Eng v Aus, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day July 11, 2013

A portent of a possibly brutish Ashes

ESPNcricinfo staff
If the first day's play is any indication, this Ashes could be short and brutal for batsmen

If the first day of the Ashes set the tone for the rest of the series, this one will be remembered as much for the skittish attitude of both teams, as for Australia's deficiency in the batting order. It's a view that Greg Baum, writing in the Age, and former England captain Nasser Hussain, in his column for the Daily Mail, share. Baum, in particular, believes the poor batting, especially by Australia had a lot to do with temperament.

Conditioned by short forms more like T-ball, contemporary batsmen are not technically or temperamentally suited to toughing it out on days like this. The pitch was challenging, but not the ogre they made it look. It is not a new theory, but it [is] every year more apparent."

For Paul Hayward in the Telegraph, and the nerves on both sides are likely to show through.

Modern sports stars pretend to know how to objectify hype - to block it out - but few can say they have really mastered the art. The more they say "we have to treat it as just another Test match" the more the other side of the brain is gripped by panic.

While the Test saw seven Ashes debuts on both sides, it was the experience of James Anderson and Peter Siddle that impressed the most. Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail calls Siddle a 'classic Aussie dark horse', while Malcolm Knox, in a column for the Sydney Morning Herald, analyses why Siddle and Anderson found success on the first day.

What Siddle had discovered was the humble off stump half-volley. On this wicket, a few full balls might have gone for four, but the others bent in the thick air or nipped off the crusty wicket. Anything pitched within a step of the batsman's crease was a chance. Loose technique and concentration at the other end would do the rest. Only Siddle, among the Australian pacemen, had the wit to realise this and the control over his nerves to execute it.

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