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."

Australia still hold a "great advantage" in the first Ashes Test despite England's batting rearguard on day three at the Gabba, says Travis Head.

Head (152) passed 150 for the second time in his Test career on Friday, as Australia took a lead of 278 runs after scoring 425 from their first innings.

He had a batting strike rate of 102.7 in his innings – the second-best by any player to score 100+ runs in a men's Test innings at the Gabba, after Joe Burns (129 runs, 104.9 SR v New Zealand) in November 2015.

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc dismissed Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed respectively to leave England on 61-2, but Joe Root and Dawid Malan led the fightback for the tourists.

Root, who has now scored 1,541 runs in 2021 (the most an England captain has managed in a calendar year), reached stumps on 86 not out, while Malan will resume on 80.

While having had joy with the new ball, Australia struggled to unsettle Root and Malan as the day wore on and batting conditions improved.

Head, however, is still confident the game is in Australia's hands, though he emphasised the importance of a strong start on day four, with England trailing by 58 runs.

"Having seen with the new ball, both last night and in our innings, we've seen it challenging the bat," he told BT Sport. 

"That's going to be the key tomorrow morning is hopefully getting a wicket in those first 10 overs then we get the new ball again, it's going to be key for us.

"If we can hopefully get one or two [wickets] in those 10 overs, hold onto those runs, each one's going to be gold. If we can have five or six wickets at evens we're right in it and still driving that game.

"I think we created opportunities throughout the day. No surprise in the way [Root and Malan] came back out and applied themselves, two quality batsman that have put themselves in a position of fighting back.

"We still hold a great advantage, 60 runs with the new ball round the corner. Still positive and it's going to be a positive morning."

England captain Joe Root and Dawid Malan mounted a fine rearguard to help England get back into the first Ashes Test against Australia with an unbroken 159-run third-wicket partnership.

The tourists reached 220-2 at stumps on day three at the Gabba, trailing by only 58 runs, with Root 86 not out and Malan 80 no.

Australia had added 82 to their overnight score – led by Travis Head, who passed 150 for the second time in his Test career – before being bowled out for 425, with a 278-run lead.

England appeared well behind in the game at 61-2 when Mitchell Starc had Haseeb Hameed (27) caught behind by Alex Carey.

But Root and Malan combined for an excellent partnership, as batting conditions improved on a bright day in Brisbane where only five wickets fell.

Australia had resumed on 343-7, with Head and Starc continuing their 85-run eighth-wicket stand well into the first session before the latter fell for 35. Mark Wood then claimed the final two wickets – including Head with a yorker for 152 – to finish with 85-3.

In response, England opener Burns, who was clean bowled with the first ball of the series, almost fell for a pair when umpire Paul Reiffel gave him out lbw from Starc.

Burns successfully had the decision overturned, with the early bounce taking it over, but did not capitalise on the reprieve for long, caught behind by Carey as Australia skipper Pat Cummins deceived him for 13.

Hameed had played well before he tickled a Starc delivery down leg through to Carey to fall for 27.

However, Root and Malan responded with a gritty stand. The England skipper was clinical off his pads, hitting 10 boundaries, while Malan was excellent square of the wicket, also finding the rope on 10 occasions.

Record for Root

Root's attempt to play at the final ball of the day from Cameron Green almost undid his hard work, but the England captain remains well poised for a 24th Test century and fourth Ashes hundred after being dismissed for a duck in the first innings.

Six of Root's tons have come in 2021 alone, and this knock has now taken him clear of Michael Vaughan (1,481 in 2002) with the most England Test runs in a calendar year (1,541).

Aussie bowling concerns

The first session on day four will be critical for both sides, with only 10 overs left until Australia take the new ball, desperate to get more wickets before England take the lead.

Josh Hazlewood did not bowl in the final session on day three, only getting through eight overs in the second innings in a slight concern for the hosts, while spinner Nathan Lyon has struggled, failing to take a wicket so far in the match.

Travis Head said he is "still pinching" himself after his maiden Ashes century furthered Australia's control in their opening Test against England.

Head, whose position was seemingly in doubt heading into the series, raced to the third-fastest century in an Ashes innings, reaching the landmark in just 85 balls as he took a particular liking to Jack Leach.

The 27-year-old added to his total for an unbeaten 112 at the close of play in Brisbane, with Australia boasting a 196-run lead after England were skittled for 147 in their first innings.

After the end of day two at the Gabba, Head expressed his disbelief at his performance as also credited the work of new Test captain Pat Cummins and Australia's coaching team.

"I'm still pinching myself," Head said post-match. "It's the sort of thing where I can't quite work out what transpired in the last couple hours, but I want to contribute to Australia and Australia wins. 

"Hopefully, we've put ourselves in a nice position. [Thursday] morning is important to continue another great day for Australia and that's what I'm here to do. 

"I was really relaxed throughout the game. Patty and the coaching staff have been fantastic in the way they've handled the last six or seven days and how they've wanted to see me play. 

"They'll go about it and just want to see me be myself and play the game and play how I see it. They've got great confidence in that. 

"I was relaxed over the last two days and I said that going into the camp, it's so enjoyable to be around this group again and contribute in some little way."

Head's bludgeoning that compounded England's misery was earlier set up by David Warner, who managed 94 after multiple missed chances by the tourists, and Marnus Labuschagne crafting 72 to stunt the charge of Joe Root's bowlers.

Indeed, only four men have recorded faster centuries for Australia in men's Test cricket than Head, but the Adelaide-born batter praised the work that went before him in grinding down the likes of Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson.

"Today it went my way, but a lot of work was done by the top order and I thought they batted exceptionally well," he added.

"I think both camps would have been talking about that [grinding the opposition down] for the last 10 days and what they want to try to achieve. 

"We spoke about that as a batting group going into this Test in Australia. We said our biggest goal is trying to keep them out in the field. 

"It was extremely hot over the last two days, there are some difficult conditions. There's no doubt that both camps would like to do that as they bat. 

"[England] are going to try and do that in the second innings when they play as well. We've not really talked about it, we'll talk about it in the morning, but I think it's pretty obvious that what we would like to do is continue to bat well for as long as possible and get ourselves in a great position."

England fast bowling coach Jon Lewis defended the tourists' selection for the first Ashes Test and says Ben Stokes' fitness will be assessed ahead of day three at the Gabba.

Australia are in command of the series-opener in Brisbane after closing on 343-7 in reply to England's 147 all out, leading by 196 runs.

Travis Head (112 not out) smashed the third-fastest Ashes century off only 85 balls after David Warner made 94 and Marnus Labuschagne crafted 74 on day two.

Ollie Robinson was the pick of the England bowlers, taking 3-48, but had to leave the field with a hamstring injury, although the paceman later revealed he had not done serious damage.

Stokes also sustained a knee injury on a tough day for Joe Root's side in the heat, with spinner Jack Leach's 11 overs going for 95.

But Lewis says the selectors did not feel they ought to have played an extra seamer.

"We looked at the pitch on the day before the game and the morning of the game and decided to go with the make-up of the team that we have," he told reporters.

"That's what we felt was the right decision at the time, and I think if we'd have all bowled to the best of our ability, we would have put Australia under a bit more pressure than we did today.

"We still took several Australian wickets. We are a bit behind in the game; however, like I said to the lads before, I know the guys will come back fighting in the next few days."

Lewis was unable to shed any light on the extent of the damage Stokes has done.

Asked about the all-rounder's injury, he replied: "I don't know, I don't assess players, I'm not part of the medical team. We'll see how he pulls up in the morning."

Stokes bowled Warner for 17, but the opener was reprieved as England's vice-captain had over-stepped.

Warner was also dropped by Rory Burns on 48 and should have been run out when he had 60 to his name on a bad day for the tourists in the field.

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