Australia captain Tim Paine has declared that his team's 2019 Ashes blueprint would not change, despite copping a battering from Jofra Archer's speed and losing Steven Smith to concussion at Lord's, with the Headingley Test following swiftly in its wake from Thursday.
This extends to Paine's desire to assert himself with the occasional hook shot, even though it briefly imperilled the tourists in fading light on the final day of a Lord's match that, despite losing five-and-a-half sessions to rain, still provided much to cherish and remember. When Paine failed to clear the leaping Joe Denly halfway in from the boundary, the Australians had only four wickets in hand and seven overs still to face.
"You don't have a lot of time to think. Sometimes you get it wrong," Paine said. "I was thinking about ducking under it, but 150kph can make you do different things. I just didn't hit it where I would have liked to have hit it. I'm not going to overthink it. I'm going to keep playing the way I want to play."
England captain Joe Root foreshadowed that Paine would be receiving more of the same in the remainder of the series, and said he had been trying to corner his opposite number into hitting out against Archer, given the paceman's hostility and a field setting that made it hard to simply play defensively at the short stuff.
"You're always trying to mess around with things. On that wicket, it was very difficult to get underneath the ball, and with two short legs right around the corner, stand up and play it doesn't seem like a great option, and you don't really want to let it hit you," he said. "You're trying to play with their mind and see what different things they want to do. I was trying to keep [Travis] Head on strike as well at the other end for the spinner to bowl into the rough and it ended up working out quite nicely. We've seen him get out a couple of times, especially against us. I think he might get a few more."
The rearguard led by Smith's concussion substitute Marnus Labuschagne and vice-captain Head allowed Australia to wriggle clear in the end. Paine said the team would take confidence from the fact that an array of players have shown the ability to step up - even if Smith is ruled out of the Leeds match with the after-effects of his concussion. He also indicated that the team did not need to rethink their plans, pointing to dropped catches and sub-par use of the DRS as reasons why the match could have turned out rather differently.
"We'll focus on what we think is going to win the games and our message from a captain or a coach won't change," Paine said. "We've got a pretty clear plan in place that we think if we execute we can win the Ashes in these conditions. Whether Steve's playing, whether James Pattinson is playing, it doesn't matter. The players we pick are picked to play a role, they're really clear on that. They know what's expected. Everyone on our team does.
"It's not so much about the person. We've been lucky that we've had Steve Smith batting really well but I thought Marnus came in and batted as well as anyone did in the Test match. We wanted two [substitutes] - I think if Smithy is averaging 62, you want to bring a couple of batters in. But Marnus played superbly, for a guy in probably his [sixth] Test. He got hit hard in the face second ball and I thought he showed great character great skill and technique. We know Marnus is a quality player and he's getting better all the time. We're happy with the way he played.
"At one stage we thought we were going to have to run some gloves out to him [Head] to tell him we were not chasing the total. But that is the beauty of Heady and Marnus and something we want them to do, play the same way regardless of the situation and if you do that in your first five Test matches that will give you some real belief and we don't want to take away their courage and natural attacking style of play."
Other spot fires in the Australian side include the underperformance of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, while Usman Khawaja is also yet to pass 50 for the series. Nevertheless, the strength of the pace attack - likely to be reinforced by Pattinson for Headingley - and the steel shown at various points across Lord's meant that Australia were still decent value for their 1-0 series advantage with three to play.
"We'll get to Leeds, have a look at the conditions and pick the best team to win the game and take 20 wickets," Paine said. "I think if you look at top-order batting across the two teams it shows you it's probably a pretty difficult place to be batting on either side. Yes, those guys would like more runs. We know how good David is, he's got 7000 Test runs at 50 and Cameron Bancroft I thought in this game looked pretty good, faced a lot of balls … probably would've liked to have scored a few more runs but I thought he acquitted himself pretty well again against some pretty high-quality bowling.
"I wouldn't say it was a great escape at all. I would've said we played reasonably well to 3 for 130 and then you have a little something that doesn't quite go your way and you've got a guy bowling 150kph and it's quite dark and it's difficult. That's Test cricket but we found a way out of it. I'm really proud of our team. But I thought in our first innings as well, I thought the way our tail stuck at it in a pretty uncomfortable batting period of time.
"I know some tails wouldn't dig in like ours did so I was really proud of the way they went about it in the first innings. Guys bowling at that pace take time to get used to and Jofra bowls from quite a height. He gets steep bounce. It can take a little bit of time to get used to, there's no doubt about that. I think the reason a lot of guys were hit in this game was because the pitch was actually a little bit two-paced as well. It was very difficult to decide whether to pull or duck because you duck and some didn't get up, you'd try and stand up and pull and it took off."
As for the fact that the Lord's stalemate meant Australia needed only one win from the remaining three Tests to retain the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001, Paine had not yet given himself time to ponder this. But it was not hard to imagine that, on the bus to Yorkshire on Monday morning, he will.