England see an opportunity to reap seeds of doubt and fatigue sown in Australian minds and bodies when the second Ashes Test begins at the Adelaide Oval.
The match will begin after a mere three days of recovery time from the exertions of the first Test at the Gabba, but having achieved a moral victory by the finish, England coach Andy Flower says Adelaide will provide the chance to follow it through against wearied opponents.
“I think in reality yes that is the case,” Flower said on Tuesday when asked if back-to-back Tests resembled a two-act play.
“Ideally you want to move on as quickly as possible whether you’ve done well or poorly in the last match, but obviously there is fatigue for some of the bowlers after long spells, confidence or lack thereof is passed from one match to the next.
“So yes there is definitely a connection there.”
For England this is very useful indeed, allowing them to focus on the power of their batting over the final two days in Brisbane while also reasoning that their bowlers cannot again be as lacking in good fortune as they were on the third morning.
“I think winning is a habit and fighting out of tough situations is a habit as well, I’m glad our guys are responding in that way to any adversity, and that’s what we expect of them, so I agree it does become a habit,” said Flower.
“I think our batsmen showed they can handle the attack, but that is only one Test we’ve just played, and the real test is over the long term.
“I expect them to fight hard and I expect our team to fight hard.”
The tourists will expect to gain more out of their bowlers in Adelaide, particularly off spinner Graeme Swann, who collected two expensive first innings wickets and tended to drop a fraction short against the nimble feet of Mike Hussey.
“Historically the Adelaide Oval wicket turns and does give the spinners a little bit of help so yes of course (we expect more),” said Flower.
“He’s a really experienced campaigner, Graeme Swann, and I think if anything that (harsh treatment) fires him up, so that’ll give him chances.”
“Whatever conditions we’re faced with you’ve got to use them as well as you can.
“We played a really good three-day game here a little while ago (v SA), and it was really valuable to play on the Test square, and our guys enjoyed playing on that surface.”
Flower escaped a brush with skin cancer in Brisbane after having a check-up, and said England’s players were likely to be screened for any irregularities while in Australia.