CARDIFF: England captain Alastair Cook said his new-look team had proved they “could compete with Australia” after they wrapped up a convincing win in the first Ashes Test with more than a day to spare.
Saturday’s 169-run success in Cardiff saw Cook’s men go 1-0 up in the five-match series and was an ideal way for England to mark their first match under new coach Trevor Bayliss.
Australia, set what would have been an Ashes record winning total of 412, were dismissed for 242 just over an hour after tea on the fourth day.
England paceman Stuart Broad produced the latest of several decisive Ashes hauls in taking 3-39 on Saturday after man-of-the-match Joe Root had got the hosts going with 134 in a first-innings total of 430.
Cook could scarcely have wished for a better effort than the one England produced in Cardiff. “It’s really important for this group of players to show that we can compete with Australia,” he said.
Although it is 14 years since Australia won an Ashes series in Britain, there had been speculation they would have a mental edge over England following a 5-0 whitewashing of Cook’s side in 2013-14.
However, England’s team in Cardiff featured four Ashes debutants in opener Adam Lyth, wicket-keeper Jos Buttler, off-spinner Moeen Ali and fast-bowler Mark Wood.
“It [the win] shows that if we do the basics well and play with the right kind of attitude we can put Australia under pressure,” said Cook, England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer. Meanwhile, England named an unchanged 13-man squad on Sunday for the second Ashes Test which starts at Lord’s on Thursday.
Beaten Clarke seeks solace in World Cup example
Australia captain Michael Clarke said the way his side bounced back at the World Cup after their defeat against New Zealand should encourage them following a crushing loss in the first Ashes Test.
“We have been outplayed,” said Clarke. “We’ve got to be better. Losing to New Zealand in the World Cup gave us a bit of a kick up the backside, and [the team] will probably see this game very similarly.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.
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