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Siddle storm blows England away

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Tom Fordyce | 08:04 UK time, Thursday, 25 November 2010

Brisbane, Australia

How did you celebrate your last birthday - a slice of cake, perhaps, or a long lie-in followed by a nice meal and a few relaxing beverages with friends and family?

Maybe on his next birthday, Peter Siddle will do the same. For his 26th, he'll have to be content with a Test hat-trick, the adoration of 40,000 pumped-up Aussies at the Gabba and blowing a six-wicket hole in England's Ashes hopes.

England probably thought there could be no moment more calamitous than the dismissal of captain Andrew Strauss for a duck to the third ball of the day. They were wrong.

Having already accounted for a bristling Kevin Pietersen and shuffling Paul Collingwood, the man nicknamed Sid Vicious blitzed through Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad with consecutive deliveries. God save the Queen indeed.

Peter Siddle acknowledges the applause of Aussie fans at the Gabba - photo: AP

It was only the fifth Ashes hat-trick by an Australian, the first in this old ding-dong since Darren Gough's for England 12 years ago and just Australia's 11th in all Tests against any opposition.

The last Australian to bag one in an Ashes series was Shane Warne back in 1994. But while he accounted for three tail-enders, one of whom was Devon Malcolm, Siddle's lit a powder-keg under the middle of England's innings.

And he wasn't finished there. When he had Graeme Swann trapped plumb lbw shortly afterwards, he had claimed four wickets for 10 runs in three overs. England, cruising at 117-2, had lost six wickets for 63 runs in 11 overs.

It was an astonishing burst in a day that looked to be defined by cautious sparring rather than knock-out blows.

That it was Siddle who was the destroyer, rather than the more hyped Mitchell Johnson or wannabe Glen McGrath Ben Hilfenhaus, was stunning vindication of the selectors' decision to bring him back in place of local favourite Doug Bollinger.

Over the past year Doug the Rug has become something of a nascent folk hero to Australian cricket fans, a Merv Hughes in the making - uncomplicated, big-hearted, with a comical attitude to hair and a serious talent for taking big wickets.

Most of the locals who poured in to the Gabba on a warm, sunny morning would have preferred to see him steaming in from the Vulture Street End rather than Siddle, who had an inferior Test record and hadn't featured for his country since January.

When they poured out into the suburban streets of Woolloongabba eight hours later, there was only one name being chanted. The song of choice? Happy birthday.

As a young man growing up in Victoria, Siddle was a promising competitive woodchopper. If that sounds quaintly 19th century, there was something old-fashioned about his virtues here.

Snarling, aggressive, he bowled fast and full and made the batsmen play. If they missed, he hit. If he occasionally found late movement, the pitch was in the main pretty placid. His main weapons were pace and placement.

He has been responsible for an England collapse before, taking 5-21 in the crushing win at Headingley last summer. He finished that series with 20 wickets. But few were expecting he would fell so many English oaks at the Gabbatoir this week.

At the start of this year he was crippled by a stress fracture to his back, any thought of Ashes heroism buried beneath the more prosaic aim of just being able to bowl again.

Like many born in Melbourne, he is a big Aussie Rules Football fan, and it was with local club Carlton that he regained his fitness, working on strengthening his legs and rebuilding his core. Here was the happy payback for all those hard hours.

After the dread horror of that worst possible start, this was a sobering day of what ifs and oh no's for the toiling tourists.

Tantaliser-in-chief, as so often, was Kevin Pietersen. Forget the sometimes mixed feelings he seems to stir back in Blighty. Here in Australia, there are no nuances about it. He is the big fish, the prize scalp, the one player Ricky Ponting's men fear more than any other.

As England tried to rebuild either side of lunch, the midday sun providing him a perfect patch of limelight on the green outfield, Pietersen was in his element - clouting Johnson back down the ground and through cover, sashaying down the track to Xavier Doherty, punching Shane Watson straight with dismissive ease. Even when leaving the ball he somehow managed to hold the attention, lifting his bat high in with a matador flourish and holding the pose in ostentatious fashion.

The England fans spread in small clusters around the three-tiered stands, unaware of the nightmare to follow, loved every second. The Aussies, chugging away on plastic pots of beer, chuntered and jeered. Pietersen, Captain Hook moustache on his upper lip, revelled in the role as pantomime villain.

Then, just as we started to dream of series-steering centuries and match-winning totals, it was over - a firm-handed drive at Siddle's fuller one, a little away bite taking the edge, Ponting clinging on at second slip before wheeling away in triumph with index finger wagging.

Kevin Pietersen made a good start but could not produce the big score England needed - photo: Getty

Pietersen departed with a rueful downward glance at the track, but the blame lay elsewhere. Even at his best, he is the sort of batsman who can perversely be excruciating to watch - not because of any crabbiness or technical flaws, but because he sometimes looks so utterly at ease that the thought of him failing is almost impossible to stomach.

England fans can handle Collingwood or Prior departing for low scores. Our expectations of them are limited.

Not KP. When he's in this sort of dreamy form, anything less than a century feels like short change, the cricketing equivalent of taking the family silver to the Antiques Roadshow only to be told that it's worth less than the bus fare over.

At least he got a start. His skipper barely got a look-in.

First overs in Ashes series are taking on near-mythical status. In no other series is there anywhere near the same importance attached to them as there is in this contest. Blame Michael Slater for his four off Phil DeFreitas, or Steve Harmison for the brute he served Justin Langer in '05 or the tripe he delivered four years ago.

When Strauss left the very first ball of the match alone and dabbed the second into the ground, it seemed like that sequence might be at an end. Then he cut hard at Hilfenhaus's third, sent it straight down Mike Hussey's throat at gully and horrible history appeared to be repeating itself.

Strauss scored more runs than any other player in the last Ashes series. As England skipper he is the totem Australia will attack. To lose him without a run on the board sent the home fans into high-fiving frenzy and the travelling supporters into head-shaking disbelief, and may have set the tone for what was to follow.

Was he guilty of a rash stroke at the most inopportune time? The ball was short and wide, but it did just come back in a fraction and cramp the batsman up. On another day the ball would have flashed in the gap between gully and point, or flown over Hussey's head.

Wise old sages were divided. Former England captain Michael Vaughan felt he should have upper-cut it high over the infield. Slater, speaking on Test Match Special, blamed the tension of the occasion - long hours of pent-up nerves and adrenalin forcing the error.

England were grateful for the runs from Cook and Ian Bell, both of whom have attracted their fair share of criticism in the past. While Cook's 67 off 163 balls threatened to provide a backbone, Bell's classy 76 put some meat on the bones.

There is a long, long way to go in this match and in this series. But with Australia 25-0 at the close and both openers entirely untroubled, this was an ominous opening salvo for England.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Disappointing start, but plenty to be optimistic about. Some starts, just needed one to go on and get a big score, looked like it could be Bell, so if Prior and Broad had stuck around with him, things would have looked considerably better.

    Long way to go, but a rude awakening for anyone thinking England were going to walk this series

  • Comment number 2.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 3.

    I knew people were writing off the Aussies too quickly. I only watched the first session and didn't think there was a lot there to worry our batsmen, yet we have a habit of imploding. The only batsman I wasn't worried about going into the series is Ian Bell and it looks like he's proved me right. Cook needs to get some big scores, getting 60s as an opener isn't great, they should be 150s (which he never seems to manage). I went turned off last night bouyed by what seemed to be KP's good form, but obvious disappointment followed this morning! Not going to be too hard on Strauss, you expect openers to fail now and again, Trott was frustrating, he got a start but his dismissal was such a loose shot. I haven't seen any of Collywobble's innings, but I have been questioning his place for a long time (didn't he average worse than KP this summer, and Kevin had had a shocker!) He's one of those who seems to put in one performance just when his place is in doubt, but not enough when the team really needs it. (Everyone will mention his knock at Cardiff last year, but I would counter that by saying he was the premier batsman and settled, as such he should have been there at the end!)

    Hopefully we wont be too far behind and we'll have a better crack at them in the second innings.

  • Comment number 4.

    Wasn't the way we wanted the first day to go but then there's still another 24 days of this series so no reason for doom and gloom just yet. The first Test in Cardiff last year hardly went brilliantly either but that all turned out ok in the end. But as 1 says at least it wakes everyone up and should get them all turned on and tuned in now. Maybe we have been relaxing a bit too much as we've had things going our own way for a little while. Now hopefully they'll realise they need to dig in and fight to get something out of this match. The ball should do a bit more tomorrow so that'll give our bowlers something to work with.

    Obviously the Aussies have the edge and have taken the first mini battle but there's plenty more to come. What's that old proverb? One swallow does not a Summer make...

  • Comment number 5.

    papa shango, please find another sport to comment on cos your relentless flooding of these blogs with how rubbish everything is is getting a bit tiresome

  • Comment number 6.

    Still a very long way to go in this test match, let alone the series. Siddle bowled brilliantly but some of the shots our batsmen played weren't great. You would have expected atleast 350 on this pitch, but let's not forget how poorly England had batted this summer, so it wasn't surprising to see us get a below par score today.

    Collingwood has been dreadful for atleast a year now, i would definitely drop him for Morgan in the next test match, it's not as if he could do much worse. Though i doubt the selectors will change anything this series, bar injuries.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think that's a little pessimistic papa shango, the kind of attitude that leads to losing a series because of the first day. You can lose a match on the first day but not win it (though England could pull this one back if they can bowl well, but we'll see), by giving yourself too much to do, but you cannot win a series in just one test.

    It was a bad start, but we started badly in the last two home series too. Granted this is in Australia, and they are now bouyant, but so long as they do not panic England still have a chance.

    As for Collingwood, his stats are good even if not great, but England have long lacked enough truly great players, and he has been a solid performer who has anchored several key games for the team when others failed. His place has often been under threat but he keeps coming up with good performances when needed to maintain his place. Maybe he won't this time, but he has done pretty well for England all told.

    Swann? Maybe it will all be downhill from here, but that might not be disastrous. His first 18 months have been statistically phenomenal - if he does do well in Australia he could be ranked the no.1 bowler in the world! - and if it was just people not being used to him, it is still very impressive. Even if he doesn't maintain that level as long as he does not become totally ineffective toward everybody he could still be a potent weapon.

    A dispiriting start, but let's try not to give up just yet. Australia are excellent at exploiting weakness. The team has the ability to push the Aussies very hard, maybe even beat them on their own patch. So long as they keep their confidence in that, they can turn things around.

  • Comment number 8.

    Me: His place has often been under threat but he keeps coming up with good performances when needed to maintain his place. Maybe he won't this time, but he has done pretty well for England all told.

    By this I do not mean to say nostalgia for some fine knocks means he should get a pass. Merely that he has been good for England in the past. If he does look like he cannot pull it around he should be dropped of course, sometimes being dropped for a while even helps people, though his age might make it harder to get back in if a replacement settled well.

  • Comment number 9.

    I've heard rumor that Boycott is hell bent in deposing Flower as coach. Good move. The Bob Marley daze-like preparation has got England seeing stars

  • Comment number 10.

    When looking at the team line-ups i felt they were very similar in terms of quality, so i was under no illusions about the size of England's task. Home advantage is always a big factor, as knowing how to bat and bowl on their wickets is essential for success, so England winning the series is possible but certainly not as likely as people have suggested, and so it proved on the first day.
    They batted poorly, but the key to the this test will be how quickly England learn by their mistakes and whether they can force the Australians onto the back foot (hoping the Aussies have an unexplained 'poor day' is not going to cut the mustard in this series as generally on home soil they don't have any). I expect more controlled aggression with the batting and hitting the right length with the bowling...

  • Comment number 11.

    As first days go, it wasn't quite akin to the new boy at school having his head shoved down the loo by the bigger kids - but it wasn't far off for England. And Peter Siddle is the sole reason for that.

    Siddle's Joy of Six - Brisbane, Day One

  • Comment number 12.

    This was the link that was supposed to be included with our previous comment - Siddle's Joy of Six - Brisbane, Day One

  • Comment number 13.

    Middle order collapse, bowled out for less than 300. Please tell me rain stopped play and you replayed the 2006/7 series just to keep us occupied...

  • Comment number 14.

    Agree with comments from papa shango regarding Swann ... I mean, come on he did bowl the grand total of 1 OVER on the 1st day!!

    What is the matter with you?

    A bad start yes, but irretrievable? No.

    Need to try and limit Oz to less than 350 if possible, improve in our 2nd innings and then set them a challenging total with Swann becoming a major factor later in the test.

  • Comment number 15.

    @ papa shango

    "Collingwood fails AGAIN, quite how this man has played test cricket is beyond me!! Saw enough of Swann bowling to see his test career is going downhill from here!! England lost the ashes on the 1st day at the Gabba. Big changes needed to get us ready for 2013."

    are you insane? Swann is the best spin bowler in the world (if you dont belive me go and check it yourself, you obvisouly have plenty of time on youre hands to do you are a simpleton) As for Colly, he may not score runs all the times but when he needs to he can battle out an innings and alongside an inform KP he can tick over the runs while he goes for the big score.

    I also bet before the start of play last night you was one of the people who were saying England would whitewash Australia and now, becauase of a bad day, its the end of the world. ITS THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST TEST. lets wait for day 5 before we judge, although i dont expect you to know whats going on.

  • Comment number 16.

    Let us not forget that the Australians 'have' been a bit rattled leading up to the series. I doubt anyone was suggesting they would be pushovers, they are still at least as good as England, with some much better players in their ranks, but the whole build up and media reaction beforehand was not typical of their usual confidence, which is usually much warranted, even if they were hardly quivering in fear at the prospect of facing this England team.

    They are on a high after a great start, but a stubborn set of partnerships in the 2nd innings for England, a great bowling spell taking out Australia's middle order (again, worth remebering statistically as a team they out bowled and batted England last time around, but a few dominant sessions was all it took - admittedly that can go both ways) and their confidence will not be as resilient as past Australians teams, for the simple fact that they 'know' they have had problems and slipped down the rankings because of poor performances.

    Give them a fight, do not give in to despair, and they will not be able to build that sense of inevitable momentum they have so often held, which was a potent weapon in its own right.

  • Comment number 17.

    papa shango - Swann bowled one over yesterday, how could you possibly have seen enough of him?

    A poor start, but let's not get too carried away yet, a lot of cricket left to play and a lot of potential swings of momentum. A couple of early wickets tomorrow and we're right back in this.

  • Comment number 18.

    Eoin Morgan

  • Comment number 19.

    It's also my birthday today so far I've eaten some toast and made cofee Siddle is making me feel a little inadequate

  • Comment number 20.

    Love it. English press as usual build up England pre ashes and now starting to back peddle after Day 1.

  • Comment number 21.

    Quite right, Papa Shango go home or stick to WWE!

    Not a great start from the lads but agree that we have had it easy in the last months with poor opponents offering little resistance. This will shake us up a bit and make us realise that we will really have to dig in over 5 harldy fought tests.

    Their boling attack looked pretty pedestrian in the morning session so was shocked to find out the score when waking up this morning.

    I thought Watson looked most dangerous and that says alot about where Australia are today compared to a decade ago.

    KP seemed to be hitting it great so i feel he has a big score in him. Bell is a real class act and we should look at moving him up the order if the support isn't there for him.

    All we need is the bowlers to get a couple of early wickets tomorrow and its game on again!

    Keep the faith everyone and jog on Papa.


  • Comment number 22.

    Well hey, we improved from 0/1 to 260 all out. That's good, right? ;)

    Probably the best thing that could've happened to the England side. Sticks a nice big pin in all the puffed-up, pumped-up hype from the media and fanatics. Now they can get properly down to the serious business of very hard work.

  • Comment number 23.

    To the guys who are bothering Papa Shango with a response...........why???? He has to be winding us up!

  • Comment number 24.

    25 days of cricket in this tour. So far 1 - 0 to Oz.

    We still have 24 more opportunities to win and people are writing the team off already?!? What!?

    Come on!

  • Comment number 25.

    Can't believe people are calling for changes to the team and coaching staff after ONE DAY. Give it a rest, this series has a long way to go. Will be good to see quality cricket on 'result' pitches after some of the draws on dead pitches I've watched recently.

  • Comment number 26.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 27.

    Hopefully 1st day's play will lessen noise originating from England. The ex-players and media thought England had already won the trophy even before 1st ball was bowled.

    Still lot of cricket left but Aussies did make a statement today whereas England were left wondering.

  • Comment number 28.

    Sticks a nice big pin in all the puffed-up, pumped-up hype from the media and fanatics.
    Yes, the puffed up general consensus of 'this is probably England's best chance in decades to win in Australia, but it won't be easy'
    Now they can get properly down to the serious business of very hard work.
    We can hope. Neither side magically became far better or far worse than the other because of one day. Some hard graft and we can still do it. Then again, I was predicting an Australia series win from the start - too many poor showings for a good team lately, they were/are bound to come good at some point if we let them.

  • Comment number 29.

    I am an Englishman living in Australia and I thought it was a seesaw days cricket. I think it will be that way for the whole series so strap yourselves in. There were good signs for England. Bell looks a different player these days. I suppose it helps that Warne has retired but all the same he looks far more assured.
    It may actually do us good to be on the back foot. We have to come out fighting and the players can be under no illusions the enormity of retaining the ashes over here. If we do lose this test then nothing has been decided. I think our best chances of winning will be Adelaide and Sydney because we have the premier spinner and those pitches will definitely turn.
    There will come a time when Australia will be under pressure and I believe they are fragile and could implode. We have to be good enough to take the chances when they come. Better days are ahead.......keep the faith!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Nervy 260 first up. Keep em down to 325 and we are in the game. Im not worried.

  • Comment number 31.

    My issue is why our best batsman is batting at 6? Bell's been the best we've got for 12 months now and had he been at 3 or 4 he would almost certainly have got a hundred. I know he's had his issues further up the order in the past but he seems to have reinvented himself. He was a joy to watch today.

  • Comment number 32.

    As ever, we entered this series amid a ridiculous amount of hype regarding how dodgy the Australians were and how strong England were.This is the Ashes and home advantage counts for a lot. The positives are that the total does not constitute abject failure and that Bell and Cook have stepped up to the standard required. If a bowler bowls well you have to applaud it and Siddle bowled well. However, I continue to have concerns about Pieterson. Having made the start he did, batting in his position it is his responsibility to take advantage. Number 3 and number 4 batsmen who don't consolidate on good starts are not doing their job. That three significant England batsmen have been clean bowled is a worry. However, the main thing now is the match. Can we win it? Yes but this is highly unlikely because I would expect batting to get harder from day 3 onwards. Can we save the match? Yes but the top order needs to keep it simple next time around. The bowlers now have more than a little pressure on them. The Australian mentality is always to go after the new boy so it will be interesting to see how Finn copes. If we go 1-0 down, we will almost certainly lose the Ashes. This is Ponting's last stand and the Australians like to keep their noses in front if they get a lead. The potential difference netween the sides may well be Swann because I've always questioned Australian confidence against decent off spin.

  • Comment number 33.

    I am just a bit surprised that we chose to bat . The one thing a team under pressure do not want to do is face the new cherry with knees knocking.

    I appreciate that its not a bad track but to give the "caged tigers " of the Aussie attack the first new ball and have thousands of Aussies roaring them in on day 1 was just what they wanted to release the tension and get the momentum .

    I appreciate that the option to bat as cricketing decision is sound but the Ashes has proven in the past the emotion and momentum is key .

    Not a disaster and again if we can keep them under 350 we are still very much in this game . Even slightly pleased we go to 260 all said and done

  • Comment number 34.

    @ Papa Shango.

    stop watching it then if it annoys you. Everyone is intitled to their own opinion but you'res is wrong.

  • Comment number 35.

    Dear England

    Welcome back to Australia. It's wonderful to have you visit again. It feels like just yesterday since you were last here!

    Keep your chins up chaps, I'm sure you'll be able to break out that victory dance you've been rehearsing for the media very soon. Remember to wear lots and lots of sunscreen.

    Your pal

    Little Urn

    p.s Pete Siddle's having a bit of a birthday bash tonight, we'd love you to come but unfortunately it's invite only. All the very

  • Comment number 36.

    ohhh a Aussie fan, hello. not heard from you lot in a while, probably becasue you have been playing awful lately.

    lets just have a reminder that its only the first days play.

  • Comment number 37.

    Siddle had a great day, simple as that and was really bowling well after tea. Its a shame they dropped Doug the rug Bollinger, I have to say though that Johnson 0, Watson 1, Hilfenhaus 1 did not look dangerous at all apart from the odd ball.

    The new spinner got a tailender and Bell going for it at the end.

    It really was Siddle V England and Siddle won on his birthday.....every dog has his day.

    The wicket still has got something for bowlers and batsmen. England are 90 runs short in my opinion. Strauss was plain stupid in his shot selection, Colly, Prior, Broad all got ducks and not good enough BUT it was very good bowling.

    I woula also say that its unlikley this will occur in the 2nd innings.

    Bell looks in top form, KP will be up for it and Cook looks a lot better than anytime in last 3 years. Colly is a fighter plus Trott needs runs. Our tail can also wag, it did a bit today but it was a good toss to lose with Siddle on fire.

    Its up to the bolwers now but Anderson is a concern, Broad looked dangerous and Swann is getting turn already and will be a real handful....Finn an unknown.

    Brisbane is always a bad place to tour, however the saffers lost in 09 but won in MCG and the SCG....also we havn't lostyet and it will be an interesting 2/3 days of the Test.

  • Comment number 38.

    Just Typical.....the England media pump up England as world beaters......reference the great example of the Football World Cup. No such luck guys. You never are or never will be world beaters.....just get used to it. You're just an average nation and have average teams.

  • Comment number 39.

    I knew the media were yet again getting carried away harping out about England's "Big chance" to beat Australia in their own back yard. In fact I'm actually relieved at the total we did get. When Strauss went I thought here we go again, same old England crumbling in Australia. The positives for me were Ian Bell starting well which will do wonders for his confidence given past series against Australia. Same can be said for Cook.

    Both sides quite evenly matched, but England's batting collapses are still a massive worry for me. In Australia I believe it will be a case of who makes the least mistakes and I think Australia are much more consistent in the batting department.

  • Comment number 40.

    Quite right, quite right. Just the first day's play.

    And yes, of late we haven't been reaching the same dizzying heights of two home series wins against Test dynamos Bangladesh and Pakistan. No wonder the whole country was revelling in hyperbole and boastful predictions.

    Well back to reality old boy. I'm sure that familiar sense of dread and inevitability still fits like a glove.

  • Comment number 41.


    Doesnt being world champions make you world beaters?

  • Comment number 42.

    Same old same old for England. 3 decent scores plus a 29 from Trott but the rest let them down badly. However I believe England can & will do the same to Australia tonight if they keep their nerve. This aint over yet.

  • Comment number 43.

    This is true myislandhome. You did get out played by Pakistan, though which is worrying.

    i wont judge the series untill its further down the line, maybe you should do the same.

  • Comment number 44.

    What a fine first day's cricket.

    I have to say as an Aussie who has lived a long time in England, and so is well used to how England's media and expert pundits like to build England into a mighty giant...just so they can tear it all down...

    ...I was very pleased with today's action. Having grown very weary of the gloating, deluded balls being talked for weeks now by English fans and former players.

    Everytime I've dropped into these threads (less and less due to the partisan garbage that seemed to deny all sensible consideration of the action to come) I stated I thought both teams evenly matched and that it was going to be a very close series.

    To be honest, both teams are a little weak so it will depend on some outstanding individual efforts, such as today, when Siddle seemed to grow as tired as the rest of us of Johnson's inability to locate three sticks on the ground, and take it upon himself to dismantle the tourists.

    But keep heart. The Aussies are just as capable of a batting collapse as England these days and your bowlers are more consistent in their lines and lengths (well they are when on top of Bangladesh...see how they fare tomorrow at the Gabbatoir).

    To start writing off the series or even the match based on one day is ridiculous, as some are doing, but then those are the same types that declare a series won before it starts, so it's not surprising.

    There's a long way to go...and as with the past, may the best team win!

  • Comment number 45.

    Didn't aus get bowled out for 88 by Pakistan?

  • Comment number 46.

    Luckily enough, the ashes isn't played over one innings, if it was, we might as well not even come out to bowl. After a good preperation for the contest, the English batsmen did what they normally do, get out playing stupid shots. Admittedly, some of the wickets couldn't be helped, as much as it pains me to say, credit must go to the convicts, however, Strauss playing at such a stupid ball is exactly what I am on about. Time and time again, we give our wickets away to rubbish balls that they have no need to play at. When will they ever learn. It isn't as if the ball was going to come back that far after 2 previous deliveries. Our batsmen lose their heads so often, it beggars belief. At least we should be able to restrict them to a chaseable total as our bowlers are quite frankly, head and shoulders above theirs.

  • Comment number 47.

    Just Typical.....the England media pump up England as world beaters......reference the great example of the Football World Cup. No such luck guys. You never are or never will be world beaters.....just get used to it. You're just an average nation and have average teams.
    Who are currently ranked above Australia. I'm sure in due course that will change, Australia have better players overall I feel, but England can, on their day, beat anyone. World beaters? No, for that you'd need the expectation of winning every match you play, and I can't think anyone seriously suggested we were there, as Australia have been in the past, but capable of being competitive against any opposition, yes.

    The first day was a let down, too many got out too soon and a great spell from Siddle sparked a trademarked England collapse, but it is too soon to make any judgements, even about the average nature of the team. Based on first tests in places with home advantage we were well below average and not worthy of carrying Australia's bags the last couple of times, but it was not an accurate representation of the respective strengths of the two teams, and one day or even one test below par does also not change the demonstrable fact that if England are average right now, Australia are as well. Whether that can ever change for the former we will have to see.

    Calm down.

  • Comment number 48.

    What gets me about u Poms is that u always seem to talk up your chances, whether football, rugby union or cricket. Yesterday, Aggers predicted a 3-1 England Ashes win. lol. Absolutely hilarious the way matters ended on the first day. Siddle takes six, Eng out for less than 300.

    I read some comments that suggested that Eng is the best team in the world at the moment, once again. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

    Jimmy Anderson is the best swing bowler in world cricket. LMAO!!!!!!!

    We have the more settled team, one to eleven we have a better team on paper than AUS. Once again. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You poms deserve what u get during this Ashes tour. AUS will win this series simply because Eng think too much of themselves, their undying fans as well.

    Im a south african btw and I absolutely despise the OZ. But because of Eng persistant arrogant & pompous behaviour, I would love AUS to hand down a beating of Magnanimous Proportions. Prediction AUS 3-0 whitewash! And I cant wait.

  • Comment number 49.

    Easy there Tom, it's not all doom and gloom.

    Bad start, solid recovery at 197-4 and then the Siddle show started.

    A hat-trick will always rip the guts ot of an innings, but Ithink it's over-egging it to call Stuart Broad part of the middle-order - he's lower middle-order at best.

    And it could have been a hell of a lot worse at 0-1 and 40-odd for 2. The pitch isn't typical of the Gabba, and no-one will really know what sort of score that is until the Aussies have batted on it as well.

    Overall it's a 'could do better' from me:

  • Comment number 50.

    Kieran....your quote "if England are average right now, Australia are as well" argument with that comment. The difference is though that the Australian public and the Australian press recognise that fact and do not build up the current Australia team as "world beaters" at present like the England press do.

    Simple as that.

  • Comment number 51.

    To all those bagging Colly - especially Papa Shango - he averages over 47 in tests outside England. That is good enough for me. He provides the glue in the middle order and has proved on numerous occasions that he is worth his place.

    One bad day does not a bad series make. If Broad emulates Siddle tomorrow we could be effectively down to a one innings match.

    Keep the faith.

  • Comment number 52.

    As an Australian supporter, today was far from a complete disaster for England. It was always going to be a tough day for whoever was doing the batting - which I can't believe England elected to do - and I'm sure it would be a similar story in reverse if Australia had squared up at the crease today.

    Some big question marks over many of the Australian batsmen (form: Hussey and North, injury: Clarke) and I think it's possible England can limit Australia to less than 350 tomorrow. If that's the case, it's still very much anyone's game.

  • Comment number 53.

    Glyn, it's not a case of media over hyping - england HAVE had a very good 18 months, and by contrast, Australia HAVE had a very poor 18 months.

    If you spoke to anyone level headed before the series, you would have heard that weakened aus or not, this is still going to be a very difficult series for England. We are under no illusions, 23 years since the last win in Aus.

  • Comment number 54.

    @ Glyn

    My sentiments exactly, its for this very reason that I hope Eng catch a brutal beating. When Ind, SA or Pak toured Aus, the media of those countries did not inflate expectations and get the fans hyped over how big a chance this was to beat Aus in their own backyard.

    Eng still have far to go to even get close to those top 2 rankings. Ind & SA should stay top 2 for another couple of year at least. When Eng reach those heights as a team, only then maybe, can they start with their senseless blabbering..........

  • Comment number 55.

    Kapnag.....all I can say is it's difficult to find many "level headed" people in England

  • Comment number 56.

    well you can't be looking too hard then, there's been plenty of articles like that on this site alone, only really in the last week or so when everyone's been getting excited where the big, brash predictions come out, but I don't really see what's wrong with a bit of confidence and pre match taunting!

  • Comment number 57.

    Kieran....your quote "if England are average right now, Australia are as well" argument with that comment. The difference is though that the Australian public and the Australian press recognise that fact and do not build up the current Australia team as "world beaters" at present like the England press do.

    Simple as that.
    I wasn't aware the England press do say that(I do not browse a wide selection there I will admit, but just from BBC that is not my impression at least), and if they do, I would certainly agree it is deluded. We are decent, and can be great on occasion, but being able to beat anyone when things click is not the same as being world beaters IMO.
    You poms deserve what u get during this Ashes tour. AUS will win this series simply because Eng think too much of themselves, their undying fans as well.

    Im a south african btw and I absolutely despise the OZ. But because of Eng persistant arrogant & pompous behaviour, I would love AUS to hand down a beating of Magnanimous Proportions. Prediction AUS 3-0 whitewash! And I cant wait.
    For goodness sake, by far the most common opinion I've seen raised is on the lines of 'England have a good chance this time around, perhaps as good as we've had for decades, but you cannot discount a team like Australia, who are brimming with talent, though they have been on a poor run lately'. Is it arrogant to state England have been doing pretty well while Australia haven't? No. A prediction of 3-1 doesn't mean someone thinks too much of themselves or England in a way that disregards all evidence, all it means is they think England have a good chance if they play well and Australia kept up a poor run.

    I'm sure some people have been blindly predicting all conquering England, but for crying out loud it is not the norm, and I detest when any sentiment that England might do well is regarded as arrogance, the same as criticisms England feel they deserve to win at Football, Rugby, Cricket, or are entitled to a world cup or whatever, when all it is is acknowledging we have a strong base in all those sports and a long history of them and feel we should do better than we often do. Feeling you should do better with the resources you have(players, established structure, large base) is not arrogance. Feeling your current form means you have a chance is not arrogance.

    Talking up your chances is simply optimism or hope unless it decends to the level of 'we are the best and will wipe the floor with any opposition' with no hint of examining the actual merits of the sides, which has not been the case by and large with this Ashes build up, and attempts to paint all poms with that blindly arrogant brush come across as bizarre and nonsensical diversions.

    Rather like this rant. Sorry.
    There's a long way to go...and as with the past, may the best team win!
    Hear, hear.

    I must say I hadn't expected Siddle to do quite so well. Off hand I can't recall his stats from the last series, but he didn't stick in my mind even though I'm sure he showed himself to be talented. I rather wish he had remained that way, alas. Good on him for a hat trick though, always to be applauded no matter the team.

  • Comment number 58.

    Good article and some terrible views from the public. But I do disagree with "England fans can handle Collingwood and Prior failing". I like Colly and enjoy watching him bat and do find it annoying when he has failed. Not everyone likes supporting the glory players!

  • Comment number 59.

    I can't be bothered to look too hard Kapnag.....I've heard all this hype and so called "confidence" too many times from too many POMS. You all live in Dreamworld believe me!

  • Comment number 60.

    Yes it's not an ideal start, but it's DAY 1 OF THE FIRST TEST! There's a long way to go and I can't believe people are already writing off England and forgetting all of Australia's recent performances based on 1 day of cricket. It's a VERY long way down from your high horse if England can rip into them tomorrow.

    Let's also not forget that 260 is not 100, it's a poor score but it's far from catastrophic. Let's see what happens over the next few days, eh?

  • Comment number 61.

    Mitchell Johnson seems a player who just needs to get into his groove to start producing those match winning performances. He remains a dangerous player with bat & ball and Aus will hope he finds his bowling mojo soon.

  • Comment number 62.

    Slightly down-beat papa shango, you dont lose a series on the first day of a 1st test.

    However, if the aussies go on and make a total of 350-400 then we are right up against it from the off. I confess to not knowing the pitch conditions, although i had heard that the last state match played there ended up a pretty low scoring affair?

    Was this a good toss to lose?

  • Comment number 63.

    Is Papa Shango Swarmy in disguise?

  • Comment number 64.

    Sparky, I believe that is the point most Australians have been trying trying to make in the build up to this Ashes: "judge this series as it gets further down the line".

    It has been England, however, (press, players and fans) that have been gloating about a humiliating series victory for the past month. Clearly the "Boy who cried Ashes" isn't a proverb that ever made it over to Ol Blighty.

    And that is my point. The sensational pre-game headlines, blogging & bragging, rehearsal of wicket celebrations by the players...pride cometh before the fall...of 10 wickets for 260.
    No one's saying Australia's won it (though I'm confident as always that we will). But England still have much to learn about hyping up their sporting teams before the opening whistle.

    Ponting will be a treat to watch tomorrow.

  • Comment number 65.

    Well perhaps if you can't be bothered, you shouldn't complain and put everyone into the same pot?

    Everyone's got their loudmouths, lord knows the aussies aren't shy!

  • Comment number 66.

    "England still have much to learn about hyping up their sporting teams before the opening whistle" exactly my point... well said myisalndhome....!!!

  • Comment number 67.

    If you can't say the current ashes holders have a good chance of victory against an australian team that has been pulled apart by their own media, on the back of some pretty average displays, when can you??

    Let's not forget Australia have been pretty poor finishing test matches off recently. You want to talk about England arrogance, what about Aussie arrogance acting like this test is a foregone conclusion against same old over confident England? Double standards!

  • Comment number 68.

    Mitchell Johnson seems a player who just needs to get into his groove to start producing those match winning performances. He remains a dangerous player with bat & ball and Aus will hope he finds his bowling mojo soon.
    This is one of my major worries. Siddle did brilliantly today, and I recall Hilfenhaus being good too in England, but we got a real lift that Johnson was not being as destructive as his initial performances had been, as well as aiding our batsmen by being a little profligate at times. If he fires the team will really be under pressure to perform at the very limit of their ability, and I fear that if both teams play at their very best, Australia edge that battle.
    You all live in Dreamworld believe me!
    Well, I'm glad you're not deciding to hold a negative opinion against an entire race of people (when it comes to their attitudes to sport at least) for no reason at least, as, in fairness to your point, we didn't win the ashes for so long, we kind of had to dream, you know? We couldn't reflect on victory, not my generation anyway. Evidence that plenty did not experience deluded hype can be safely discarded as statistical anomalies from the standard English model.
    No one's saying Australia's won it
    Some are, though they are probably downbeat and pessimistic English fans.
    It has been England, however, (press, players and fans) that have been gloating about a humiliating series victory for the past month
    Not on this site they haven't (in articles anyway). I just haven't seen this gloating as a genuine trend. Some nervous confidence based on form going into the test series helped by the Aussies not being their typical immensely confident selves (which was usually with good reason and so wasn't really arrogance). Even a prediction of 3-1 wouldn't be classed as humiliating anyway.

    I'm so used to Australian dominance against all teams I felt certain they would come good against us. I just hoped it would be after we had drawn/won at least one test. Here's hoping we can pull this one out of the bag. Damn, that arrogance cropping up again!

  • Comment number 69.

    If Aus make 500 plus in the 1st innings, they got the match won without having to bat again. Ponting has every reason to be quietly confident, he averages a 100 in the 1st innings of the 1st match in every ashes series, saw this on the telly. dont quote me.

    Katich & Watson makes a quick 50 each, Ponting makes a century & 500 doesn't seem too far off.

  • Comment number 70.

    I cannot believe how quickly people are in righting England off (especially the aussies)...a hat trick is a rarity, especially in ashes series (not taking away it was good bolwing and bad judgement by the batsmen), but I like to think that was the aussies one bit of "luck" in the series, and Ebgland has theirs to come...nicely set, mthe siddle comes on and turns innings on its head...who to say that broad will not open the bowling tomorrow, steam and take 4 for 10 in 5 overs and leave the aussies at 30 for 5...still predicting close series but still England to return the ashes

  • Comment number 71.

    Still another 36 runs to go to avoid the follow-on, I note.

    A lot of comments here show how much people need to get a grip. 260 in the 1st innings is not a match-losing score under any circumstances, and certainly not against a team that has collapsed like a house of cards with alarming regularity in recent times. One bad day doesn't prove England are wrong to be hopeful about a series win. And the large number of comments, from Aussies and English alike, condemning some imaginary throng of wildly optimistic English fans and hacks only goes to show just how nervous both sides are about this series, and one day's play clearly hasn't changed any of that.

  • Comment number 72.

    48. At 11:41am on 25 Nov 2010, YesImAlwaysRight

    Are you really? Well, we shall see.

  • Comment number 73.

    Amazes me the comments of some on here! One bad day and England have apparantly lost the series and become a bad team overnight. If England get three wickets in the morning session, it's anyone's game.

    I'm still predicting an England win because surprisingly, you can't call a 5 test series this early! Siddle's hatrick (and fair play to him) was a flash in the pan and won't be repeated, Hilfenhaus and Johnson were largely anonymous. We saw good form from Bell and Cook and even Pietersen looked in good nick before getting out. There are more positives than people are talking about.

    Please, stop being reactionary, you can't call a match until both sides have bowled for an extended period!

  • Comment number 74.

    Tim - absolutely right.

    This is the first day of the series, 260 isn't great but it's not 110 all out. We haven't lost the match by a long way, and if we can restrict Australia to something in the region of 330 to 350 then we're in with a good shout. We'll need to bat very well in the second innings but I think the pitch could be better for batting second time round for us.
    No worries over Swan's form, I think Finn will step up too. Anderson is the concern, how will he get on when the ball doesn't swing. It'll be an interesting second day, that's for sure.

  • Comment number 75.

    I think people forget 1997 when Australia were rooted out for 118 in the first innings and England crushed them by 9 wickets then the next match Englando got bowled out for 77 but got lucky because of the weather

    Then the Aussies crushed them in the 3rd test

    2005 after Harmison knocked out the Aussies for 190 . McGrath came back with an even more devasting spell to bowl England for 155

    All is not lost and it only takes a moment of magic or brilliance again to change the game

  • Comment number 76.

    As if nobody saw that coming! As usual, England over hyped; just like our football team - a couple of wins and we're world beaters. Unfortunately, the Aussies have one thing that the England players don't: Pride. But then how can a South African be proud of playing for England? Representing their nation matters to the Aussies; it doesn't matter to the England players, who like our footballers are consistently rewarded for mediocrity. England are all arrogance and no pride. They don't seem to realise that they need to apply themselves.

  • Comment number 77.

    Just to prevent our English friends from hyperventilating:

    Of course not ALL England fans or commentators have been predicting a certain Ashes whitewash. The press HAS however.

    Notwithstanding that, there has been an undeniable rubbing of hands together in the lead up to this series. And I have no problem with that.

    But I find do it funny that after just Day 1 (!!), so many on England's side of the fence seem to have lost their voice. They even DENY their gleeful taunting of the Australian team in the lead up to the series. Ponting, especially, has been spoken about like he's an aging hack! A man with over 12,000 runs, 39 Test hundreds and more victories as Captain than anyone to have ever played the game in 140 years.

    I'd rather the English maintain their bravado, rather than wilt from it at the first sign of a Day 1 batting failure.

  • Comment number 78.

    Ah, the time-honoured and cherished pastime of listening to the English big themselves up to the skies, then come crashing immediately to the deck when reality kicks in. 24 hours ago a whitewash was pretty much assured; today it's time to bring 'em home and focus on youth development.

    Both traits, of course, are symptoms of the same underlying condition: lack of character. The English temperament, my friends, is like a Tesco bag in the wind. It's up! It's down! It's wayyy up! It's... ouch, mind yr head missus.

    They lack any steadfastness or substance. Their voice is like a little piece of union jack bunting flapping in the breeze - a last reminder of the gaudily-painted ship of empire that sailed so long ago.

    Cmon you Aussies!

  • Comment number 79.

    Strauss was at pains to point out the the Ashes will not be won on the first day.

    Well the Ashes will not be lost on the first day either.

    A long way to go yet.

  • Comment number 80.

    YesImAlwaysRight, a lot of idiotic points from you there, could you also explain to me how you can have a 3-0 whitewash in a five test series, not too bright are you?

  • Comment number 81.

    Aussies have come rushing out of every nook and cranny to tell us this test match is all but over! Got to see what the aussie batsmen, who themselves are under a bit of pressure, produce before we start handing out the man of the match awards.

  • Comment number 82.

    As a neutral (South African) it certainly was a good day for the Aussies. But for goodness sake, its day 1 of a long series.

    Good luck to both teams... its probably the finest achievement to beat the Aussies in their back yard, but every English player will have to be at the top of their game to get close to doing it. The Aussies are always at their most dangerous when presumed vulnerable.

  • Comment number 83.

    "Flawless preparation" or analysis paralysis?

    It's one thing to prepare and another to be bombarded with loads of statistics. Couldn't believe the prematch interview with Swann when he mentioned about all the technology and data available and how he "expects" the Aussies to play him on certain days! It's clear that if anything "unexpected" happens then its curtains.

    England need to move away from this analysis overload and start playing with common sense and spontaniety.

    If England do win the Ashes inspite of this over-analysis I'll keep shut for good. Promise!

  • Comment number 84.

    Yes, Elwis there is a long way to go. Anything can happen whether it be an individual having his day or daresay it, consequetive bad decisions going the wrong way for one team. Right now as an Aussie, I am pleased so far as all the POMs I work with are a little silent about the cricket at the moment - I was getting a very fed up with the premature gloating!
    Seriously for both sides of the fence - I think we're up for some brilliant cricket this ashes. AUS are capable of 400+ runs tomorrow but that doesnt mean they will actually make it!
    Cmon Australia!

  • Comment number 85.

    Havent seen any of the wickets yet but i must admit i am surprised just how easily England have collapsed, i thought we looked good in our very competitive warm up matches.. was it simply pressure?! Totally agree on your KP views ive felt the same about him for some time. Think Bell could end up our highest run scorer and would also like to point out that maybe Collingwood isnt necessarily in the team to make big scores, probably his outstanding fielding and his reliable medium pace bowling are?

  • Comment number 86.

    I love the fact that someone called YesImAlwaysRight is banging on about English arrogance....genius.

    I dont think many england fans (real ones) really believed that this would be easy, we have seen it all before. As usual anyone I have spoken to has played down our chances. A far cry from the usual traits of Aus and SA supporters (though this time around the Aus fans have been behaving more like England fans used to being downtrodden for the last 20 years!).

    You do realise that the media are not a reflection on the average England fan? It is their job to stoke it up, the Aus media used to excel in doing so! Sky want to sell more subsriptions, so of course this is "the biggest series in the world", just as every sunday premier league game featuring the "big four" is the "game of the decade" or whatever hyperbole they use that week.

    I think aus will go on to win this test, but as long as England show some fight then it will give me some comfort for the next test.

  • Comment number 87.

    Disappointed but not dispirited. Hats off to Siddle but the rest of the Aussie attack was nothing to worry about. Siddle showed the effective bowling length which Anderson & Co will have to copy pretty quickly tomorrow or else.......

  • Comment number 88.

    i do agree with some of the comments, the media hypes enland too much and it puts a lot of pressure on the players, lets be fair they have played well but who have they played that would give them a toucgh test, if they win this series then maybe u can call them worldbeaters but nt because they beat bangladesh and pakistan

  • Comment number 89.

    I remember reading all the euphoric reports of England's dominance in the warm-up matches and thinking that they would be brought down to earth with a bump in the actual test! You can't even begin to think about writing off a team of Australia's calibre and pedigree, although at least it might be fair to say the English team have a better chance of winning this year than in some others (based on form).

    Being English, I wish them the best of luck, but I can't help feeling embarrassed at the lack of praise and recognition for Siddle's efforts on these comments? Sportsmanship anyone? It was his birthday, he'd recovered from possibly career-threatening stress fractures in his spine and he came back and put in a performance like this on home soil! What a fairytale comeback; sadly it was at the English team's cost, but I wouldn't begrudge him a moment of it! Great sporting moment, and hope England can respond in similar fashion! Early days yet.. :)

  • Comment number 90.

    To Glyn

    A bad day for ENGLISH cricket all round. Still tis only the start and we have a way to go. What ever happens please can you use ENGLISH to talk about the ENGLISH media. The ENGLAND media? Come on now. At least have the decency to use the ENGLISH language correctly.

  • Comment number 91.

    Games are played for results, not draws, and it now seems likely that we'll have a result at the Gabba, one that will not please England fans.

    Should the Aussies amass 500 or so runs, England will be staring right down the barrel of a loaded pistol.

    But, a lot can happen. England may very well bowl out their opponents for a paltry score.


    Day two is only about 8 hours away!

  • Comment number 92.

    Setbacks are our friend. setbacks tell us that we can still bleed. That we are still mortal. Above all though, setbacks give us that most precious of show our true spirit.
    It is true that the colonials have made advances today. It is true that in a distant land, 11 brave men (not including 12th man!) must stand & face a baying mob of 40,000. But what is also true, is that these men, ARE ENGLISHMEN!
    They carry the 3 lions & the crown proudly upon their chests.
    They will not run from the fight. They will not allow fear of failure to overtake them. Every minute of every day, they have toiled TO GET TO THIS FIGHT!
    They will regroup & come again at midnight. They will but their bodies on the line to win back lost ground. To win that most prized symbol of honour - the urn.& win it for us....................
    All that they ask is that we stand by them, cocoa in hand & duvet at the ready. That we display the bags under our eyes with pride, & proclaim in one voice - WE WERE THERE!
    So search your souls my fellow countrymen.Do not allow your courage to falter (Papa Shango - it's okay to be afraid, we're all afraid. Its what you do right now that will define you).
    Swanny - you can outthink & outfox any cricketeer, from any country. work your magic tmw & show the world that famous smile.
    Jimmy - You have grown in body & spirit to be a man that England rely on. Repay our trust tmw and youre name will be forever remembered. & Broad - put aside any childish remnants & remeber who you are. You were born to WIN ENGLAND THE ASHES.
    SO COME ON! GET AMONGST THEM!Play with heart & make every one of these Aussies face their own inner test - for i have a feeling one or two might just be found wanting......:-) FOR ENGLAND, HARRY & ST GEORGE!!!!

  • Comment number 93.

    I disagreed with Shane Warne earlier in the month, when he said that England were verging on appearing arrogant. But since then, I have sensed an unhealthy confidence building on the back of all this press hype about our positive build up compared to an Australian team in apparent disarray.
    I also think Strauss appeared overconfident when interviewed on the square before the game and this was clear when, rather than play himself in, he attempted a lavish and unnecessary stroke at that stage of the game.
    While I acknowledge this is only day 1 of a long test series (and I am still relatively optimistic about our chances), I think it is always dangerous to write of the Aussies (Sir Ian Botham, Geoff Boycott et al. were both reiterating this before this test) and I am disappointed that we fell back into this trap.

  • Comment number 94.

    So many ridiculous comments...and so many bandwagons being jumped on. It wasn't a terrible day, it wasn't a good was a day where Siddle stood-up and bowled exceptionally well. If we are going to look at it carefully, Australia weren't the best, their bowling didn't look anything to fear at all. We played each bowler comfortably making a few mistakes. Siddle then produced a spell on his own, like Broad did at the Oval. These things happen in cricket. Why is everyone getting carried away?

    It was never going to be easy. No matter what form, the 2 teams are amazingly evenly matched. The only thing where England stand out is with Swann. If you picked a best 11, each team would probably have 3 batsmen each, a couple of bowlers each and it's much of a muchness with the wks. Australia have home advantage which will play a part but it's the first day of 25 days cricket. We are 1-0 so far but things can easily change. What if one of our bowlers takes a hatrick tomorrow or 2 Aussies who are set run themselves out. There's many more topsy-turvy days left, we will lose a few more and win a few more but as I said a few days ago...the Ashes will probably be decided on which team produces the "special" individual performances the Siddle did yesterday.

    Bring it on...a kick up the backside is maybe what we needed to bring us back to reality. It may even work in our favour!!!

  • Comment number 95.

    England need a hero like this one tomorrow Brisbane Hero: Eddie Paynter

  • Comment number 96.

    So Tom, the first day was an "ominous opening salvo for England". What did you truly expect - England ascendancy? - if so you were/are one of the majority of quick to forgive England supporters who have talked up England's prospects for the series, based on much hype unrelated to playing the Aussies in Australia. I wrote yesterday that everything told me that England, who for years have flattered but to deceive, would come a cropper at the Gabba and lose the series. You may think I'm a hard and bad judge but whatever England have achieved, and Australis may not, before this Series, can be chucked inn the bin. Further,this Aussie side is little diferent from predecessors - maybe lost some big stars but having lived there and followed Test Cricket for over 20 years, any Aussie team will rise more than doublefold to a challenge for the Ashes. And that is what is happening as if it were written in the stars - and it will continue. England will have the odd good patch and maybe win a Test but they will lose the Series for 2 main reasons - 1. They are no true world beaters themselves, and 2. on a man for man basis, and team against team,they are not as fit, determined, experienced, tough, well led and able as the Aussie team. Also, Strauss may look a good leader when all is going well but he is hopelessly adrift and rudderless otherwise. Not so Ponting, and he alone is worth a winning bet on the Aussies for all the reasons we all know only too well, including a merciless will and ability to win. So, bye bye England, and a let down at great expense again for the Supporters. It'll be a terrific series but not for those simply talking up an England win for the fun of it, rather than for good, hard Cricket knowledge and reasons. And all this before Australia have batted in Day 2 - some things seldom change, in particular England in Australia.

  • Comment number 97.

    While headlines all over say Siddle storm blows England away, yes admittedly the 'trick is a bit of a shocker, but this aussie team CHOKES like they did against INDIA in the first test few months ago (124/8 and India gets to 200 odd with laxman with a sore back and last man patting back deliveries), so ENGLAND shouldnt lose hope. Attack . Ball will swing, will rain, will swing, so wickets to be had, and once opening partnership breaks, there isnt much stability. Aussie 325 all out i think

  • Comment number 98.

    Well it could have been worse!

  • Comment number 99.

    Let's all calm down. 260 all out is not 80 all out. It's below par but we're playing a below par batting team. Graeme Swann could make 260 look like 560 tomorrow. Let's not forget England are one wicket from the tail end. This opening stand scored big in England 2 years ago also. It's only day one. And we haven't seen the Aussies bat yet, who are useless right now.

  • Comment number 100.

    This is just funny,
    england have only bowled six overs i think,
    how long did it take siddle to get going?
    im a kiwi so i'm happy to watch, but i reckon anderson will get going sooner rather than later and as for the australian middle order, by stats they are a lot better and i don't really think forms got much to do when it comes to the ashes, what happened last time marcus north played in an ashes series, bagged a lot of runs !
    Even though i hate the aussies ha!, hope they win it simply because of the english media, i should know i work for them!


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