Root ton, reverse-ramps, first-ball mayhem and shock declaration – Aussies endure peak BazBall on thrilling opening day

England's Joe Root celebrates reaching his century on day one of the first Ashes test match at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Picture date: Friday June 16, 2023. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

It was explosive, it was topsy-turvy, and it was utterly, utterly compelling – the 2023 Ashes series could hardly have got off to a more spectacular start in Edgbaston.

From the moment England opener Zak Crawley began the series by larruping Australian captain Pat Cummins through the covers in a moment reminiscent of Michael Slater’s iconic first-ball four to start the 1994/95 series, the Poms’ ‘BazBall’ mantra provided thrills and spills galore as they rollicked their way to 393 in 78 overs of mayhem after winning the toss and choosing to bat.


Leading the way was Joe Root, the English champion’s spectacular form extending into a third straight year to notch his 30th Test century, and first against Australia since 2015 – remarkably, in reaching three figures the former captain also ended a run of 12 Ashes half-centuries without raising the bat.


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