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'Excited' Bairstow brushes off early tour hiccup in Brisbane.

ENGLAND'S Ashes tour got real as the traditional Gabba greetings began in Brisbane.

Jonny Bairstow did the tourists' talking at a brief airport press conference, and said many of the right things to waiting camera crews about his own team, Australia and Ben Stokes.

England have taken their usual circuitous route to the venue for this week's first Test, docking in Perth three weeks ago, then on to Adelaide before making a six-day stop in Townsville.

After a two-hour flight south on Sunday, Bairstow was back in more familiar surroundings as a veteran of England's last tour down under, the 5-0 whitewash defeat of 2013-14.

This time, they checked into Brisbane on the back of a tough last two days in Queensland.

England could manage just a solitary wicket on Saturday, in fact, as unheralded Cricket Australia XI batsmen Jason Sangha and Matt Short hit big hundreds in a double-century stand to close out a highly honourable draw.

Bright-eyed Bairstow was not about to get bogged down with those inconvenient details, though.

Asked to sum up the collective mood four days from the start of hostilities at the Gabba, the wicketkeeper chose three adjectives: "Content, relaxed, excited ... we are raring to go."

"It's a fantastic place to be."

Jonny Bairstow

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 20, 2017
Words:210
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