Captain Stuart Broad believes early wickets were the difference between Australia and his England side in the first Twenty20 international at Hobart.
Cameron White and Aaron Finch got the hosts off to a flyer, both openers passing 50 as they laid firm foundations for a daunting total of 213 for four.
In contrast, Michael Lumb and Luke Wright fell cheaply and, by the time Alex Hales followed the pair back to the pavilion for a breezy 22, England were 45 for three after five overs.
Ravi Bopara provided late fireworks, recording England’s fastest format fifty on the way to 65 not out, but the Essex all-rounder was left with too much to do as the tourists fell 13 runs short to go 1-0 down in the three-match rubber.
“It’s always disappointing when you go for 200 but I think, on this ground, it was about par,” Broad told ecb.co.uk. “But we never got going with the bat.”
“If you don’t get going with the bat and you still get 200 it’s a pretty strong position to be in.
“I think the stats say that if you lose three wickets in the first six overs your chance of winning is so low.
“So we can take a positive into that with the ball that we need to get early wickets. The opening bowlers - myself and Jade (Dernbach) or Bres (Tim Bresnan) - have to take responsibility to try and get early wickets.
“There are positives that have come out tonight but we didn’t fire as a unit, which is disappointing.
“We’ve got two games to put that right and, generally, a strength of this team is that we do come back really well.”
The outstanding positive was Bopara’s return to form after a frustrating time with the bat in the recent one-day international series, and Broad believes his innings can serve to inspire the rest of the batting unit ahead of Friday’s meeting at Melbourne.
“Where do you bowl to someone who’s hitting towards such a short boundary like he was? It was scary,” Broad added after Bopara bludgeoned two fours and seven sixes in a remarkable assault.
“It was a really good innings and that will give Rav a lot of confidence. It should give our batting line-up a lot of confidence as well.”