Still buzzing from thrashing an Ashes ton, Australian opener David Warner didn’t miss off the field either by calling out-of-sorts England No.3 Jonathan Trott “weak” after the hosts took complete control of the first Test in Brisbane.
England admitted they had no idea whether Trott’s problems with the short ball in the Ashes opener were mental or technical after he was again bounced out by Mitchell Johnson on Saturday.
England may have more immediate concerns after being set 561 for victory and limping to stumps on day three at 2-24 in their second innings.
The way Trotty got out today was pretty poor and pretty weak.
However, unlike England, Warner did not hold back on his views on Trott after the South African-born batsman was caught for nine flicking a rising Johnson delivery straight to Nathan Lyon at deep backward square-leg.
“The way Trotty got out today was pretty poor and pretty weak,” said Warner who stroked 124 to help Australia reach a mammoth 7(dec)-401 second-innings total.
“He’s worked hard in the nets on the short ball, we’ve seen him.
“But facing a 150km/h short ball from Mitchell Johnson, the way to go is probably not trying to back away.
“Obviously there’s a weakness there at the moment and we’re probably on top of it at the moment.”
Far from satisfied with that blunt appraisal, Warner added: “I think he needs to get new sledges as well because it’s not working for him at the moment.”
Certainly Trott – who has made more than 3500 Test runs at 47.39 – had no answers against Johnson who also claimed the No.3 in the first innings, getting a touch on another rearing delivery and was caught behind for 10.
“That is something for Trotty to figure out,” England quick James Anderson said of Trott’s short-ball issues.
“It’s down to him and our coaches to try and figure out a way to come out the other end of this difficult period.
“But a guy doesn’t average 50 in Test cricket because he can’t play the short ball – we know he can.
“He has a lot of character and skill to come out the other end.”
Anderson also believed England would show plenty of fight, drawing parallels with last year’s tour of India.
England lost the first Test by nine wickets but bounced back to claim their first series win on the subcontinent in 27 years.
In that series opener Alastair Cook (176) and Matt Prior (91) fought back from a similarly hopeless position they face in Brisbane to at least set India a modest winning target of 77.
Anderson hoped to see more of the same at the Gabba.
“If we do lose this game we are going to go down fighting, that’s the way we play our cricket,” he said.
“There are four Tests after this. It’s not doom and gloom if we lose this.”