Having just been completely outplayed at Brisbane and finding themselves 1-0 down, as ever, it isn't a time to panic and I certainly don't endorse a huge change in thinking or strategy but there are clearly things that need to change if we are to get ourselves back into this series. The main concerns for me are as follows -
Playing quick, aggressive bowling - At times certain members of the top 7 looked all at sea when faced with some aggressive and accurate short bowling, specifically Trott and KP. Trott's demise has been well documented against Johnson and it is being well exposed by MJ and Clarke's excellent field settings. An in-form Trott brings a real sense of security to England, he just goes about his business, looks completely unflustered, and accumulates the runs by the truckload. What we have at the moment is a major technical issue which is also becoming a major mental issue. He is skittishly scuttling across his stumps and just flicking at the ball outside the line of his body with scant regard to any field setting or the very real possibility of feathering through to Haddin. Talks of him being left out at this stage for me far too premature, he deserves time to overcome this, I believe he will, but two similar failures in the way he gets out at Adelaide and the pressure will certainly mount.
I think Cook handled Johnson expertly, he assesses which balls to hook or pull, he sways out of the way if he doesn't fancy going at it, or stands tall and works it into the legside. Despite all of Johnson's verbals and huffing and puffing at Cook, he won't continue with the short stuff against the skipper as he's just too accomplished and composed to succumb. Bell also demonstrated the art of getting out of the way, you don't have to go on the attack in order to deter MJ from further bouncers.
Third Seamer - It may be unfair to highlight Chris Tremlett's position as the one to focus on as he bowled reasonably at Brisbane, but his drop in pace and threat just gave us a bit of a one-dimensional look on the flat Gabba track. A player such as Tim Bresnan can be versatile and bowl to various plans, Tremlett was basically trying to hit a length and not change but with that comes predictability and the better pullers of the ball used this shot to get him away. Hopefully Finn's form improves and he becomes an option while the full fitness of Bresnan could also be key.
Upping our intent with the bat - If England are to score quickly it falls upon the shoulders of KP and Matt Prior, sadly Prior's well out of nick at the moment. Our whole strategy is in setting things up so players such as these two can express themselves, along with the gay abandon allowed for Broad and Swann further down. But there are times in an innings when we need to show more intent and try and unsettle the bowlers lines and lengths, not by throwing the bat recklessly, but even by running hard and showing real intent in various other ways, at times just being busy.
I know there are other issues but my wife's taking the bloody laptop off me to do work!!!! Like that's more important than analysing England's attempts to try and turn an Ashes series around!!!