England fast bowler Steven Finn is targeting a big early effort from his side as they look to capitalise on a dramatic opening to the Ashes series.
Finn took two wickets in two balls as England reduced the visitors to 75-4 at stumps, having been dismissed for 215.
He said: “The first hour will be very important – how we set the tone as bowlers and how we attack Australia.
“A few early wickets and we could put our noses in front. It’s pretty even at the moment, a very tight battle.”
The Middlesex paceman added: “To have them four down at the end of the day was a good result for us.”
Australia’s hero on a thrilling first day was Peter Siddle, who took five wickets, including four of the first five batsmen.
On the opening day of the last Ashes series, Siddle took six wickets, including a hat-trick, and he was once again England’s scourge in overcast conditions ideal for swing bowling.
Siddle said: “It was an extraordinary day. Once we all settled down in the field, things went our way. I think we are still on top.
“Rocking up, we wanted to bat and to get the job done with the ball was good. Hopefully we can now go on and get some runs.
“I don’t think the pitch played a big part in the day’s play, it was the cloud cover. Hopefully the sun will come out on Thursday and we can set up the match. If we can get in there, dig in and be patient, there is still Brad Haddin to come and a few of us tail-enders can still bat.”
Finn insisted that he and his team-mates had not underestimated Australia, who began this series as most judges’ second favourites, having been thrashed 4-0 in India over the winter after England had beaten the same opposition 2-1.
He said: “I think everyone knew it was going to be a tough series. The fact they bowled us out for 215 highlighted that.
“Having won the toss and batted we would have liked to get a few more runs on the board. But we knew if we came out and attacked off stump and brought the batsmen forward, we would get our reward in the end.”
Finn’s strike partner James Anderson also took two wickets in the final session, including the prize wicket of skipper Michael Clarke.
Finn said: “I think we fought back really well in that last session. Jimmy is a special bowler and has been for a long time. It’s testament to producing and developing new skills and the ball that got Michael Clarke was an absolute beauty.
“We’ve seen him do that a few times with magic balls. I thought we played really nicely until lunch, but we know we deal well with setbacks.”
The pair led the bowling attack, with Stuart Broad off the field after suffering a blow on the right shoulder while batting.
“We’re hopeful he’ll be fit,” said Finn. “(If not) I’ll have to bowl a few more overs, I think, and we’ll just have to rotate ourselves.
“But at the moment, we don’t know the extent of Broady’s damage.”
Australia coach Darren Lehmann said the match was finely balanced – despite pre-match claims from some that his side would not be able to compete with England.
“It’s pretty even stevens, isn’t it? Tomorrow is going to be a pretty big day – most of them are in an Ashes series,” he said.
“Anyone who left the game today would have been pretty impressed with both sides. We’re very pleased to bowl them out for 215 and it probably should have been cheaper. But we’re here to play, no doubt about it.
“Hopefully the odds (on an Australia win) will come down.”