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Saturday, 9 November, 2002, 08:18 GMT
Can England bounce back?
England lost the first Ashes Test in humiliating fashion as they were bowled out for 79 to give Australia a 384-run winning margin.

But can the tourists bounce back from such a crushing defeat?


This debate is now closed.


After a torrid start to The Ashes, an inspired fightback on day two gave England a glimmer of hope in the first Test.

But the Australians soon shut the door and after declaring on 296-5 in their second innings, they bowled out England for just 79 runs, the visitors' lowest-ever total at Brisbane.

Nasser Hussain admitted that he made a mistake in putting the opposition in to bat on the first day but the captain could do little about Australia's all-round dominance over the four days.

What chance do England have of bouncing back?


We were rubbish. We were outclassed. 79 all out says it all. The only way we could win is if Hayden suddenly becomes English!!
Peter Bone, England

Let's get this into perspective. The current Australian team must be the best in the history of Test cricket. They have no weaknesses as both their batting and bowling line-ups are world-class. Look what they recently did to South Africa, the second best team in the world, both home and away.

England have the basis for a good long-term Test team. The right captain (one or two bad decisions does not make a bad decision, ask Alan Border he made plenty when he was rebuilding the Australian team in the 80s), the coach is good, and we have good young players.


There was never any doubt that such a class outfit would crush a weak side like England
Andrew, England

I am not saying England can win back the Ashes on this occasion but they are moving in the right direction and are possibly the third best Test team in the world. It will be interesting to see them in action against South Africa.
Paul O'Neill, England

England will not bounce back at all. This series will be a total reflection of the superiority the Australians have over England and world cricket. With no visible weaknesses their team will not have to get out of third gear to secure a 5-0 series win.
Simon Wood, England

First off, well done Australia. There was never any doubt that such a class outfit would so easily crush a weak side like England. Whatever is said I am more inclined to give great credit to Australia, rather than simply damning England.

However, I've yet to find anyone here in England who really cares what happens, as cricket has become a niche sport in this country. So keep poking fun of our cricket team Aussies and enjoy your glory - we're not bothered. It's only you guys who really care.
Andrew, England

I couldn't understand why, with two left-handers batting, Hussain didn't give Vaughan a bowl. He was good enough to get Tendulkar out last summer, and Australia succumbed to Harbajhan Singh in India. Surely with our other bowlers being treated with disdain it was worth taking a chance rather than continuing without any change?
Bill Edmunds, England


This is one match out of five versus the world champions - let's get things in perspective!
Mike, UK

It's very worrying reading some of the comments here. It seems to me that everybody believed England could come back with the Ashes because in recent years (except against the Australians) England have performed well. One bad Test match does not suddenly make England a bad team.

This Australian team are the best team I have seen in my life time, and that includes the West Indies in the Mid 80's. In the last eight home Test series they have only lost one Test match, and that was against England last time out.

I believe England can compete, and I also believe the future of English Cricket is an as good a state as the Australians.
Phil, UK

We're either the best team in the world or the worst team in the world. This is one match out of five versus the world champions - let's get things in perspective!
Mike, UK

The best batsman we have is Graham Thorpe, and he should be asked to play in the next Test. As for Nasser, I'm disappointed. He should resign, as this isn't the first mistake he's made. Trescothick should be captain.
Maggi, UK

It's bad real bad day for England to be dismissed for a mere 70-odd runs, but we have to accept the fact that Australia are becoming stronger and stronger and making a habit of removing the opposition for less than 100.

I hope England will bounce back and spring up some surprises. We have to remember that they are plagued by injuries, whereas Australia are fitter than ever.
RK, India


To not put up a fight is humiliating and insulting to our fans!
Neil, England

Australian cricketers go to England looking forward to playing on green fields in quaint stadiums; Englishmen walk out onto Australian pitches like doomed slaves entering the Coliseum.
Geoff Gates, Germany

England's cricketers are a joke. As an ex-patriot living in Australia we have to endure weeks of derision because of these so-called professionals.

All concerned with the England outfit should be paid purely by results, say 1 per run to be shared amongst them all. They might as well return home now as we are confident that they will only go on to prove their inability to play cricket at the highest level.
Ian Mason, Australia

For England, a reasonable goal to set for the four remaining Tests is to carry the match into the fifth day. Anything more than that is pure fantasy, I'm afraid.
David, Canada

I just want to say that our team owes its fans that stayed up in the wee small hours to watch or listen to that pathetic performance in the last four days a great apology!

I realise that England are almost totally devoid of world-class performers, apart from the opening pair of Trescothick and possibly Vaughan. However, to not put up a fight is humiliating and insulting to our fans!

It is also insulting to the opposition who want England to at least show some fighting spirit! ECB please chop the whole team for the next Test series and give some youngsters a chance! In 1987 Australia did this and lost badly for a while but ended up with the best side in the world!

Forget Crawley, Stewart, Ramprakash and Caddick, they have had their chance, there must be player in the county game who can produce more than this rubbish! England Cricket RIP!
Neil, England

To call the first Test match a disgrace is remarkably unfair to England. They were outplayed, yes, and 79 all out is rather woeful, but they had some horrendous luck.


You have to give credit to the Australians for the ruthlessness of their play
Ian, Perth, Australia

Losing Jones (who could have been very dangerous) on the first day without being able to replace him properly made a big difference, while Vaughan was wrongly given out in each innings. And Alec Stewart's dismissals both had large elements of luck to them.

You have to give credit to the Australians for the ruthlessness of their play, although I feel that they stretch the bounds of what is fair far too much.

When Hussain was given not out in the second innings the "snick" they mentioned resembled someone clicking their fingers more than a genuine edge. I've heard of this before and frankly, it wouldn't surprise me.
Ian, Perth, Australia

No matter what is said before a Test or series when it comes to the crunch, there are too many England players who are intimidated be it by bat or ball.
Charles Horton, England

79 is a pathetic second innings total. It is really not good enough - the guys let themselves and the fans down.
Thomas Brown, UK


We can't bowl, only a couple can call themselves batsman, and as for Captain Marvel...words fail me
Ian Gurney, Saudi Arabia

The decision to put Australia in was ridiculous but the collapse and the unforgivable sin of giving their wickets away in some cases shows a poor mentality. Of course Australia are good and England may need luck and good umpiring decisions but a fighting mentality is a must to regain some pride.
R. Reid, Netherlands

The result of the other four Tests can be found out by looking at the five day weather forecast on the first day of each Test. Unless there is at least two days of rain envisaged assume an Aussie win !
Luke, England

A complete whitewash is my prediction. We can't bowl, only a couple can call themselves batsman, and as for Captain Marvel...words fail me. Also, can anyone tell me why Gough was taken on tour?

It's a complete shambles, and maybe we should just give the Ashes permanently to Australia - at least then we'd avoid any further embarrassing attempts to regain them.
Ian Gurney, Saudi Arabia

I've been watching international cricket for 20 years and I can safely say, without too much fear of contradiction, that, even by our standards, this is the worst English squad of all time.

Yes we have our injury problems, but that's no excuse for that appalling performance my England.

English cricket itself is in a terrible state itself and in its current state I can't even get my 12-year-old son to enjoy the game. He'd rather watch rugby!

There is no one gifted in this England side, they're all slightly below average and at international level that incompetence is going to get severely punished. Please do something now, before English cricket loses its fan base altogether.
Paul, England


I would be satisfied if we can at least show the Aussies a bit of fight
Vicki Causer, England

Let's face it; our cricket is in its worst state ever! The only way we are going to improve as an international side is to invest in our grass roots cricket.

The Aussies have proved by their Institute of Sport that investment pays off and that giving youth a chance by blooding them gently does work. Give Dawson a chance to prove himself, lets face it he's got more bottle than most and never gives less than 100%.
Beef, England

Hussain's decision to insert Australia on that pitch ranks alongside Neville Chamberlains' 'Peace in our time' declaration as one of the worst in our nations history.
Matt Mersyside, England

England can bounce back. We saw England win the series against a strong South African side in 1998 after going behind.

It is definitely going to be difficult for England to win the series, but I would be satisfied if we can at least show the Aussies a bit of fight and challenge them.

At this stage I do not think England can win back the Ashes, but I hope the lads can prove me very wrong.
Vicki Causer, England - and still proud

I've tried to write this several times and cannot come up the words that adequately express how embarrassed I feel for being a Pom Down-Under. I'm sure they could have at least batted until lunch on the final day. There was just no effort in the batting performance.
Phil Kenderdine, Australia


We always seem to be chasing the Aussies but never in front of them
Tom Palmer, England

England will bounce back, emphatically. Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff will come into the side and inject some energy into the team. We need Vaughan and Trescothick to perform, plus one other batsmen (if only we had Thorpe). England will bounce back and win the series 4-1, no really...
Owen Hopkins, UK

To blame external forces is daft. It is up to selectors to pick the best team and for the players who play to be proud they play for national team and give 110% effort.

The Aussies are a great side with few weaknesses, but if you try and exert pressure on them by stopping them scoring then maybe you can create a chance. Look at the Aussies when they bowl. McGrath rarely uses wicket taking deliveries. Outside off stump, have to play and little chance to score. If you want to score then take the risk and give away your wicket.
Khalid, UK

England undoubtedly has the ability to bounce back, but not the confidence. We always seem to be chasing the Aussies but never in front of them. We won't win this series, and frankly I don't think we have the ability of all putting in a good performance together for an entire match. I don't think we will win a single match. We'll see if I'm right. Any bets?
Tom Palmer, England

Cricket is a game where one or two individuals of great class can make a big difference. Unfortunately due to injury and commitment England have lost their best bowler Gough and best batsman Thorpe from the tour, and now another injury has deprived them of their shock bowler Jones.

How would Australia fare without McGrath and Warne? It is certainly a great pity that we have been deprived of a fascinating series. I believe that an England team fielding Gough, Jones and Harmison on the quicker Australian wickets would have tested the Australian Batsmen.
Francis Flanagan, UK

As an Australian watching the game, it was one of the most pathetic displays seen in a game of cricket. Sure, Vaughan's lbw should have been given the benefit, not the finger.
Jack Minchenko, Australia


People on here need to learn what it means to be a fan
Russel, UK

We're kidding ourselves if we think we can win the Ashes this time round - on our day we can beat anyone - but you've got to have five good days to win a Test - and with the Australians better than us man-for-man we might as well start looking towards the World Cup!
Chris, UK

There's no shame in losing to a better team. But what really matters is the manner of loss. England needs to show more of the spirit it displayed on the second day of this Test in the coming Tests.
Raga, UK

People on here need to learn what it means to be a fan. They had another bad day, but the game as a whole showed that if we try hard we can achieve things; they just need to find that extra resolve. They won't do that if every time we get beaten the fans insult them all. Better teams than ours have been beaten by bigger totals than that.
Russel, UK

What can I say ? Well, class counts . .. the Aussies have it in abundance, England only show occasional glimpses (which isn't enough to win the Ashes).
Iain, Canada


England's biggest problem has been exposed again - an inability to turn decent knocks into match winning innings
Andy, UK

Saying (as your report does) that England's low total was caused by a lower order collapse misses the point. Yes, the England tail did collapse, but so (with the exception of Warne) did the Australian tail.

The big difference in the first innings scores is due to the top order. Both teams had five players that got into the 30s, yet no Englishman made a hundred. On the other hand, two Australians went on to make hundreds and Hayden all but made a double hundred.

At this level fifties are not enough from the top order. If England are to have any chance in this series the batsman must start to turn fifties into tons regularly.
Ben Powell, England

How surprising, another complete middle order collapse! Why is it impossible to find 11 men who can put a bat in the way of a ball? Looks like the Ashes are remaining in Oz again. Thinking about it England were better in the '80s when all the players were hard drinkers, new team strategy? 12 pints of Tetley's every night!!
Warren, England

England's biggest problem has been exposed again - an inability to turn decent knocks into match winning innings. England had four fifties on their card and nobody went on to their ton.

Look at the Aussies, apart from Warne (a bowler); everyone who got in made it count. Maybe England should stop their top six batsmen from acknowledging Test fifties. They should only raise the bat when they have got their hundreds. Look at it this way - a fifty keeps you in the side for the next game, but a hundred gives the team a chance of winning.
Andy, UK

England winning the series? - A little too optimistic. But we certainly are capable of a draw. There is a strong fighting spirit in the side and certainly more then a touch of complacency (and arrogance) amongst the Aussies that will work in our favour.
Anish Rohit, England

I must say the best thing about The Ashes, from an Australian perspective, is that we know how much the series means to the English players and supporters.

It's great to play against a team that has so much pride and who will never give in. It makes the contest all that more interesting, and victory even sweeter.
Anthony, Australia

The Aussies' complacency will be their undoing. Hussain is a battler - we will finally prevail.
Matt, UK

Fair go fellas, I think we all need to accept that the Aussies are a far better team than us, stop whingeing and making poor excuses.
Jimmy W, England

Half the reason we do so badly is because the media are on our backs all the time. Let's all get behind our team and take the fight to the Aussies!
Ian Xavier Ratcliffe, England

I'm left to wonder when we will play a mentally tough English team, talent will get you so far but heart will get you further. It's still a long summer and things can turn around, also England should take heart from an excellent second days cricket.

Believe in yourselves, really believe and there's still a chance.
Peter Parks, Australia


How much further can England sink? The sooner Hussain resigns, the better.
Ian, France

A mediocre team, even by English standards is not going to stand in the way of victory, regardless of one or two good sessions.

If arrogance is having unshakeable self-belief, then yes, these guys are arrogant. This is an arrogance borne of necessity; this is what English sport and English fans don't get and probably never will. It's called the psychology of winning.
John, Australia

England might as well come home now they don't have a chance in this series. Things won't improve for England until the selectors stop sending the same damaged goods back to play again and again, most of these players are too mentally scarred too succeed against Australia.
Phil Nixon, UK

I see comments such as "arrogant" and "complacent" when English fans describe the Australian team. The crushing defeat of England, in this first test, showed there is no complacency and I think what may be perceived as arrogance could well be the Australian team's belief in it's ability to perform when required.

I have no doubt England will fight back in the series and the Ashes are not secure in our grasp just yet. Let's hope for more of what the first two and a half days provided.
Gary, Australia


I can forgive the lack of talent in our squad but why do we produce cricketers with such an obvious lack of mental strength?
Nick Wood, UK

Cream rises to the top and mud sinks. How much further can England sink? The sooner Hussain resigns, the better.

A national humiliation, once again.
Ian, France

It was pleasing to see the boys rap it inside four days. They will continue this form over the next four test matches for a crushing series whitewash.
John, Australia

Four top batsmen in 11 balls faced is a disgrace! This is test cricket and there is no such thing as a losing draw. The decision to field on the first day suggests that England have no teamwork. Batting vs fielding should have been decided long in advance of the toss so I don't just blame Hussein for that. Australia are not THAT good - they may be the best in the world but to capitulate for 79 runs is only down to England.

I hope for the sake of cricket that England will put up a better show than this in the next test. Until then, same old predictable England with no guts!
Paul, USA

Despite the collapse in the second innings at Brisbane, the real problem is the English bowling. Mostly, it is very poor and, apart from Darren Gough and very occasionally, Caddick, has been for about 10 years. England will never win the Ashes until they have three bowlers who can bowl well most of the time and superbly some of the time.

From a pom who has lived in Brisbane for 40 years and is in despair of a decent Ashes series.
Alan, Australia

I can forgive the lack of talent in our squad but why do we produce cricketers with such an obvious lack of mental strength?
Nick Wood, UK


What a load of rubbish. A team of OAP's with their walking sticks would have made a better effort
Robert Crawford, Ireland

England were never going to survive 4 sessions at the Gabba, chasing a total of over 400. It would have been nice if they'd made an effort though. The team, although better than in recent years, still lacks the backbone recquired to overcome the best in the business.

I think we are in for a torrid winter, prob 3-1 to Oz, with the one being the final test.
Tom, UK

No way. England will NOT bounce back. Aussies are too good.
Stan, India

Is this the real English team? All out for 79 in the 2nd innings. Bad one day, horrid the next. Consistency is needed as well as some runs from the top order batsmen for England to have any hope of winning a test match, let alone the series.
Malcolm, Perth, Western Australia

As a Pom living in Australia, I can tell you why Australia will continue to beat England. It's called skill. Courage, ticker, balls, have little to do with it in the end. Australia has the best batsman, the best quickie, the best spinner, the best fielding side and the best 'esprit de corp'.

The way to beat Australia is through spin. The Indians did it.

England cannot win until they unearth some world class players. Sadly, none of the current lot would make a World Second Eleven. The truth hurts but the facts are undeniable!
Frank Ainslie, Australia

England were outplayed throughout. From the day they landed they suffered injury upon injury. You can't blame Hussain, he's one of the world's leading captain's and if your side full of world class batsmen can't sustain the pressure then they should go to the academy.

He may have lost the toss, but if all the critics know best then maybe they should take his place as he views the games from a totally different perspective.

England will sparkle, whilst the Ozzies will have to be weary of a fierce comeback.
Bill B, UK

Disgrace - pure and simple. The result of the other four Tests can be found out by looking at the 5 day weather forecast on the first day of each test. Unless there is at least 2 days of rain envisaged assume an Aussie win !
Luke, England

What a load of rubbish. A team of OAP's with their walking sticks would have made a better effort. At least I'm saved from staying up another night. This is promising to be a very embarrassing winter.
Robert Crawford, Ireland

All the reports from the Test match

Day four

Day three

Day two

Day one

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