England won the toss and decided to bat. And bat. And bat. All at the expense of an Australian bowling attack that had its main weapon Mitchell Johnson misfiring and its specialist spinner Nathan Haurtitz fracturing his finger.

Australia fought back late in the day but at 6 for 364 the English have capitalised on a flat batting track. Its captain, Andrew Strauss, is 161 not out and Australia has its work ahead of it to minimise the damage done to it in this first innings.

Here’s what the pundit’s said:

Ricky’s working class men struggle. The days of Australia running through decent batting lines are gone. Welcome to the new breed, the workhorses. — Jarrod Kimber, Crikey Sports

History weighs on the Australians. For approximately half of the first day at Lord’s, Australia bowled as badly as they have done in any Ashes Test for a generation. The Baggy Green has reigned supreme at this venue since 1934, and nobody seemed more acutely aware of that fact than the Australians themselves. — Andrew Miller, Cricinfo

England haunted by Lord’s history. England wasted a chance to buck Lord’s trends when Australia’s early frailties were not ultimately punished. — Paul Hayward, The Guardian

Awful pacemen endanger mission. Australia made a horrendous start to the Lord’s Test match and face a long struggle to stay in the match. — Peter Roebuck, The Sydney Morning Herald

Andrew Strauss: It’s my best Test century. Another 17 runs on Friday would take Andrew Strauss into uncharted territory, making this the highest Test score of his five-year career. But no matter what number ends up on the scorecard, Strauss acknowledged that his unbeaten 161 represents a new pinnacle of achievement. — Simon Briggs, The (UK) Telegraph

A game of two halves. It was like a game of two halves at Lord’s today, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook putting England into a very comfortable 2-0 lead, and at that point there was only one team in it, but Australia struck back and once Cook had gone, the weaknesses in England’s spine was cruelly exposed. — Reverse Sweep

Flawed Mitch on Lord’s pitch. Poor Johnson. He might as well have tried bowling with his right arm. The most forgettable Australian opening spell at Lord’s since Pat Crawford’s? Go on, look it up. — Gideon Haigh, The Wisden Cricketer

Like a horror movie. Australia didn’t make the English openers play enough at the new ball. Performance by all eleven men during first session was well below usual Australian standards, with the bowling figures looking like they’d been written by Steven King. — Last of the Summer Whine

Lordy Lordy Lord’s. Did you know that England haven’t beaten Australia at Lord’s since 1934? Of course you f*&^ing did. It’s been repeated so often this week, even Ricky Ponting’s remembered it. Strangely, some far more relevant stats have gone unremarked. — The Old Batsman

And:

Stephen Fry’s cricket speech at Lord’s. The English actor, author, Twitterati and cricket tragic delivered a rousing speech to the faithful ahead of the Lord’s Test. A must read. — Stephen Fry

From the Vault: England beat Australia at Lord’s. The last time England won an Ashes Test at headquarters was in 1934. Read the report from the day. The Guardian


Crikey‘s Ashes 09 coverage: