Australia gets perfect Ashes build-up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia gets perfect Ashes build-up

By Adam Cooper 17/07/2005 05:50:59 AM Comments (0)

A good tussle between three fast bowlers and four sessions of batting practice has given Australia a perfect preparation before the first Ashes cricket Test against England.

That was the view of opener Justin Langer, who made the most of his first innings in four months to score 115 and help his side post a mammoth 7-582 by day two of the three-day match against Leicestershire at the Grace Road ground.

Langer was one of three Australian centurions, as Damien Martyn (154 not out) and captain Ricky Ponting (119) also satisfied their cravings for runs and time at the crease.

By posting 413 runs on day two, Australia established a 365-run lead over the county side, which was bowled out for 217 inside two sessions and can expect more tough times against the pace triumvirate of Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz.

"It's a superb team performance, there's no doubt about that," Langer said of the combined two days, which put Australia in good stead for the Ashes opener, which starts at Lord's on Thursday.

"To score that many runs in a day and to have bowled so well yesterday is a very good start to our preparation for the Ashes."

On a hot day and lifeless wicket, Australia was content to tick the scoreboard over all day to the extent where Gillespie chipped in with 49 not out after coming in at No.9.

"There's no points on the line, it's about preparing for the Test match," Langer said.

"The guys bowled really well yesterday, I thought, and obviously the results showed that we batted well today, so it's been perfect preparation."

Langer's century gave him two on the trot in England - after his 102 in his comeback Test at The Oval four years ago - and a seamless transition back into batting having not played a match since the third Test in New Zealand, in late March.

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