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.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Arts and Entertainment
(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
TV First US networks like HBO shook up drama - now it's comedy's turn
Travel
Pool with a view: the mMarina Bay Sands in Singapore
travel From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
News
The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
News
Nigel Farage: 'I don't know anybody in politics as poor as we are'
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect