Strauss rues batting display
England skipper Andrew Strauss believes his batsmen were the architects of their own downfall during the 39-run defeat to Australia in the second NatWest Series one-day international at Lord's.
Strauss and opening partner Ravi Bopara had England on the right track with a 74-run opening stand in pursuit of 250 before they lost four wickets for 23 runs and were bowled out for 210.
"Having been 70-odd for none we were in a great position to come home comfortably but we were the architects of our own downfall to an extent," Strauss said after the 39-run defeat.
"There were three wickets in a short space of time and you are asking for the bowlers to score runs for you."
Shane Watson dismissed Bopara and Matt Prior in consecutive overs, then Strauss chipped one back to Nathan Hauritz and Owais Shah was run out.
"Everyone has got a start but hasn't gone on," Strauss said.
"I firmly believe your top six have to score the bulk of your runs. You're always worried if it is a losing pattern but it's encouraging that we're in the game at the halfway point."
Strauss admitted the regular wickets falling caused him the problem of when to use his third powerplay.
"The batting powerplay you want to take when you have freedom to play and not lose wickets, from my thinking it has to be in the latter half of the game but when you lose wickets it gets pushed back," he said.
"It is the call of the two guys in the middle after consultation with the dressing room."
Australia pushed up to 249 for eight after Mitchell Johnson's unbeaten 43 from 28 balls.
Johnson admits winning the one-day series would slightly make up for the disappointment of losing the Ashes series this summer.
"It's all dead and buried now," he said. "Maybe in some ways it might (make up for losing the Ashes). We spoke about doing well after the Ashes and we have started very well. Hopefully we can notch up a win.
"We performed well as a side again. We started pretty well with the bat as well.
“We're very happy to be 2-0 in the series going into the next game, we've got to take each game at a time but we're in a good place. There's a good vibe, with a lot of young guys in the squad.
"It was great to get a few runs, and help the team as much as I could. There were a few shots that I tried and some days they come off."
He added: "So far we have won the key moments during these one-dayers.
"They started off pretty well here and we pulled them back. With the energy around the field, we're winning those keys moments."
The return of Brett Lee has helped in that regard, after injury ruled him out of the Ashes defeat.
"He's bowling very well," said Johnson. "He's bowling very fast, was hitting around 94-mile-per-hour for some, and the ball was starting to reverse.
"He missed out on the Tests but he's looking very good at the moment."