England bowlers bungle Ashes audition as Aussies make hay
Giant trio of Tremlett, Rankin and Finn take one wicket for 245 runs as tour starts badly
ENGLAND'S plan to strike terror into the hearts of Australia's batsmen by unleashing a pack of giant fast bowlers on them during this winter's Ashes series got off to a bad start on the first day of the tour Down Under.
At the end of the day one at the Waca in Perth, usually a paradise for fast bowlers, Western Australia were 369-4 and between them Chris Tremlett, Boyd Rankin and Steven Finn had bowled 53 overs at a cost of 245 runs and taken just one wicket.
The three bowlers, who all stand 6ft 7in tall, are fighting for a single place alongside James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the Test side, but toiled on an unusually slow pitch as the home batsmen made hay.
"Tremlett was innocuous with the new ball... [and] Rankin was wretched," reports The Guardian. "Finn, whose introduction was delayed until the 16th over, started a little more steadily, but was pulled for three consecutive boundaries by Luke Towers."
It was a "chastening" start to the campaign, says Derek Pringle in the Daily Telegraph. "England were intent on a show of strength. But instead of spreading fear they were cut and carved around the oval, their giant steps towards retaining the Ashes stumbling against a makeshift side of second-stringers."
The Western Australia XI was "cobbled together from those not considered good enough for their Sheffield Shield team", explains the Daily Mail. Yet they "flogged England to all parts of the Waca".
It was, says the Mail, a "sorry showing", as the three big men all went for more than 4.5 per over. Rankin was the only one to take a wicket, dismissing Chris Lynn for 104. All-rounder Ben Stokes also fared badly, and was spanked for 56 runs off ten overs despite picking up the wicket of Mitchell Marsh, son of Aussie opener, Geoff.
It may be too early to come to conclusions about England's chances, even if Ricky Ponting has already written them off, but there was a note of glee in the Australian media's reaction to the day's events.
"England meant business from the word go when they landed in Australia three years ago but the class of 2013 are taking a more leisurely start to this mission, judging by their inauspicious start to the tour on Thursday," sniffed the Sydney Morning Herald, which described Tremlett, Rankin and Finn's efforts with the ball as "bumbling". ·