Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting exchanged angry words at the end of a bad-tempered day at The Adelaide Oval as English and Australian tempers frayed on the first day of the Second Ashes Test.
As Strauss and opening partner Alastair Cook walked off after a hugely satisfying day for the tourists, Australia captain Ponting marched over to his opposite number and began remonstrating with him.
Strauss expressed his point of view and the pair separated, but Ponting’s frustration was clear. His side were bowled out for 245 after he had won the toss, and his row with Strauss was not the day’s only flashpoint.
Jimmy Anderson and Brad Haddin argued during the Aussie wicketkeeper’s innings of 56, with Strauss also stepping in to add his opinion. When asked at the close of play, Anderson claimed not to know what Ponting and Strauss had said to each other.
Mike Hussey, who top-scored for Australia with 93, hinted that tension had been bubbling below the surface for most of the day. “I think it started when Brad Haddin was batting, but I’m not sure what was going on,” he said.
Hussey said that England’s opening burst that left Australia two for three after 13 deliveries had left the home team in shock. “It was a pretty good pitch and the England bowlers stuck at their task well, so we’re disappointed in the dressing room tonight.”
Anderson bowled brilliantly for his four for 51. The paceman is due to fly home for the birth of his first child after this Test, before returning for the Third Test in Perth. He said: “There will be a tricky period tomorrow when the ball is new, so hopefully we can get through that and catch up to them.”
Tom Collomosse is the cricket correspondent for the Evening StandardReuse content