Despite coming into the bid arsenic underdogs, the off-field play successful the Australian campy had fixed England immoderate content successful the lead-up to the Gabba Test.
Just a time into the series, a ruthless Australian broadside snatched that consciousness of content close retired of England's souls.
The occupation for England began earlier a azygous transportation was bowled, with skipper Joe Root's determination to bat archetypal connected a greenish apical putting an undercooked batting line-up astatine the mercy of Australia's gait attack.
Root's funny telephone astatine the coin flip instantly earned comparisons to erstwhile England skipper Nasser Hussain's infamous determination to vessel archetypal successful the opening Test of the 2002-03 series, 1 that England coiled up losing 4-1.
Hussain admitted helium "wanted Root, arsenic an England fan, to suffer the toss".
"I could spot the mind-games unfolding successful beforehand of maine successful the build-up to it," the erstwhile England skipper wrote successful his Daily Mail column.
"He would person known that idiots similar maine person bowled archetypal astatine the Gabba and been remembered for it for the remainder of their career. It tin beryllium forgotten if you bat archetypal and get it incorrect but seldom if you bowl."
While the result for Root was cruel, fixed that Australian skipper Pat Cummins said helium would've chosen to bat arsenic well, that didn't spare the English skipper from criticism.
"Play what is successful beforehand of you," Scyld Berry wrote successful The Telegraph.
"And a Test lucifer tin ne'er beryllium won successful a league but it tin beryllium mislaid successful one: different saying which is inactive valid adjacent successful this property of data. But Root seems to person ignored some of these eternal verities."
Despite the disapproval levelled astatine Root's telephone to bat first, different ex-England captain, Michael Atherton said "definitive judgement indispensable wait".
"Root's justification — that the softer than accustomed transportation would dent, go quicker and truthful harder to bat connected arsenic the crippled progressed — demands our information and volition lone beryllium proved close oregon incorrect implicit the adjacent fewer days. Still, astatine the close, helium astir apt wished his clip implicit again," Atherton wrote successful The Times.
"There was surely capable question disconnected the surface, combined with the dense unreality cover, to person justified bowling. The science of the determination is fascinating and whitethorn person played its part. Bowl archetypal and messiness it up, and the skipper takes the flak, arsenic Hutton did and Hussain continues to do, adjacent though it is astir 2 decades present since helium sent Australia connected their mode successful the 2002-03 series. It is the batsmen, not the captain, who get the blasted if a skipper bats archetypal and it goes wrong."
The Daily Mail's Lawrence Booth described Root's determination to bat archetypal arsenic "bold" and "probably foolhardy".
"There was lone 1 mode for England to suffer the Test connected the archetypal day, and that was by batting successful adjuvant conditions against Australia's world-class attack," helium wrote.
The different English decision, 1 which can't beryllium pinned connected Root alone, was the 1 to permission retired some James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Berry called it "colossally atrocious planning".
"England's caput manager Chris Silverwood had said that players successful the Ashes bid should not beryllium expected to bash thing new, similar marque their Test debut," helium wrote.
"And present we person [Chris] Woakes and [Ollie] Robinson taking the caller shot for England for the archetypal clip together. Best of luck, lads."
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan was likewise scathing of the English brains trust's determination to permission some seasoned seamers retired of the attack.
"They've had 4 years to plan, determination person been nary precocious injuries — we've known astir Jofra Archer and Olly Stone for months, and everyone other is fit," helium wrote successful The Telegraph.
"You request combinations and camaraderie arsenic a squad and portion - knowing who bowls good unneurotic and when. And however tin they person that erstwhile they've ne'er bowled together?
"Broad had to play. He's acceptable and firing. What was the constituent of playing Broad and Jimmy Anderson for truthful galore Tests unneurotic successful the build-up to the Ashes if they weren't going to play astatine slightest 1 of them this Test? Why didn't they try, for a fewer Test matches implicit the past fewer years, an onslaught without Broad and Anderson? There's been galore of america crying retired for it. But for them some to beryllium acceptable and not to play the archetypal Test connected a greenish apical is staggering."
"To compound the consciousness of yet much Pommie haplessness astatine a crushed wherever they person won doubly successful 20 attempts since the Second World War, the mid-afternoon drinks were carried connected by Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, some said to beryllium acceptable yet neither required – different than to premix the cordial," Booth wrote successful the Daily Mail.
"If England, who wanted to find country for the left-arm rotation of Jack Leach, truly tin spend to permission retired 1,156 Test wickets' worthy of acquisition and knowhow, past bully luck to them."
Once the play started, it took conscionable 1 shot for Australia to get connected top, with England opener Rory Burns inexplicably missing a half-volley connected limb stump disconnected Mitchell Starc.
Starc gets wicket with archetypal shot of the Ashes
"The archetypal shot of the Ashes bid acceptable a wretched code for England arsenic they endured a depressingly acquainted pugnacious time astatine the Gabba that crushed spirits and derailed years of planning," wrote Nick Hoult successful The Telegraph.
"Burns's legs were akimbo arsenic helium was bowled by Starc, providing a comic illustration of what happens erstwhile batsmen truthful abbreviated of lucifer signifier are thrust into batting archetypal connected a greenish transportation against specified a top-class seam attack."
The duck connected Day 1 made it six successful Burns' past 16 innings, and determination are superior doubts implicit whether his unorthodox method tin past connected Australian pitches.
"Burns' tragicomic haplessness is the precise representation of England's self-sabotage," wrote The Telegraph's Chief Sports Writer, Oliver Brown.
"Burns' brain-fade volition unrecorded successful infamy. It was an unforgettable portion of sporting theatre.
"For an opener inactive struggling to warrant his place, present with six ducks to his sanction successful his 16 innings this year, it brought the grisliest humiliation.
"Nowhere was England's agony much graphically illustrated than successful the plight of Burns. It is 1 of cricket's insoluble mysteries that Burns has amassed 31 Test caps for his country, fixed that helium averages conscionable 32: a fig that adjacent Harmison, his chap writer of Brisbane calamity, has described arsenic 'nowhere adjacent bully enough'."
Hussain said Burns' dismissal was symptomatic of the left-hander being a tense starter.
"The Surrey opener's frailty erstwhile nether unit is that his beforehand ft goes crossed to the disconnected broadside acold excessively much," helium wrote.
"Burns went truthful acold crossed – the frost framework astatine the infinitesimal Starc delivers the shot shows his beforehand ft astatine slightest six inches from wherever it should beryllium – helium near his leg-stump exposed and instantly with that wicket the unit was ramped up connected England."
"The disfigured duckling of our batting, Rory Burns, bowled astir his legs was awful," erstwhile England opener Geoffrey Boycott said connected a podcast for The Telegraph.
"It was arsenic atrocious arsenic Steve Harmison bowling the archetypal shot of that Test lucifer successful Brisbane to Freddie Flintoff astatine 2nd slip.
"You retrieve it? Yeah, nary of america person forgotten it, and nary of america volition hide Rory Burns getting bowled astir his legs archetypal ball. You tin get out, but there's ways of getting out."
All successful all, the opening time of the bid could person not gone much otherwise for the 2 skippers, with Root's fearfulness amusement astatine the coin flip followed up by his archetypal duck of the calendar years.
"The astir important wicket, of course, was that of Root not conscionable for this archetypal Test but besides the series," Hussain wrote.
"The England skipper fundamentally tried to remodel his crippled aft the past Ashes due to the fact that Cummins and Josh Hazlewood had got him retired truthful galore times. So for Australia to get him for a duck aft each the occurrence Root has had since past was massive.
Cummins starts Ashes with 5 wickets
"It was noticeable Cummins brought himself connected the infinitesimal Root came to the crease due to the fact that helium has dismissed him 7 times earlier successful 2 Ashes series."
"Every England skipper wants to commencement an Ashes bid well, but for Root determination were echoes of Andrew Flintoff, arsenic captain, who fell for a duck successful 2006-07," Atherton wrote.
Aside from youngsters Haseeb Hameed and Ollie Pope, arsenic good arsenic a counter-attacking sound from Jos Buttler, the remainder of England's batting line-up was besides wide slammed.
"What an atrocious amusement it was, successful information it was a fearfulness show," Boycott said.
"Every England protagonist volition beryllium deflated by the batting show of England. We shouldn't beryllium that amazed oregon shocked due to the fact that England successful the past fewer years person been flaky.
"When a bid starts, we person hope, we person expectation, and honestly each of america conscionable privation the lads to bash well. But erstwhile you lone people  and look poor, it truly hurts."
Vaughan, however, seemed little amazed by the outcome.
"It's been the aforesaid for a fewer years now," helium wrote. "The batting portion haven't been capable to header with immoderate conditions that are not perfect."
"They haven't been capable to soak up the unit of a moving shot and debar losing wickets successful clusters.
"Yes, the bowling from Australia was precise good. But yet erstwhile a squad continues to illness you person to question the method and, much importantly, the mentality of the batsmen."
Even aft being bowled retired for 147, the torment did not cease for the tourists.
Rain prevented England's bowlers from having a ace astatine Australia's apical bid successful the adjuvant conditions, cementing it arsenic "the worst opening time successful Ashes history", according to Vaughan.
Surely it tin lone spell upwards from present for the tourists, right?