Buttler admits England frustrated by Australia pair

Jos Buttler admitted England were left deflated by Steve Smith and Peter Siddle’s ninth-wicket partnership on the first day of the Ashes at Edgbaston.

The hosts dominated the opening two sessions of the first Test after losing the toss, reducing Australia to 122 for eight despite losing dangerman James Anderson to injury early on.

Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes terrorised the visitors in Anderson’s absence, but Smith and Siddle ensured they responded in emphatic fashion with a stand of 88.

Smith then added 74 with last man Nathan Lyon before becoming Broad’s fifth victim – and his 100th in Ashes cricket – for 144 in Australia’s to 284 all out.

Buttler told Sky Sports: “It was frustrating in the end. I think we bowled fanatically well, but that partnership between Siddle and Smith was frustrating that we couldn’t break it earlier.

“I thought we bowled fantastically well this morning, going a bowler down was tricky for the guys to keep going.

“But it was an exceptional innings from Smith and we will see what kind of score that is tomorrow.”

Steve Smith struck a fine century for Australia
Steve Smith struck a fine century for Australia (Mike Egerton/PA)

Smith produced a fine innings on his return to the Test arena following his 12-month suspension from international cricket for his part in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.

The right-hander played the situation perfectly, dropping anchor when wickets tumbled around him before going through the gears alongside Siddle and Lyon.

Buttler added: “It is very tough. He played a fantastic innings.

“Do you put everyone back and suck it up, but you have got to try and find a way of keeping the dismissal in the game as well. But we never quite got enough balls at numbers 10 and 11 at one go.”

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