England has got off to a less than impressive start in the first Ashes Test despite going into the series with the strong backing of British cricket fans, shows our poll, conducted immediately before the tournament began.
And when it comes to the Aussie side:
- In contrast, 50% of the British public declared that they were, ‘not at all interested’ in the Ashes.
Performance below par
The conclusion of the opening day of the Test saw England all out for a disappointing 260. Captain Andrew Strauss was sent packing after just three balls, defying fans’ confidence in him to be England’s leading run scorer.
England’s below par performance was largely caused by the devastating deliveries of Australian Peter Siddle, which appeared to vindicate the late decision to play him instead of an in-form Doug Bollinger. Siddle clocked a total of six wickets in the opening innings including three in three balls: only the fifth time this has happened since the Ashes’ inauguration.
As Australia begins its first innings, the danger for England now lies in the likes of Ricky Ponting, and it remains to be seen whether Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad, predicted to be England’s two leading wicket takers, will be able to inflict sufficient damage to keep Australia’s run total to a minimum.