Jonathan Trott felt England uncharacteristically contributed to their own downfall on day one of the fourth Investec Ashes Test.
Having chosen to bat, the hosts found themselves in good positions at 107 for one and 149 for two in the afternoon session.
However, Australia – who cannot regain the Ashes but are aiming to draw the series 2-2 – fought back impressively.
The upshot was England closing on 238 for nine – an effort that left Trott, who looked in fine fettle en route to a brisk 49, frustrated.
“I think batting first was the correct decision and we got ourselves to about 150 for two,” he said. “In hindsight it was right but as a group we are pretty disappointed that we've ended the day behind the game.
"Generally in cricket you get yourself out or it is good pressure from the opposition and you play a shot to a ball that you shouldn't have.
"It's not too often you get unplayable deliveries. It's not often you'd say that so generally the fault is on yourself as batsmen and I think we could all probably say that today.
"It was a little bit uncharacteristic for us as a side, because we put a lot of emphasis and value on our wicket. I certainly try and do that as much as I can.”
While England’s effort will ultimately have fallen short of what Cook may have expected when he won the coin-flip, the game remains intriguingly poised.
The highest first-innings score on the ground this year is just 267, giving cause for home optimism.
“There are a few disappointed guys,” admitted Trott. “But tomorrow hopefully we can scrape a few more and get some early wickets because I think 250 is an average score around here at Durham.
"But that is the easy route to go and say we are at par when clearly we are not - we didn't have the best of days towards the end."
Australia’s chief destroyer was off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who claimed 4-42.
The tweaker was surprisingly not selected for the opening two Tests yet showed his worth despite the pitch offering little assistance.
Asked whether he felt he had a point to prove when being recalled for the previous encounter, he replied: “It felt like my debut again in Manchester. I was full of nerves playing in my first Ashes series.
“It’s a dream come true for an Australian kid growing up to tour England and play in an Ashes series.
“There was no doubt I was quite nervous but I knew what my role was and I had to do my job to help the Australian team out.”
He will certainly feel a lot more comfortable this evening following a fine bowling effort, especially given his haul included the scalp of Kevin Pietersen - who was typically aggressive against Lyon.
"They’re the challenges that I love, someone taking the game to you,” he added. “That’s why we play our cricket. There’s no doubt he’s one of the best batters in the world.
“I was lucky enough to come out on top but cricket’s a funny game so I’m not saying too much.”