Stop Hussey, stay together: what England must do to regain the series initiative

All is not lost. Andrew Strauss's side were badly beaten in Perth but they can still dream of Ashes victory, writes Stephen Brenkley

Repel Mitchell Johnson

Either repel him or hope that he does not find the swing he did in Perth which makes him irresistible. England had not seen its like before and Ricky Ponting was barely wide of the mark when he said it was one of the great Ashes spells. If he continues in this vein, England's goose may be cooked in Melbourne and Sydney. But he is a capricious commodity. England have reason to believe that the Mitchell in Melbourne will not be the Mitchell of Perth and that will affect the whole Australian psyche.

Find a way to get Hussey out

Mike Hussey was almost dropped before this series. A last-ditch century in his last possible Sheffield Shield innings saved him. Since then he has scored 517 runs at an average above 100 and his authority looks complete. Importantly, Hussey looks to have worked out how to play Graeme Swann and although England's best bowler has dismissed him twice in the series, the worry is that Hussey is prepared to come at him. England bowled too short at him in Perth and he carved them delightedly.

Score first innings runs

It is a truism that runs in the first innings of a Test match frequently settle its course. Although the figures for England's batsmen in the series are still fairly fancy it is also the case that they have failed in two of the three first innings. In Brisbane they made 260, in Perth 187. They need much more of the 620 for five of Adelaide. If that was a false dawn, they are in trouble. The chances are that they will not see another bouncy surface like Perth, so there is reason to keep believing.

Be ruthless in selection

For most of his career, Paul Collingwood has been playing for his place in the England side. His doughty character has usually him seen him through. He is the only one of the top six without a 50 in the series and he looked hapless at the Waca, a rabbit in the headlights turned on by Johnson. The chances are that England will keep him – they tend to drop bowlers when the batsmen are to blame – because of other splendid attributes. But the feeling grows that this is his last Test series.

Maintain team spirit

One of the most attractive components of the side forged under Andrew Strauss as captain and Andy Flower as coach has been resilience. Steve Waugh mentioned it before the Perth Test, alluding to three Test matches in the previous 18 months in which England had held on by a wicket. They never looked like doing so yesterday and somehow with impetus so brusquely grabbed away, they have to rediscover it. The Ashes now depend on it. But team spirit alone will not be enough. They have no Stuart Broad, they need Swann more than ever and the pitches on which he can operate.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas