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Ashes: Andrew Strauss buoyed by Gabba draw

Australia v England, second Test
Venue: Adelaide Oval Date: 3-7 December. Match starts 0000 GMT on 3 Dec Coverage: Listen live on Test Match Special on BBC Radio 4 LW and 5 live Sports Extra; text commentary on BBC Sport website and live on Sky Sports 1


Strauss & Cook revel in 'fantastic' display

Andrew Strauss believes England have built momentum for the the second Ashes Test after battling their way to a draw in the series opener in Brisbane.

Trailing by 221 runs after the first innings, England scored 517-1 in reply to see off the prospect of defeat.

"To come back in the match and draw it, we've got a belief we can go on and win the series from here," said Strauss.

"We'll have a spring in our step going to Adelaide - but we have to transfer that to the pitch."

Strauss also described Alastair Cook's 235 not out, the cornerstone of England's second innings as "one of the best hundreds I've seen by an England player".

"The concentration to see it through for such a long time, it was one of the really special innings by an England player," he added.


Despite the strong second innings performance, Strauss acknowledged that the match had left his team with areas to work on before the two sides meet again in Adelaide on Friday.

"There are some concerns for sure. I don't think we bowled as well as we could in their second innings," he said.

"We know we can do better and we know we can improve."

Overall though, he was impressed with the way England recovered from a poor position to secure a comfortable draw.

"Everyone talks about how important the first Test is against Australia in Brisbane, so to get through that unscathed from the position we were in is a great effort," he said.

With Strauss out for a duck in the first over of the match and England making a modest first-innings total, Australia had looked likely winners at tea on Saturday after building up a big lead.

"Getting out in the first over was a horrendous way to start," he said.

"We felt pretty low then and after day three we felt downbeat as well, but we dug pretty deep."

Asked about England's approach to the second innings, when they needed 221 to make Australia bat again, Strauss said: "If you just go into your shell and try and survive you play into the opposition's hands.

"If you look for scoring opportunities it creates momentum for you and once we got that momentum it became easier and easier."

Cook's score was the highest in a Test at The Gabba, beating Sir Don Bradman's 226 against South Africa in the 1930s.

"I feel slightly humble at that, slightly ruining all the records there for the wrong reasons but it's a nice one to have," the Essex opener said.

But Cook, who had an average of 26.21 over 10 Ashes Tests before the match, insisted he still has something to prove.

"To score 200 against Australia in Australia is a great effort. When you're so far behind you have to bat a lot of overs to get back into," he reflected.

"My record in Australia has not been that good. One innings does not change a lot but it is a start.

Alastair Cook
Cook was thrilled to secure his maiden Test double century

"Hopefully, I can start again in Adelaide."

Team-mate Jonathan Trott paid tribute to Cook and captain Strauss for playing a calm and confident innings to get the ball rolling in the second-innings reply.

Cook and Trott then put on a historic unbeaten 329, the ninth highest England stand, and the best by an English pair in Australia. England finally declared, setting Australia 297 to win from 41 overs, and an early draw was agreed at 107-1.

Trott said: "The way Andrew and Alastair batted at the beginning set the tempo for the innings. It's always nice to come in when the job was done by them and we just continued to do the work really.

"We wanted to get it on a bit and set them something and have a little bowl at them and see what we could do. That was the sort of impetus that we needed, and it was nice to go through the gears in a Test match."

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see also
Records fall as England draw Test
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First Ashes Test in photos
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Siddle hat-trick shocks England
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England in Australia 2010-11
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Live cricket on the BBC
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