As everyone around England was predicting a potential Ashes whitewash of Australia, there were also potent warnings going around about the Aussies' capabilities with the ball.
On a dramatic first day of the first Test of the five-match Ashes series at Trent Bridge, a massive 14 wickets fell, with England fighting back against their opponents after Australia, led by Peter Siddle (five for 50), bowled the hosts out for a paltry 215.
However, Australia's ineptitude and inexperience with the bat was always going to tell and England seized back some of the initiative by restricting Australia to 75 for four at the end of the day's play, with James Anderson picking up the crucial wicket of Australia's only world-class batsman Michael Clarke.
Australia's innings started on a sketchy note with Steven Finn picking up two wickets in two balls in the fourth over.
Both wickets were the result of poor choices by the batsmen, with Watson first throwing the kitchen sink at a wide delivery only to edge it to Joe Root at third slip, before Cowan decided to commit suicide by doing the same off the very next delivery.
Then, a couple of overs later, England's best fast bowler picked up Australia's best batsmen with an absolute beauty.
James Anderson, one of the best swing bowlers in the world, produced that perfect delivery where the ball angles in before holding its line to hit the top of off - there was nothing a bemused looking Clarke could do about it.
Chris Rogers, playing in only his second Test at the age of 35, hung around for a little while with Steven Smith, before falling lbw to Anderson as Australia ended the day, 140 runs behind England's total.
England decided to bat first on a dry pitch after winning the toss and the general consensus was it was the right decision.
However, with an overhanging of clouds there was always a possibility of the ball swinging.
After the first ball in the second over from Mitchell Starc, the Australian fast bowler, while walking back up to his mark, looked towards Siddle and said with a look of surprise and delight "it's swinging."
The Aussies took a while to get control of the extravagant swing on offer, with the English openers for the first few overs looking reasonably comfortable, barring a couple of jaffers.
Alastair Cook, England's main man and skipper, was the first to go, uncharacteristically throwing his bat at a relatively wide delivery from James Pattinson with Brad Haddin doing the rest behind the stumps.
Joe Root, preferred to Nick Compton at the top, looked decent, and with the impressive Jonathan Trott, seemed to be taking England to a position of comfort. Trott, in particular, looked good at the crease and was easily England's best batsman of the first innings.
However, the score was 78 for one after 21 overs when England's cookie started to crumble.
Siddle, ineffective during his first spell, was given a change of ends, and it worked wonders as the Aussie quick picked up Root off the very first ball of the 22nd over. Root (30, 64b, 6x4) had absolutely no answer to a brilliant outswinging yorker from Siddle, and was trudging back after seeing his timber knocked back with interest.
Kevin Pietersen, making his return from injury, typically started on an aggressive note and along with Trott took England to lunch on 98 for two.
The pitch was now supposed to ease up post-lunch and slowly but surely become a batting paradise, everyone said and all the England fans hoped.
A false hope like no other it proved to be.
The Australian bowlers are a dangerous bunch, with the perseverance, experience and accuracy of Siddle particularly causing all sorts of problems.
Pietersen edged one to Michael Clarke at slip off Siddle soon after lunch, before Trott (48, 80b, 9x4) fell a few overs later, inside-edging one onto his stumps while attempting an uncharacteristic extravagant shot through the offside.
England, who scored the bulk of their runs through boundaries, were in serious trouble on 124 for four and things did not get much better with Ian Bell (25, 63b, 6x4) and Matt Prior falling in quick succession after a decent 54-run partnership between Bell and Jonny Bairstow (37, 51b, 7x4) - Siddle picking up both the batsmen to complete his five-for.
England went into tea on 185 for six, before Starc and Pattinson cleaned up the tail, notwithstanding a quick little cameo from Stuart Broad.
It's onto day two now and it remains to be seen which side comes up and stands tall as they face the pressures of the biggest Test rivalry in the world.