Ashes 2013-14: I see fear in eyes of England’s batsmen, claims David Warner

Australian cricketer castigates Trott’s approach at the crease


David Warner, Australia’s most controversial cricketer, offered an astonishing assessment of England’s batting prowess as they struggled to save the First Test in Brisbane this morning. Warner suggested that Alastair Cook’s side, who resumed today on 24 for 2 chasing 561, were frightened of Australia’s fast bowlers – an incendiary claim which could set the tone for the Ashes series and will ensure that cordial relations cease.

He was particularly scathing about the tourists’ No 3 batsman, Jonathan Trott, who was out cheaply for the second time in the match to Mitchell Johnson but has a Test average of nearly 50.

“Our bowlers are bowling fast at the moment,” Warner said. “England are on the back foot. It does look like they have scared eyes, and the way Trotty got out was pretty poor and weak. Obviously there is a weakness there and we are on top of it.”

It is almost unprecedented for a professional sportsman to speak of a rival in such terms. In effect, Warner was accusing England’s batsmen of being cowards and castigated Trott’s approach at the crease. “He has also got to get new sledges as well, because they are not working for him at the moment,” Warner said. “He has worked hard in the nets on the short ball. When trying to face a 150kph short ball from Mitchell Johnson, the way to go is not back away.”

In the modern sporting world of anodyne sound-bites, this is not how the practitioners tend to enunciate their sentiments. The usual philosophy is to suggest they are too busy concentrating on their own game.

Perhaps only Warner would have provided such a response, and he had a point. Poor Trott ooked hapless as Johnson bowled short to him at over 90mph, and might have been out twice before he limply pulled another bouncer in the air to be caught.

There is no doubt that Australia have declared a bouncer war and that England are losing it. They cannot reply in kind on the field since they do not possess the pace, but will be aghast at Warner’s harsh analysis.

He was the man who punched Joe Root in a Birmingham bar last summer, but last night at The Gabba, having already scored a brutal 124, he delivered a verbal punch which was much more crushing.

Trott is fighting for his international career after buckling for the second time in the match. He swished at one bouncer, mishooked another into no-man’s-land and finally pulled another tamely in the air to backward square leg. It was a depressing dismissal because it was so predictable.

England have to decide quickly whether to withdraw Trott from the line of fire. They almost certainly will not, partly because of his splendid record, partly because the pitch at Adelaide for the Second Test seems certain to be much less lively. But Warner was right; there is a weakness, though the England dressing-room must be tactful in addressing it. Jimmy Anderson, who toiled away manfully, perhaps wishing he had Johnson’s sheer pace, said: “It is something [Trott] is well aware of. He has worked really hard at it since he came over here. A guy like that does not average 50 in Test cricket because he can’t play the short ball. We know he can.”

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits