England batsman Michael Carberry insists his side aren’t shellshocked despite being routed for 136 as Australia turned the tables in the first Ashes Test.
The day started with a happy sense of deja vu for England.
By stumps on day two of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, the visitors were gripped with a feeling they would much rather forget.
Hours after again reducing Australia to what seemed an inadequate first-innings total, England lost 6-9 – their worst Test batting collapse in 23 years – in the middle session to be routed for 136.
Suddenly Australia’s effort of 295 looked pretty good.
As did Australia’s sometimes maligned bowling gameplan.
“Australia had some good plans and …we weren’t quite good enough today,” England’s top-scorer with 40, opener Michael Carberry, said.
“(But) it was a bad session which can happen to any team but I am positive we can come back strong.”
Those who viewed a fired-up Mitchell Johnson (4-61) spark England’s fifth-biggest Test collapse – and worst since they lost 6-3 in Melbourne in 1990 – may disagree.
It was an incredible collapse at a venue they amassed 1-517 on their last visit three years ago – their highest second-innings total in a Test match in Australia.
But don’t call England “shellshocked”.
“That’s a bit strong. We are pros and when it does not go to plan there is a slight feeling of disappointment but we are a pretty confident bunch,” Carberry said.
“Personally I loved the challenge. The Australian boys come hard. It’s where you want to be as a cricketer.”
Carberry should be careful what he wishes for after Australia’s revitalised attack almost silenced the Barmy Army – almost.
They seemed oblivious as Australia struck early with the ball, mirroring the last Ashes series in which England were regularly three wickets down.
But this time the man who proved the difference in their 3-0 series win in England – Ian Bell – did not stand tall.
Bell – who amassed 562 runs at 62.44 against Australia earlier this year – was dismissed by off-spinner Nathan Lyon (2-17), who nabbed his two wickets in as many balls.
The script could not have been written better when public enemy No.1 Stuart Broad strode out to face the hat-trick ball.
Three years ago Broad was Peter Siddle’s hat-trick victim in the drawn Gabba Ashes Test.
And the Gabba faithful could not think of a more fitting scalp after Broad had embraced the role of villain since refusing to walk in England’s first Test win in July.
Broad – who took 6-81 in Australia’s first innings – hung on to make 32 but nothing could save England’s blushes.
Australia’s attack suddenly looked like they could help extend a 25-year unbeaten Gabba run.
Still, some needed a little more convincing.
“Don’t worry England will be 517 for 1 in the 2nd innings..!,” ex-England Test skipper Michael Vaughan tweeted.