Strauss: Batting must improve
England captain Andrew Strauss has conceded his team have performed “very badly” en route to their one-day international series defeat in Australia.
The tourists won the Ashes in emphatic style but have failed to reproduce that form in the shorter format, slipping to a decisive 4-1 deficit in the seven-match series after a 51-run loss in Brisbane.
A string of poor totals with the bat have been at the heart of Strauss’ side’s failings and they were dismissed for just 198 today.
Strauss said: “We were never able to get any real momentum apart from the partnership between (Kevin) Pietersen and (Ian) Bell and we were well short in the end so we’re very disappointed.
“We’re very disappointed with the manner in which we’ve played as a batting group so far in this one-day series and we’ve got what we deserved which is Australia have gone on and won the series.
“We’ve done a lot of talking about it but talking doesn’t bring you results. Guys have got to take it to the middle.
“We still want guys to play positively. We’ve got the World Cup coming up - we’re going to need to play positive cricket.
“I’d hate guys to go into their shells but it’s decision-making in terms of what bowlers to attack, what times are the right times to attack, what times are the right time to defend, and we haven’t done that well enough. The reasons for that I’m not entirely sure.
“We’ve played very badly. I think we certainly could have won the first two games - in fact we probably should have done but what’s concerning is that we haven’t played smart cricket. That’s disappointing.
“But we’ve got two more games here so hopefully we can learn from those mistakes and get some momentum heading into the World Cup.”
While England's batting problems may be attributed to mental lapses, the concern over their bowlers is physical after injuries to Ajmal Shahzad and Chris Tremlett.
Shahzad suffered a hamstring injury while bowling and had to bat with a runner, while Tremlett was ruled out before the game due to a slight side strain.
Both will have scans on Monday and after front-liners Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan flew home early due to injury last week, Strauss said a replacement may be called upon.
“We're beginning to run out of bowlers now,” Strauss said.
“We will take stock and assess the injury situation this evening. If we need to call someone up we will.”
Young all-rounder Chris Woakes provided a rare bright spot on the day with 6-45, the best ODI figures by an England bowler on foreign soil.
The right-armer played down his feat though, saying: “It was just one of those days where the ball just seemed to attract the fielders.
“It seemed to go in their direction more times than not and fortunately enough for myself I picked up six - on another day you get none."
“It would have made it a lot sweeter if we had kept ourselves in the series though.”