Marmite hits back at Vegemite in bizarre Ashes war of words

Marmite has fired a brutal sledge back at Vegemite in the latest bizarre Ashes war of words, ahead of the second Test at Lord's.

The Ashes always stir up the England-Australia rivalry, but the beef between Vegemite and Marmite might be one of the most unexpected.

It all started during the first Test at Edgbaston, where jars of Marmite were handed out to fans around the ground.

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Helpfully re-branded ‘Marmy Army’, the ploy was assumedly an attempt to win over Aussie ex-pats as well as the locals.

Unfortunately for the good people at Marmite, their campaign did not go unnoticed by Vegemite, who decided to take out a full page ad in UK paper The Mirror, purely to sledge their English rivals about who was better at both Test cricket and creating a spread out of yeast extract.

“News has reached down under that free jars of Marmite are being handed out at the Ashes to try to prove it tastes better than our Vegemite,” the ad read.

“Are you guys barmy? Of course the refined English palate will prefer yours.

“Vegemite tastes like back to back tons on your return Test. Vegemite tastes like a come from behind victory by 251 runs.

“Catch ya at Lord’s.”

Any assumption that the cheeky Vegemite advertisement would be the end of the feud was ruthlessly dispelled by Marmite, in a cutting riposte.

Ouch.

Marmite's ball-tampering reference continues the general attitude seen from England's fans towards Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft - the three men banned over the 'sandpapergate' saga.

England banking on pace of Archer

The brutal sledge helps set the tone for what is expected to be a fiercely contest second Test at Lord's, where the hosts are banking on the inclusion of express paceman Jofra Archer to help them level the five-Test series.

Archer has recovered from a side strain and is set to face Australia in the second Ashes Test, which starts at Lord's on Wednesday.

The showpiece Test in the showpiece series is a unique occasion for any cricketer taking part, let alone a 24-year-old debutant replacing England's all-time leading wicket-taker Jimmy Anderson in the local XI.

The burden on Archer is also immense because of England's great expectations that he can rattle Steve Smith, whose twin tons at Edgbaston handed Australia a 1-0 series lead.

Jofra Archer comes in to replace injured England quick James Anderson. Pic: Getty
Jofra Archer comes in to replace injured England quick James Anderson. Pic: Getty

Shane Warne and Michael Atherton have both backed Archer's express pace to challenge Smith in a way England's bowlers failed to in Birmingham.

Jos Buttler, who has watched Archer go from strength and strength since calling him an Indian Premier League teammate prior to the World Cup, believes the right-armer's relaxed demeanour will help ensue he handles the heat.

"There's no big expectations on him from within, but he tends to cope with those things quite well," Buttler said.

"Hes' a pretty laid-back character.

"If he gets his chance, I expect him to perform really well.

"You've seen what he can do in the Big Bash and obviously the IPL as well, so he's well versed in pressure situations and big games."

Archer was England's leading wicket-taker in their triumphant World Cup campaign, which ended with him being chosen to deliver a super-over after the tied final.

Buttler suggested it would be wrong to think of the fast bowler as a limited-overs specialist.

"He's got amazing skills with the white ball but ... he prefers bowling with the red one," he said at the launch of Kookaburra's new SmartBall, which records data from a microchip in the pill.

Jofra Archer was integral to England's World Cup triumph. Pic: Getty
Jofra Archer was integral to England's World Cup triumph. Pic: Getty

"That's exciting for us. He just brings that x-factor."

Archer, Buttler, Smith and England vice-captain Ben Stokes all played for Rajasthan during this year's IPL.

"He's a really good guy," Archer said of Smith during the World Cup.

"I'd like to consider he thinks of me ... (as a friend).

"But until the game is over, there will be nothing friendly."

Australia will lean on Smith plus Archer's Big Bash teammates Tim Paine and Matthew Wade as the they prepare to face the speed demon.

"We know he's quality bowler but we're ready," Marnus Labuschagne said.

The hosts are upbeat Archer and recalled left-arm spinner Jack Leach, picked in place of Moeen Ali, are able to subdue Smith.

Buttler noted it is vital his attack remains patient bowling to the in-form batsman.

"If you can't do that, he's obviously a fantastic player who can take advantage," he said.

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