England’s Ashes woes continue as Haseeb Hameed becomes their 50th duck in 2021

The Boxing Day Ashes Test could not have got off to a worse start for England, who lost the toss and were put in to bat first in conditions that favoured the bowlers.

Opener Zak Crawley was brought into the side as one of four changes England made, with the 23-year-old replacing Rory Burns at the top of the order.

England opted to keep faith in Haseeb Hameed, who entered the Test with his series average of 14.50 that was marginally higher than Burns' 12.75.

However, Hameed lasted just ten balls, nicking off to Australia captain Pat Cummins for nought.

In the process, Hameed became England's 50th duck of the year and they are rapidly closing in on the all-time record.

That is currently 54, a tally recorded by England back in 1998.

The dismissal was also Cummins' 100th Test wicket at home and marked an excellent return for the quick, who missed the second Test in Adelaide as a result of South Australia's Covid rules.

The 28-year-old was deemed a close contact after a patron in a restaurant he had been dining at tested positive for the virus.

Reflecting on the incident ahead of the Boxing Day Test, Cummins said: "I [was] really angry — but I don't know who at.

"There was no-one to blame. Once it became apparent, the state rules, you have to follow them.

"We knew it might pop at some stage in this series. I didn't think — or hope — it was going to be me.

"You abide by the protocols, but there [was] hardly any COVID around, so I didn't factor it in at all until the bloke popped up next to me and said he's positive.

"No-one did anything wrong. The poor guy just flew to Adelaide to try and enjoy a couple of days of cricket — I felt really bad for him as well."

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