Successful chase heartens Strauss
Andrew Strauss believes England can take confidence from a fine batting display that nullified a “shemozzle” of a performance in the field.
Strauss’ side overhauled the Netherlands’ 292 for six - for the third-highest World Cup run-chase - with six wickets and eight deliveries to spare at Nagpur.
That came after a series of mis-fields, dropped catches and comical mis-communications once Peter Borren chose to bat first in the Group B clash.
Strauss led England’s pursuit with 88 from 83 deliveries, sharing a 105-run partnership with new opening partner Kevin Pietersen, before Jonathan Trott’s 62 and an unbroken half-century stand in under six overs between Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara completed victory.
Strauss said: “We needed to get back on the horse pretty quickly with the bat and make sure we put in a good, solid, professional performance.
“It was a little bit tighter than we wanted it at the end, we probably didn’t use the powerplay as we would have liked, but I think we always had the batting under control. We can take some confidence out of that.”
Strauss resisted the temptation to vent his frustration at England’s poor performance in the field, which Ryan ten Doeschate took advantage of with a one-day international-best 119.
Asked if it amounted to an acceptable effort in their first match of the tournament, Strauss replied: “Certainly not with the ball and certainly not in the field. The first 50 overs was a very poor performance, and certainly the last 10 overs was exceptionally poor.”
England’s worst moments were a reprieve for ten Doeschate on 47 - when James Anderson and Pietersen let an outfield catch drop between them - and then a needless no-ball for deploying too many men outside the fielding circle which meant Borren was recalled after being bowled by Stuart Broad.
Strauss could hardly believe his eyes at times, but did not lay into his team-mates or start throwing the crockery between innings.
“We were a little bit shell-shocked by what happened in those last 10 overs,” he admitted. “But it wasn’t a time to be dwelling on it, it was time to move on.
“There were a few teacups on the field, but not in the dressing room. You can’t afford to drop that many catches and we were pretty untidy on the ground as well.
“That meant Holland probably got 30 or 40 more than they should have done. We were way off where we want to be in the field.
“We came in very determined to start the tournament well. But it was one of those days in the field where everything seemed to go wrong.
“There were balls bouncing everywhere, shies at the stumps taking deflections and going for four, mis-communications between fielders going for catches, and certainly the last 10 overs was very frustrating.”
As for Borren’s no-ball escape, Strauss admitted a breakdown in communication between himself and Collingwood was to blame.
“It doesn’t often happen but it did and, needless to say, when things are going against you, you happen to take a wicket off that ball,” Strauss added. “It was a bit of a shemozzle on the field and we need to improve pretty quickly.”
Even so, Strauss stressed that Essex all-rounder ten Doeschate deserved the plaudits.
“I think you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Ryan ten Doeschate for the way he played,” he said. “We’ve seen him do that for Essex, but on the big stage it’s a hard thing to do and he played exceptionally well.”
Trott, like his skipper, took heart from a successful run-chase but targeted greater consistency in terms of their overall performance.
“We got the result we obviously wanted. One win out of one obviously is what you want going into a big competition like this but, yeah, there are other areas we need to work on,” he said.
“I think we need to be more consistent at putting in a good performance over the hundred overs. I think sometimes we’re letting each other down - the batters let the bowlers down sometime - and need to be more consistent.”