We weren't good enough - Strauss
England captain Andrew Strauss was an angry man after watching his side collapse in Jamaica
England captain Andrew Strauss could not contain his anger after his first Test in charge resulted in a crushing defeat.
The tourists were bowled out for a meagre 51 as they went down by an innings and 23 runs to West Indies with more than a day to spare in the opening match of the series.
And Strauss, appointed as permanent skipper a month ago today after inheriting the leadership from the deposed Kevin Pietersen, admitted England were some way short of the standards expected on an extraordinary afternoon at Sabina Park.
“I am pretty angry with the way we’ve let ourselves down,” he said. “The way we’ve batted there is not good enough from an England team - we all accept that.
“The dressing room is a pretty disconsolate place at the moment. I don’t think anyone likes to see an England team go down in that fashion; the players are all hurting pretty badly.
“Moving forward, if we can use that as motivation or inspiration to play better then we will come out of it a better side. I do recognise that out of these pretty tough times, good things can happen.
“We have a choice of sticking together as a group of players and become closer as a result of this and move forward. Or we don’t.”
England’s top order was blown away by paceman Jerome Taylor, who claimed 5-11 from nine devastating overs with the new ball.
Giant left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn doubled his match wicket tally to eight, with only Andrew Flintoff reaching double figures after England had limited West Indies’ first-innings advantage to 74 by bowling them out for 392 this morning.
“Possibly we didn’t play Jerome Taylor in the right sort of way,” Strauss said. “It was pretty clear what he was trying to do: bowl very straight at us.
“Mentally we weren’t as sharp as we should have been. On that wearing pitch, anything in the region of a 150- to 160-run lead was going to be interesting.
“We knew we would have to absorb some early pressure with the new ball and, when you’re two down early, the pressure builds.
"We just didn’t handle it well enough - simple as that. Good sides get through that and we weren’t good enough to be able to do that.
“Taylor bowled a fantastic spell but the wicket wasn’t misbehaving terribly, so as a batting unit we have to hold our hands up and say it wasn’t good enough.
“The bowlers had done an exceptional job to keep us in touch in the game and we then got into a pressure period in the match, which we didn’t handle very well.
“As a group, you couldn’t single out one player; we were very poor.”