Over a week in advance, Stuart Broad has highlighted the importance of England bouncing back in the first hour of the next Ashes Test.
Broad was England’s outstanding performer in the opening defeat at Brisbane and will be aiming to add to his eight series wickets when the rivals lock horns again in Adelaide next week.
Before then, the tourists face a Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI on Friday and Saturday at Alice Springs, near to where Broad spoke to the media today during a visit to Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock.
With four Tests to go, England have time to come back into the series, but Broad knows they must improve at the Adelaide Oval.
“We go to Adelaide, (needing to) make sure we ‘nail’ that first hour. We need to start well and get back on the train,” he said. “We won’t put ourselves under the pressure of making it a must-win game.”
Broad’s match figures of 8-126 were part of a solid England bowling display on a flat Gabba pitch.
The tourists’ attack could soon be boosted by the return of Tim Bresnan, who is playing for the England Performance Programme in Brisbane this week, from a stress fracture of the lower back.
“We’re happy with how we bowled in the last Test match,” Broad explained. “I thought the unit bowled well together – the seam bowlers especially worked with each other really well.
“Bresy getting back fit will be a huge bonus for the squad, because we know the quality that he’s got.”
Broad, who was barracked by some home supporters at the Gabba, took six first-innings wickets, although he admitted they mean little in a losing cause.
“Picking up five-fors and scoring hundreds in losing Test matches doesn’t mean a lot, because it’s about the result,” he said.
“This match was slightly different because of the pressure and different things going on with how the Australian people have reacted.
“The boos didn’t affect me too much. Picking up eight wickets in the game, that can stand me in really good stead for the rest of the series.”
Broad made no secret of the fact that England’s batting must improve dramatically in Adelaide after team scores of 136 and 179 last week.
“We gave some soft wickets away at bad times in that Test match, which really gave the Australians confidence. We know (we have) to exclude that from our game,” he added.
“I think I saw 14 players get out on the leg side, which is really rare for an international batting line-up. It’s something we’re aware of, and there’ll be some hard yards in the nets this week.
“We’ve got to improve … and we’ve got the characters in the changing room who will do that.”
On being without stalwart batsman Jonathan Trott for the rest of the series due to a stress-related illness, Broad said: “It’s heartbreaking for us to lose Trotty.
“He’s been part of the side for four or five years – he’s a fantastic guy. He gave us a lot of solidity in the number three spot.
“But the important thing is he’s got the support of the changing room he’s played with for 49 Tests. Everyone’s looking out for him, and he gets a bit of privacy at home to get himself right. We wish him very well from Australia here.”
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