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England battle but Australia come out on top in front of 88,000 fans on Boxing Day at MCGEngland fou

ght and scrapped as hard as they have all series, but on a slow batsman-friendly MCG pitch it was Australia yet again who had the better of the day. In front of a crowd of more than 88,000 fans for another glorious Boxing Day Test, England had a day in the

dirt after losing the toss, but they stuck to their task as best they could. It might have been much worse for England who managed to keep Australia to 244-3 on a day when it looked like David Warner was going to score all that by himself. Instead they dried up the runs after lunch and threatened to get on a roll with Stuart Broad who came

within an umpires call of being on a hat-trick. David Warner was at the thick of the action (Image: Getty Images AsiaPac) Warner celebrates his milestone as Englands Chris Woakes looks on (Image: REUTERS) Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft drives a ball back to England paceman Stuart Broad (Image: AFP) However despite all the effort and hard yards put in by England, the Austral

ian captain Steve Smith is still there on 65 not out with his eye on yet another mammoth score on day two. Here are five things our cricket correspondent Dean Wilson learned from day one of the Boxing Day Test. Read MoreRelated ArticlesAustralia vs England live updates from the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne 1. DAVID WARNER WAS DUE England have thought long and hard about how best to bowl to each Australian batsman out here with mixed results. They had been able to keep David Warner broadly quiet by cutting off his boundary options and frustrating him. But here in Melbourne he was much more aggressive and pro-active in his strokeplay, and it paid off. He scored at a very healthy rate and made the morning session a pretty bad one for England. He needed a bit of luck to get his 21 hundred, but he earned the right to celebrate hard when he got there and showed that players of his calibre cant be kept quiet for long 2. NO-BALLS ARE A PROBLEM Tom Curran became the third England bowler in the last four years behind Ben Stokes and Mark Wood to have his maiden Test wickets scratched out by a no-ball and sadly he can only have himself to blame. In the modern game umpires are persuaded to keep a closer eye on the batting end of the pitch rather than look too closely for no-balls knowing they can be checked later. It means that bowlers have to take more responsibility for making sure they are behind the line. Curran failed to do so and his moment of glory when he had Warner caught on 99 becam

e a moment of despair. Tom Curran saw his maiden Test wicket scratched out by a no-ball (Image: Ryan Pierse) 3. FRUITY LANGUAGE PART OF THE BATTLE When Warner was caught by Stuart Broad on 99 the England team celebrated royally and rightly at getting rid of a dangerous batsman. His anger at himself was obvious, but after getting reprieved he re-entered the fray and made his presence felt. There were a fair few words exchanged between him and some England players, none of it for public consumption, but to be expected in the heat of the battle. That is the nature of the game when your fortunes can change in an instant and youve got to be able to cop it as well as dish it out. Thankfully the chat was all above board and an example merely of the players passion for trying to win for their country. 4. ANDERSON AND BROAD THE TIRELESS DUO James Anderson and Stuart Broad both picked up a wicket apiece on a tough old day in the dirt for England, but it could have been a lot worse. The MCG pitch had very few demons in it and without the out and out pace that Australia possess it was up to England to use other skills to take wickets. Both Anderson and Broad were able to get the ball to move just enough off the pitch to tease edges from David Warner and Usman Khawaja and at 160-3 the day was still very much in the balance. Warners wicket meant another landmark for Anderson who has now taken 100 Ashes wickets, the eighth Englishman to do so, and he has also drawn level with Courtney Walsh on 519 wickets overall, a huge achievement. James Anderson put in plenty of effort but without much reward (Image: Getty Images AsiaPac) 5. HARD WORK AND TOIL MISSING AN X-FACTOR Moeen Ali was an injury doubt for the game after taking a blow to his hand in t

he Christmas Day nets. If he had been forced to miss the game Mason Crane would have been called up for a debut. As it is the young leg spinner must wait at least until the Sydney for that chance

, and on the evidence of day one England have missed a trick in not picking him now. Moeen served up six expensive overs while part time leggie Dawid Malan bowled seven. Englands bowling attack has lacked variation all series and it is a shame they didnt feel that Crane was worth a go on what looks like a very dry pitch. Moeen Ali served up six expensive overs (Image: Ryan Pierse)

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