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  Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 09:32 GMT
All hail to our bowling superstars

As I have said before, any team in the world will struggle to come to terms with us if we play with maximum intensity.

On Sunday, England succumbed to the awesome pressure applied by Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne in the same way that many other teams have done.

So vicious was the attack on the England batsmen that Andy Bichel wasn't required to bowl a ball as we wrapped up the first Test in just twenty-eight overs.

Amazingly, Steve Waugh predicted to me early in the morning that he felt we could win the game by the end of that day.

The Aussie slip cordon
Aussie pressure can be too much to bear

The cracks were widening in the Gabba pitch and our bowlers were bowling as well as anyone could imagine.

Waugh correctly felt we could gather enough momentum early to enable us to engulf the England batting order like flames destroying dry grass.

While the cracks played little part in the physical contest, psychologically they can disturb the clear thought process required from a batsman.

The doubt generated by such a playing surface coupled with the fierce, relentless application of world-class bowling was the catalyst behind our very satisfying victory.

The game was set up by my opening partner Matty Hayden who is batting with the confidence and dominance of the greatest of batsmen.

Glenn McGrath
McGrath just did what he does best

Having scored nine Test centuries in his last 13 Tests it is little wonder that Waugh described his feats in the last two years as reminiscent of the great Sir Donald Bradman.

Scoring two centuries in a match is physically and psychologically an incredible feat of endurance, skill and determination.

Ricky Ponting's century in the first innings must also have demoralised the England bowling attack as he plundered the ball to every part of the beautiful Gabba arena.

After winning the toss and putting us into bat, Nasser Hussain must have had a sleepless night after day one.

While much has been written about Nasser's decision to bowl first, the fact is that regardless of the toss of the coin you have to play well despite the conditions.

Matty Hayden
Superstar Hayden meets the fans

Fortunately we were able to do this from ball one, allowing us to gain an early initiative before taking control of the match - despite being outplayed on day two.

From England's viewpoint they will take some confidence from the way they fought in the first innings with the bat and from the excellent bowling of Andy Caddick.

Unfortunately the downside of the last five days could weigh more heavily than the up.

The horrific injury to Simon Jones was a sickening blow to the strong, talented young Welshman and I am sure he will be missed by his team-mates.

Darren Gough's departure after losing his battle with his injured knee is the end of an unusual saga that always looked to be headed for doom.

Both these absentees are a blow to the series as they are players who can ignite enthusiasm with their style of play.

Winning the first Test of the series is always important. We expect England to fight back next week in Adelaide.

The problem is that we believe we can still improve and we will be working to get stronger and stronger.

All the news ahead of the 2002/03 Ashes tour

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