Centurion Stoneman gives CA XI short shrift

Mark Stoneman refused to get carried away after scoring the first England century of their Ashes tour, while aiming a shot at the standard of opposition they have faced in their warm-up games.

Stoneman and Alastair Cook piled on 172 for the first wicket against a Cricket Australia XI, who had scored 250 batting first.

Surrey batsman Stoneman made 111 as England reached 337-3 at stumps on a slow Townsville pitch that is barely representative of the fast, bouncy deck that is expected to greet them at the Gabba next week.

England batting coach Mark Ramprakash has reportedly spent many net sessions aiming training balls at the batsmen's heads in an attempt to replicate the kid of aggression that Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood may bring in Brisbane.

"It's been well documented and everyone is critical of the opposition we've faced in the warm-up games," Stoneman said after Thursday's play. 

"We're going to be tested a hell of a lot more next week, that's for sure. There's no doubts about that and everyone's aware of it.

"Obviously there's going to be more pace and bounce from the attack and the pitch in Brisbane. But we're playing here against a different team so all you can do is go through the processes that stand you in good stead.

"It's going to have to be enough. We can't change the preparation we've been given. 

"That's where self-awareness and knowing where you are within your own game is key. 

"We're being tested as much as we can by Ramps [Ramprakash] and his yellow balls, so from the opportunities we've had, we're happy with where we are."

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