'We played Warne very well' - Fletcher
Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, believes the way his batsmen countered Shane Warne at the Gabba will be a big boost for the remainder of the series. Warne went wicketless during nine overs in the first innings, but picked up four victims in the second, including Paul Collingwood and Andrew Flintoff.
"I thought it was quite important we played Shane Warne very well," Fletcher said in the Herald Sun. "We were pretty confident the way we played him there. The only thing is we gave him two soft wickets, and outside of that we played him very, very well and positively, so that was a big positive which came out of there."
Collingwood, who was stumped for 96, was the first of Warne's "soft" dismissals and was quickly followed by Andrew Flintoff's confusing punch to Justin Langer at deep mid-on. Only at The Oval on the past two tours has Warne, who finished with 4 for 124 from 34 overs, given up as many runs in an innings against England. Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen were particularly comfortable in a 153-run stand on day four until Collingwood charged Warne to end his brave resistance.
Despite the 277-run defeat, Fletcher was also pleased with England's work against the fast men in the second innings. "I thought we played the other bowlers pretty confidently as well," he said. England will have another chance to prove themselves in the second Test starting on Friday.