Brilliant Strauss leads from the front
The 1980s seem to be in vogue pretty much wherever you go. Today's teenagers wear the quirky clothes, exuberant hairdos and wacky eye make-up of 25 years ago and if you had been at Turnberry on Thursday you would have seen Tom Watson, who won The Open three times that decade, roll back the years in splendid fashion.
Meanwhile here at Lord's, the home side produced the type of dominant batting display we were accustomed to seeing from 80s stars Botham, Gower and Broad all those years ago when England won back-to-back Ashes series.
The only snag was that it only lasted for half a day, and from a tremendous high of 196-0, they lost their way in ungainly fashion and ended up with 364-6 - the kind of score which may yet prove a good one or may simply be not enough.
But let's not start getting negative yet. The Lord's spectators were entitled to see something positive from England after that hideous fourth day in north-west London in the 2005 Ashes. On that occasion, it rained for hours before Australia's bowlers ran through England's lower order with indecent haste to register their only win of the series.
You pay a lot of money to watch Test cricket at HQ these days, especially when Australia are the opponents, but nobody could complain that they didn't get plenty of bang for their bucks on Thursday.
There was, of course, Andrew Strauss's sumptuous unbeaten 161, some fine reverse-swing late in the day from Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, and even a brief appearance by the man playing his last Test at Lord's and dominating the build-up to the match, Andrew Flintoff.
I still feel that Australia may have ended up clearly on top had Stuart Clark, the man rated the fourth best bowler in the Test rankings and the leading wicket-taker in the 2006-07 Ashes, been selected for this match. How could he have got into Australia's four-man bowling attack? Possibly by ousting Nathan Hauritz, well though the off-spinner bowled on the final day in Cardiff.
But that is all fanciful conjecture. No reflection of the opening day of the second Test can avoid substantial mention of the man who hit an imperious unbeaten 161, the skipper Strauss.
When Strauss was feeling his way back into the England team after being dropped for the tour to Sri Lanka in late 2007, he struggled in the early stages of his comeback series, in New Zealand in early 2008.
But, having abandoned much of the riskier elements of his repertoire he saved his career with an emotional century in the final Test in Napier and now stands on 18 Test hundreds, only four behind the long-standing English record shared by Wally Hammond, Geoffrey Boycott and Sir Colin Cowdrey.
He has 5,000 Test runs in barely five years of Tests, but dismissed the mark afterwards with a memorable soundbite: "When you look at Ricky Ponting who's reached 11,000 runs, 5,000 seems like you're just out of nappies really."
Strauss did, however, add: "In the last six months I feel I have been batting better than at any time in my career."
The best aspect of his innings on Thursday was the level of concentration late in the day when wickets were falling. He looked even harder to dislodge than at any previous stage and both his shot selection and placement were impeccable.
No active player knows this ground better than Strauss, who has played all his county cricket for Middlesex and scored a century on Test debut here in 2004 against New Zealand. He has never had a Test double-century; wouldn't this be a fine time to register his first?
Interestingly, Strauss felt the pitch would provide England with "more wicket-taking opportunities than at at Cardiff", noting "a bit of nip and a bit of swing." No pressure there then, Freddie, Jimmy, Broady and co.
This Test is beautifully set up right now.