Well, what was expected and what really happened at The Gabba are two different things. England always had that upper hand over Australia and everyone expected the Brits to open the Ashes in style.
Mitchell Johnson though, had some different plans for the Englishmen and performed outstandingly well by scoring 103 runs in the match along with some rip-snorting bowling that earned him figures of 9/103.
To make sure that England were completely demolished, Warner, Clarke and Haddin too showed their class with the bat to give England a target that never was achievable. Really, it was an incommensurable performance by the men from Down Under and hence they won by 381 runs.
Certainly, Flower and Co. have got to sit down and think what really went wrong out there; after dismissing Australia for 295, England were of course on a high but careless batting and excellent short pitched bowling by the Australians made sure that that was the last time the Brits had that feeling.
To be honest, it was the sheer pace and bounce that did England harm but not the swing. The ball didn’t do much. Neither was it seaming off the pitch nor swinging in the air, apart from some slight movement.
England never were able to tackle that bounce and pace and they have got to accept this fact for their own good. Gooch, England’s batting coach would certainly keep an eye on how to solve England’s short ball problems against Mitchell Johnson.
Now, leaving aside what happened at The Gabba, England have to move to The Adelaide Oval in Southern Australia where the pitch completely belongs to a batsman till the very last day.
England would look to take advantage of this fact and win as they did last time around in The Vodafone Ashes Series 2010-11 when Cook and Pietersen got 148 and 227 respectively.
The English captain spoke to ECB and said: “We’ve got to go now and dust ourselves down, reflect on what’s happened here and just back our ability. There’s a lot of seriously good players in that changing room.”
He also added: “We’ve obviously taken a hit today and these four days, but how we bounce back (is important) and we’ve done it in the past and we’ve got to go and draw on that courage now to go and do it.”
Cook also seemed to be happy about the extensive break, “I think the 10-day break - sometimes it’s good to get right back on the horse straight away - but I think from this experience a 10-day break now between Test matches, we can really harden ourselves for the battle, go away and work on a few things and come back to Adelaide”.
Also, he praised the bowlers and said, “I thought it was a real tough job in the second innings when they didn’t have much rest in this heat - it’s been very humid here - to ask them to bounce back and do that again was obviously a bit of a tough ask,” he said.
“But they kept running in and we know they’ve got the skills and we’re going to have to now regroup as a team, as a squad and come back firing in Adelaide”.
There exists no doubt whatsoever that England would come hard at the Aussies now just like they did against India last year. The ability that the Englishmen have got and class of their team along with the inciting publications of the Aussie media could make things difficult for Clarke and his men. Shane Warne agrees with this as well. Hold on to your hats....
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