Aussies to remain 'aggressive'

Australia's openers Cameron Bancroft (left, 82 not out) and David Warner (87 not out) after making short work of England in a 10-wicket first Ashes Test win in Brisbane yesterday.
Australia's openers Cameron Bancroft (left, 82 not out) and David Warner (87 not out) after making short work of England in a 10-wicket first Ashes Test win in Brisbane yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Hosts vow no let-up as they take 1-0 lead in Ashes series with 10-wicket victory

BRISBANE • England can look forward to further "aggressive" cricket in the second Test in Adelaide, Australian captain Steve Smith said, after his team found their mean streak to rout the tourists by 10 wickets at the Gabba yesterday.

Australia were matched by England for three days, with the unusually slow Gabba pitch blunting their bowlers' pace and their batsmen struggling in the first innings barring a magnificent, unbeaten 141 by the skipper.

The hosts hit back on day four, however, as their pacemen grabbed seven wickets in a furious short-pitched assault to skittle England for 195.

Openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft then mowed down 170 for victory before lunch on day five yesterday to give Australia a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

"Really pleased with the way we played this Test match. It's great to go up 1-0 in this Ashes series," said Smith, who won the Man-of-the-Match award.

"We're going to continue to play the same way we have, nice and aggressively.

"We've played some really good cricket. We had to fight after the first couple of days to get the result we're after.

AUSTRALIA'S GABBA-DABBA-DOO MOMENT

We had to fight after the first couple of days to get the result... No doubt there will continue to be some good, hard, aggressive cricket throughout the series.''

STEVE SMITH, Australian captain, on the Gabba victory.

"No doubt there will continue to be some good, hard, aggressive cricket throughout the series."

A small media storm was generated by revelations about England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow's "headbutt" greeting of Bancroft at a bar in Perth in the lead-up to the series, an incident both teams played down.

Smith revealed his team had used the incident as ammunition to throw Bairstow off his game when he was batting in the second innings and believed the tactic had worked when the wicketkeeper, on 42, hit straight to third man for a soft dismissal.

The incident proved to be a distraction to the England camp, with their coach Trevor Bayliss saying staff would meet with players to potentially discuss tighter curfews.

Adelaide Oval on Saturday will offer a completely different challenge for both teams, with the pink ball likely to move far more in the first day-night Ashes Test than the white ball at the Gabba.

England's veteran pacemen Stuart Broad and James Anderson may be best placed to exploit the conditions but Smith was also excited about what his pacemen might do under lights.

"The Adelaide wicket might bring some of their bowlers into the game a little bit but having said that, it's probably one of the quickest wickets in the country at night," he said. "We saw how effective our bowlers could be when this wicket quickened up a little bit, so it's exciting."

England captain Joe Root has urged his players to keep backing themselves as they head into the crucial second Test.

"We've got to keep believing and trusting the work we've been doing," he said.

"For three days, we played some excellent cricket. Unfortunately, when we got into good positions, we didn't quite capitalise on it."

Bayliss was confident the tourists would bounce back. "Adelaide? I don't think there will be any problem at all," he said.

"Unfortunately, we've been in this situation before over the last few years where we've put in a bad performance but we were able to come back from it."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2017, with the headline 'Aussies to remain 'aggressive''. Print Edition | Subscribe