WACA match zone: Bowling was a brave choice by Strauss

By Lawrence Booth for the Daily Mail

Andrew Strauss's decision to bowl first was brave.

Half of the 38 Tests played on the ground have seen the toss-winning captain field first and no visiting skipper has won here after putting in Australia except New Zealand's Jeremy Coney in 1985. 

Coining it in: Ricky Ponting loses the toss and Andrew Strauss decides to have a bowl

Coining it in: Ricky Ponting loses the toss and Andrew Strauss decides to have a bowl

England have only won two Tests in Australia after choosing to field first: Melbourne in 1911-12 and 1986-87.

Ricky and Micky find it tricky

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke began this series as Australia's classiest batsmen but their failures on the first day mean the pair have contributed only two 50s in nine innings.

Ponting now has 82 runs in the series at 20.50, while Clarke has made 93 at 23.75. The 62 runs scored by Mitchell Johnson were the first by a No 8 in this series on either side.

Alastair Cook of England cuts for six over backward point

No wonder Australia looked dumbstruck when Alastair Cook uppercut Ryan Harris for six on the first evening.

It was only the fifth six the England opener has hit in 63 Tests - and his first against Australia from the 1,943rd delivery he had faced in Ashes cricket.


Don't fall short, lads

History isn't everything but England may want to note that no team has won an Ashes Test in Perth after conceding a first-innings deficit. That means 269 - one more than Australia's disappointing first-innings total - could just be the magic number England need to seal victory.

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