England have had a couple of batterings from them and that can dent the confidence. They need to have total belief and show all of the batting power people have been talking about against what is probably the best bowling attack around in these conditions.
They may even have to play better than they have done at any point over the past few years to get a result on Saturday.
Australia are the team that have got a system and a strategy that’s working. The impact that Mitchell Johnson
has on any side is huge and having him back just makes every other bowler that much better as well.
A batsman knows that Mitchell comes on and that he’s got to try to take chances against the other bowlers.
I don’t see many teams getting up towards 300 against that attack. We’ll have to wait and see what the pitches are but I think they’ve got a really good variety in their bowling.
With Mitchell Starc
and Mitchell Johnson it’s serious pace as well. It’s not just quick, it’s super quick. They’re a difficult attack to score heavy runs against.
But anything can happen. Is there pressure on Australia as hosts? None of the players will have experienced that and there are things you can draw on as an England cricketer, you go into the game thinking ‘if we get on top of them early, we’ll see how they respond’.
Can England have an approach that can overcome the Australian confidence? Can they be braver than Australia?
I’ve been there when Australia are on top of you. It’s difficult to go out there and find a method to beat them and most teams will find it hard to get past them.
The stats will tell you that, apart from India
in Australian conditions, England have been going for quite a lot of runs and you’re asking the batting line-up to do a lot every single game if it’s going up towards 300 or more.
Generally on flat, flat wickets England have been going for up to 300 which causes problems for the batsmen.
No disrespect to Alastair Cook but there does look like there has been an injection of confidence and freedom into the approach of the England team.
Sometimes when you go through difficult times as a team, like losing Cookie, adversity can draw you together.
It’s not ideal to lose the captain a few months before the World Cup but it’s happened and it looks as though it has pulled the team a bit closer.