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

Australian cricketer castigates Trott’s approach at the crease

Brisbane

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.”

News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence