Cricket Expert & Columnist
Ashes 2013/14: England must pile pressure on Australia to have shot at saving Test
Andrew Strauss says England's attack must squeeze Australia to have a shot at saving the first Test.
Last Updated: 24/11/13 4:04pm
The home side seized control of the match on day two by shooting England out for just 136 and then cruising to 65-0 before stumps to establish a healthy 224-run lead.
And former England captain Strauss - a two-time Ashes winning skipper - told the Sky Sports Ashes podcast that the outlook appears bleak for Alastair Cook's side unless they can strike early and consistently on day three.
"It's hard to think of any real positives for England," said Strauss. "I suppose you could say that Michael Carberry was pretty composed opening the innings and did a good job seeing off that new ball but other than that it was quite bleak.
"There were some injudicious shots, some guys who looked very suspect against the new ball and even at the end of the day when England were bowling, they looked like they had run out of steam. The bowlers lacked any real sort of bite and Australia got through to the close of play without any real alarms.
"So England are going to have to take stock and think about what went wrong but also they are going to have to come back tomorrow and say 'listen, forget about today - it's over, there's nothing we can do about it'. We've got to show fight now.
"The game isn't over yet but England are going to have an unbelievable job to get back into it. They are going to have to find a way of taking wickets. David Warner batted really well this evening. He's a dangerous customer because he can take the game away from you very quickly and he plays Graeme Swann well.
"So England are going to have to get him out and then they'll have to squeeze the opposition; that's really important. They can't allow Australia to score too many quick runs.
"They are going to need some help from Australia - they are going to have to repeat some of those injudicious shots that we saw from England."
England's collapse was their sixth worst in history - but only six runs better than 1990 when they lost six wickets for just three runs in Melbourne.
The poor total continues an unwelcome pattern of low England first-innings scores in the first Test matches of overseas tours, a list that includes 192 against Pakistan in Dubai (2012), 193 against Sri Lanka in Galle (2012), 191 against India in Ahmedabad (2012) and 167 against New Zealand in Dunedin (2013).
While Strauss says that England must make a greater effort to address the problem, he told Sky Sports that mid-Test is not the time.
"Andy Flower is not the sort of guy who gets the hair-dryer out very often," added Strauss.
"He'll take stock tonight and have a chat with Graham Gooch and a couple of others of the coaching staff and formulate a plan to get the players revved up in the morning.
"They'll almost try to take the attention away from what happened. You've got to forget a day like that. There's no point in dwelling on it. It's gone, it's done and dusted. You can only move forward.
"The time to address issues is at the end of the Test match, not while the match is still going on and you've got to fight to try and get something out of the game.
"But England can't run away and hide from the problem they have of failing to score big first innings runs - it has happened too often now. The one thing players tend to do in these situations is try to hide behind collective responsibility. This is one of those times when individuals have to think about things."
Watch highlights of today's play on Sky Sports 2 and On Demand from 6.30pm - before The Ashes Verdict (9pm) and Ashes Extra (11pm) hit your screens ahead of coverage of day three, from 11.30pm - also on Sky Sports 2.