Follow all the day two action from the MCG after Mitch Johnson took two final session wickets on the opening day to give Australia the edge.

Day One Recap ... Australia on points

Upper hand: For much of the day you might have thought the balance of power a 50-50 scenario, or perhaps England with its nose marginally in front, but the batting side's failure to force the pace enough through the middle part of the day came back to bite it hard with the late wickets of Bell, Stokes and Bairstow, leaving the visitors perilously placed at not much more than 200 for its toil with precious little batting to come.

The key man: He's been the workhorse of the Australian attack, incredibly consistent, and Ryan Harris won't have many days of Test bowling as economical and dangerous as this one. The veteran finished with a tremendous 2/32 from 20 overs with eight maidens and was responsible for two critical breakthroughs, the first removing Joe Root, then late in the day, the prize scalp of Ian Bell.

Big moment: England was closing in on a comfortable-looking 1/100 half-an-hour after lunch with Michael Carberry looking good and Root at least comfortable, when Shane Watson procured a huge breakthrough, coming around the wicket and getting the ball to reverse viciously into the left-hander, who let it go only to see his off stump tilted back. England was never again able to apply any real scoreboard pressure for the rest of the day.

It all could have changed if ... Kevin Pietersen rode his luck, offering two chances, the first when he was "caught" on the boundary by sub fieldsman Nathan Coulter-Nile, who couldn't halt his momentum and lurched over the marker to instead concede a six, then later when he pulled to short mid-wicket, where George Bailey was unable to hang on to a difficult chance. As well as Australia is placed, had either offering been taken, Australia might already be batting.

Things went swimmingly for ... The MCC. They hoped to break the world Test cricket crowd record, and they delivered, with a spate of late-ish arrivals pushing the crowd past the previous record of 90,800 set in February 1961 to a new high of 91,092. No doubting the longer form of the game is alive and well in Melbourne!

Not so swimmingly for ... Shane Watson. Just when you thought the all-rounder might have a bit of luck finally going his way, and after snaring the important wicket of Carberry, Watson pulled up while running in during his seventh over, and left the field with a groin strain. Whilst he returned to the field to take a catch late in the day, it appears his bowling contribution might be over for a while.

What does it all mean?: Once again, England finds itself desperately trying to eke out a total of more than 300 with Pietersen the key to those hopes, unbeaten on 67. If Australia picks him up early on day two, things will be looking dire. If the visitors can somehow hang around long enough to see him through to three figures, things might just be back on an even keel.


Good morning everyone, Rohan Connolly here at blog central joining you for the second day of the Fourth Test from the MCG. We're fresh off a new world record Test crowd, with 91,092 turning out to the G for Boxing Day. Reckon we might get a pretty handy roll-up again today, as well. Maybe we should start a call of the card! Anyway, hopefully we'll see the pace upped a little from what was a pretty attritional opening day.

There's some hot weather ahead in Melbourne tomorrow, but not today, with a forecast top of only 22 degrees with patchy morning drizzle. Skies are certainly pretty overcast right now and there's a 40 per cent chance of rain, but so far so good, and we should be starting in about 20 minutes.

While we're waiting for a start, check out Greg Baum's analysis of the first day's play, while Malcolm Knox weighs in with his version of events.