Ashes 2013-14: 'Mitchell Johnson was one of the quickest I've faced,' says Michael Carberry

Batsman top scored for England in their first innings at the Gabba with 40


Intervals are important in cricket. They supply respite, an opportunity to gather thoughts, to regroup. Australia went in to what they describe as the rooms on the second day of the First Test, not long after England had started batting, and offered stern advice to their bowlers.

Brad Haddin, the wicketkeeper who had salvaged their innings with the bat, said this had formed three words: “Pitch it up.” Haddin, like wicketkeepers generally, is obviously a man with a deep sense of irony.

Australia did not destroy the tourists by pitching it up. They did it by unfurling the bouncer – fast, accurate, savage in intent and intensity. If it was interspersed with offerings of a fuller length they were mere morsels for England, probably designed to lull them into a false sense of security they cannot have felt.

Michael Carberry, playing his second Test, was England’s top scorer with 40. He looked as if he was going on to something much more substantial only to be tied down by the accuracy of the off spinner Nathan Lyon, against whom he played three consecutive maidens as the ball spat out of footholes. He was then undone by Mitchell Johnson whose 4 for 61 did not reflect the penetration and pace he summoned. Johnson had England jumping.

“It’s always hard starting out against a bowling unit that has its tail up, which was the case for some of the guys who came in before tea,” said Carberry. “Australia had good plans. Early on you can be vulnerable, and we weren’t quite good enough.

“Mitchell Johnson is a world-class performer. Definitely in terms of pace he’s up there with some of the quickest I’ve faced. More importantly, he put the ball in the right areas. That’s tough for anyone. But we knew what he was going to bring. We weren’t up to it today, but I’m confident we can prove ourselves.”

England claim they knew what to expect, that had worked in the nets to repel short pitched bowling because they knew they could expect that at Brisbane and Perth – and maybe all points north, east and south from now on. Two left-arm fast bowlers from England, Tymal Mills and Henry Gurney have been accompanying them around Australia, to help them become accustomed. It could be fairly reported that they were not entirely successful in their mission.

Mitchell Johnson celebrates the wicket of Michael Carberry Mitchell Johnson celebrates the wicket of Michael Carberry “Struggling’s a bit strong,” said Carberry, resisting the suggestion that this was what England despite losing six wickets for nine runs. “Any batsmen, whether it’s in first-class cricket or Test cricket, the first couple of balls are the toughest phase of an innings.

“If there are some good balls flying around, unfortunately sometimes if it’s not your day, your name’s on it. These guys are proven world-class performers. You don’t become bad players overnight. It was just a bad session, which can happen to any team but I’m positive we’ll come back strong.”

For most of his innings, Carberry looked like a Test batsman. The end was undistinguished as he became tied down as he failed to score from his last 25 balls but he had an appetite for the fight.

“I loved the thrill,” he said. “It was great to get involved. I loved being out there in the battle. The Australian bowlers came hard at us, but it’s where you want to be as a cricketer.

“I wouldn’t say there was too much verbal out there. I didn’t come here expecting the Aussies to be shaking my hand. Our preparation has been spot on.” Just not quite spot on enough.

Suggested Topics
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform