Brisbane: England’s comeback to draw the Gabba Ashes opener has given the team the belief it can go and win the series with Australia, skipper Andrew Strauss said on Monday.
England came out of the high-scoring draw as moral victors after overturning a huge 221-run innings deficit to avoid defeat and fatigue Ricky Ponting’s team with over 10 hours in the field ahead of Friday’s second Test in Adelaide.
Alastair Cook was the hero with an unbeaten 235 as England’s top three batsmen – Strauss and Jonathan Trott – all scored centuries, something that England have not achieved in Tests since 1924.
“There was a lot of self-belief at the start of the series, but everyone talks about the Brisbane Test and how important it is,” Strauss said.
“At the end of day three it wasn’t looking good for us. To come back in the match and draw it, we’ve got a belief we can go on and win this series from here.”
The series now moves to Adelaide with just a three-day turnaround before the teams take to the field again, putting a strain on recovery time from the physical demands of spending long stints in the field for both teams in Brisbane.
“There’ll be a spring in our step going to Adelaide. But you’ve got to transfer that onto the pitch,” Strauss said.
“It’s all very well strutting around a hotel lobby feeling good about yourself, you need to make sure that turns into runs and wickets.”
Strauss said his team showed the same resilience England demonstrated to hold on for fighting draws against Australia in last year’s first Cardiff Test and against South Africa in Cape Town last January.
“I suppose there was more drama at Cardiff and Cape Town because we took it so close to the wire,” he said.
“In some ways, from the end of day three, this was a better performance really.
“All of them had to show a lot of resilience. In those other Test matches it was the lower and the middle order that got us out of trouble. This time it was the top order.
“The more of those sort of performances we get from 1-11 in the team, the more confidence it gives you to do it again.”
“(In) Cardiff, definitely, we used our get out of jail card. This time we came out with a good solid draw in the end. None of it counts for anything unless we take advantage of it in Adelaide.”