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ASHES BREAKFAST: COOK'S RECORDS AND SLOW GOING FOR AUSTRALIA ON WET FOURTH DAY

The Cricketer looks back on the action in Melbourne

Rain got in the way of England’s push for a consolation victory in the Ashes series on day four in Melbourne.

Having been bowled out for 491 - a lead of 164 - the tourists had reduced their hosts to 103 for two when the elements intervened.

Here’s the pick of the action that was possible.


HISTORY MAKER OF THE DAY

Though he didn’t even face a ball in anger, Alastair Cook’s 244 not out in England’s first innings still needed the one delivery it took Australia to remove Jimmy Anderson to ensure the innings was etched in the history books.

Cook is the first English opener to carry his bat in a Test match since Mike Atherton, against New Zealand in 1997.

He is the first Englishman to do so in an Ashes Test since Geoffrey Boycott in 1979.

His 244 is the highest ever score made by a batsman seeing through the entire innings in a Test match.

It was a phenomenal show of endurance, self-discipline, perseverance and mental toughness. Well played, sir.

THE CURSE OF THE DRAG-ON CONTINUES

Australia have been afflicted by a peculiar illness at the MCG - choponitis.

When Cameron Bancroft’s bails went flying after getting an inside edge to Chris Woakes, he became the fourth Aussie to be bowled via the bat in this Test match.

That’s the most in a Test match in Australia since 2011.

SINGALONG OF THE DAY

Everyone knows the ritual. In the first few overs of every day’s play, the Barmy Army belts out a full-blooded rendition of Jerusalem from the stands. It gets the crowd up for the session ahead and can give the players an extra helping of motivation.

And that certainly seems true for the England skipper Joe Root, who joined in with the chorus on the fourth morning.

WHAT A WAY TO GET GOING

Usman Khawaja didn’t waste any time getting off the mark after arriving at the crease.

The Australian number three had been in for just seven balls when he took three steps down the wicket and carted Moeen Ali into the stands at mid-on.

As good a way as any to silence those fans who booed him to the wicket following the dubious catch he took to remove Stuart Broad on day three.

VERY UN-WARNERISH FROM DAVEY WARNER

When David Warner broke into international cricket, it was as a power-hitting phenomenon at the top of the order.

Of course, we all know the metamorphosis his game has gone through over an impressive career but 86 balls without a boundary is still very out of character.

Yet that’s what Warner was reduced to by an organised and disciplined England bowling unit during an economical second session.