Swagger now with England but Strauss wants to remain focused

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2010, 18:21 PM IST

Brisbane: An air of assured confidence has often been the hallmark of recent Ashes series, though more often than not it has been the Australians who have swaggered into the second Test of the series after a win in the first match.

After England posted 517 for one in their second innings to salvage an unlikely draw -- but ostensibly a moral victory -- at the Gabba, it is the visitors who will enter the second match at the traditionally batter-friendly Adelaide Oval with momentum.

England captain Andrew Strauss, however, has stuck to his mantra of managing expectations and is keen to ensure his players do not get too far ahead of themselves.

"There`ll be a spring in our step going to Adelaide but you`ve got to transfer that to the pitch," Strauss said. "It`s all very well strutting around the hotel but you`ve got to make sure that turns into runs and wickets.

"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."

First Innings Duck

Strauss, who scored a second innings century after a first innings duck, was particularly pleased his top order had tortured the Australian bowlers for two days in Brisbane particularly as the middle order and lower order had got them out of precarious positions in recent Test matches.

In Cardiff in the opening match of the last Ashes series, bowlers James Anderson and Monty Panesar defied the Australian attack to save the Test, while in Cape Town earlier this year Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell combined to thwart South Africa`s victory push.

"Cardiff, definitely, we used our get out of jail card," Strauss added in reference to the match that ultimately helped set up their Ashes winning series.

"There was more drama in Cardiff and Cape Town but from where we were on day three, this is a better performance.

"In all of them we 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."

Bureau Report