Ashes 2013/14: England 'will be loathed to make changes' despite Test drubbing
Should Jonathan Trott stay at three? The Panel discuss the big issues after England's defeat.
Last Updated: 24/11/13 5:49pm
In the aftermath of England's crushing first Test defeat in Brisbane - their second biggest ever loss in Australia - The Ashes Panel addresses the key questions ahead of next week's second Test in Adelaide...
At the risk of dwelling on it, how bad was England's performance in Brisbane?
Nasser Hussain: It was very worrying because England were bossing the game on day one and all the memories from the summer were still there but since then it has been an absolute shambles. A lot of it is down to Australia and Mitchell Johnson, who is unrecognisable from the bowler we've seen in previous Ashes battles. There's a new togetherness and spirit in the team, too, while Michael Clarke's tactics were also very good. Some of England's batsmen will be mentally scarred; people will watch some of the shots they've played and say 'what are you doing that for?'
David 'Bumble' Lloyd: It's a massive wake-up call - but that's the thrill of Test match cricket. It's thrilling because we've seen a dangerous fast bowler in Johnson who has definitely disturbed England. That group of players have got nine or 10 players to come up with some answers. The challenge for Flower and his management staff is to turn things around, win a game and put Australia on the back foot. Australia are absolutely cock-a-hoop - you'd think that the series has finished - and I'll tell you why, because they're not used to winning! They lost 4-0 to India and 3-0 to England, so this is a great monkey off their back.
Sir Ian Botham: England will probably be pretty depressed - and they should be. You can't bat for 50 overs in the first innings on such a good surface and expect to win, and they know that. They collapsed again in the second innings. They've been well below par and they need to sort themselves out and to do it quickly because as Ashes-holders they can live with 1-0 at the moment but if they go 2-0 down then they will be in real trouble.
Shane Warne: On the flip-side it was a fantastic win for Australia after losing the last few Ashes series. They needed to come to Brisbane and say 'we've had enough of this' and the way that they've won is really important: they bashed up England and really intimidated them. It's only one Test win but I'm enjoying it.
So what should England get out of Friday's two-day warm-up game?
Nasser: I think the bowling's absolutely fine but Alastair Cook and Flower have to go up to each and every batsman and ask them 'how are you going to prepare to face Johnson in Adelaide?' This game coming up in Alice Springs is a bit of a dummy game because there are going to be some average cricketers playing in the opposition. Is it worth Trott going to Alice Springs and bullying some young attack because that's not what he's going to get in Adelaide?
Beefy: I agree entirely. I don't see any point in taking Trott to Alice Springs where he will play on a slow, low pitch against a pretty ordinary, mediocre attack. He'd even be better off going to play for the development side, who have got a three-day game down here - that would do him more good than Alice Springs. I think he needs to go with the batting coach and work on that down in Adelaide quietly, away from the press, behind closed doors. He can do it however he wants but he needs to go away and work on it because England need him performing at No 3.
Is now the time to make changes?
Mike Atherton: I don't think there will be. The problem is that England have got one or two senior players who are really under the hammer, particularly Trott at number three and Matt Prior, the 'keeper-batsman. Graeme Swann didn't have a great game as well. These are all senior players who have been at the heart of England's success for the last two or three years. England won't panic and they'll be reluctant to make any rash changes.
Bumble: Alastair Cook played really well in the second innings and the other plus for England was that Joe Root also did well, so if they do have a problem with Trott, they could put Root or Ian Bell in at number three if they are not going to go with Trott. We're not in the dressing room and we don't know what's in Trott's mind. But history shows that after a reversal England stay with the same team - they don't like chopping and changing.
Nasser: I was really impressed with Root. It was blatantly obvious that Johnson went after him. Any young lad who turns up in Australia knows that he's going to get a volley of abuse and I think he stood up to the bowling, the verbals and the intimidation well. Some players come out here and say 'I'll be down the spinners end, we'll be bowled out and I'll be 20 not out'. He went the other way and said 'I'll take you on Mitch' and he gave it back as well.
Andrew Strauss: England will be under huge pressure at Adelaide because if they don't win there, they can expect more of the same in Perth. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what Australia are going to do there. So the second Test is of incredible importance to England. Before this Test I thought that if Australia lost, they'd be under huge pressure - I didn't see how they were going to get back into it - whereas England can still win it, but they've made their task a lot, lot harder.
Beefy: England need to regroup quickly. There are two or three players who need to sort themselves out mentally and they all need to get themselves back into a winning mode. Australia have got all of the momentum now, so England have got to stop that and they've got to get themselves going and they need to start scoring runs in the first innings. They've picked up this bad habit and it's one they've got to lose. There is no need to panic or make changes; this lot have pulled things back before.
Nasser: The big question is 'will Australia still be a force if they get to Adelaide and lose the toss on what could be a flat pitch?' Generally their bowling has not let them down, so you've got to get more out of the batsmen. That's six Tests now on a variety of surfaces that England have not got enough runs.
So can England bounce back?
Strauss: England are going to be hurt, down and disappointed and, as Beefy said, a little bit embarrassed about their performance in this first Test but that doesn't mean they are not going to win this series.
Shane: My only question is 'how big an issue is fast, short bowling for the England batters on these bouncy wickets?' Remember they lost to South Africa, too.
Nasser: England definitely can bounce back. History shows they can do it. You can't get the records they have without having something about you. This is only the second Test that Cook has lost as captain. But it won't be easy. The batsmen need to wake up.
Beefy: Exactly. Welcome to Australia!
See if England can hit straight back in the series when the second Ashes Test at Adelaide begins on December 4. Coverage begins on Sky Sports 2 at 11pm.