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Ashes: England legend Ian Bell mocks Tim Paine following hostile Edgbaston reception for Australia players Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft

If Australia captain Tim Paine didn’t know Edgbaston was an intimidating place to play, he certainly does now.

The venue lived up to its reputation on the first morning of The Ashes on Thursday, with ‘Sandgate’ trio Cameron Bancroft, David Warner and Steve Smith walking into a fire pit on their return to Test cricket.

David Warner was dismissed by Stuart Broad for 2

Getty Images – Getty
2

David Warner was dismissed by Stuart Broad for 2

Bancroft, Warner and Smith were returning from ball tampering bans

Getty Images – Getty
2

Bancroft, Warner and Smith were returning from ball tampering bans

England fans welcomed the two openers, Bancroft and Warner, to the crease with chants of ‘cheat, cheat, cheat’ before waving sandpaper and singing ‘Cheerio’ after both men were dismissed early on.

The tourists appeared well and truly rattled by the Birmingham crowd and England hero Ian Bell was quick to mock Aussie captain Paine for his comments about Edgbaston before the series.


Asked if there was a more intimidating ground in world cricket right now, Paine replied: “Than this? I could name you 15.”

And Bell, who has played his county cricket at Edgbaston for Warwickshire since 1999, hit back at Paine after the Aussies crumbled to 154-8 at Tea.

Only Smith, returning from a 12-month ban alongside Warner and Bancroft, provided any tangible resistance as Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes tore through the Aussies’ top order.

Fresh off the back of their thrilling World Cup triumph, England made an excellent start in their bid to regain the Ashes following their embarrassing 4-0 defeat in January 2018.

The hosts have not lost a home series against Australia for 18 years.

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