England's bowlers flayed by Aussie media

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/c/cricgen3.jpg' class='caption'> England's negative attitude and flat bowling in the first Test are bad signs for the rest of the Ashes series, the Australian media said on Saturday.

Updated: July 11, 2009 17:34 IST
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England's negative attitude and flat bowling in the first Test are bad signs for the rest of the Ashes series, the Australian media said on Saturday.

The Australians regained the initiative in the Ashes opener and at stumps on the third day in Cardiff were 479 for five -- a lead of 44 runs with two days to play.

The Aussie press ripped into the England bowlers for their impotency as skipper Ricky Ponting (150) and opener Simon Katich (122) scored centuries and vice-captain Michael Clarke (83) came to close to three figures.

"This (English bowling) quintet has been at it now for days and has hardly made an impression," The Australian's Malcolm Conn said.

"If modest Australian tweaker Nathan Hauritz can turn the ball past wicket-keeper Brad Haddin nine overs into the second day of a Test, and finish with three wickets, (spinners) Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar should feel humiliated by their lack of penetration.

"Likewise (pacemen) Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad look like the bowlers the Australians always thought they were -- lively, flaky, unreliable."

Former Australian Test spinner Greg Matthews said he feared for England over the remainder of the Ashes series.

"They had a great opportunity to really put Australia under pressure on a wicket that was doing plenty," said Matthews, a panellist on the SBS TV match coverage.

"That didn't happen. The bowling was flat today (Friday)."

Matthews also criticised the captaincy of Andrew Strauss and his field placings.

"I don't find Andrew Strauss a particularly motivating character. England's field placings were wrong and they bowled poorly," he said.

Former Test leg-spinner Stuart MacGill queried England's attitude in the face of Australia's steadily accumulating first innings.

"I fear for the series, because it's not about England's playing stock or Australia having a good team. Australia have issues of their own. It's about England's attitude," 2005 tourist MacGill said on SBS TV.

"The Australians are starting to realise that this is not the same as 2005 (series).

"England look tired. They look as though if the momentum is going their way they will be okay, but if it turns they are in trouble."

England regained the Ashes 2-1 in the 2005 series in England, but Australia took back the urn after a 5-0 series whitewash at home in 2006-07.

Veteran ABC cricket broadcaster Jim Maxwell said Australia have the opportunity go on and win the opening Test.

"This has been a focused batting performance that underlines Australia's intent, and if the rain stays away there's an opportunity to press England in its second innings," Maxwell said on the ABC web-site.

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