Australia's jubilant newspapers predicted Michael Vaughan would be undermined and become Glenn McGrath's "bunny" during the Ashes. Celebrating Australia's crushing 239-run victory in the first Test, the Daily Telegraph pronounced "Battered British on the brink of crisis".
"McGrath vows to torment Vaughan," was The Australian's headline. "Australia's plan to further destabilise England in the Ashes series will centre on Vaughan and his inability to counter the world champions' premier paceman Glenn McGrath," the paper said.
The Sydney Morning Herald also focused on the battle. "Of all the familiar frailties exposed by Australia in the first Test, the sight of an England captain under pressure provoked the most powerful sense of deja vu," it said. "Ricky Ponting and Glenn McGrath knew it. They said they would target Vaughan relentlessly throughout the Ashes as he becomes the latest in a long line of England skippers to confront a personal form crisis while searching for a way to drag his team back."
Under the headline "The captain's curse", the Daily Telegraph listed a string of skippers demoralised by Australia. They included three England captains - Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart - whose careers never recovered from thrashings by Australia.
"Ponting has turned a searing spotlight on faltering England captain Vaughan by announcing Australia's intention to make him McGrath's next bunny," the Sydney-based paper said. McGrath has dismissed Vaughan five times in six Tests and bowled him for three in the first innings. At Lords he delivered 21 balls to Vaughan in two innings for one run.
"I don't think he likes facing Glenn to tell the truth," Ponting said after the match. "You'll see McGrath bowling to Vaughan a lot more."