Adelaide: Graeme Swann admitted England may “rue” three dropped catches in the final session as they battled to take hold of the crucial second Ashes Test.
Having selected two spinners but then lost the toss on a good batting pitch, England will be content with Australia closing Day One on 273 for five but it could have been better if catches had been held in the field.
The most glaring miss was three overs before the close when Brad Haddin, who marshalled a fightback with the tail in the first innings at the Gabba, cut Monty Panesar to backward point on five but Michael Carberry missed a simple chance.
Panesar earlier dropped a caught and bowled chance off George Bailey on 10 — he went on to slug his way to 53, his first Test fifty — and Joe Root missed a tough opportunity to his right at short midwicket off Michael Clarke, the wicket England prize the most, when the Australian captain was on 18. He resumes on Friday on 48.
“I think it is a fairly even day to be honest,” said Swann. “Having lost the toss at Adelaide, you always fear the worst as a bowler but I think five wickets in the day is a pretty good return. Obviously, six or seven would have been a lot better and we missed a couple of half chances that we may rue.
“There’s always a sense of frustration when catches go down but we’ve taken some great catches on this trip so we’re certainly not pointing fingers,” Swann told reporters.
“Obviously Carberry is disappointed. He has taken some unbelievable catches on this trip so no one’s having a go at him at all. It’s just one of those things. Sometimes they don’t stick and they just go down.