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 around the corner.
England are at the beginning of a three-month tour of duty that encompasses the Carlton Mid Tri-Series against Australia and India as well as the World Cup, and 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 for six.
The ACT side represent a scalp as modest as they come, with only one fully-contracted state player, New South Wales’ 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, Joe Root and Ravi Bopara all in the runs.
Tredwell, who took three for 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 give 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.”
As for his own performance, Tredwell found himself in the unusual position of being hooked from the attack for being too successful.
With England trying to get plenty of overs into their seamers, his initial return of three for nought in two overs was considered by Morgan to be too penetrative.
“Sometimes it can be lovely to bowl spin here and clearly it was quite nice today,” he admitted. “I got a couple of early wickets and had to be dragged out of the attack. I was ruining the game!”
England still managed to get seven overs apiece out of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the strike bowlers who missed the recent tour of Sri Lanka with knee injuries.
They will be monitored today to check for signs of wear and tear but Tredwell was encouraged by their efforts.
“Clearly both of them are feeling their way back in to a degree but they both bowled pretty nicely,” he added.
“To get a few more overs in was great. The wicket did slow up a little bit so it was a good chance for them to get their one-day skills out.”