Batsmen must make amends - Strauss
Andrew Strauss will turn his attentions to Lord's later this week as a relieved man intent on improving England's performance in their next Ashes confrontation.
The England captain admitted his immediate emotion was one of relief after watching last pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar repel 69 deliveries to hang on for a draw during the thrilling final day of the opening npower Test in Cardiff.
Their efforts finished off the job begun by Paul Collingwood, who battled for 343 minutes for his 74, and supported by Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann to save the game, after they seemed destined for an emphatic defeat when they slipped to 70 for five.
But once the dust has settled on England's nail-biting escape, England will have to start the post-mortem into the manner in which Australia outplayed them with bat and ball for the majority of the opening Test.
"There was a huge amount of relief in the dressing room and a lot of pride in how those guys played and how Colly, Graeme Swann and Fred played - the second half of the order really stood up to be counted," admitted Strauss.
"There is a lot of pride in what they achieved, but more than anything there was relief in getting through the game and we're still nil-nil going into the Lord's Test match.
"We are relieved we came away with a draw, but we're not going to pretend we're happy with the way we performed this week. We were down on where we needed to be and Australia showed us they're going to be a tough nut to crack and we need to get better."
England's selectors will seek the views of Strauss and coach Andy Flower this morning before they announce the squad for Thursday's second Test at Lord's, where they have not beaten Australia since 1934.
"The wicket was still very flat (in Cardiff) and as the guys lower in the order proved, there were a lot of ways of staying in there but we didn't manage to find them. In that respect we have to learn a lesson from it," said Strauss.
"If we're honest with ourselves we need to learn from how we batted in the first innings.
"To score 336 for seven on the first day in hindsight wasn't a brilliant effort and as batsmen we've got to take that on the chin and be determined to come out and make amends the next time we play."
Asked about the failure of England's attack to make greater inroads into Australia's line-up, Strauss stressed: "To a certain extent the conditions favoured batting, which is why I said that our first innings probably wasn't as good an effort as it should have been.
"I think we probably need to get more balls consistently in the right areas and we weren't able to do that on this wicket and maybe execute our plans a little better."
Anderson added: “It is huge for us. To go to Lord’s in a couple of days now still level in the series is a massive boost for us.
“It was a tricky last couple of overs. We played fantastic today and Colly (Paul Collingwood) was absolutely awesome. I’m just glad to get out of it with a draw.”
England looked doomed when Collingwood was caught by Mike Hussey at gully off Peter Siddle with 45 minutes to play.
But the last-wicket pair held firm and Panesar, who Collingwood has taken under his wing as a batting buddy this summer, praised his mentor for his efforts.
“It’s amazing what he did today. He made a fantastic contribution to us drawing the game,” Panesar said.
“He’s been throwing me balls and working really hard with me on my batting and it has paid off today.”