The Ashes has kickstarted and the Australians mean business. Clinical bowling display on Day 1 meant that have a huge lead over their counterparts, and with the veteran duo – Broad and Anderson – not playing the test, it won’t be wrong to bet that Australia look too solid to be defeated here at Gabba.
One of the key contributors to their team’s 147 total, Ollie Pope, accepted that there was “frustration” at England being bowled out for low score but defended Joe Root’s decision to bat first at Gabba.
We’ll keep our spirits high and fight harder tomorrow – Pope
“I wouldn’t look too much at the toss. We just had to execute in the first couple of hours of the game. We had the quality in the side to score the runs we needed,” Pope said. “We’ll keep fighting and we have to see both sides bat on this wicket. We don’t know how it’s going to react tomorrow and we’ll come back stronger.
“It wasn’t the end result we wanted. We’re not going to get too down about it but it’s a disappointing start. There’s frustration that we haven’t been able to put on that big score we wanted but the pitch did offer a fair bit, especially for seam. It’s a long tour and a long series. We’ll keep the spirits high and come back fighting tomorrow.”
Burns’ wicket didn’t create panic, but of course wasn’t an ideal start – Pope
Perhaps the most happening among all the starts of all the Ashes series ever played was today’s first ball wicket. Burns lost his stump to an inswinging fullish ball by Starc, although Burns shuffling too much was perhaps the main cause of that wicket.
“I wouldn’t say it (Burns’ wicket) created panic at all because you have to stay calm but it wasn’t the ideal start,” Pope said. “It was always going to nip around a bit early doors and with the extra bounce it created edges. But if we had managed to get through that first two hours one-down for example, we could have made the most of the softer ball and a slower pitch today.”
I like to keep the scoreboard ticking, bat with intent – Pope
Pope and Butler’s partnership kept England’s hope alive and saved them from an embarrassing scorecard, with Pope contributing 35 and staying for a much longer time at the crease.
“I like to come with a lot of intent and want to move the scoreboard along, especially if the ball is in my area. I think a situation like that leant itself to that too. You need to get your runs on the board. The ball got a bit softer and the seam wasn’t quite as pronounced,” Pope said. “Jos came in and played nicely and it’s just frustrating neither of us could go on and get a bigger score.”