Michael Carberry
Michael Carberry and Alastair Cook both impressed with unbeaten tons. [Reuters]

Openers Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry took full advantage of a wonderful pitch in Hobart as they made unbeaten centuries to help England reach 318 without loss on the first day of their four-day Ashes warm-up game against Australia A.

Cook won the toss and rarely looked in trouble as he and his new opening partner Carberry batted throughout the entire day.

Having been heavily criticised by former Australia great Shane Warne, it was the perfect response from England's captain who played himself into form with a magnificent 154 not out, that included 19 fours.

While it will have been an enjoyable day at the crease for Cook, for his opening partner it will be even more memorable as Carberry staked a claim for a starting berth in the first Ashes Test which begins on 21 November in Brisbane.

The 33-year-old put himself firmly into Test contention with 153 not out that included some 22 fours and two huge straight sixes off the bowling of spinner Jon Holland.

Carberry is looking to win just his second cap for England after making his debut back in March 2010 when appeared against Bangladesh in Chittagong.

The Hampshire batsman made 78 in England's previous warm-up game and has seemingly seized his opportunity with a wonderful innings against Australia A. Carberry is competing with Joe Root to open alongside Cook and may well be given the nod after his display in Hobart.

With Carberry opening Root was moved down to number five with Yorkshire's Gary Balance taking up the problem position of six.

With Ian Bell still to come back into the side, England must make the decision whether to play Carberry in the Test XI or allow Root to open with Cook, and Balance to keep his place at six.

It seems increasingly unlikely that Jonny Bairstow will play in the first Ashes Test after he was once again left out, meaning that he has not featured in either warm-up game.

There was also an indication as to who will make up the bowling quartet as Chris Tremlett was selected alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann - perhaps indicating that he will be selected ahead of Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin.

The bowling unit will soon have their chance to impress but the first day was all about Cook and Carberry as the pair batted together for just the third time.

The duo were rarely troubled with Australia's only real chance coming with the score at 288-0 when Carberry edged Ben Cutting but Trent Copeland put down a relatively easy chance at gully, summing up a miserable day for the hosts.