‘We’re here to win the Ashes’: Australia vow to keep foot down after stunning win

Birmingham: Tim Paine says Australia will keep a lid on celebrating one of their great rags-to-riches performances despite having taken a big step towards a drought-breaking Ashes series victory in England.

Nathan Lyon (6-49) and Pat Cummins (4-32) sealed a 251-run defeat of England at Edgbaston before tea on the fifth day of the first Test on Monday, putting Joe Roots team on the back foot with a first Australian win in a series opener in this country since 2005.

A monumental result on various levels, it was the biggest victory margin ever for a team that has been behind by 90 runs or more on first innings totals.

The Australian squad will travel on Tuesday to Worcester for a three-day tour match starting on Wednesday before heading to London for the second Test at Lords next week.


While England are licking their wounds after man-of-the-match Steve Smiths glorious two centuries in his return Test inspired Australia to a stunning turnaround at Edgbaston, the lessons of the past have convinced them not to get ahead of themselves.

Four years ago Australia celebrated hard after a 406-run annihilation of England in the second Test at Lords, only to be thrashed in the following matches at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge and surrender the Ashes in a fourth consecutive series loss to the old enemy abroad. They are eager for history not to be repeated.

“Youve got to keep a lid on it,” Paine said. “Theres still four Tests to go and we arent here to win the first Test at Edgbaston – were here to win the Ashes.

“Weve been really clear on that for some time. Were obviously happy to win the first Test. Its a huge step in the right direction, but were certainly not satisfied with that. Tonight will be quite a different feel to most Test wins weve had. Were over here to do something that a lot of teams from Australia have struggled to do.

“And we realise that if we can do it, it will be spoken about for a hell of a long time, and thats what is driving us. In England in these conditions [it] is difficult for us as it is for England to go to Australia. Theres a big five weeks ahead of us.”

They have so far handled those conditions well, including the much-discussed atmosphere for the Test comebacks of Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft at Edgbaston. Paine received plenty of air time for his provocative pre-match assessment that he “could name you 15” more intimidating grounds. He said on Monday it was “bluff”, one that has played rather well in the wash-up.

Australia celebrate after beating England by 251 runs during day five of the first Ashes Test.

Australia celebrate after beating England by 251 runs during day five of the first Ashes Test.Credit:AP

Smith is among the players who wont figure in Worcester, although the obsessive trainer may be hard pressed to take a break. The tour game shapes as an opportunity, though, for fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood to issue a reminder to selectors after being left out in Birmingham.

"I wouldn't argue with [Smiths] preparation,” Paine said. “Hes the best player in the world in Test cricket at the moment. Hes probably the best ever statistically, and while hes at the crease I think our teams got real confidence.

“I thought Peter Siddle digging in with him [in the first innings] was crucial. Then for the majority of the game I thought we bowled pretty well – and today I thought we were superb with the ball. Having someone like Steve in controlling the game certainly helps.”

David Warner takes time out with his daughters after Australia's triumph at Edgbaston.

David Warner takes time out with his daughters after Australia's triumph at Edgbaston.Credit:PA

Lyon rose to the challenge brilliantly on the last day with the second five-wicket haul of his career in a fourth innings of a match, passing 350 Test wickets on the way to put him in a club that only Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee have membership among Australians. His complete hold over England counterpart Moeen Ali – he now has dismissed him nine times in 11 innings – was a mere sideshow on Monday as he knocked over most of the top order including key man Root.

“The ball is coming out as well as ever,” Paine said. “Hes aRead More – Source

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