

Western Australian quick Jhye Richardson, who has played in two Tests, is viewed as Hazlewood's likely replacement, while Michael Neser is in contention after he was named man of the match in Australia A's win over the England Lions.

Richardson has taken 23 wickets in four Sheffield Shield matches for Western Australia this season.

Hazlewood took 2-42 from 13 overs in the first innings and 1-32 from 14 overs in the second of Australia's win in Brisbane.

After sitting out the final session on day three, Hazlewood was cleared to bowl on day four, taking the wicket of Jos Buttler as Australia bowled England out for 297.

Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is a major doubt for the second Ashes Test with England after suffering a mild side strain.

The 30-year-old did not bowl on the third afternoon of Australia's nine-wicket win in the first Test in Brisbane but was fit enough to get through six overs on day four.

However, Hazlewood is not fully over his injury and is now facing a race against time to be ready for the resumption of the five-Test series in Adelaide on Thursday.

The right-armer has flown home to Sydney to recover, though he has not officially been ruled out of the second Test just yet.

Should Hazlewood miss out, Jhye Richardson – who has taken 23 wickets in four Sheffield Shield matches for Western Australia this season – is the most likely candidate to come into the side.

Asked about Hazlewood's injury after Australia's emphatic first Test victory, captain Pat Cummins said: "It's nothing too serious, but we didn't want it to turn into a huge injury.

"We don't want to put him in jeopardy for the whole series, so we'll take our time.

"He's a little bit sore, so we're just managing him through – it's a five-Test match summer, and he's a key for us, so we don't want to blow him out on day two or three."

David Warner is nursing injured ribs, meanwhile, but Cummins was hopeful the opening batsman would be available for selection.

"He's pretty sore but should be right for Adelaide," Cummins said on Friday. "We'll monitor him but think he'll be fine."

Ricky Ponting predicted England's Ashes situation could look extremely bleak if they do not bounce back in the second Test in Adelaide.

Australia cruised to a thumping nine-wicket victory at The Gabba on Saturday, as England's good work on day three was totally undone.

Nathan Lyon led the way for Australia in the morning session, taking four wickets and bringing up his 400th in Test cricket. England managed just 77 runs as they surrendered their last eight wickets, taking them to a total of 297, having begun day four on 220-2.

Australia were set 20 runs for victory and easily reached the total following lunch, despite the loss of Alex Carey.

Mitchell Starc's dismissal of Rory Burns with the very first ball in Brisbane rather set the tone for a Test in which England were always behind the eight-ball, and former Australia skipper Ponting believes there could be a similar outcome to the hosts' 5-0 triumph in the 2006-07 series.

 

Having ended Australia's eight-series winning streak with victory in 2005, England went Down Under with a point to prove 18 months later, but Ponting's side cruised to a series whitewash.

Indeed, England have not won a Test in Australia since they triumphed 3-1 in the 2010-11 series, suffering 5-0 and 4-0 defeats in their subsequent trips.

After the day-night Test in Adelaide, the series goes to Melbourne, Sydney and then finishes in Hobart, which has replaced Perth as the final venue.

"The conditions are only going to get better for Australia," former Test captain Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"Those conditions [in Brisbane] were very English-like. There was more pace and bounce but as far as their bowling is concerned, they're probably not going to get that much movement anywhere else for the entire series.

"We saw them bowl really well on the last tour in Adelaide under lights where everything just fell perfectly into place – Australia had to bat for a session, the lights were on, brand-new ball, clear night.

"We've also been to Adelaide at other times when the pink ball has done nothing, whether it's a new ball or not. If they don't win in Adelaide then there could be shades of '06-07."

Though Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood bowled well in Brisbane, eyebrows were raised by England's decision to leave out both Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

Such surprise was a sentiment shared by Ponting.

"I can't see why they would have left them [Broad and Anderson] out if they weren't just getting them prepped and ready for Adelaide," said Ponting.

"I'm still staggered to this point now. If Stuart Broad and James Anderson are not better bowlers in Australia than Chris Woakes, then I'm not here. One of those two had to play.

"It might be that they're only going to play one of Broad or Anderson in Adelaide. A lot of it might just depend on how [Ben] Stokes pulls up between now and the start of the Adelaide game."

Joe Root said England must make brave calls and insisted the tourists are not scared of a challenge after they were put to the sword by Australia in the Ashes opener.

England were left licking their wounds after crumbling on day four of the first Test, which Australia comprehensively won by nine wickets at the Gabba.

Root's England – having opted not to play star bowling pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad – went from 220-2 to all out for 297 in Brisbane, where Australia swiftly chased down 20 runs for victory on Saturday.

After England's collapse, Root defended his decision to bat first against Australia.

"If we go about things the way we did on the last two tours we'll get the same result," Root said, with England having lost nine matches without winning on their last two tours to Australia.

"We have to be brave. I look back and think [batting] was the right decision.

"In terms of selection, we could have gone a different way [but] we wanted variety in our attack and ways of changing things."

 

"I'm not trying to make things up," said Root. "We're not far away."

Root and Dawid Malan had sparked renewed hope for England on Friday following a strong rear-guard display, but the revival was short-lived after losing eight wickets for just 77 runs across the opening session on Saturday.

England will now look ahead to the day-night Test in Adelaide, starting Thursday.

"We're a team that's always responded well to situations like this in the recent past," Root told BT Sport. "We're not scared of a challenge.

"We're not scared of fronting up to a difficult result, and we'll just have to make sure that we do exactly that again on this occasion."

Nathan Lyon said his long-awaited 400th Test wicket was a "big relief" after the Australia spinner helped the hosts crush England in the Ashes opener.

Lyon became only the third Australian to achieve the feat in Saturday's nine-wicket victory over rivals England inside four days at the Gabba.

After almost a year of waiting, Lyon brought up the milestone as Australia claimed 77-8 to roll England for 297 in the first session in Brisbane, where the tourists had resumed on 220-2 before the sensational collapse.

Australia were set 20 runs for victory and easily reached the total following lunch, despite the loss of Alex Carey, but it was all about Lyon after the first Test.

"Relief, because I'm not so much on personal milestones I had a lot of banter going on so it probably wasn't on my mind a lot more," Lyon told reporters after finishing 4-91 to take his Test haul to 403 from 101 matches.

"But I say the next wicket is hardest to get but yes, it was a big relief."

Before Lyon, only Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) had taken 400 wickets or more for Australia.

Lyon – who had waited since January to join the exclusive club – also became the seventh spin bowler to take 400 wickets in men's Test cricket.

"It hasn't really hit me to be honest," Lyon, 34, said. "I'll get my phone and call my family and friends and that will probably hit a little closer to home.

"But it's something I'm very proud of, there's no doubt about that. It's been some hard toil to get it, but very rewarding."

Asked if he was less nervous now after ending his wait, Lyon replied: "I'm nervous because I care. I care about everyone in that changing room, I care about the result and playing cricket and representing Australia. I'm not nervous because I'm scared of failing.

"[Captain] Pat [Cummins] was extremely calm as captain ... I think when Australia play their best cricket, we're calm and playing with smiles on our faces and enjoying it. Pat really hit that home."

Australia captain Pat Cummins expressed his pride with the team's complete performance after the hosts embarrassed England to claim the opening Ashes Test.

England fell to pieces on day four as Australia humbled the tourists by nine wickets to draw first blood in the Ashes on Saturday.

Australia were set just 20 runs for victory after England went from 220-2 at the start of play to 297 all out – the visiting nation losing 77-8 in a stunning collapse.

Nathan Lyon fuelled Australia with 4-91 as he became only the third Australian bowler to reach 400 wickets and Cummins – in his first Test as captain after replacing former skipper Tim Paine – revelled in the display while hailing man-of-the-match Travis Head following his first-inning century.

"I really enjoyed it, a lot of things did go right, probably from the toss - overcast conditions, wicket had a bit in it, turn up day two and it's blue skies," Cummins said during the post-match presentations. "So someone was smiling on me.

"Really proud of everyone, complete performance, the bowlers did their thing, then Marnus [Labuschagne] and Davey's [David Warner] partnership and the way Travis [Head] played. Sign of a positive, brave side.

"I was really happy about how everyone stuck to it, we bowled without luck yesterday [Friday]. Turned up positive and not thinking about too much other than trying to get that breakthrough.

"That's why we want him [Head] in the side, he can take a game away in a couple of hours. He showed what he can do, bright future, hopefully he's away now."

 

Cummins also said he is confident David Warner will be fit for the day-night Test in Adelaide after the star opener did not bat on Saturday, while also adding that paceman Josh Hazlewood had pulled up okay.

As for England skipper Joe Root, he cut a frustrated figure after the tourists' overnight hopes were swiftly dashed at the Gabba.

England emerged on the fourth day with renewed hope after Root and Dawid Malan mounted a fine rear-guard on Friday – the pair's stance leading the tourists to 220-2, but they capitulated and were all out prior to lunch.

"Frustration, we worked really hard to get ourselves back in the game last night and we knew how in important it was to try and get through to the new ball unscathed," Root said. "If we carried that partnership forward we could have given ourselves an opportunity.

"You saw how the pitch was playing here was sideways movement and the cracks were appearing. It's a shame we couldn't get through that initial period."

Root added: "Important in a five-match series not to feel too sorry for ourselves, relish the challenge to go out there and try and get one back. There are good things to take, most importantly the bowling effort. Created chances and felt in the game for a long time. Need to learn from this and come back stronger."

"Easy with hindsight, but can't create as many chances as we did and put them down. Similar with the bat, [29-4] is not the way to start a Test series. But we know where we need to improve, and the way we responded in the second series showed fight which will stand us in good stead," he said.

England fell to pieces in a day-four Ashes collapse as Australia ruthlessly wrapped up the opening Test by nine wickets behind Nathan Lyon's historic performance.

Australia celebrated a comprehensive victory at the Gabba, where England lost eight wickets in the morning session to set the hosts just 20 runs to win, which they scored post-lunch with the loss one wicket.

Lyon had become only the third Australian bowler to reach 400 wickets as England capitulated all out for 297 in Brisbane on Saturday – the spinner leading his nation's charge with 4-91.

England emerged on the fourth day with renewed hope after Joe Root and Dawid Malan mounted a fine rear-guard on Friday – the pair's stance leading the tourists to 220-2.

 

But England's revival quickly diminished as they crumbled and were eventually all out before lunch – losing eight wickets for just 77 runs.

Lyon sparked the collapse in the fourth over of the day, the milestone man got Malan (82) to edge onto his pad for Marnus Labuschagne to take a sharp catch at silly mid-off with the second new ball approaching, snapping a 162-run partnership.

Root added three runs to his overnight score before he fell to Cameron Green (2-23) and Ollie Pope (4) followed his captain back to the pavilion the very next over after attempting to cut a Lyon delivery, instead punching to Steve Smith at slip.

Australia sniffed blood and England simply had no answer as Pat Cummins (2-51) and Josh Hazlewood (1-32) got the wickets of Ben Stokes (14) and Jos Buttler (23), with Lyon cleaning up the tail, alongside Green.

After lunch, Marcus Harris (9 not out) hit the winning boundary to clinch Australia's victory following Alex Carey's dismissal for 9.

 

Lyon joins exclusive club

Before Lyon, only Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) had taken 400 wickets or more for Australia. The spinner joined the club after finally ending his quest for the milestone, having waited almost a year. Lyon became the seventh spin bowler to take 400 wickets in men's Test cricket.

Carey makes history

The Gabba opener marked a Test debut for wicketkeeper Carey, who stepped in behind the stumps after former skipper Tim Paine opted to take a break from cricket. Carey capitalised, marking his bow with eight catches – becoming the first player in Test cricket to achieve the number on debut.

Hobart will stage an Ashes Test for the first time after Blundstone Arena was confirmed as the venue for next month's series finale between Australia and England.

The fifth and final Ashes showdown was meant to be held in Perth from January 14-18 before it was relocated due to Western Australia's border restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Melbourne – the scene for the Boxing Day Test – and Sydney, which will host the fourth Test, were in the mix to stage further matches this series.

However, Ashes cricket will come to Hobart via a day-night Test – the second pink-ball fixture of the 2021-22 series following Adelaide, starting December 16.

"We considered a range of factors, including commercial, logistical and operational considerations," Cricket Australia (CA) CEO Nick Hockley said on Saturday.

"On the balance of these the CA board agreed on Blundstone Arena being the most appropriate venue to host the fifth Vodafone Men's Ashes Test match.

"We also acknowledge the postponement of the Australia and Afghanistan Test due to be played in Hobart earlier in the year played a part in the decision."

Hobart was due to host last month's Australia-Afghanistan Test before it was cancelled.

The upcoming clash will be the first Test match in Tasmania's capital city since Australia were thrashed by South Africa in November 2016.

Cricket Tasmania CEO Dominic Baker added: "This is a great day not just for Tasmanian cricket, but for Tasmania in general.

"This will be without a doubt the biggest sporting event Tasmania has ever hosted.

"While the circumstances that have led us to be able to have the opportunity to host this Test are undoubtedly unique, we are thrilled that Tasmanians will have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness an Ashes Test in their own backyard."

Dawid Malan admitted he thought he "may never play another Test again" after the left-hander combined with Joe Root to frustrate Australia in Brisbane.

England were skittled for 147 on the opening day of the Ashes and problems were compounded when Travis Head's 152 guided Australia to 425, the hosts boasting a 278-run first-innings lead.

When Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed were dismissed with just 61 on the board in response, Root's side were teetering once more on day three before the vital partnership between the England captain and Malan.

The pair dug deep to record an unbeaten 159-run partnership, with Malan six behind his skipper, who reached the close of play on 86 not out as England reduced Australia's lead to 58.

Malan, who flourished in Perth during the last Ashes trip before losing his place due to a lack of form, is relishing the somewhat unexpected opportunity of facing Australia once again. 

"I thought I'd never play another Test again," he told reporters. "I actually said to Rooty when we were on 40 or 50 and the Barmy Army were singing, 'I've really missed this'."

"I've missed having someone trying to blow my head off all the time, the crowd going and the adrenaline going, playing against the best bowlers going around. Test cricket is the pinnacle.

"To be able to stand out here in an England shirt. I'm so proud to do that. Especially to do it here at The Gabba in front of everyone. It's just really good fun.

"You can do as well as you want in Twenty20 or 50-over cricket, but you're judged a lot by your Test career at the end of it. For us, an Ashes series is the biggest series of our calendar so to come here and get runs against this really good attack is very satisfying."

Root, who has amassed 1,541 runs in a prolific 2021, moved past former England captain Michael Vaughan (1,481 in 2002) for the most runs in a calendar year for his country in Test cricket.

While hailing the work of his skipper – who is closing in on a maiden century in Australia – Malan appreciated England are still in a difficult position.

"The job isn't done yet, just getting an 80 doesn't mean you've made it, it's about scoring the big hundred that will change the game," he added.

"They are so brilliant at closing that door on us. We need one more good 100-run partnership to put a score on the board and then who knows what can happen? To come in after a day and a half of hard fielding and do what we did here was fantastic, but that’s only half the job.

"Joe's record obviously speaks for itself, with what he's done in his career. Batting with him is great because he takes the pressure off you, always looks to score and seems to find a way of putting the pressure back on the bowlers. 

"It's a great sign for us as a team that Joe is playing so well and leading from the front."

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