Strauss wants England to be 'smarter'

Andrew Strauss called on his batsmen to be "smarter" during the remainder of their ODIs against Australia after falling further behind in the series.

updated: September 07, 2009 08:07 IST
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England captain Andrew Strauss called on his batsmen to be "smarter" during the remainder of their one-day internationals against Australia after falling further behind in the series here at Lord's.

Sunday's 39-run defeat left England 2-0 down in the seven-match campaign ahead of Wednesday's day/night clash in Southampton.

Once again, a top-order collapse left England with too much to do after their bowlers had restricted Australia to 249 for eight.

England, chasing 250 for victory, were well-placed at 74 without loss.

But a rapid collapse saw them lose four wickets for 23 runs in 33 balls as they slumped to 97 for four.

Despite the best efforts of Paul Collingwood, last man out for 56, they were unable to retrieve the situation and were dismissed for 210 as world champions Australia won with 23 balls to spare.

"Being 70-odd for nought we were in a great position to really come home quite comfortably but to a certain extent we were the architects of our own downfall," said Strauss.

The left-handed opening batsman made a stylish 47 off 53 balls, including six fours, before giving his wicket away on his Middlesex home ground when he chipped a gentle return catch to off-spinner Nathan Hauritz.

Strauss added: "Three reasonably soft wickets fell in a short space of time and suddenly we're in that situation where you're asking the bowlers to score runs for you, which is not really what we want to be doing.

"Maybe we just haven't been smart enough in what our percentage shots are and we've been a little bit soft in our dismissals. I firmly believe your top six have got to score the bulk of your runs in one-day cricket and we haven't done that for the last couple of games."

England dropped Adil Rashid at Lord's despite the leg-spinner conceding just 37 runs in his 10 overs and scoring 31 not out in Australia's series opening four-run win at the Oval on Friday.

But Strauss said England had been hampered by a neck injury to Stuart Broad which saw the all-rounder ruled out at Lord's.

"It wasn't an ideal situation to be in because he (Rashid) bowled so well and he showed so many encouraging signs.

"To a certain extent we were slightly hamstrung by the fact Stuart Broad wasn't fit and we felt we needed to bolster the batting.

"Our bowlers did a very good job, 249 is very chaseable. I thought it was a very flat wicket to be honest and so the batsmen have got to hold up their hands and say we weren't good enough."

Strauss was out shortly after a World War II Lancaster bomber airplane flew over the ground to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of Lord's spell as a wartime recruitment centre for the Royal Air Force.

But the England captain refused to blame the ensuing delay for his exit.

"It was good to see, it wasn't a distraction, I wouldn't use that as an excuse. It was quite a nice moment to see that bomber come over."