Strauss bemoans batting display

England v West Indies

Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss reflects on impending defeat for England in their first one-day encounter of the tour

Captain Andrew Strauss admitted England “weren’t smart enough" with the bat as they slipped to a six-wicket defeat against West Indies in the Twenty20 international.

Strauss called for his team to play without fear in the opening match of the limited-overs leg of the Caribbean tour, but they were bowled out for a meagre 121 in 19.1 overs in Trinidad.

Ramnaresh Sarwan’s 59 off 46 balls carried West Indies to a convincing victory, achieved with two overs to spare at the Queen’s Park Oval.

Steven Davies and Strauss, who made 27 and 22 respectively, were the only England batsmen to pass 14, and the longest partnership of the innings was 24 deliveries.

“Pretty obviously (the main problems lay) with the bat,” Strauss said. “You don’t win too many Twenty20s having scored 120.

“We did a lot of things wrong with the bat if we’re honest with ourselves. We weren’t smart enough with our batting.

“We lost wickets at regular intervals, the guys that did get in didn’t go through and we didn't keep the momentum up. It was a very disappointing performance with the bat.

“We would have needed two or three things to go our way in the field if we were going to win the game. We weren’t ever able to put pressure on the West Indies with the ball.

Denesh Ramdin & Owais Shah

Owais Shah lifts Sulieman Benn to long-on as England are hurried out for just 121

“It’s just disappointing the way we batted. If we had got to 150 that would have been a decent score.

“It was one of those slow wickets which we need to think about and what our scoring areas are on those wickets and obviously assess the risk of our shots as well.”

Strauss plans to bring the squad together ahead of the opening match of the one-day series in Guyana on Friday as England attempt to conjure a first victory in a competitive match this winter.

“There's plenty for us to work on,” he added. “We're disappointed with the way we played and we need to put it right for the first one-dayer.

“We've got to be very clear about our thinking. We need to have a couple of decent chats this week on how we're looking to play in different conditions and also how we're thinking and communicating out in the middle.

"It's one of those situations where you need to be calm, you need to take pressure off the players and allow them to go out there and play with freedom.

"That's the only way you can beat other international teams. You can't beat international teams that are confident if you're not prepared to play with confidence and freedom yourself.”

Strauss wants to see signs of fire in his players' eyes when they move into South America for the first ODI at Providence Stadium.

"The reality is that success breeds success and we need to start winning, and when we start winning then the confidence will come with it," stressed Strauss.

Steven Davies & Ramnaresh Sarwan

England must find a way to get rid of Ramnaresh Sarwan, in imperious form for West Indies at present

"I think the most important thing is that we are desperate enough to win that game.

"We're going to put everything we've got on the line and if we do that we've got a decent chance of competing in this one-day series and hopefully winning it."

England have already resigned themselves to being without all-rounder Andrew Flintoff for Friday's opener as he battles to regain fitness following his hip problems.

"It's certainly one of those occasions where one or two players need to stand up and say, 'I'm going to win us this game’," he said.

"I suppose in circumstances like that you look to your senior players to do that for you.

"The most important thing for me is that players show they are desperate to play and to win.

"The vast majority of time I think they are and if at any stage I don't think they are, then that's when both myself and Andy have to step in and make sure they are."

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