Strauss vows to maintain momentum
England captain Andrew Strauss has promised there will be no let-up from his players after their stunning triumph over Sri Lanka in Cardiff as the teams prepare to go head to head in the second npower Test at Lord's tomorrow.
Strauss' side pulled off one of the most remarkable victories in Test history as they skittled Sri Lanka for just 82 on the final afternoon on Monday to win by an innings and 14 runs.
England can wrap up the three-match series early with another win over the next five days, but the skipper is not getting too carried away just yet.
"We're pretty buoyant after the way we managed to get the victory at the end there in Cardiff, but we're also aware that it's right back to square one again here at Lord's,” he said.
"It's not often you win Test matches in that manner; most of the Test matches you win come from three or four days of very hard work getting yourself in the position to win so we've got to get right back to square one here and I think the guys are excited to do that."
He added: "I don't think any of us want to take our foot off the pedal now. We've got some early momentum in this series.
"We've got to push on and keep challenging ourselves to get better and better. We know that Lord's generally is a good wicket. You've got to fight hard for your wickets and it's usually five days of very hard work if you want to win a Test match."
England will be forced to make at least one change to their side, with Steven Finn and Jade Dernbach vying to fill the position made vacant by the injured James Anderson, unable to bowl because of his side injury .
And Strauss hinted that they will delay making a choice until tomorrow morning.
“When you are making that decision you’ve got to look at the opposition you’re playing against, the wicket, I suppose the weather forecast as well to a certain extent - and the balance you need to take 20 wickets. That’s what we’ll be doing tomorrow,” said the 34-year-old.
Strauss, though, was happy to give an assessment of Dernbach, who was added to the 12-man squad in place of Anderson.
The England captain said: “He’s a man in form, he did brilliantly on the Lions tour (in the West Indies), he’s been bowling well this season, he had some success against Sri Lanka in Derby and he’s a swing bowler - so he does offer that variety.
“He’s a genuine pitch-it-up swing bowler and he’s got good skills and variation, so we are quite excited about him. It’s good to have him in the squad, and he definitely adds something we haven’t had before.”
Irrespective of who completes England’s pace attack, Strauss will ensure they are under no illusion that they merely have to turn up to roll over Sri Lanka again.
“I always think it’s dangerous to think you’ve got the momentum and you can shove people’s noses in it - it’s just not the way it works,” he said.
“If you’ve had a poor performance as a side you come out almost doubly determined to prove you’re better than that.
“I go back to Jamaica (in 2009) when we were bowled out for 51 - I think there was a real determination for us to put up a better showing in the next Test.
“We’re very conscious that at Lord’s, in particular, you’ve got to work very hard for five days to force a result - and that’s what we’ve got to be willing to do.”
It was at this venue five years ago that Sri Lanka produced a Cardiff-in-reverse performance to close out an astounding draw by batting 199 overs to make 537 for nine following on.
Strauss said: “I don’t think we can assume anything against Sri Lanka, especially with the quality in their side.”