ADELAIDE (Reuters) – England assistant coach Graham Thorpe was adamant they picked their best team despite picking up just two wickets on the opening day of the second Ashes test against Australia on Thursday.
England recalled the veteran seam duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad while sacrificing the express speed of Mark Wood and spinner Jack Leach as they seek to level the five-test series after their comprehensive defeat in Brisbane.
They dominated the first session of the pink-ball contest before David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne rebuilt Australia, who ended the day on a strong 221-2.
“We picked the right team for this match,” Thorpe said.
“On another day, we could have grazed the edge more. I thought they played very well.”
“There was a bit of a rub of the green but they played well.”
It had been a good toss for Australia to win, he said.
“I thought we stuck at it well. They played particularly well in those first few sessions. The run-rate didn’t go too far but we’d love to have more wickets down. They defended straight and every time we went fuller they punched us down the ground.”
Jos Buttler took a stunning catch to dismiss Marcus Harris but spilled Labuschagne twice.
Thorpe was sympathetic to the wicket-keeper.
“We put a couple of catches down. Jos is going to hurt tonight but we are going to have to come again tomorrow,” he said.
England were fined their entire match fee and docked five World Test Championship points for maintaining a slow over-rate at the Gabba and it was an issue again at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
“There are bigger things in the world, you get through as quick as you can,” Thorpe said.
“Reviews take time and batters sometimes aren’t ready. In an ideal world, you’d like more overs with a newer ball. We’ve got to make inroads early. We’re going to have to fight hard.”
Australia dominated the opening day but Thorpe expected England to strike back on day two.
“I don’t think our plans were too bad. If we’d bowled poorly, we’d have gone for more runs.
“It’s very important we get in and make inroads tomorrow. It’s for us to roll our sleeves up and get stuck in.”
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Toby Davis)