England were soundly beaten in a disastrous first Ashes Test in Brisbane in one of the poorest sporting performances in recent times. I thought our capitulation at sunderland was abysmal but this was 10 times worse. In addition Monday morning has brought news that Johnathon Trott has gone home with a depression related illness and is most likely is out for the series. It is the worst possible start to the series.
England lined up as expected with Michael Carberry opening the batting and Chris Tremlett being given the final pace bowling position.
Michael Clarke won a fantastic toss and batted first on a placid, flat wicket. 500 should have played 500 and the game really should have begun somewhere on day 4. Instead England bowled brilliantly on day 1 eventually reducing the hosts to 295 all out. Stuart Broad took 6 wickets and was superb. Only a 100 stand between Johnson and Haddin saved Australia from real trouble. Borad, subject of so much vile abuse from the Aussie media and public bowled superbly with real venom. Australia proved they’re an average batting side with a poor collapse and it seemed there would be only one winner.
How games can change.
England bowled Australia out at about 1am UK time on Friday morning. I, like many others, fell asleep at about 2 15 am with England batting for no loss. When I woke up at 6 am Australia were 50-0 and I thought I was having a bad dream. England had been skittled for a pathetic 136. Mitchell Johnson had taken 4 wickets and we had lost 6 wickets for 9 runs. It was like being 1998 or 2006 again. Astonishing stuff.
England batted, like they have done so often on the first game of a tour in recent times, like they didn’t have a clue. Only Alastair Cook was given out to a decent ball and the rest gave their wickets away. Australia bowled with a good pace and bounce but the pitch was flat and batting should have been easy. Trott was again caught down the leg slide and Carberry got stuck in the 40’s after a decent start. The rest were just poor and 136 is a humiliating total on such a flat pitch.
The game was lost there an then, on day 2. A devastating turn of events for all England fans and as disappointing a result as I can remember.
The rest of the game wasn’t really worth watching as England’s knackered bowlers found themselves back out facing 40 degree heat after only an three hours off. Australia racked up 400 and the odious Clarke and Warner hit centuries.
England resumed their shambolic display to find themselves 2 down for not a lot before the close of play. Trott again tormented by short balls and leg side deliveries and he was out just before the close of play. It was a really, really poor innings and it’s evident something as been wrong for a while with Trott who has been so crucial to England’s success. Thenews he’s been sent home with depression may explain a lot and I hope his health improves soon.
Cook and KP batted seamlessly on the morning session on Day 4, proving that there was nothing to fear from the disciplined Aussie bowling. A rain delay broke the concentration of the pair and embarrassingly we slumped to another sub 200 performance, which is disappointing but the damage was already done.
All in all a poor performance which could have a huge effect on the rest of the series. This average Australian team badly needed that result. An England win would have pretty much guaranteed the series and the Aussies have overnight (literally overnight on Thursday) become favourites for the series.
The only solace is that we are a better cricket team than they are and we have precedent at coming back from behind, most impressively in India last year. I trust Flower and Cook to come back strong but there are serious questions to be asked of certain players. Bell will most likely move up to number 3 and Bairstow will take his place in the middle order. Tremlett took 4 wickets in the game but he rarely got above 80 mph. He’s shot to me and I’d much rather see Finn get a run out next game. There’s 10 days until the next test match and hopefully we’ll have time to re-group.
I can’t leave without moaning about two things.
- This is the 5th Test series away from home in a row where England have been bowled out for less than 200 in the first Test. You cannot win Test matches on the back of this and it’s getting beyond ridiculous. The England management need to admit they have a real problem. Winning away from home is difficult enough to begin with, without gifting the opposition a 1 0 lead.
- The behaviour of the Australian players and media is nothing short of a total disgrace. It sounds like sour grapes from me so I’ll say this: Well played Australia, you outplayed England and deserved to win.
However their media hounding of the England players has gone too far. The attached pictures of the front pages of newspapers are beyond a joke (these two examples are just 2 of many.) Calling Stuart Broad a ‘cheat’, a ‘fraud’ etc is out of order. A lot of the stuff you come to expect but the campaign against the English players has set the tone for a really bad tempered series in the middle and the Australian players are over stepping the line. It doesn’t really matter in the broader scheme of things but the media narrative is winding up the Aussie players and we’ve seen examples of Australian players over stepping the line really badly.
First you had David Warner publically calling Johnathon Trott ‘weak’ and ‘scared’. Not the best idea now Trott has gone home with depression and when has it become okay to criticise fellow sportsman’s performance. The Michael Clarke going up to Jimmy Anderson and tell him they were going to brake his arm. That was just weird. Clarke was about to captain a team to their first victory this year by a huge 400 odd runs. To go and tell someone they’re planning to maim him is too much and I’m pleased he’s going to lose 20% of his match fee.
If anything it shows they’re still scared of us. Peter Siddle screamed “fuck off you pom wankers, you twats, you pricks, you pricks, you fucking wankers” when the last wicket fell. I enjoy the competitive nature of Ashes cricket but there’s really no need for stuff like this. Can you imagine if a United player did this to a Sunderland player – they’d get a three game ban.
We’re being roundly ridiculed in Australia. The only positive from this Test is that if we win this series or even retain the Ashes, it’ll be all the sweeter after this shower.
Man of the Match: