Cricket Expert & Columnist
Ashes 2013/14: England players down and out after Brisbane bullying, says Warne
England are down and out after being bashed into submission in Brisbane, says Shane Warne.
Last Updated: 24/11/13 9:38am
Michael Clarke's side completed an emphatic 381-run victory late on day four of the first Test by bowling the tourists out for just 179.
Paceman Mitchell Johnson, playing his first Test since March, followed up his first innings figures of 4-61 by taking 5-42 with another display of hostile bowling and Warne told Sky Sports that his contribution epitomised Australia's fighting spirit.
"England have beaten up Australia in the last few years - they've been all over them in the last few Ashes series - so it was important for Australia to put down a marker and put a line in the sand and say 'we're here to play and we have to play well to beat you because you are a very good side'.
"The way they've won here has really given England something to think about. It's been like meeting the school bully - they've bashed England up here; they've given them a lot of things to think about and they've intimidated them.
"A lot of England's key players are still down so it's a fantastic win for Australia; they haven't won a Test match for a long time. But it shows a lot of character for them to come out and win like this after being 132-6 on the first day."
Australia had looked in trouble at 132-6 on day one after winning the toss but rallied to score 295 in their first innings before bowling the tourists out for just 136 to establish a match-winning first-innings lead.
Warne said that skipper Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann must take a huge amount of credit for the turnaround after transforming the team - which lost the Ashes 3-0 in England this summer - into a far more settled, consistent outfit.
"Towards the end of the Ashes series you just started to see the guys smile a bit more and I think that was Darren Lehmann's influence," reflected the former Australian leg-spinner.
"He was a guy who liked to have fun - he didn't take playing the game too seriously, he wasn't into massive preparations. It was about enjoying the cricket.
"Now they're not allowed their phones in the room for half-an-hour or 40 minutes afterwards; they have to sit together, stay there and talk about the game.
"So I think his attitude, together with that of Michael Clarke, has been fantastic. If you are a happy cricketer in a happy dressing room, it shows out on the field.
"I don't think you can manufacture team spirit. It has to come from within. You can't force it. A win or two is the icing on the cake and away you go.
"England are a good side and they will bounce back but it was really important for Australia to win; they had to win this Test to be in the contest."
England will now travel to Traeger Park, Alice Springs for a two-day warm-up game against a Chairman's XI, starting on November 29, before attempting to get back on terms in the second Test at Adelaide.
While Warne has no concerns about England's new-ball attack he insisted that coach Andy Flower and skipper Alastair Cook have a number of issues to address, starting with the form of Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott's struggle to play the short ball.
"I think Swann is a bit of an issue," said Warne. "He didn't bowl well here in the last series and he's got 2-215 in this match and a couple of key players are down.
"I don't think it's an issue for the likes of Prior, Swann, Trott of saying 'we've had one bad Test, we'll be alright'. I think there are a few issues that they have to address and ask 'what can we do about this'?
"There was a bit of panic at the top of the order; they need to compose themselves and calm down. Generally they have been pretty good if they have lost a Test, which has been rare in recent times.
"I hope they look after Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad and say 'you don't need to go to Northern Territory, forget about even talking cricket'; go to Adelaide and have a swim on the beach and chill out. We'll prepare the rest of the guys, you guys are fine'.
"England don't need to panic but there are a couple of individuals who need to sort their head and their game out."