The Guardian – The relief on Joe Root’s face was palpable.


  • Indeed the whitewash of 2013-14 is the second line of questioning, when queries on Stokes have been dead-batted away: are there “scars” (already the tour’s great buzzword) from that defeat “last time”?
  • Root has taken to gently reminding folk that there has been an Ashes series since “last time” and that it “went OK” for England.
  • They seem perfectly comfortable coming over as underdogs and their preparation has risen in intensity with each day – gentle fielding drills (with Mitchell Johnson, who turned down the chance to play against England this weekend, watching on), nets, middle practice, tour match.
  • Next week things get more serious, as the first-class cricket begins in Adelaide – where they meet the pink Kookaburra ball for the first time – then Townsville.
  • Rather more ominously, the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins ended England’s first week on tour by playing a first-class game together for the first time.

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