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August 1, 2011
Andrew Strauss singled out his team's capacity to fight themselves out of a corner as the most pleasing aspect of England's crushing 319-run victory at Trent Bridge. Although the final margin was crushing the home side almost saw the contest drift away on the opening two days but Stuart Broad hauled them back with bat and ball.
"One of the real measures of a good side is whether they are able to come back from difficult circumstances," Strauss said. "We had to dig very deep; we were twice in a position where India looked very much like favourites to win the game - and we dragged it round.
"Most sides are pretty good when they've got everything their own way. But in the last two Test matches we've had to dig pretty deep, and it gives me a lot of pride to see guys putting their hands up and delivering when it matters," he added. "It also fills me with a lot of confidence for the future that we can go on and become a better side. We haven't had everything our own way and it has been very encouraging how we have managed to turn those games around."
Still, despite the summit of Test cricket coming into view and the knowledge that one more victory will put them ahead of India, Strauss was keeping his team grounded as he has throughout their rise over the last two years. He has seen them build momentum in the past only to slip with a major target within view.
"All we are looking to do is turn up at Edgbaston and try and win that Test match," he said. "We have had to work very hard to win these two Tests and we don't expect anything different next week. We've obviously taken a step forward. I thought it was an outstanding performance from the guys.
"There were some wonderful individual performances. There was Stuart, both with the ball and the bat in the first innings - to rescue our innings, and then turn the match on its head with the second new ball. But also Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan with the second-innings batting gave us breathing space."
England have been careful not to get drawn into debates about India's problems and Broad, who earned the Man-of-the-Match award for his tally of 108 runs and eight wickets, insisted the challenge was as tough as they'd expected.
"India are the number one team in the world - it doesn't matter what they look like," Broad said. "They have been tough to beat and in both Test matches we have come off very tired as players so that's a good sign that you are playing a very good team. We have played particularly well in the last two Test matches and won't be resting on our laurels. We will be looking to better that at Edgbaston and hit India just as hard."
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
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