The Ashes 2010-11 November 25, 2010

Bell promises England fightback


Ian Bell insists there is no need for England to panic after they were run over by Peter Siddle's career-best haul on the first day at the Gabba. The opening exchanges of Brisbane Tests have been a quadrennial pain for the tourists but Bell said their total of 260 was an improvement on their problems here in 2006-07.

"We're not a million miles away from a par score," Bell said after his bright 76. "We know we're under-par, but it was a slow wicket and a decent day to bowl - it swung all day which was a bit unusual. There are some disappointed guys but it's day one of an Ashes series."

The Gabba has been impenetrable for visiting teams over the past 22 years and on England's last visit they finished the first day with Australia 3 for 346. There was the first-over exit of Andrew Strauss but the side had recovered until Siddle burst through with a hat-trick after tea on the way to 6 for 54.

When asked if it was a time for panic Bell said: "Of course not. This is probably a better first day than we had last time we were here. We're going to come out scrapping tomorrow morning, the guys have had really good preparation and we've played some really good cricket. Obviously it hasn't all gone to plan."

The conditions were helpful for the bowlers throughout and England's seam specialists will enjoy coming back after seven wicket-less overs before stumps. "There's an opportunity for our taller bowlers to hit the pitch tomorrow and if it quickens up a bit we'll be in the game," Bell said.

Siddle caused England's swift slide from 4 for 197 when he terminated Bell and Alastair Cook's 72-run partnership. "To keep them under 300 is going to be a perfect day for us and then being none down is probably the best position we could have been in," Siddle said.

The third-ball departure of Strauss, who hit Ben Hilfenhaus to gully, gave the hosts an early buzz, and Siddle's removal of Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood provided a further spark in the second session. "We knew if we could be a bit more consistent and patient after the lunch break that we could get a few wickets quickly," Siddle said. "We got a couple and it was a long break again before we got the wickets [with Siddle's hat-trick]."

Both teams will monitor the weather closely, with showers predicted for the remaining four days, and hope their bowlers take advantage of the conditions. "Tomorrow morning is going to be the crucial time, we have to work hard in the first hour, see the new ball off," Siddle said. "It's always tough up here early to start"

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    Why did strauss not declare when they reached 200 we all know its enough

  • Nadeem on November 25, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    good cricket. Its going to be tough test for england but who knows. Its hard test cricket and i love it. If australia gets out under 300 , it will be hard for them to play in fourth innings. Lets see. I think australia has 6 to 4 advantage.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    Srinivisan wrote

    "remember that this over hyped england team was almost shot out in SA without even coming close to winning a single test in SA"

    Apart from the one that they did win (in Durban), of course. And which team was leading going into the last test of this *drawn* series?

    England also won the series in SA in 2004. Remind me of the Indian series victories in South Africa. Oh, yeah...

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Go aussies go... Lots have been written bout aussies... But they proved yet again that when aussies play , they play like a champions... Wat an effect..

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    News flash .. England did bat first on winning the toss and they were shot out for 260 .. a below par score these days. What was interesting to me was the way Katich (left hander) played Swann very comfortably. Imagine all the fuss about swann being the first over specialist against left handers ... If Watson and Katich bat for most part of the first session, I see an Aussie lead of at least 100 and it will be difficult to bat Australia out of the match pretty fast, with the ball spinning for the debutant left arm spinner. So all of you poms / aussie bashers, wait for one more day for your rantings, just accept that this is an excellent first day's play between the IV and V ranked teams in the world ... remember that this over hyped england team was almost shot out in SA without even coming close to winning a single test in SA; where as the same Australian team was victorious (2-1).

  • John on November 25, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    News flash for ya Belly. The ball swung all day because it's BRISBANE and the Aussie bowlers stood the seam up straight (for the most part). Interesting to see that the pommy quicks didn't really get much swing. They'll want to improve tomorrow. They won't get conditions more conducive to their style of bowling than those which will be present tomorrow. As Bill Lawry would say, CARN 'STRAYA!!

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    Aussies did good now to get the right left hand bowler into their team. Johnson was the worst bowler in the team, Doug would have done better than Johnson

  • Mahesh on November 25, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    well done job by Bell to reach england to a fighting total.Autrailians are top on the opening day,especially Peter Siddle and the debutant Doherthy.May be the first test will end in a result.Swann -the terrific spinner has to watch for the remaining days.

  • Mark on November 25, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    Day 1 of a series with Australia 235 behind on first innings and already we know that it is going to be 5-0? That's an impressive effort. Maybe we should discuss this again after the first innings lead is decided, or at the close tomorrow. Not everyone will be amazed if Australia are not sitting quite so pretty this time tomorrow.

  • Pat on November 25, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    Strauss's failure is reminiscent of Harmisons botched effort bowling a massive wide at the commencement of England's last tragic campaign in Aus with the barmy army singing along - well the tickets are not refundable. I hope that the revamped England/SA fares better for our long hot summer.

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