England gave 2 players debuts at the Kia Oval, with Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan coming in for Jonny Bairstow and the injured Tim Bresnan. They abandoned the strategy of 4 seamers and 1 spinner to accommodate Kerrigan, and this decision looked to bite them, as they looked toothless in attack.
Jimmy Anderson got back amongst the wickets as David Warner edged him behind to Prior for 6. Despite 2 appeals for lbw against Watson, England couldn’t break the partnership of Watson and Rodgers, during which Watson reached 50. Kerrigan’s first 2 overs of test cricket for England saw him concede 28 runs. The 100 partnership from Watson and Rodgers was reached just before lunch, as the Aussies finished the session on 112-1.
Chris Rodgers fell for the 6th time in 7 innings to Graeme Swann, with Trott taking the catch for 23. Michael Clarke almost got himself out, as he deflected a high ball just past his stumps while stranded outside the crease. Anderson got his second wicket as he bowled Michael Clarke, with the ball deflecting off the batsman’s pad and on to his stumps. Watson brought up his first test match 100 against England, as he looked unbeatable.
Cook dropped Watson on 104, and England looked as if they would rue this at the end of the match. Watson brought up his 150, and not long after Steve Smith brought up his 50 as Australia looked comfortable 263-3. Chris Woakes thought that he had finally broken through, as Watson was given out; however following an umpire review it was reversed as the ball was going over the stumps.
Watson finally fell for 176 to a magnificent diving catch from Kevin Pieterson, with Stuart Broad getting a hard earned wicket. Peter Siddle came in as night watchman and will start tomorrow at the crease with Steve Smith with Australia on 307-4. Simon Kerrigan gave away 53 runs off only 8 overs on a miserable debut, as the Aussie batsmen targeted the spinner. England will hope that his opening day nerves are out of the way, as he will hope to be more incisive on day 2.