Having opened their Ashes tour with a remarkable win over Western Australia, England's captain Andrew Strauss is confident his side will continue improving.
The English recovered from a seemingly hopeless position against WA to win by six wickets yesterday, with Strauss making a fine century, and next head to Adelaide to face South Australia in another three-day match starting Thursday.
The tourists then have a final warm-up clash against Australia A in a four-day game in Hobart before the first Test in Brisbane on November 25 as they attempt not only to retain the Ashes but to win their first series in Australia since 1986-87.
Strauss said he believed his top-order batsmen struggled to adapt to the conditions in the first innings here, when they slumped to 117-7, but showed immediate improvement in the second innings and he expects the trend to continue.
"None of us have played any cricket for a few weeks," he noted. "It is about getting used to these conditions out here. They are different to England. "Our shot selection has to be slightly different. Balls you score off are slightly different and at times you've got to be patient, probably more patient than in England. I learnt a few lessons here at the WACA. We are hopeful we'll take that into Adelaide and hit the ground running there as well."
Strauss dismissed any concerns over his form of his deputy after Alastair Cook, who has a modest record against Australia with an average of 26.21 in 10 Tests, missed out twice against WA, making only nine and five.
"It is still early days, none of us have played cricket for a while," he said. "On this wicket in particular it was a big new ball wicket," he said.