SKIPPER Joe Root led England’s cricketers in a kick-about in Perth in their first training session of their Ashes tour.
Root’s men took the field at the WACA in Perth ahead of their first warm-up game against Western Australia in the city starting on Friday.
And in true English style, they enjoyed a game of football along with some running and stretching as they build up to the First Test in Brisbane on November 23.
Allrounder Chris Woakes – likely to fill in for Ben Stokes who is currently serving a ban for a drunken brawl – led the game of football on the Perth turf.
He was joined by batsmen Mark Stoneman and Gary Ballance and spinner Mason Crane as England ran off the jet lag.
Veteran bowler James Anderson believes it is vital England get off to a flying start in the First Test, to quiet the crowds “who naturally hate you.”
England’s record-breaking bowler, who has taken 506 Test wickets at an average of 27.39, told Sky Sports: “We know what to expect from the crowds, they can be quite hostile at times but that is just part and parcel.
“I think looking back to when we did well there in 10/11, we started pretty much every game really well and silenced the crowd, almost.
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“That is what you’ve got to try and do, get them on your side, play along with it and have a bit of fun with them at times.
“They’re generally good humoured but getting them to warm to you is a tough task because they naturally hate you when you go out there.”
England’s Ashes warm-up fixtures
Nov 4-5 vs Western Australia XI (Perth)
Nov 8-11 vs Cricket Australia XI d/n (Adelaide)
Nov 15-18 vs Cricket Australia XI (Townsville)
Dec 9-10 vs Cricket Australia XI (Perth)
Anderson claims Australia are beatable at the Gabba, which hosts the First Test, despite not losing a Test to any country for 28 matches, a record dating back to 1988 when the West Indies won by nine wickets.
Anderson, 35, said: “Both teams have started to show signs of real quality I think but have also been pretty inconsistent, so it is going to be about whoever starts well.
England’s Ashes Test schedule
Nov 23-27 First Test (Brisbane)
Dec 2-6 Second Test (Adelaide)
Dec 14-18 Third Test (Perth)
Dec 26-30 Fourth Test (Melbourne)
Jan 4-8 Fifth Test (Sydney)
“The Gabba has been a bit of a fortress for Australia, they’ve not lost there since 1988 so coming away from there with a result – whether it is a draw or a win – I think is important to how the series will go.”
Recalled batsman James Vince insists England are not daunted by Australia’s formidable pace attack despite the mauling they received the last time they toured Down Under
England’s Ashes ODI schedule
Jan 11 vs CA XI (Sydney)
Jan 14 First ODI (Melbourne)
Jan 19 Second ODI (Brisbane)
Jan 21 Third ODI (Sydney)
Jan 26 Fourth ODI (Adelaide)
Jan 28 Fifth ODI (Perth)
Aussie pace ace Mitchell Starc will lead the attack for the home side, and showcased his match-winning skills with figures of 8-73 for New South Wales at the weekend.
England’s inexperienced batting line-up will be tested to the full by the pace trio of Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
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But Vince said: “I wouldn’t say it’s daunting, it’s a great challenge.
“It’s a great chance for guys to step up and make a name for themselves.
“I think the key is getting those guys into their third and fourth spells, trying to get through the tough periods.
“And when we can, put pressure on the bowlers and try to put them on the back foot.”
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