NOTTINGHAM: Defiant Australia captain Michael Clarke insisted the tourists were here to compete after taking England to the wire before losing the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge by just 14 runs.
England, who set Australia a ground record 311 to win, looked to be in total command as Clarke’s men collapsed to 231 for nine in the face of some superb swing-bowling from spearhead seamer James Anderson.
But a last-wicket partnership of 65 between Brad Haddin (71) and James Pattinson (25 not out) almost produced one more twist in a thrilling Test full of fluctuating fortunes, until Anderson had Haddin caught behind.
Victory saw Ashes-holders England go 1-0 up in this five-match series ahead of Thursday’s second Test at Lord’s but Clarke said Australia’s gutsy display in Nottingham was proof of their determination to regain the urn.
“I think we’ve probably proved to a few people that we’re here to compete — there’s no doubt about it,” said Clarke.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t get over the line and I said [on Saturday] I still thought we could win the Test match. But I hope we’ve earned a bit of respect by the way we’ve played.
“Our team is going to give our all every single time we take the field. We’re here to win this series.”
Meanwhile, Australia coach Darren Lehmann has told his top order batsmen to up their game in time for the second Test.
“Our tail has done really well over a period of time now but it’s time for the batsmen to make sure they’re making the runs,” said Lehmann.
“We’ve got to be batting for 120 overs plus in the first-innings of a game and making our runs there.”
Anderson prepared for Ashes challenge
On the other hand, England fast-bowler James Anderson insisted he was prepared for more hard work in pursuit of Ashes glory.
“I had the nerves going a little bit but I love bowling here,” said Anderson, who has now taken 49 wickets in seven Trent Bridge Tests. “It’s been good to me over the years and I’m happy that I could pick up some more wickets.
“If I’m bowling 13-over spells it’s going to be difficult! But it’s Ashes cricket...That’s why we work hard in the gym — to get out there and bowl long spells.”
Meanwhile, England named an unchanged 13-man squad for the second Test.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.
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