Strauss' focus on Edgbaston decider
Andrew Strauss wants to draw an immediate line under yesterday’s landmark defeat to Bangladesh.
The Tigers completed their first victory over England, by just five runs, in a thrilling finish at Bristol yesterday to complete a full house of victories over the other Test-playing nations.
Such a result had looked unlikely at the start of play, with the tourists stripped of injured pair Mushfiqur Rahim and Raqibul Hasan and winless in 2010.
By halfway their chances were not reckoned to have improved greatly having posted a moderate 236 for seven, but a combination of gutsy bowling and loose batting saw England rolled for 231 with three balls remaining.
The result tied the NatWest Series at 1-1 and, with the decider being played at Edgbaston tomorrow, Strauss wants his side to swiftly move on from defeat and diagnose the areas they can improve.
“Bangladesh thoroughly deserved to win. They were going to beat us at some stage and we were just hoping it would be some stage in the future,” he said. “But that has been and gone now.
“I wouldn’t have thought we were complacent but at the same time we have to ask ourselves why.
“Was it just one of those days? Did we prepare well enough? Were we clear enough in what we were trying to do on that wicket? Did we have a hand in our own dismissals? If we did, we need to learn from that.
“We’ve got to ask ourselves whether it was just good bowling or if we should have played better.
“With the 11 we had on the park we had enough to win this game of cricket. We were 10, 15, even 20% off what we should have been out there.”
A contributing factor was the loss of Ian Bell with a fractured metatarsal after only 10 overs in the field.
He went to hospital and returned to the ground walking gingerly on crutches.
As England’s collapse unfolded it became apparent that Bell would be needed to bat if possible and he eventually hobbled to the crease with a runner with six balls remaining.
He was in obvious pain just coming down the steps of the pavilion but his efforts were in vain as Jonathan Trott fell three balls from the end with six runs still needed.
Explaining the decision over Bell, Strauss added: “We had no particular plan to use him unless we had 10 or 15 runs to get. Anything more than that wouldn’t have made much sense.
“As it was - one over left with Trott on strike - it seemed pretty low risk for him to go out there and stand at square-leg.
“We were conscious that we didn’t want to exacerbate the injury but we were very keen to win the game.
“We spoke to him about what he felt, could he play some shots, and he was very keen to get out there.”
England responded today by calling up Ravi Bopara, whose last ODI cap came in the ICC Champions Trophy last September.
Despite the deflating denouement in Bristol, and the end to the series triumph over Australia that preceded it, Strauss remains upbeat about England’s one-day prospects.
“We lost the last two against Australia and now we’ve lost this one but I’m still very happy in this one-day set-up.
"We’re still very, very buoyant as a group of players but you need to learn from your mistakes. There are a few to learn from here.”