Blogs & Opinion


Ashes 2013: First day nerves account for wicket flurry, says Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss - Andrew Strauss Posted 10th July 2013 view comments

England and Australia fell foul of Ashes nerves on the opening day of the first Test at Trent Bridge, Andrew Strauss told Sky Sports.

England won the toss and opted to bat under cloudy skies but a combination of poor shot selections and inspired bowling from Peter Siddle (5-50) saw the hosts post a below-par 215.

'Jaffa': Anderson celebrates the wicket of Michael Clarke

'Jaffa': Anderson celebrates the wicket of Michael Clarke

However, James Anderson and Steven Finn struck back late in the day to leave Australia wobbling on 75-4 at stumps, 140 behind.

Read our match report here.

After seeing 14 wickets fall in the day Strauss, who captained England to Ashes glory in the last two series between the sides, said: "The obvious explanation is nerves.

There were some loose shots, I don't think anybody can deny that, but they were from both sides.

Andrew Strauss
Quotes of the week

"[There's been] huge build-up, huge attention and the players had a lot of adrenaline going through their body.

"There were some loose shots, I don't think anybody can deny that, but they were from both sides."

Despite Australia profiting with a swinging ball during England's disappointing knock, Strauss backed Alastair Cook's decision to bat first and insisted the dry wicket in Nottingham would favour the side batting last.

"You can't make a decision at the toss for the first day of the game - you have to think of all five days," said Strauss.

"We don't know how this wicket is going to deteriorate but everything suggests, with those cracks, it is going to get up and down at the back end and the spinners are going to come into it.

"England knew they had to fight hard this morning - it was always going to be a tough day for the England opening batsmen - and at lunch they'd done a lot of the hard work. At 98-2 they had a platform to go on this afternoon.

"In some ways it was quite surprising in the middle session Australia dominated as much as they did."

Jaffa

However, while poor shots, nerves and good fortune may have accounted for many of the wickets which fell on day one, Strauss heaped praise on Anderson for his dismissal of Michael Clarke.

The Australia captain, whose batting ability is a major strength of the tourists, was bowled for 0 by a fine delivery from the seamer and the wicket moved Anderson onto 308 Test scalps, one more than Fred Trueman and into third spot on the all-time list of England wicket-takers.

"It's one of the big battles of this Ashes series: Anderson against Clarke, because he is their number one player - but that was an absolute jaffa," said Strauss.

"It doesn't matter who you are, how good you are, you're not going to play too many of those.

"Jimmy got him out in Adelaide and a couple of other times, I think. He lures Clarke into trying to drive at him and for Jimmy, being a swing bowler, that's a fantastic thing to get Clarke to do.

"That ball was an absolute beauty. You can't think of his technique or anything, it was a great delivery."

Watch day two of the first Ashes Test live on Sky Sports Ashes HD from 10am on Thursday and follow the action with the Ashes Events Centre, available through the Sky Sports App.

back to top

Other Cricket Experts:

Latest Posts in Cricket:

Latest News RSS feeds

Names in the frame

We look at the five men in the frame to replace Andy Flower as England boss on a full-time basis.

Colly: England future bright

Paul Collingwood believes whoever takes charge of the England team will have a promising squad at his disposal.

Div One: Joyce inspires Sussex

An unbeaten 151 from Ed Joyce steered Sussex to a seven-wicket victory over Warwickshire and Middlesex saw off Notts.

Div Two: Essex win, Hants top

Essex saw off Derbyshire's tail to secure victory, while Hampshire and Worcestershire also claimed wins.

Kolkata land opening win

Mumbai Indians' IPL title defence started in defeat as Kolkata Knight Riders cruised to a 41-run win in Abu Dhabi.

Features

Next England cricket coach: We look at the five contenders to replace Andy Flower

Next England cricket coach: We look at the five contenders to replace Andy Flower

With interviews already under way for the vacant England coaching position, we look at the five men in the frame to replace Andy Flower on a full-time basis.

Indian Premier League 7: We preview the eight teams competing at this year's tournament

Indian Premier League 7: We preview the eight teams competing at this year's tournament

It only seems like yesterday that Brendon McCullum lit up the inaugural Indian Premier League with 158 off 73 balls. It wasn't, it was six years ago!

Live cricket on Sky

Live cricket on Sky

Sky Sports will feature every county live during a new look domestic season as part of an unrivalled summer of cricket.