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Ashes first Test talking points: Australia’s big guns take control by stealth | Rob Smyth

Steve Smith and David Warner outsmarted England’s attack in the first Test, the tourists will need clear heads and is Alastair Cook merely out of form?

Stuart Broad said before the series that England would play on the egos of the Australia batsmen by denying boundaries. But the egos never landed in Brisbane. The exaggerated patience of Steve Smith, in the first innings, and David Warner, against the second new ball, symbolised an Australia performance that had an unexpected brain:brawn ratio. With the exception of two short spells of ferocious pace bowling, they took control of the match through stealth rather than aggression. They did not just outplay England; they outsmarted them too. They are far more flexible than many realised, and do not be surprised if they show that again by selecting the uncapped swing bowler Chadd Sayers ahead of Pat Cummins in Adelaide.

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