England's selectors were right to recall Monty Panesar and hand Ben Stokes a Test debut in Adelaide, says Andrew Strauss.
The tourists made two changes from the side mauled in the Brisbane Test but overlooked Tim Bresnan in favour of bringing in spinner Panesar and all-rounder Stokes in place of Surrey seamer Chris Tremlett and batsman Jonathan Trott, who has returned home with a stress-related illness.
Former England skipper Strauss said the selections look sound on Adelaide's drop-in pitch.
"I think it was a bold decision and the right choice for this wicket, but they are still going to have play well if they want to win this game," said Strauss, "because there is not a lot in it for the seam bowlers. I think spin is going to play an increasingly big part as the day goes on.
"Ben Stokes probably wouldn't have expected to have been playing a week ago and he acquitted himself very well. He bowled a few overs and got a decent amount of pace and he certainly didn't let himself down at all. The real test for him is going to be coming in to bat at number six."
After losing the toss, Strauss believes England can be satisfied with their first day's work having restricted Australia to 273-5 - particularly given the convincing nature of their 381-run defeat in the first Test.
With next week's third Test at Perth likely to be played on a pitch similar in pace and bounce to Brisbane, Strauss says it is vital that the tourists don't suffer a second straight defeat.
"England don't have to win here but they are going to make life very difficult for themselves if they get nothing out of this game," he said.
"At the very least they need to draw it and a draw is always a possibility here because it is a flat wicket. The wicket looks very dry - it looks like a day three wicket on day one - so it is going to be interesting to see how it plays in the second half of the match.
"Will it start turning prodigiously? Will it start going through the top? If that's the case then it may prove to be a really good toss for Michael Clarke to have won."
At one stage Australia looked on course to post a more commanding first-day total but having reached 155-1, they lost three wickets for 19 runs as England fought back in the afternoon session.
Chris Rogers (72), Shane Watson (51) and George Bailey (53) are all back in the pavilion but skipper Michael Clarke will resume on 48no, prompting Strauss to declare: "I think it's a very even day's cricket.
"England would have been really worried at the toss - it was an important toss that Alastair Cook lost. I think they would have been worried that they were going to be consigned for a long period in the field.
"In truth they did really well. They took three wickets in the afternoon session and by the end of the day having Australia five wickets down they'll be relatively satisfied. They will be a little bit disappointed that they dropped a couple of catches, including Michael Carberry dropping Brad Haddin right at the end. That will leave a slightly bitter taste in their mouth.
"But Australia had a couple of soft dismissals of their own. So both teams will be reasonably satisfied but also there will be the odd regret in there as well."
Watch day one highlights from 10am on Sky Sports 2 and On Demand from 6.30pm, then catch The Ashes Verdict from 9pm and The Ashes Extra from 11pm on the same channel ahead of live coverage of day two from 11.30pm.