'Couldn't believe it': Joe Root fumes over unwanted Ashes feat

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Pictured here, Joe Root trudgers off after making a 50 in the Boxing Day Test.
Joe Root was filthy with himself after once again failing to capitalise on a half century. Pic: Ch7/Getty

Joe Root has been left kicking himself in the Boxing Day Test after once again failing to go on and make a big score after notching a half century.

Root now has the unwanted record of most half centuries in Ashes Tests in Australia without converting one of them into a century (nine).

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The England skipper spoke before the third Test about the importance of his side's batters to convert their promising starts into big scores.

Root and Dawid Malan both missed chances to notch the tourists' first tons earlier in the series, and the England skipper looked intent on righting that wrong on day one at the MCG.

The classy batter went into the third Test needing 159 runs across his two innings to break Mohammad Yousuf's 2006 mark for most runs in a calendar year (1,788 runs).

However, Root has left himself with a mountain to climb in the second innings if he's to achieve the feat after another soft dismissal having reached 50 at the MCG.

The England skipper had been seen practicing leaving deliveries just outside his off stump during net sessions before the Boxing Day Test.

Incredibly, it was precisely in that 'fourth stump' area that Aussie quick Mitchell Starc brought about Root's downfall, tempting the England skipper into a ball that he nicked to Alex Carey behind the stumps.

Root's wicket was the third time he's reached 50 this series without being able to go on and score a century, continuing a worrying trend for the skipper.

"He would be so disappointed in this shot, Joe Root," Michael Hussey said on Fox Cricket.

"It's a nothing shot. It's not a cut, it's not a drive. It's just trying to deflect... it's a high-risk shot."

Root would have been desperate to post a big score after seeing his top order decimated by the precision bowling of Aussie counterpart, Pat Cummins.

Pat Cummins gets Aussies off to flying start

Cummins' dream start to his first Boxing Day Test as captain reduced England to 3-61 at lunch.

After becoming the first Australian captain to opt to bowl first on home soil in eight years, Cummins made quick use of a green wicket in his 3-27.

The paceman claimed wickets in both his first and fourth overs, leaving England teetering at 2-13 Test early in the third Test as they fight to stay in the Ashes at 2-0 down.

Seen here, Aussie captain Pat Cummins celebrates one of his wickets on day one at the MCG.
Aussie captain Pat Cummins was on fire after winning the toss and bowling first at the MCG. Pic: Getty

Cummins then struck again on what became the last ball before lunch, angling one across Dawid Malan and having him caught at first slip.

It came after Malan (14) had threatened some fightback alongside Root, as the pair set about a familiar task of leading the resistance.

But his dismissal left England in trouble, given they have a long tail with paceman Ollie Robinson batting at No.8.

Cummins made a point of bowling a full length as he makes his return from a COVID-19 scare, having watched the Adelaide Test from his lounge after becoming a close contact.

He claimed his first scalp with just his fifth delivery when one nipped away from Haseeb Hameed and drew his edge for a 10-ball duck.

Called in to replace the struggling Rory Burns, Zak Crawley fell to Cummins on 12 when he edged the quick to gully.

Debutant Scott Boland meanwhile got through his first five overs on his home track with figures of 0-17.

The Victorian was presented with his Baggy Green by injured quick Josh Hazlewood, and earned a special mention in the Welcome to Country as just the second Indigenous man to play Test cricket for Australia.

with AAP

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