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Strauss laments 'damaging' defeat

NatWest Series

Brett Lee & Andrew Strauss

Brett Lee removes Andrew Strauss with the second ball of an innings which turned into "a horrow show", according to the England captain

Andrew Strauss believes that although confidence amongst England’s one-day batsmen has been severely hit, negative feelings should not cross over into the Test side.

England lost the sixth match of the NatWest Series by 111 runs at Trent Bridge, and not a single player in an increasingly off-colour batting unit passed 31.

The margin of defeat - coincidentally, Nelson - was precisely the same as the runs scored by Australia opener Tim Paine in a maiden one-day international hundred, which emphasised the gulf in class tonight.

“It was a bit of a horror show with the bat," said captain Strauss, exempt from criticism as he was on the receiving end of a rough call for caught behind. “We were never in the hunt and made a huge number of mistakes.

"I’m not going to make any excuses. As a group of players we need to stand up – it’s as simple as that. It was a very poor performance.

“It’s something that’s been building in the course of the six games we’ve played. Our batting unit realise that they need to get big scores, but they haven’t. Every game that passes, the pressure grows.

“Confidence has become increasingly frail, but it’s not impossible to get back. In 2006-07 Paul Collingwood played a couple of knocks and we were right back in the CB series. He stood up with a couple of hundreds and things turned round."

England have now lost six successive games in the series, and could become the first team to suffer a clean sweep in a seven-match series when the sides clash at Chester-le-Street on Sunday in the final contest of the summer.

Strauss believes the volume of one-day cricket following this series in South Africa, first in the ICC Champions Trophy and then in seven limited-overs games against the Proteas, should not affect preparations for the subsequent four-Test series in South Africa.

Strauss said: “This defeat is damaging for the one-day unit. I don’t think it affects our Test prospects.

"I’ve been in plenty of sides where we’ve been struggling in one-day cricket but the Test team has been performed very well or adequately.

“In this one-day compartment, no-one wants to lose six games in a row - 6-0 is bad enough. We’ve got one more opportunity to show our calibre as a side. Things can only get better."

Strauss congratulated Paine on his fine innings, but stressed that the atmosphere in the Australia camp made run-scoring an easier task for the 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman.

“He played very well," said Strauss. "He’s playing in a confident side and that helps. It’s easier to come into a side that is confident and thriving, rather than when a side is low in confidence.”

Tim Paine & Owais Shah

Owais Shah becomes the latest batsman to depart when established, driving James Hopes to mid-off

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