The heartbreak at Trent Bridge notwithstanding, Australia captain Michael Clarke said he was proud of his players for their contribution to a memorable Test encounter.
“The boys can hold their heads high,” he said. “It was a wonderful game of cricket but credit to England. “They fought really hard through the five days and the two best performers were Ian Bell making a hundred and Jimmy Anderson getting five in both innings, so they deserved to win.”
Ashton Agar’s 98 on his Test debut was an obvious highlight for the Australians and one that bodes well for the rest of the series, and Clarke had special praise for the 19-year-old.
“He’s played really well,” he said. “He’s an amazing talent, a great kid. He’s got a very smart mind. He’s a lot older than his age would tell you. “He loves the game, he’s enjoying being around the Australian family, and I think you’re going to see a lot more of him.”
Asked if Australia’s 10th-wicket heroics in both innings reflected badly on the top order, Clarke said: “I don’t care how we make the runs, so long as we get them.
“We’re prepared well, we had a really good five days of cricket, plenty of ups and downs, and we can hold our heads high.”
Reflecting on the rest of the series, which continues at Lord’s on Thursday, he added: “I’m as confident as I was when we landed here. “We get another crack in four days so we’ll look forward to that.”