Andrew Flintoff and Paul Collingwood hold the key for England as they look to reach a big first innings total in the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney.
They ended day one on 234-4, with Flintoff 42 not out and Collingwood 25.
"To see off that last hour of play and the way they did it was really important for us.
"But tomorrow is a huge battle for us to get through the first session and the second new ball," team-mate Ian Bell told BBC Sport.
England cannot afford to waste the opportunity as they trail 4-0 in the series and Australia are eager to achieve what would be only the second whitewash in Ashes history as they prepare to say goodbye to Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer.
Bell said it was difficult to know what a par total was on a pitch offering help to the seam bowlers, but England would be looking for at least 350.
"We certainly don't want to lose 5-0 but for us, as a young England side, we've got to put this behind us now.
"But it's important from this Test match and every day we play here in Australia that we're building for the next Ashes series," said Bell.
"This is the toughest place you can play cricket. We've learnt certain things - and learnt the hard way - but I've enjoyed every minute out here and I'm looking forward to coming back here again in the future."
From Australia's point of view, they will look to get rid of Flintoff on day two before he has time to settle at the crease. After a disappointing series with only one half century in the first four games, Flintoff looked more like his old self in hitting a six and five fours.
Australia coach John Buchanan said: "We beat the bat quite a bit and when we had them two down early on there might have been some ghosts floating around in the dressing room - but I think they responded well.
"234-4 off 80 overs puts them in a reasonable position, providing they can capitalise on it. We're looking for a couple of early wickets so we can really restrict that total."
Buchanan praised seam bowler Stuart Clark who again looked impressive in sending down 19 overs for figures of 1-54.
"Since he came into the Test side his performances have been simply outstanding.