James Tredwell declared England’s walk-in-the-park victory over an ACT XI the ideal start to their time in Australia, but acknowledged there would be tougher times to come.
England are at the beginning of a three-month tour that encompasses the Carlton Mid Tri-Series against Australia and India as well as the World Cup. They could hardly have asked for a simpler assignment to kick it off.
They polished off their part-time opponents by a bruising margin of 216 runs, skittling them for 148 after having posted 364-6.
The ACT side represent a scalp as modest as they come, with only one fully-contracted state player, New South Wales’s Scott Henry, joined by team-mates whose day jobs include teaching, finance and bricklaying.
But England were still glad to see five of their top six bank half-centuries, with Moeen Ali, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Yorkshire’s Joe Root and Ravi Bopara all in the runs.
Tredwell, who took 3-11 in four disciplined overs of off-spin, said: “First and foremost, playing these warm-up games of 13 or 14 a side, you want to get everyone a good go and clearly we’ve done that.
“Seven or eight of the batters got good time in the middle, there were five fifties and all the bowlers got a few overs under their belt so it’s a good way to start the tour.”
The match also provided a winning start for new captain Eoin Morgan, who has taken over from the dropped Alastair Cook.
Things are likely to get significantly harder tomorrow, when England take on a strong Prime Minister’s XI.
Australian World Cup players Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins are both in that side, which will be captained by Test opener Chris Rogers.
“(Morgan’s captaincy) wasn’t a great deal different to be honest, but obviously we weren’t put under as much pressure as we may be on some other games on the tour. That will be the time we’ll see some differences I’m sure,” said Tredwell.
“But it was a great way to get going and we take that into Wednesday. We’ve started well and we want to carry that through to the next game.”