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Wednesday 26 September 2018

Aussies raise heat in Ashes

English are 'bullied' into defeat as tensions rise

Australia's captain Michael Clarke. Picture credit: David Gray/REUTERS
Australia's captain Michael Clarke. Picture credit: David Gray/REUTERS

WITH the Brisbane Test featuring some terrorising bowling and rising tensions between Australia and England, there have been echoes from it of the infamous Bodyline series of 1932-33.

Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, taking a nine-wicket haul, ripped through England's batting order at the Gabba to help Australia to a crushing 381-run victory in the opening Ashes Test.

Comparisons have been drawn between Johnson's style and the deliveries of the "bodyline" technique – where the ball is bowled towards a batsman's body on the line of leg stump, with fielders assembled accordingly – that was used by the English during their 1932-33 tour.

It was met with strong disapproval by the Australians and the ill-feeling between the two sides escalated, something that certainly seems to be the case in the current series, with touring skipper Alastair Cook having branded David Warner "disrespectful" for describing the way Jonathan Trott was dismissed as "pretty weak".

Also, Australia captain Michael Clarke has not denied telling James Anderson to "get ready for a f****** broken arm" as he took guard to face Johnson.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain felt the team were "bullied" into submission by Australia in Brisbane.

The tourists appeared to be in a strong position when Australia were limited to 132 for six in their first innings, but the hosts fought back to post 295 before Johnson ripped through England, who lost six wickets for nine runs to be all out for 136.

Australia captain Clarke and controversial batsman David Warner both hit centuries in a second-innings total of 401 for seven declared and England never looked like salvaging anything from the game as they were bowled out for 179.

Hussain said: "It's very worrying (to have lost by such a distance). They were bullied. A lot of it has to do with the opposition. Mitchell Johnson is unrecognisable from the bowler we have seen in previous Ashes battles, the confidence and the togetherness are unrecognisable from the team we saw in England, thanks to (coach) Darren Lehmann."

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