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Summary

  1. Australia close on 244-3 - Smith unbeaten on 65
  2. Warner makes 103 after being reprieved by Curran no-ball on 99
  3. Wickets for Anderson, Broad & Woakes
  4. Australia won toss; Bird replaces Starc
  5. Australia 3-0 up in five-match series

Live Reporting

By Matthew Henry and Jack Skelton

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

Right. That is all from me today. We're going to call an end to this live-text.

It was David Warner's day and another difficult day for England. You can read all about it here.

We'll be back again tonight from 11:00 GMT for day two.

Enjoy Boxing Day everyone!

The Smith problem

Steve Smith
EPA

Perhaps the biggest worry for England is that Australia have 244 runs on the board and Steve Smith is still at the crease.

He once again looked unfazed in reaching 65 not out and I doubt there is anyone in the country who would bet against him reaching three figures again.

He is now averaging 140 at the MCG and 163 in the series. Crikey. England just can't get him out.

David Warner
Getty Images

David Warner wasn't shy in celebrating his 21st Test century. It was a fine knock and he has been the only player to fully get to grips with this pitch. His 103 came from 151 balls with 13 fours and a six.

When Warner was batting it looked like Australia would score 350 in the day.

The fact they didn't will please England at least.

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James Dean: One of the worst consequences of Stokes’ absence is that it seems to have made Moeen undroppable. Playing Crane would weaken the batting too much, which wouldn’t be an issue if Stokes was there

Here are the bowling figures for the England players.

Moeen Ali continues to disappoint while Stuart Broad ended a run of 69 wicketless overs in the series.

But has either done enough to silence the doubters?

England bowling figures
BBC

What you've missed

MCG
Getty Images

Just waking up? Hoping for good news? Well, I haven't got much.

An odd but intriguing day of Test cricket ends with Australia on top again...

David Warner was the star in hitting a century but that is only half of the story. He was out for 99 off Tom Curran, for what would have been the 22-year-old's first Test wicket, only to be reprieved when replays showed Curran had bowled a no ball!

Warner reached his century the very next ball and 'the G' celebrated in wild fashion.

Overall England had another difficult day where they started poorly - conceding 102 runs in the first session - before recovering - conceding only 43 in the next session - and then falling away again.

At one point they looked like they could knock over the Australian top order cheaply only for Steve Smith to make yet another half-century. It's getting boring now isn't it?

In the end Australia close on 244-3. Read the day's report here.

There was a bumper crowd of over 88,000 at the MCG today on Boxing Day. Some were in rather interesting attire.

Aussie fans
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Root is no captain just as he wasn't an opening batsman, England should have just left him as the average middle order batsman that he is!

Oliver at Gatwick
David Warner and Tom Curran
PA

It doesn't sound like the war of words is going to die down any time soon in this series.

This is from David Warner on his battle with Tom Curran and the state of the match...

"I've heard Tom Curran is a bit heated, but nah I'll leave that for another time, maybe when he comes out to bat," Warner said.

"If you're patient you can make the most of the pitch but you do have to be patient. If you straighten up the field and grind it out as a bowler, you can get your rewards.

"It's going to be tough Test match bowling, Hopefully we can get a good total and the bowlers can come out and grind away."

What you have missed

David Warner
Getty Images

Morning everyone. Just waking up? Well you've missed another seesawing day that in the end finished with Australia on top.

The hosts dominated the first session as David Warner took them to 102-0 almost on his own.

After lunch England improved. They dried up the scoring considerably and dismissed England debutant Tom Curran for 99 and given out only for replays to show Curran had overstepped.

That meant Warner was reprieved and then a ball later he reached his century and the MCG went mad.

Warner didn't last much longer though and when Usman Khawaja was also out England had a sniff only for that man Steve Smith to see his side through the the close with another half-century.

Australia ended the day 244-3.

'They bowled a bit negative'

Australian opener David Warner, speaking to ABC, about his no ball reprieve: "I played a shot similar to that the ball before. Me and Uzzy were talking about cutting and pulling on that pitch and I didn't commit to the shot. Fortunately he overstepped the line.

"You just get frustrated because it was a poor decision and a halfhearted shot you don't deserve to stay in if you play that shot.

"They bowled a bit negative out to off stump but it was too wide for me to hit.

"Kumar said straight away he was definitely over the line but sometimes the umpires don't get that right."

More from Australian centurion David Warner: "I didn't get a burst from the England fielders the first time off. I think there might have been the second time but I don't know.

"There was a bit of relief when I got to 100. I felt like I missed out in Perth - you always get edgy missing out and it's good to cash in elsewhere.

"You always want a Boxing Day ton growing up, it eluded me until last year.

"I'm still a bit disappointed because I wanted to bat big but credit to the way James (Anderson) bowled in that session."

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

There was a bit more chirp from David Warner to Jonny Bairstow. From the reaction I guess Warner said something personal.

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Thomas Tew: Waking up to mixed reviews. Sessions go 2-1 to Australia. But why the old guard have the right to the new ball? Esp Broad with how ineffective he’s been all series. Reputation & ego carrying them? Need to try something different.

James Anderson made headlines before this Test for suggesting Australia lack depth to their pace bowling with Jackson Bird called up to replace the injured Mitchell Starc.

On the comments Anderson said after play: "If Bird bowls 93mph then I'm happy to hold my hands up and say I was wrong.

"The new ball is crucial so hopefully tomorrow bodies will be fresher and we can attack them with the new ball. We know wickets with the new ball are crucial because the pitch will get slower

"We were ruthless in the second session and didn't give them much to it so need more of that tomorrow."

David Warner, speaking to BT Sport: "It was a hard fought day. England brought it back in the afternoon and bowled fantastic when the ball reversed but towards the end we got on a bit of a roll and as we have seen over the last couple of years Steve Smith comes in makes it look very easy.

On his century, Warner said: "I am obviously pleased but disappointed I didn’t manage to go on. We talk about cashing in but I felt I let myself and the guys down. Credit to Jimmy he bowled fantastic in that spell.

On his no ball reprieve: "It was pretty poor shot. It was half heartened and in between. I was just fortunate enough the umpire pulled me back."

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Why is Mason Crane not playing. He is a wicket taking option?

Disgruntled Hampshire member - Matt Winter, Winchester

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

Moeen Ali is a real issue. I wouldn't have played him this week - I just can't see what he's going to offer. I'd have played Mason Crane.

Another question mark hanging over the England side once again after today is the form for Moeen Ali.

The all-rounder was passed fit to play in this Test - and chosen despite his poor form - but has bowled just six overs and those overs went for an expensive 35 runs.

In fact, part-time leg spinner Dawid Malan actually bowled more overs than Moeen. Has Root lost faith with the off spinner?

If you're just joining us make sure you have a read of our match report of the day's play.

Then make sure you get back here for more reaction.

Warner
Reuters

'It's heartbreaking'

More from England's James Anderson.

On Tom Curran's no ball, he said:"There's not a lot you can say in that situation. To see the elation when he gets one of the best players in the world on debut and then to see the screen, it's tough, it's heartbreaking and you've got to learn the hard way sometimes.

"A ball later Warner gets his hundred and he was just showing his pleasure. Nothing out of the ordinary was said. Just a couple of interesting moments that could've gone either way

"To make your debut on a pitch like that is never easy and against a batting line up like that. Tom charged in all day and gave everything."

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

It looked to me like England bowled in the first 40 minutes like they knew it was going to be a long day and were saving themselves for spells two and three.

I am still waiting for England to start Test like did in the second innings at Adelaide. Having four seamers allows you to bowl quicker because you should not have to bowl as many overs.

They certainly didn't start the first hour like it was a desperate hour to win.

England did come back well in the afternoon session but once again there were question marks about how they started the day with the ball...

England debutant Tom Curran, speaking to BT Sport: "It was great to make my debut today. It is a proud day and there were a couple of ups and downs but it is a proud day. I found out I would be playing yesterday morning so it was a nice Christmas present.

"I asked the umpire before (the no ball) how close my foot was and he said half and half so I moved it a little bit forward so I was gutted. It was horrible - the worst feeling I've had but looking at the positive I get to get my first wicket twice.

"It was disappointing to bowl a no ball but other days things can go differently."

What you have missed

David Warner
Getty Images

Good morning to those of you just waking up on Boxing Day. You've missed an odd but intriguing day of Test cricket...

Australia won the toss and batted and David Warner dominated the morning session. He almost single-handedly took his side to 102-0 at lunch on what looked set to be a thoroughly chastening day for England.

After Chris Woakes had Cameron Bancroft plumb lbw in the afternoon, Warner was closing in on an excellent century - only to be caught on 99 off Tom Curran. But it was a no ball! Warner reprieved and duly bringing up his 21st Test century a ball later.

In the end he added just four more runs. James Anderson had him caught behind as Australia added only 43 more runs in the second session with England fighting back admirably.

Stuart Broad removed Usman Khawaja cheaply after but Steve Smith (again) and Shaun Marsh steadied the Aussie innings, while England let the game drift away a tad through some strange tactics since tea.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

Tom Curran has proven that, a young kid trying something. I would've questioned Stuart Broad's place in the side too but he's bowled well today, even though I'd like to see him come over the wicket to the left-handers more.

So in the end England's seamers did a reasonable job to fight back after that excellent opening session for Australia.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes all took a wicket while Tom Curran was arguably the pick of the bowlers.

He finished with figures of 17 overs five maidens no wickets for 44 runs on debut.

England bowler James Anderson, speaking to TMS: "It was a long day, we didn't start well or adjust to conditions. It was a flat, slow wicket and we bowled too many bad balls and let them get way.

"But the way we came back in the second session was very impressive. The pace of the pitch didn't help us, but we stuck to our task well and just didn't get the breaks at the end.

"It was not ideal to lose the toss but we were due to lose one. We're still in the game. We need to bowl really well with the new ball tomorrow to get some breakthroughs."

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

David Warner is fantastic. England have triggered his mindset into being negative with the way they've bowled this series. He's thought, 'I'll see off Broad and Anderson' and that's affected his game.

From the first over, Warner came out with more positivity and that's the best way he plays.

He's a wonderful player to watch when he bats like he did today.

I've always felt there is something there in thos pitch for the bowlers. Go back to 1998 and 2010 when it did plenty on the first day. You don't get too many draws at the MCG.

I can't see this Test match being a draw either so England are going to have to bat very well in their first innings.

The moment of the day was certainly those two balls around David Warner's century.

If you're just waking up, Warner was caught off Tom Curran for 99 only for Warner to be called back as he trudged off as replays showed Curran had bowled a no ball.

Tom Curran
Getty Images

So Warner quickly turned around, made his way back to the crease and reached his 100 the very next ball.

At that point, the MCG went WILD.

David Warner
Reuters

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

England were starting to just get back into the Test match with that period of pressure and some reverse swing.

But now Australia have got their captain in and set and already have 244 runs on the board. The pitch could start having some uneven bounce and those runs could be worth more down the line.

It was bizarre for England not to take that second new ball straight away. We saw as soon as James Anderson took it, it did a bit off the seam and beat the bat a couple of times.

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Andrew Haines: Toothless England bowling attack in these conditions

In those middle overs of the day, in the afternoon and then shortly after tea, you felt as though England were right in the game.

The Aussies were 160-3 when Usman Khawaja was out but Smith and Marsh have added 84 to see their side through.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

The crowd got an intriguing day. They saw a tremendous hundred from David Warner, who came out and played with more aggression that he has in the rest of the series.

Cameron Bancroft struggled and I think he's got a real problem. With any movement, you'd fancy getting him out.

Close of play - Aus 244-3

Smith 65, S Marsh 31

And that is that. Steve Smith just blocks out the final over.

The end of another intriguing day's play. After 102 runs were scored in that first session England probably would have taken only conceding 244 runs but definitely not the three wickets.

David Warner's century was excellent. The Tom Curran no ball moment was dramatic but once again Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh have made this Australia's day.

Aus 244-3

Smith 65, S Marsh 31

Not a lot from the first three balls...

Right this is likely to be the final over of the day.

What can Jimmy Anderson muster?

What you've missed

Stuart Broad, Joe Root and James Anderson
Getty Images

Making an early start to Boxing Day? Well you've missed an odd but intriguing day of Test cricket...

The hosts won the toss and batted and David Warner utterly dominated the morning session, helping Australia reach 102-0 at lunch on what looked set to be a thoroughly chastening day for England.

Chris Woakes had Cameron Bancroft plumb lbw but Warner was closing in on an excellent century - only to be caught on 99 off Tom Curran. But it was a no ball! Warner reprieved and duly bringing up his 21st Test century.

He added jst four more runs - James Anderson having him caught behind as Australia added only 43 more runs in the second session as England fought back admirably.

Stuart Broad removed Usman Khawaja cheaply but Steve Smith (of course) and Shaun Marsh have steadied the Aussie innings, while England have let the game drift away a tad through some strange tactics since tea.

Aus 244-3

Smith 65, S Marsh 31

The crowd has thinned right out now as we start the penultimate over. The first session was the David Warner show but since then it has been attritional stuff on this slow pitch.

Marsh and Smith aren't interesting in expansive strokes. The England bowlers will still be having nightmares about these two in March.

Aus 243-3

Smith 64, S Marsh 31

James Anderson is back for what will probably just be two overs before the close.

Wowser. That's a beauty. Nice and full and the ball moves away off the seam, leaving Smith groping at fresh air.

Now Jimmy does the same to Shaun Marsh. This second new ball is moving. What were England waiting for?!