Strauss encourages England to negate limelight

England

Former skipper Andrew Strauss has implored England to capitalise on next week's two-day tour fixture against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI, after collapsing to a large 381-run defeat in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Sunday.

Former skipper Andrew Strauss has implored England to capitalise on next week's two-day tour fixture against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI, after collapsing to a large 381-run defeat in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Sunday.

England were dismissed for a mere 136 in the first innings and 179 in the second, as fast bowler Mitchell Johnson romped to Man of the Match figures of nine for 103 inside four days.

"I think going up to Alice Springs is actually a good thing for England – it's a chance to get away from the limelight a little bit," said Strauss.

"It's one of the quandaries you go through in a team environment – 'how much do we just put it down as a one-off and not worry about it but make sure we come back strongly in Adelaide, a ground that should suit us better'.

"My gut feeling is that coach Andy Flower is going to get everybody in a room and require some real honesty from them. Some of the players are obviously struggling and it will be good for England if some of the players can hold their hands up."

The Australians were a decidedly stronger force at the Gabba, vehemently taking the first step to possibly avenging a three-nil defeat in the United Kingdom earlier this year.

While Johnson clinched the headlines and accolades, centurions Michael Clarke and David Warner, fast bowler Ryan Harris and spinner Nathan Lyon put in impressive performances too.

"Australia deserved their win. They will take a lot of heart from it – they'll be very buoyant going into the second Test. They'll be very happy with the way their bowling attack has worked, some of their batsmen have got big scores as well. England have all of the questions to answer," added Strauss.

"But if I was captain, I would be concerned by the manner of the defeat but I'd be urging everyone not to get too carried away. It's easy for us to say England are in dire straits. You don't become a good side overnight and you don't become a bad side overnight."

The second Test will get underway at the Adelaide Oval on 5 December. The WACA in Perth, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground will host matches three, four and five respectively.

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