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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007, 08:58 GMT
Honours even, says Aussie coach
Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer line up before the start of play in Sydney
Warne (left), McGrath and Langer are all playing their final Tests
Australia coach John Buchanan felt it was a case of honours even after England ended the first day of the final Ashes Test on 234-4 in Sydney.

"We would have liked one or two more wickets but England played pretty resolutely. It's about even-stevens, I think," said Buchanan.

"We were all scratching our heads at the play and misses but that happens on a wicket that offers a little bit.

"Bell obviously hung around and did a pretty good job for their side."

Australia, who went into the match with a 4-0 lead in the series and chasing only the second whitewash in Ashes history, have a number of big-name players retiring from Test cricket after the match.

Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer are all hanging up their whites and it is also Buchanan's last Test as coach, but he said Australia were remaining focused on the task in hand.

There's no doubt it will turn

Australia coach John Buchanan

"I think they're all holding together pretty well. Each does it in their own way," said Buchanan.

"Alfie's (Langer) showing his feelings a little more I suppose, Glenn's just a bit of a larrikin and Warney's Warney.

"This is his stage and he generally handles those things pretty well.

"There's a reasonable amount of emotion in the dressing room but we're trying to channel that in the right way.

"We've still got a job to do, that's the main thing.

"They're playing for their country, it's a Test match and that's what they're really trying to put their mind to."

Sydney has a reputation as a spinners' wicket and Buchanan has no doubt that it will turn as the match progresses.

"It's a dry wicket, slowish, with little bit of movement for the new ball, but I think obviously the turn will come into the game as it goes along," he said.

"It really depends on the weather too of course. It wasn't too flash this morning and I think the forecast is still not that good, but we'll get plenty of cricket in to get a result.

"There's no doubt it will turn. We've got a quality spinner and it will be interesting to see how (Monty) Panesar performs through the course of the game here."

SEE ALSO
England batsmen make solid start
02 Jan 07 |  England


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