Strauss focuses on silver lining
Stand-in captain Andrew Strauss insisted England had made “some improvements” despite their 5-1 one-day international series defeat against India.
England, who lost the toss and were put in to bat, were bowled out for 288 in the seventh and final match, with Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood each making 64 and Geraint Jones weighing in with 53.
India made light work of their target on a flat Indore pitch, cruising to a seven-wicket victory with Robin Uthappa (86) and Rahul Dravid (69) leading the way and man of the series Yuvraj Singh (64 not out) seeing them home.
Strauss, skippering England again with Andrew Flintoff rested, did his best to sound upbeat about the series, saying: “We’ve made some improvements. Some of the young lads have got some good experience under their belts and things are still looking pretty rosy for the future.
“There is a lot of talent in the dressing room and it is just a case of harnessing it before the World Cup.
“Some of the bowlers have come to the party in the last few weeks and we’ve also learned a bit from India in terms of how they chase targets.”
As for Saturday’s defeat, Strauss conceded that England, who lost their last six wickets for 31 runs, had fallen short of a testing target.
“It’s disappointing because we got ourselves into a good position but we probably needed 20 more runs to make it a tight game.
“Fair play to India. I thought they played exceptionally well. There was a little in it for the bowlers early on in the match but India were just too good for us on the day.”
India paceman Sri Sreesanth took 6-55 and admitted that return was simply down to hard work.
“It’s great to be part of this side which is winning. It’s great for us,” he said.
“With the pitch, I just wanted to get the basics right and how I’d been working in the nets. I just enjoyed it.
“We just want to keep on going. It’s great to be part of this side.”
Yuvraj Singh was named man of the series as his unbeaten 64 capped off an impressive all-round performance in the series.
“It’s been a good contest with England,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of work, the boys have been training really hard and even after every game.
“It’s been a great team effort. I’ve been bowling as well as batting and fielding so I’m doing well in all departments.”