England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Lord's, 5th day June 7, 2011

'We'd run our race', admits Strauss

71

A lack of consistency cost England the right to push for victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka, according their captain Andrew Strauss, after five hard-fought days petered out into a draw on a docile wicket at Lord's.

Given England's recent run of form in Test cricket - which includes four innings victories in their last six matches, including a remarkable last-session triumph in Cardiff last week - Strauss admitted to a certain amount of frustration that they were unable to close out the Sri Lanka series with a game to spare. However, he conceded that at critical moments, his team lacked the spark and penetration of previous contests, adding that by the final afternoon of the match, they had "run their race".

"We didn't expect them to fold quite as they did at Cardiff, and they didn't on a flat wicket," said Strauss. "Over the last 18 months we've prided ourselves on just how consistent we have been as a bowling line-up. But the guys are not machines, and sometimes the rhythm's not there - and it's hard work."

England's realistic hopes of a result were thwarted on the second afternoon, when Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana responded to their team's 82 all out capitulation in Cardiff with an opening stand of 207. In that period, and again on the third morning, England's seamers were as off-colour as at any stage in the past 18 months, with the bowling coach, David Saker, describing the number of balls down the leg-side as "inexcusable".

"We're not going to play the perfect Test match every time - we've got to be realistic about that - but the most important thing is we don't make the same mistake twice," said Strauss. "I was very happy with the way the guys came back and improved as the game went on, although it is always frustrating when a Test match ends in a draw, because you've put in a lot of hard work for five days."

The pick of England's attack, in terms of wickets, was the 22-year-old Steven Finn, who fought back from a wayward start to claim 4 for 108, and in the process became the youngest England bowler to 50 Test wickets. Despite that acclaim, however, his career economy-rate is close to 4 an over, and with James Anderson on the mend following a side strain in Cardiff, he could find himself back on the sidelines at the Rose Bowl.

"I think Steven Finn got a lot better as the game went on," said Strauss. "He'd been out of the side a little bit, so I suppose he had every right to feel a bit anxious at the start. But all our bowlers bring something different, and certainly Jimmy does with his consistent lines and swinging it a bit more than the others. We are very hopeful he'll be fit."

It would certainly be a surprise if the man to make way was Stuart Broad, whose recent appointment as England Twenty20 captain was an acknowledgement of his senior status within the England squad. Nevertheless, his record in red-ball cricket is becoming something of a concern, with his two wickets at Lord's costing 154 and coming at 3.75 an over. After 36 Tests, he still averages an unworthy 35.97.

Though Strauss defended his team-mate, he didn't deny there were concerns. "I don't think he's quite getting the rub of the green at the moment," he said. "He's bowled some very good balls that are passing the edge, and has probably bowled better than the statistics say. But all of us have to keep trying to improve, and make sure our performances get better."

That goes for the batsmen as well, not least Strauss himself, who made scores of 4 and 0 in his two innings and was nailed on both occasions by the left-arm seam of Chanaka Welegedara. He has now fallen to that style of bowling 22 times in his career, and nine in the past 12 months. With the excellent Zaheer Khan set to lead the attack for India later in the summer, Strauss knows he can't afford to let the problem spread.

"I was obviously frustrated to miss out twice on a good batting surface," he said. "But I think to some extent that's the nature of the beast as an opening batsman ... sometimes you get a couple of good ones early. But I obviously need to keep working and make sure it doesn't happen again at the Rose Bowl."

The final-day positives for England included the form of Ian Bell, whose 40-ball half-century on the final afternoon was the most fluent innings of the match, and an impressive display from Kevin Pietersen, who fell once again to a left-arm spinner, but not before he'd racked up a dominant 72. Given that he had started his innings in a no-win situation late on the fourth day, it was a satisfactory upshot in his quest for his former glories.

"It wasn't an easy situation when he went in yesterday, with dark cloud cover and the lights on," said Strauss. "Lord's does a lot more in those conditions, so he did have to graft pretty hard then. But he did that outstandingly well and then obviously came out the other side and played some lovely shots today. We always knew he was going to score runs at some stage, and we hope this is the catalyst to go and have a purple patch like Alastair Cook's having."

There was some criticism of England's intent as they built towards their eventual declaration total of 335 for 7, and by the end of the innings, the on-field events had been overshadowed by Matt Prior's run-in with the dressing-room window. Nevertheless, Strauss felt they could not have done much more to force the game.

"It was a bit tricky prior to lunch when the left-armer was bowling over the wicket into the rough - it was a bit hard to keep the momentum going, and we lost a little bit there," he said. "But we still scored at more than four an over, but I think it was always going to be a little bit hard to force a result on the final day here - because we know the Lord's wicket doesn't deteriorate.

"I just told them what I wanted us to get, and how many overs we had to get it - and we needed to bat pretty quickly. But there are always things in a Test match we could have done better. We hope we do that at the Rose Bowl."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 10, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    England are clearly the better side. And had the game not been affected by the weather and gone for the full five days England would have won the second test too.

  • mrgupta on June 9, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    @Vajira Rathnamudali: England would have won the series 3-0 if they had the Attack of G.Lohman, Fred Truman, Jim Laker and SF Barnes. But wait, haven't these guys retired? What about Murli, Malina & Vaas, aren't they retirees too? Samaraweera's batting avg outside subcontinent is in 30s, same for Mahela Jaya'wdene. SL is a very good team in ODIs but until they start winning tests outside SL they cannot be counted among good test teams. For the record they haven't won any tests in Aus, India and SA even with all their Sanga, Mahela, Murli, Vaas and Malinga playing together for years.

  • on June 9, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Truly England is a side seems to be over confident. Don't think Sri Lanka is a weak side..

  • mrgupta on June 9, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    @Vajira Rathnamudali: With all the 50+ avg batsmen and the best opener all SL managed was 1 century and 1 Half Century. Compare that to England who had 2 Centuries and 7 half Centuries in the 2nd Test. One more difference between the two teams, Strauss was disappointed at not winning, from Mahela latest Article its clear that SL was truly happy at managing to escape with a draw!

  • Valavan on June 9, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    @Miranda, You lost an ODI series back in SL in 2007, didnt you forget, well you will see rather than saying we will show. India and SL can play more matches between them and increase their ranking, even SL can call Banglas for a 3 tests. it will help them. :)). Lets see what SL can do in this ODI series.

  • harshacc on June 9, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Moronic comments.England never dominated the match.SL never looked like they were going to lose it.From his comment you would imagine England failed to bowl out the last remaining pair on Day 5

  • ashes61 on June 9, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    No problem with Test draws. Very few of them in Eng now compared with, say, the '60s & '70s. Most Tests involving Eng are attractive anyway, & a draw is legitimate result & can involve exciting finishes. Also recognise that an Eng win was unlikely by end of day 4 (lost time; pitch; attack lacking variety and, of course, a good SL team unlikely to collapse again). Understand, too, Strauss would bat SL out of game before declaring. BUT even allowing for all this, there was a genuine, if small, possibility of forcing a win without risking defeat. It involved declaring as early as possible after making the game safe, which means fast runs on 5th morning. I accept that a steady start was essential (we got that) & was happy (just) with 60 runs by drinks. THEN (if not a bit before) with 8 wkts STILL in hand, was the time for rapid, risk-taking acceleration. 80/100 runs in 2nd hour needed, ALL WKTS DISPENSABLE! 5, 6 & 7 understood this, why didn't Cook & KP? Should have got on OR GOT OUT!

  • on June 9, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    It would take an Imran Khan to declare earlier and accept the accompaying risk but its encouraging to see that while Imran Khan was the first and last of his kind, atleast one captain is positive-minded enough to be disappointed at a draw. I wish we could end all these "what if..." scenarios. It makes me want to say Pakistan would have beaten England IF javed miandad and imran khan had been in the team.

  • on June 9, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Get use to plenty of such long hard sessions in the field Captain Straussy, the WORLD CHAMPIONS are coming next to blow away your over-rated side.

  • robheinen on June 9, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    England are incapable of winning matches against opposition of any substance. They can only hope to bore the opposition into losing a match.

  • on June 10, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    England are clearly the better side. And had the game not been affected by the weather and gone for the full five days England would have won the second test too.

  • mrgupta on June 9, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    @Vajira Rathnamudali: England would have won the series 3-0 if they had the Attack of G.Lohman, Fred Truman, Jim Laker and SF Barnes. But wait, haven't these guys retired? What about Murli, Malina & Vaas, aren't they retirees too? Samaraweera's batting avg outside subcontinent is in 30s, same for Mahela Jaya'wdene. SL is a very good team in ODIs but until they start winning tests outside SL they cannot be counted among good test teams. For the record they haven't won any tests in Aus, India and SA even with all their Sanga, Mahela, Murli, Vaas and Malinga playing together for years.

  • on June 9, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Truly England is a side seems to be over confident. Don't think Sri Lanka is a weak side..

  • mrgupta on June 9, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    @Vajira Rathnamudali: With all the 50+ avg batsmen and the best opener all SL managed was 1 century and 1 Half Century. Compare that to England who had 2 Centuries and 7 half Centuries in the 2nd Test. One more difference between the two teams, Strauss was disappointed at not winning, from Mahela latest Article its clear that SL was truly happy at managing to escape with a draw!

  • Valavan on June 9, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    @Miranda, You lost an ODI series back in SL in 2007, didnt you forget, well you will see rather than saying we will show. India and SL can play more matches between them and increase their ranking, even SL can call Banglas for a 3 tests. it will help them. :)). Lets see what SL can do in this ODI series.

  • harshacc on June 9, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Moronic comments.England never dominated the match.SL never looked like they were going to lose it.From his comment you would imagine England failed to bowl out the last remaining pair on Day 5

  • ashes61 on June 9, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    No problem with Test draws. Very few of them in Eng now compared with, say, the '60s & '70s. Most Tests involving Eng are attractive anyway, & a draw is legitimate result & can involve exciting finishes. Also recognise that an Eng win was unlikely by end of day 4 (lost time; pitch; attack lacking variety and, of course, a good SL team unlikely to collapse again). Understand, too, Strauss would bat SL out of game before declaring. BUT even allowing for all this, there was a genuine, if small, possibility of forcing a win without risking defeat. It involved declaring as early as possible after making the game safe, which means fast runs on 5th morning. I accept that a steady start was essential (we got that) & was happy (just) with 60 runs by drinks. THEN (if not a bit before) with 8 wkts STILL in hand, was the time for rapid, risk-taking acceleration. 80/100 runs in 2nd hour needed, ALL WKTS DISPENSABLE! 5, 6 & 7 understood this, why didn't Cook & KP? Should have got on OR GOT OUT!

  • on June 9, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    It would take an Imran Khan to declare earlier and accept the accompaying risk but its encouraging to see that while Imran Khan was the first and last of his kind, atleast one captain is positive-minded enough to be disappointed at a draw. I wish we could end all these "what if..." scenarios. It makes me want to say Pakistan would have beaten England IF javed miandad and imran khan had been in the team.

  • on June 9, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Get use to plenty of such long hard sessions in the field Captain Straussy, the WORLD CHAMPIONS are coming next to blow away your over-rated side.

  • robheinen on June 9, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    England are incapable of winning matches against opposition of any substance. They can only hope to bore the opposition into losing a match.

  • on June 9, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    Mr. Strauss, do you think your team is super natural. SL team is consisting with 3 batsmen over 50 runs average leaving alone Dilshan, one of the best opening batsmen in the world today. Paranawithana has already shown his capabilities in his 1st visit to England. We could have won both matches provided we had the bowling combination we had couple of years ago with Vass, Malinga & Murali. The batting debacle in the 1st test was one of those off days due to bad planning. And our attack was not balanced. If our selectors are wise enough to include Mendis for Mahroof, watch, you might end up at the losing side. Your team's performances were mediocre considering that you play in your own backyard and your bowling attack was below par. Swann was just a hype, treated without any respect by our batsmen. You come to SL and show the world that England is deserved to be the no.1 side in the world.

  • sweetspot on June 9, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    @LePom - To me it is just Strauss getting wound up. That does not always bode well for the next performance. Sri Lanka were realistic and were okay with the draw. That doesn't mean they are not hungry for winning the next one any less than England. Want to get SL out cheaply? Don't give them flat tracks, then get Dilshan, Mahela, and the two Jayawardenes out cheaply. Then pray. Who knows? Once in a while they might answer!

  • z-ahmed on June 9, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    strauss has to be more attacking if he truly wants to lead England to become the number ranked test side.Think swann and jimme are the key for Eng bowling attack and they need to come good if England want to beat India later this summer.

  • CricEshwar on June 9, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    Isn't Strauss expecting a bit too much? They can't repeat what happened in the first test, should have atleast 3-4 sessions to dismiss the opposition. Can't wait to Ind-Eng to put them back in their place except for the first match as India are very poor away starters.

  • jr1972 on June 9, 2011, 1:47 GMT

    Strauss is too conservative and it showed in this game. Having said that, I agree with stationmaster's sentiments. The England seam attack was one dimensional. Broad was once again woeful. He has more potential as an allrounder than as an out and out strike bowler. In the current scheme of things I am struggling to see a roll for him in the England test side with 6 batsmen + Prior. He is expensive, lacks discipline and doesn't look like taking wickets on a consistent basis. As for some of the criticism of Alistair Cook, come on, there is not a side in world cricket in any given situation that does not need the sort of innings that he played. He anchored things and allowed others to go for it. I remember the criticism he was copping when he was struggling and now is not the time to be giving it to him.

  • wandrew on June 9, 2011, 1:34 GMT

    My comment about restricting the number of overs, seem to have mixed reactions. Ste13 liked the idea and YorkshirePudding disagrees with it. It is a good topic for a healthy debate. Let me put it this way. I love test cricket, but test cricket is losing fans while shorter versions are getting polular. We have to address things like:small crouds at the gates, best players leaving to play in the shorter versions of the game etc. The biggest issue is that more than 50% of the games are ending in no decisions. In my mind, that is the biggest reason why people are losing interest in test circket. I feel the best way to force more decisions is to have a limit on the total number of overs. I am not for power plays or field restrictions.

  • on June 9, 2011, 1:23 GMT

    @Valavan, I only have got one thing to tell you, when E batsmen performed out of its backyard, do they score tons, tons, & tons like they used to in E? It's vice versa any side is better at scoring runs, winning games & performing well on their own backyard but what happened to E whenever they in Sub-continent? We have all rights to stay in that moment as long as E talks like one cardiff inning from SL wasn't just an inning but that's how exactly SL is capable of I say you are crazy. We live in that moment because we gonna repeat the same thing in E as well, you wait & see

  • LePom on June 9, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    priyantha123 "but anderw strauss talks like if he is only destined to win" That is one of the big differences between the teams. Sri Lanka were pleased with the draw and felt is was a good performance. England were disappointed and felt they under achieved. England have the mental attitude and self belief that, if maintained, will in time carry them through to to spot in the test rankings. Sri Lanka will need to develop that same mind set if they want a shot at that title.

  • Nampally on June 9, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    I am rather surprised that Strauss was dreaming of a victory after making such a late declaration.Just because SL collapsed for 82 in the second innings of the First test, it does not mean that they will fail each time. If strauss was really serious about wiinning he should have set about 250 runs chase for SL while giving his bowlers enough time. That would have given even chances for both the teams in absence of Dilshan with a broken thumb.But Strauss wanted a repeat collapse from the first test which should never have happened.Anyway the stage is set for SL to draw level by winning the third test. It is tough for amy visiting team to get used to a moving ball so quickly. Ideally a full summer trip is the fair thing for a visiting team. India will be in the same situation -play 3 quick tests - without time to get used to the totally different conditions.Even so, iIf India's batting is at full strength, England will find it tough to have a free ride.

  • on June 8, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    Mahela, Sanga,thilan not helping for dilshan captains for wins.. Thats the truth.. you can see there body Language.. on the field. if some ones look very closely the way they bat. they just trying to pretten there are give full concentration on there batting. if you see the way Mahela was batting in 2nd Test second Innings.

    Trust me if dilshan fit for 3rd Test he gona win the match with single handle.

  • ranga_s on June 8, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    And SL bowling attack stood up quite ok...Look at England...u take 1 bowler out of the team...opposition make 200 odd without losing wickets....Take Zaheer out of Indian attack...Sure they've Bhajji but not enough class to run through top sides among others....After McGrath and Warne left we all saw what happened to Australia....Pakistan some how find bowlers...But they also somehow mange to ruin them....Take Steyn and Morkel out no more SA....take Vettori out NZ is hapless....within 4-5 months SL lost 4 bowlers and they almost go with an 3rd Sting attack which as a Team looks for balance and experience...that team mind you took 17 English wickets on a pretty dossile wickets...England only made inroads when cloud appeared on 3rd morning....So Mr. Pratik Pandey...ur dream of seeing SL becomig WINDIES will be shattered.....

  • ranga_s on June 8, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    It's very funny to read the comments....stop the games and columns....comments are hilarious.....To be fair both pitches were batting friendly....the series is evenly battled except for last hour at cardiff....unfair to say SL middle order collapsed at Lord's as there were too many weather interruptions...This series is very much like 2006...SL lost, drew and won....Saw considerable improvement in SL bowlers..they need to get the combination right...Without Anderson England bowlers are devastating only if pitch and overhead conditions help them.... @Lord.emsworth: Dude he's one of he top 3 for sure....if u say he has a poor record out of sub-continent go watch tennis or soccer...Check Sangakkara's stats against Aus, SA in their soil....strauss can't lay bat on ball in his own backyard Lord's..what does that mean.....Strauss is not a good bat? Players have a rough patch...they overcome those...thats how this game is played....

  • stationmaster on June 8, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    We REALLY missed the variation and aggression of Ryan Sidebottom, he would have been a perfect foil for Finn in the second innings. I would have certainly dropped Broad for Sidebottom. Broad's 'dig it in' tactics are over used and getting the full treatment from most batsmen these days.

  • Valavan on June 8, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    Strauss is sensible, his overcautious approach backfired him. but as far as SL fans, dont live in WC QF, come to the present situation, except dilshan and paranavithana, who performs in unfamiliar conditions. what happened to trio Thilan, Mahela and Sanga, who makes big hundreds back in sub continent, but nothing special out of subcontinent.

  • Lord.emsworth on June 8, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Sensible of Strauss to be safe and then declare. A Sobers like declaration could have gone either way true, but it was important in the mind games to stay one up. I think Broads critics are bit harsh. Remember his batting. Apart from Dilsshan the other much hyped SL top order batsmen just cant get past the twenties and forties. Boycott takes every opportunity to mention that Sangakarra is one of the three worlds best batsmen but none of us has seen anything remotely close in this series.

  • priyantha123 on June 8, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    when I read this article I feel that the england team had been born only to win matches. it is true that sri lanka collapsed in the second innings at cardiff if not for that sri lanka played well. sri lanka has a reletively weeker bowling attack but have good batting side considering the unfamaliar conditions. but anderw strauss talks like if he is only destined to win. remeber that sri lanka beat england in the world cup semis by scoring 240 for no wickets. it's a comprehensive win even at home grounds. it's high time that england team wakes uo and face the reality. no body is destined to win. ( straus thought that sri lanka would collapse as same as in cardif and when that didn't happen he gave up one hour before.

  • on June 8, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Stuart Broad is kept in the team because he is (allegedley) more aggresive than Steven Finn. To me he is as threatening as Lou in little britain. If you need someone to bully the opposition get someone like Ryan Sidebottom.

  • Optic on June 8, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    @SudharsanVM Both Cook and Trott score quicker than Dravid and Kallis and far to much, is being made of it by the media .Strike rates of around 50, which both these 2 have,is the norm, so what's the problem. Most international top order batsmen, score around 50 runs per hundred balls. For example Gambhir scores at 53 s/r, Amla scores the same as Cook 50, AB de Villiers scores at 53 as well, so as you can see there is nothing in it. Why are we even talking about this, England scored at 4.3 runs per over in both innings. which is far better than most teams and with KP, Bell, Morgan and Prior following they don't need to score at a rate of notes, there job is to put England in a good position by careful sensible batting, it seems your dammed if you do your dammed if you don't. KP used to get criticized all the time, going for quick runs but now we have batsmen, scoring tons of runs, at a average rate, people are moaning, very strange.

  • t20superstars on June 8, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    i don't know why graeme swann is in the england team....well, i think that monty paneasar should replace him....i don't think that Swann is a much better bowler as that of paneasar...it's been long time since monty has got a chance to play international cricket....it would be better to replace him for the upcoming indian series in the english soil....Monty Paneasar has contributed a lot to english cricket, far from what swann can even dream off....Hoping that Monty gets a chance to prove his potential....

  • on June 8, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    It's no surprise when all E fan starts to talk about winning the game when the game was draw. To me I think Strauss himself has done the best thing for him, best thing for the team & best thing for the E by deciding to declaration after reaching 335 or odd runs. Imagine what if he had asked SL to bat whilst setting a target of 300 for 70 like most of E fans talked about, don't think SL would have repeat the same thing if E had asked SL to bat when the 300 runs to chase down from 70 odd overs. Just remember; SL is one of the better side in all format considering its record all time, especially comparing to E records SL records are high in numbers. It takes basically another 100 years for E to set records like SL has set up to date. Finally Tilly Dilly kept E at a doubt thinking whether was it gonna be a loose for E, just think about it, didn't all you E grim when Tilly Dilly was reaching 200? Be honest to yourself & talk to yourself & ask whether are you an E who was scared of Tilly Dil

  • on June 8, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    @Pratik Pandey I don't know why on earth we have to accept when you say accept diz u srilanka. To me you must have been out of your mind when you said Sangakkara was thinking of making sl no 1 team was sanga telling that to you personally in dreams or something? Disagree none of the captain would have said that he wants to see his team place at no 1 in the rank when they placed at no 3 by the time sanga was captain.

  • voma on June 8, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    I think Alastair cook is coming under a lot of unfair criticism here , we all know what his playing style is like . Whats he supposed to do , give his wicket away ? . As he was closing in on yet another 100 for his country , i think we should praise the lad . Englands poor bowling cost us any chance of winning this match , i think its time to bring in some new blood .

  • CricketChat on June 8, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    The wkt is also to blame. It looked like a batting paradise on even the 5th day with no assistance to bowlers. I fear the cricket officials across the world will soon kill Test cricket as we know it. it is inevitable. We can't afford drawn tests anymore. When are we going to realize it?.

  • HILMY10730603 on June 8, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    How can England be No 01 in the Test Ranking with this tame bowling attack. If there is no swing, then, there will be no effect for Anderson, Broad and Finn. Tremlett will do something with his height. Swann still believe that there is no bowler than him with his minute turn. He does not have variation as Murali, Warne or Kumble had. England tries to estimate themselves and boast to be No. 01 only with Sri Lankan's 25 over innings at Cardiff. If the condition is dry and flat in Rose Bowl, we can expect another draw in the Third Test.

  • Munkeymomo on June 8, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    I cant help but feel a lot of the comments are a bit harsh, the bowling from England was poor but they batted very well (after the first morning) and still had a first innings lead after being put in. I certainly wouldn't be as upset as they seem to be about the draw, it can't be easy to win a 4day game on a flat track.

  • on June 8, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    After Five days of oohs aaws now its ouch, whats is the use of the five days of play when it does not give results. Switch off test cricket, switch on limited over test cricket, with each team getting 100 over an innings and with batting and bowling power plays and no ceiling for no. of overs for bowlers. This would be atleast watchable as all the matches will produce results, whats is use otherwise So much for purest, greatest etc of cricket. Sigh!

  • SnowSnake on June 8, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    Captains who are batsmen are showing a pattern. They bat first and blame the bowlers if they don't get results. Mr. Strauss try batting second in the 3rd test. I can assure you that England will either draw or lose.

  • Kapstif on June 8, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    SudharsanVM did you see Trott in the second innings? Is a strike rate of 80 too low for you?

    Trott's career strike rate is higher than Kallis and way higher than Dravid's so I think your criticism is a little unfair.

  • ashes61 on June 8, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Agree 100% with Hatsforbats and jackiethepen. Admired Cook's recent great run as much as anyone but dumbfounded by his 5th day performance, especially between drinks & lunch. Even KP then went into his shell too. It looked as if AC was simply bent on making sure he didn't miss out on a ton again - what else could have been on his mind? Where were the urgent instructions reminding them Eng had EIGHT expendable wkts in hand? Negative bowling & the rough NO excuse - Bell showed exactly the right attitude immediately. His, Morgan's & Prior's unselfish willingness to sacrifice their wkts - again! - in order to push on quickly disgraced (not too strong a word) Cook and, to an extent, KP. Strauss declared AT LEAST 30 mins too late & could have declared BEFORE LUNCH with 150 runs briskly acquired in the morning. If I were Bell or Morgan I'd feel the same way Prior obviously did. After lunch but before his 100 AC played in v. risky T20 mode - proof that the Riot Act had been read to him.

  • Herath-UK on June 8, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    It is Sri Lanka who took the major honours at Lords with MoM award too & had he not broken his thumb Dilshan might have scored a double/triple hundred as he was practically flaying the England bowling at the time .England did not expect or deserve Cardiff win,it was SL's own making so this is practically two draws so far and with Rose Bowl going to be a flat pitch Sri Lanka could have easily finished with a draw series. India could have been in a similar plight had they toured now rather than in sunny summer,it is very unfair for the touring teams who come first.I suggest at least ECB should start with ODIs for early touring teams with the Tests following later Ranil Herath - Kent.

  • Lord.emsworth on June 8, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    'But there are always things in a Test match we could have done better. We hope we do that at the Rose Bowl.' Lead on Mcduff......er.. The worlds thine or Dilshans oyster...

  • crystosis on June 8, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    The only problem Trott has is that he plays the anchor role in ODIs losing them matches.

  • bigwonder on June 8, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Who cares, its a test after all where you don't expect results - even if it goes on for 25 days. This game is basically for people who enjoy watching Net practice and don't care who wins. Its high time that few changes are made to Test to make it more appealing to the next generation and new cricket fans.

  • on June 8, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    @Pratik Pandey u might want SL to become the next W Indies or whatever... and you might even spend a few bucks you earn out of ipl to make that happen yet there wont be a worse bowling attack than india

    and talking about Wset Indies........... keep in mind that form is temporary and Class is Permanent !!!!!

  • amit1807kuwait on June 8, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Stuart Broad seems to be the most over-rated cricketer in the English team, if not the whole world. Come on people, he is a guy who got hit for six sixes in an international game. If that does not indicate a lack of temperament, then nothing does. So does he have talent? Maybe. But does he have the temperament? Definitely, no! England could do well with Tim Bresnan who is a far more whole-hearted cricketer.

  • popcorn on June 8, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    England have lost interest and intensity.To give it up with an hour to spare shows timidity.

  • on June 8, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Can someone explain to me my Stuart Broad is in the team? He is neither here nor there - a bits and pieces cricketer, the kind that have proved themselves most ineffective in Tests when analyzed statistically and correctly.

  • Praxis on June 8, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Cook's adaptability to different situation and varying scoring rate is bit of a concern. Trott is an accumulator too, but he can and does change his game when it is needed. Just see how he plays in ODIs. Otherwise its up to KP's form and Bell's luck to fix the scoring rate.

  • MeowCat on June 8, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    300 runs in 70 overs is impossible with no Tilly Dilly.England should've known

  • on June 8, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    why enlish underestimate their bouling sind in this match

  • on June 8, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    the way Cook has in 2nd test , I'm very impressed with him. but he able to bat in ODI and T20I's ????? I'm not about it. will he able to captaincy

  • SLfan on June 8, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    @Pratik Pandey - What's wrong if a captain imagine his team to be no.1 or his team to achieve certain standards ? Do you believe that it is only a right of India ??? Should other teams or captains can not have such expectations or targets ? Is that healthy for growing or expansion of any sport ?....You sounds like you are having some problems with Sanga or Sri Lankans as a nation...!

  • Mannix16 on June 8, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    As a Lankan fan, I must say I am disappointed by the string of injuries and the selection. Initially we thought we would be with a bowling attack consisting of Matthews, Malinga, Pradeep, Randiv, Herath. Matthews got injured in WC, and then Malinga then announced his retirement which made way for Fernando, who got injured in the warm up games. Since Kulasekera had a horror game in the WC FInal (wicketless, RR above 7, dropped catch of Gambhir on 30), he has been axed. Thushara has a back injury, so we are without a real bowler-> which is why we pick the underperforming Maharoof and the risky Fernando. No idea why Randiv isn't playing. Now Dilshan is injured, who was the only consistent batsman on the team. Who does England have injured? Just Anderson. Full Strength England vs a weakened SL team, honestly i don't even want to watch the last test, since it will be a massacre on SL

  • KingOwl on June 8, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    What is clear based on these two tests (Cardiff final day was just an outlier) is that there is little difference between these two teams. If in early season, seaming conditions England can't beat SL very comprehensively, it sends a clear message. I look forward to the return tour to see how England does in SL. If SL played three tests against England in spin friendly wickets, I have no doubt that SL will win all three.

  • on June 8, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    anyone critisizing cooks hundred for slow batting, notice he got out on 96 in 1st innings , so he really wanted to make it count this time, which is good, also the MOMENT he got his hundred he really put the foot down and hacked at every ball after that, he was nearly out 4 times in 1 over and finally managed to be stumped. He hasnt got thr game to attack the bowlers. If england wanted to win the game they needed to let SL chase 270 so they could declare much earlier, they also should have bowled the remaining overs as it was very very possible that 15 overs would have been enough to get samaraweera out and then clean up a very long tail in which none can bat. Strauss is way too defensive, he has best spinner in world cricket, he has 2 good quick bowlers in finn and tremlett (broad is hopeless in tests) He had ample resources to bowl out SL, just couldnt be bothered. Strauss should be dropped for james taylor, broad should be dropped also for anderson

  • YorkshirePudding on June 8, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    I disagree with you wandrew, limiting the number of overs a team can face is ludicrous. What happens then do you start introducing fielding restrictions, and powerplays to try and up the tempo.

  • SudharsanVM on June 8, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    In every team, u need one player to play the anchor role and others play around that guy. Kallis and dravid had been doing it for years and so INDIA and SA are successful over the past decade. Really wonder why cook and trott both play the same anchor way and its really boring to watch these batsmen play. At times, it gives one such impression that they play for their averages.

  • Rahul_78 on June 8, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    By the time India reaches the shores of England the pitches should ease out a bit and it will be a test of English bawler's against arguably the best bating line up in the world. And if Sehwag has his days he will certainly score big and quick. I am just waiting for the contest to begin...

  • allblue on June 8, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    It's worth remembering that England scored at 4.3 per over in the first innings, and 4.28 in the second - it wasn't so long ago that would have been an acceptable scoring rate in an ODI. Strauss knows that Lords wicket well, it doesn't deteriorate over the five days, and we've seen several high fourth innings scores to save games in the last few years - the last time SL played there for example. To bowl sides out on that surface your bowlers have to be spot on and collectively the attack had an off match, which along with time lost to rain made the draw inevitable in the end. As an England fan it was frustrating because there was a glimpse at one stage, but they did seem rather flat on that last day. The lack of variety in the seamers told here, with hindsight maybe Dernbach was a better option, but with a four man attack it's a big risk if a debutant doesn't hack it. Nothing too much wrong here, just a below par performance against a quality batting line-up on a flat wicket.

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on June 8, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    Few of the correspondents below seem to have register that the match lasted a maximum of 380.4 overs including the 15 overs in the last hour that the teams declined to play - so, as one other noted, up to 85 overs were lost - almost a full day. Without this the Dilshan "insertion" may have proved costly as scoring more than 300 on the last day has been achieved only once (from memory) at Lord's. In fact E may well have set over 400 to win.

    It has also escaped notice of most that SL took 132 overs (rounded) compared to E's 112 to not quite match their 1st inns score. Hardly good enough for a team that needed to win?

  • on June 8, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    15 overs to go - 3 down and one injured. England decide they have had enough. Worse, they had decided no to go for the win at least 40 minutes before that with Swann and Pietersen just turning round anc chucking the ball down as quickly as they could. England could have made far better use of the last 10 overs they played, and used the 15 they didn't. England have a great side, but their attitude has to toughen up. You HAVE to kick the opposition when they are down. For decades England have been on the other side of this when teams hammered us into tbhe ground with no mercy. If we want to emulate them we need to get that killer instinct. They have a decent rest now and the bowlers were pretty fresh yesterday - a real opportunity to scare SL... Seems England just wanted to go home.

  • jackiethepen on June 8, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Isn't Cook vice captain? He should know what the match situation is. Perhaps he thought having KP the other end permitted him to grind out his century although quicker runs were needed. In the last hour before lunch he only got 11 runs. Bell got 13 in a single over when he came in. Cook put pressure on all his team mates who then had to bat like furies. Lucky for Bell he survived. Morgan didn't. This kind of selfishness from Cook can't go on if he thinks he is captain material. Show some captaincy credentials then. Trott has been heavily criticised by the media for his plodding style but in this game he actually accelerated. Is Cook beyond reproach now? Perhaps success has gone to his head? We don't want another ego driven dressing room where everyone has to bat around a certain personality. It didn't work for KP in the end and it won't work for Cook. Time to rein in now.

  • ste13 on June 8, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    fully agree with wandrew - defensive tactics should be punished - limiting no. of overs would bring much life into the game and would foster positive approach

  • stormy16 on June 8, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Seemed to me an English win was based on a Cardiff like SL collapse which I must say is not all that far fetched as SL are not strong in saving games. Strauss should have given him self more time by going for quick runs and declaring earlier rather than giving yourself 50 overs to bowl out for a win on a flatish track. The other issue is all the talk is about how weak the SL attack is and it is, but the English attack didint exactly blow away the SL's either who were 200/0 at one stage!

  • on June 8, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    At one stage Sangakara was thinking of making srilanka world no.1 team in test. I m affraid dey ll be d nxt westindies. There bowling is worst dn Westindies ryt nw. Xcept diz u srilankans.

  • landl47 on June 8, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    I thought Strauss was rather too ready to call it a day. With Dilshan injured, if England had got one more wicket they were through to the tail. However, at 1-0 up in the series, I don't blame him for batting Sri Lanka out of the game. Quixotic declarations leading to losses might be fun to watch (especially for the supporters of the team who have been gifted the match) but don't look good on a captain's or a team's record. @wandrew: good idea, but since each day consists of 90 overs, your game would last 5 1/2 days. And what do you do when rain or bad light interferes? The last thing test cricket needs is some incomprehensible Duckworth/Lewis scoring method so that no-one knows what is needed to win. There's nothing wrong with the rules; what the ICC might do is instruct countries that the balance between bat and ball must be maintained. Flat pitches are what causes dull games.

  • Hammond on June 8, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    People are forgetting that a whole day was lost in total due to rain. With that in mind I think England did really well in this test. Strauss isn't an Australian captain he's English and has always concentrated on getting in the strongest position possible before taking risks. That said he's a far more agressive captain than Ponting ever was. With Anderson back I think you'll see more agression next test. Well played England you are well on the way to being the number one side.

  • wandrew on June 8, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    I am dissapointed with the way England handled their second innings. They could have made the match more interesting by declaring when they reached 300 and trying to get Sri Lanka out. They knew Dilshan is not batting and Sri Lanka getting 300 is near impossible. This is the problem with Test cricket. All sides are more interested in keeping their winning records intact. Endgland has won the first test, so they would settle for a draw rather than taking a risk by declaring early. This is one reason why ICC should look at changing the test match format to force more decisions. Why not restrict the number of overs for each innings for all sides so that you can always finish the match in 5 days (unless weather intervenes.) A simple rule is to make the maximum number of overs for each innings 125. That way the match is limited to 500 overs and you end up getting a result.

  • on June 8, 2011, 0:38 GMT

    I'm not a Stuart Broad fan and I won't pretend to be, but I do think he's just one step short of being an automatic choice, but NOT as a specialist bowler. With 1150 test runs already (more than, say, Mike Gatting at the same stage, or thereabouts, he has more tons at least ...) he should be working on his batting to make himself a true allrounder. I'd drop Morgan, bat Prior at six and have Broad at seven with room then for an extra bowler. While Broad is never going to be as good as Botham (who is?) he could certainly eclipse Flintoff as England's best allrounder of the last twenty years. You don't get 160-odd in a Test without having some serious batting ability and he should be working towards his strengths.

  • RodStark on June 8, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    I must say I was a bit surprised and disappointed that Strauss was willing to call it off as soon as he did. I would think paying customers would have been annoyed too. I don't like the rule that test matches don't have to be played out fully, and it doesn't show much "killer instinct" on England's part for a team aiming to become the top team in tests.

  • HatsforBats on June 7, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    The only things that cost England the chance to win this test (beside their inconsistent bowling) was the incredibly selfish innings of their future captain Cook, and the lack of positive intent by their current captain. At 1-0 up in a 3 match series I would think the 5th day of this match must be a huge let down for English fans. With attacking bowlers like Swann and Tremlett I am baffled as to why Strauss let Cook grind out a century off 231 balls. If England want to be the no.1 side then they need to learn from those sides that have achieved it in the past. All they need to do in future situations like this is ask themselves, "What would Mark Taylor do?"

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  • HatsforBats on June 7, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    The only things that cost England the chance to win this test (beside their inconsistent bowling) was the incredibly selfish innings of their future captain Cook, and the lack of positive intent by their current captain. At 1-0 up in a 3 match series I would think the 5th day of this match must be a huge let down for English fans. With attacking bowlers like Swann and Tremlett I am baffled as to why Strauss let Cook grind out a century off 231 balls. If England want to be the no.1 side then they need to learn from those sides that have achieved it in the past. All they need to do in future situations like this is ask themselves, "What would Mark Taylor do?"

  • RodStark on June 8, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    I must say I was a bit surprised and disappointed that Strauss was willing to call it off as soon as he did. I would think paying customers would have been annoyed too. I don't like the rule that test matches don't have to be played out fully, and it doesn't show much "killer instinct" on England's part for a team aiming to become the top team in tests.

  • on June 8, 2011, 0:38 GMT

    I'm not a Stuart Broad fan and I won't pretend to be, but I do think he's just one step short of being an automatic choice, but NOT as a specialist bowler. With 1150 test runs already (more than, say, Mike Gatting at the same stage, or thereabouts, he has more tons at least ...) he should be working on his batting to make himself a true allrounder. I'd drop Morgan, bat Prior at six and have Broad at seven with room then for an extra bowler. While Broad is never going to be as good as Botham (who is?) he could certainly eclipse Flintoff as England's best allrounder of the last twenty years. You don't get 160-odd in a Test without having some serious batting ability and he should be working towards his strengths.

  • wandrew on June 8, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    I am dissapointed with the way England handled their second innings. They could have made the match more interesting by declaring when they reached 300 and trying to get Sri Lanka out. They knew Dilshan is not batting and Sri Lanka getting 300 is near impossible. This is the problem with Test cricket. All sides are more interested in keeping their winning records intact. Endgland has won the first test, so they would settle for a draw rather than taking a risk by declaring early. This is one reason why ICC should look at changing the test match format to force more decisions. Why not restrict the number of overs for each innings for all sides so that you can always finish the match in 5 days (unless weather intervenes.) A simple rule is to make the maximum number of overs for each innings 125. That way the match is limited to 500 overs and you end up getting a result.

  • Hammond on June 8, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    People are forgetting that a whole day was lost in total due to rain. With that in mind I think England did really well in this test. Strauss isn't an Australian captain he's English and has always concentrated on getting in the strongest position possible before taking risks. That said he's a far more agressive captain than Ponting ever was. With Anderson back I think you'll see more agression next test. Well played England you are well on the way to being the number one side.

  • landl47 on June 8, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    I thought Strauss was rather too ready to call it a day. With Dilshan injured, if England had got one more wicket they were through to the tail. However, at 1-0 up in the series, I don't blame him for batting Sri Lanka out of the game. Quixotic declarations leading to losses might be fun to watch (especially for the supporters of the team who have been gifted the match) but don't look good on a captain's or a team's record. @wandrew: good idea, but since each day consists of 90 overs, your game would last 5 1/2 days. And what do you do when rain or bad light interferes? The last thing test cricket needs is some incomprehensible Duckworth/Lewis scoring method so that no-one knows what is needed to win. There's nothing wrong with the rules; what the ICC might do is instruct countries that the balance between bat and ball must be maintained. Flat pitches are what causes dull games.

  • on June 8, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    At one stage Sangakara was thinking of making srilanka world no.1 team in test. I m affraid dey ll be d nxt westindies. There bowling is worst dn Westindies ryt nw. Xcept diz u srilankans.

  • stormy16 on June 8, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Seemed to me an English win was based on a Cardiff like SL collapse which I must say is not all that far fetched as SL are not strong in saving games. Strauss should have given him self more time by going for quick runs and declaring earlier rather than giving yourself 50 overs to bowl out for a win on a flatish track. The other issue is all the talk is about how weak the SL attack is and it is, but the English attack didint exactly blow away the SL's either who were 200/0 at one stage!

  • ste13 on June 8, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    fully agree with wandrew - defensive tactics should be punished - limiting no. of overs would bring much life into the game and would foster positive approach

  • jackiethepen on June 8, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Isn't Cook vice captain? He should know what the match situation is. Perhaps he thought having KP the other end permitted him to grind out his century although quicker runs were needed. In the last hour before lunch he only got 11 runs. Bell got 13 in a single over when he came in. Cook put pressure on all his team mates who then had to bat like furies. Lucky for Bell he survived. Morgan didn't. This kind of selfishness from Cook can't go on if he thinks he is captain material. Show some captaincy credentials then. Trott has been heavily criticised by the media for his plodding style but in this game he actually accelerated. Is Cook beyond reproach now? Perhaps success has gone to his head? We don't want another ego driven dressing room where everyone has to bat around a certain personality. It didn't work for KP in the end and it won't work for Cook. Time to rein in now.