Stoneman not worried after Cook and Root fail in Perth
It was England's less established players who led the way against a Western Australian XI in the first outing of the Ashes tour on Saturday, but Mark Stoneman was not concerned by the cheap dismissal of captain Joe Root and his predecessor Alastair Cook.
Experienced opener Cook fell to Nathan Coulter-Nile for a second-ball duck at the WACA, where Root was out for nine.
In the absence of the two stalwarts, surviving opener Stoneman notched 85 and James Vince, a surprise inclusion in the squad ahead of Tom Westley, made 82 batting at number three. There were also half-centuries for Dawid Malan (56) and Gary Ballance (51), albeit against an inexperienced attack.
Asked about Cook and Root's false starts, Stoneman said: "It's not a good thing that they missed out but it is a bit of a lesser problem when it's two blokes with phenomenal records in Test cricket and who know their games inside out."
Here what happened in the first day of our tour match against a WA XI at the Waca... pic.twitter.com/nLW1ew4UvA— England Cricket (@englandcricket) November 4, 2017
Stoneman and Vince put on 153 for the third wicket and the two men, who are sharing a room in Perth, could yet prove an important double act for England.
"Partnerships are going to be key for us throughout this tour, so we've started off with some good habits," Stoneman said.
"Momentum is massive in any sport, and if you get off on the right note to any tour you can hope to snowball that.
"I enjoyed batting with him ... not getting too complicated. We've started off on a good footing - and if we find ourselves playing in the Tests together, I hope we can put on some good partnerships."