The Ashes: We know how important it is to let skills do the talking, says England captain Alastair Cook

Alastair CookThe Ashes: Adelaide Oval is sold out for the opening days and local fans are likely to give England another frosty reception (Reuters)

England will let their cricket do the talking in the second Test in Adelaide after engaging in some "ugly" verbal exchanges with Australia during their opening loss in Brisbane, captain Alastair Cook said on Wednesday.

The tourists slumped to a 381-run defeat in front of a hostile crowd at the Gabba, where an occasionally spiteful contest re-ignited the debate about sledging and sportsmanship.

Australia captain Michael Clarke was fined 20 percent of his match fee after he was caught by a stump microphone telling James Anderson to get ready for a "broken" arm when the paceman was batting, one of a number of heated moments during the Test.

Australia have pledged to maintain the aggression at Adelaide Oval when the match starts Thursday, but Cook struck a more statesmanlike tone.

"I think it's important that both sides recognise that a couple of scenes in that last Test weren't great for the game of cricket," he told reporters.

"It's important that we play in the right way. I think people want to see real tough cricket, that's what they enjoy, especially between England and Australia, but there's got to be a boundary that we don't cross.

"Maybe last week we let emotion get ahead of ourselves a little bit on some occasions and it got a little bit ugly.

"Obviously Michael and I have a responsibility as captains of both sides to make sure that doesn't happen."

Far more than taking on a team, England's campaign to win a fourth consecutive Ashes series has at times felt like a battle against an entire nation, with unsympathetic crowds and an orchestrated media campaign joining forces.

Following a Brisbane newspaper's front-page attack on England paceman Stuart Broad on the opening day of the first Test, Adelaide's "Advertiser" has sought to embarrass the team by publishing a picture of English cricketers out on the town at 3:30 in the morning.

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