The Ashes is happening from midnight to dawn in Britain, and it would be fair to say the news from Day One wasn’t what most Poms were hoping to wake up to. Here’s what the online press had to say.

On The Telegraph’s “The Analyst and The Aussie” podcast.

Terry Jenner (Shane Warne’s mentor):

“I just feel like this has set the mark for the series… and, without Flintoff, this (England) looks like a club attack, today anyway.”

Lawrence Booth, The Guardian blog:

From the very start there was the same sense of knuckle-chewing futility that marked England’s last appearance here, and that was before Steve Harmison’s first ball was smartly taken by Andrew Flintoff at second slip. Without touching the bat. …

It’s way too early to wonder whether the last Ashes series was an aberration. It’s also too early to hark back to the drought before it. But it feels about right to suggest that this winter is more likely to end up resembling the 1990s than 2005.

Former English batsman Allan Lamb, on The Sun’s “Lamby’s Lowdown” video stream:

That’s got to be the most sort of appalling piece of bowling by an English side this morning, on a wicket that was helpful. We saw it seam around this afternoon when they got it right but they got it totally wrong this morning. …

Freddy’s captaincy hasn’t been that good either because Hoggard bowling to two slips and a gully – I mean, with a new ball. Terrible! Really defensive.

Curious” on The Guardian’s Ashes Show chat:

What is there to say? Dropping Monty for a bowler who’s barely picked up a ball in a year is an urn-surrendering disaster. Monty is streets better than Giles even on Giles’s very best day; when Giles has absolutely no bowling under his belt it shouldn’t even have been a contest.

Giles Smith, Sport on TV columnist for the Times:

One doesn’t wish to accuse Australia of underhand tactics so early in the series, but the English National Anthem began with a tinkle on the piano surprisingly reminiscent of the jingle that prefaces the announcement over the Tannoy of special offers in a supermarket. Also, the Australians had four female singers for their anthem, and we had only one.

Peter Fray

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