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The Ashes: First Test review

It is first blood to Australia in the Ashes after they edged out England at Edgbaston in one of the greatest Test matches of all-time.

It was difficult to separate the two sides throughout the five days of action, and even in the dying overs on the final day it could have gone either way.

But it was Pat Cummins, the skipper, leading by example to get his side over the line in dramatic circumstances.

Australia will be delighted with the way they overcame England and there are plenty of positives to take from the performance.

However, there are still four Tests to go and England are sure to come out fighting, so there is still room for improvement in the Australian camp.

So let’s take a look at the positives and negatives from the Edgbaston Test.

Bazball put in its place

All the talk leading into the Ashes series had centred on England’s new style of play, ‘Bazball’, and just how Australia would react to it.

Australia did appear to be on the back foot for most of the Test, with England very much on the front foot and appearing to call all the shots.

However, Cummins and his players hung in there and were rewarded in the best possible way with a dramatic final-day win.

It is still very early days of course with four Tests still come, but for now the Australians have put Bazball in its place.

Now we move on to Lord's for the second Test and Australia are priced at 2.20 to win it.

Lyon silences Barmy Army

Aussie spin star Nathan Lyon copped a fair bit of stick from the Barmy Army at Edgbaston over the five days.

It was suggested he was not quite as good as England’s Moeen Ali, however he had the last laugh when finishing the match with eight wickets.

Team-mates suggested it was ‘Gazball’ that helped get Australia over the line and he was without doubt the pick of the bowlers over the five days.

In England’s second innings, not only did he pick up four crucial wickets, including that of Joe Root, he was Australia’s most economical bowler.

Lyon is sure to be a huge threat for the rest of the series. He is priced at 9.00 to be the Top 1st Innings bowler at Lord's.

Khawaja player of the match

While some appeared to be losing their heads, Usman Khawaja certainly kept a cool one as he steadied the ship in Australia’s first innings.

With David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith losing their wickets early, it was down to Khawaja to keep Australia in the game, and he did just that.

The opening batman’s 141 runs off 321 deliveries was crucial in helping Australia to get within seven runs of England’s first innings total.

He also chipped in with a crucial 65 runs in the second innings and was named player of the match.

Khawaja is priced at 11.00 to win the same award at Lord's.

Cummins' tactics questioned

It is not easy to find fault following such an historic first Test win, but not everything was rosy in the Australian garden at Edgbaston.

Skipper Cummins came in for some criticism from former Aussie greats for the way he set up his field in England’s first innings.

A far from aggressive field allowed the England players coming in to bat to pick up easy ones and twos as they made 393 before making a shock declaration.

Who knows what would have happened had England opted to bat on a while longer, but they didn’t and despite the questions raised about field placements, Australia won the Test.

Smith and Labuschagne fail

One big disappointment for the Australians was the performances of two of their star batsmen Labuschagne and Smith, who made a total of 13 and 22 runs respectively over the two innings.

The positive for Australia is the fact they still managed to win without them scoring runs. Now the Australian camp will be hoping it was a one-off and they will both click into gear at Lord's.

Smith is priced at 5.00 to be the Top 1st Innings Batter.

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