fanatix discusses all of the main points coming from the first game at the Gabba.
Australia gained a 1-0 advantage in the Ashes series, with the first game producing several enticing talking points.
From the Three Lions’ poor showing, the Michael Clarke and James Anderson’s clash mid-pitch and now the departure of Jonathan Trott from the tour, there has already been plenty of drama.
Content editors Tom Seymour and Scott Hazlewood discuss the highs and the lows from the first game in Brisbane and how both teams will fare in Adelaide on December 5.
Scott Hazlewood: One Test down, or six down if you want to include the English summer and we are set for one of the best Ashes series since 2005 I feel. Just four days play in Brisbane and already so many talking points to come out of the game. First off Tom, what did you make of both team’s performances at the Gabba?
Tom Seymour: I was genuinely surprised by how lacklustre England’s batting display was. Everyone knew the Aussie bowling attack was strong and that Mitchell Johnson is something of an enigma, but Michael Carberry’s first innings knock aside, it was extremely poor.
That being said, the likes of Johnson and Nathan Lyon deserve great credit for proving many people wrong when form wasn’t on their side going into the match.
SH: Johnson did cop a hammering from fans and the media, but credit to the Australian selectors for backing him after his form in the one-day game in India.
I have not always been his biggest fan, because in test cricket it is about building pressure to get wickets, something I never through he was able to do.
But with a settled line-up, something Australia did not have at all in the English summer, Johnson can come on and be the bully.
Something that did amazing me watching the first Test was the lack of pace and bounce the English quicks were able to get out of the same pitch, when compared to the Australian side.
TS: It’s true that Australia look like a much more settled side in this series than could have been said in the summer.
For England there is a lot to think about heading into the second Test and Jonathan Trott’s absence will do little to settle what was already a nervy batting setup.
SH: How much of a role do you think the inevitable mind games that come with an Ashes series exacerbated Trott’s mental issues?
Or was it more the Australian side sensed Trott was just a bit “off” and turned up the pressure as they would against any key player in the opposition?
TS: It’s difficult to tell at the moment, as Trott’s issues could be based on form or it could be a lot more serious – as the English have experienced in the past with Marcus Trescothick.
The Aussies did nothing wrong by sensing Trott was out of sorts and preying on that as they are not to know what state the player is in – that is form the England captain and coach to pick up on and address.
Michael Clarke was foolish to be picked up by the stump mic when winding up Jimmy Anderson however
SH: Shane Warne has claimed Clarke only reacted that harshly as he was sticking up for George Bailey, who James Anderson claimed he wanted to punch in the face.
Do you think this is just common for sides such as these in the heat of battle and that we, as the spectator, got a glimpse of that due to technology being on the ground at the same time?
TS: I think so, out of context stating that you want to punch a player in the face or see their arm get broken seems completely barbaric, but I think any sensible person would realise neither Anderson or Clarke want these things to happen.
In the moment plenty is said and afterwards all will be forgiven and forgotten (mostly). This could be a bit of a wake up that they need to be more careful though, but this mud slinging after from both sides makes them both seem a bit petulant.
SH: It has been interesting seeing people’s reaction to the spat, depending on what country they come from helps.
Some have said it was childish, others that it was good to see the Aussies with a killer instinct again and that they are not afraid of taking to England.
While others would probably just feel the ‘arrogant Aussies’ are back at it again. Either way I suspect it will largely be forgotten as the series moves on, only flaring up when Anderson bowls to Clarke.
What did you make of England’s top order? Michael Carberry looked solid, but at 33 can he really be the long-term solution in place of Johnny Bairstow?
TS: That’s true, Carberry is not going to be in the side for years to come but I like him and Cook opening.
Bairstow is perhaps not the complete batsman yet but could be drafted in once again in the absence of Trott.
It only takes an experienced head like Pietersen and Bell to take hold of an innings to turn a game around and there needs to be more of that in the second Test – they were both disappointing. On the other side, a much more positive display with the bat from the Aussies?
SH: Shane Watson still has to spend time in the middle. Unlike other players who were sent home early from the tour of India, Watson’s hamstring problems meant he did not play any first-class cricket, and it showed. Although not having to bowl will have saved him the stress on his body.
Rogers again scratched around and would love some runs in Adelaide or questions will be asked about his place again Clarke and Warner were outstanding, while Steve Smith and George Bailey will be out to give a better account of themselves and should get the chance on an Adelaide pitch that is traditionally batter friendly.
So far from perfect but their flaws in the batting line-up were covered up by the bowlers, but you can’t hide for ever in a five match Test series.