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September 1, 2006
Andrew Strauss, the England captain, has said that the England one-day side will need to regroup quickly if they are to be a force to reckon with in next year's World Cup in the West Indies.
"The World Cup is not that far away now and you don't want to be experimenting too close to the World Cup," Strauss told AFP. "We have been a little bit frustrated at the way we performed against Sri Lanka and we know that now is the time to start putting things right. Every game we play between now and then is very important."
Having lost 15 of their last 20 one-day internationals, England were on the verge of another defeat against Pakistan in the series opener in Cardiff before rains washed out the match. The slump included a 1-5 defeat against India and an embarrassing 0-5 defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka at home recently. Their solitary win at home came against Ireland, one of the World Cup qualifiers.
With the second one-dayer against Pakistan to get underway at Lord's tomorrow, Strauss said that it was about time England bagged a few wins and gain a psychological boost ahead of major challenges ahead.
England have struggled to field a full-strength squad with injuries to key players like Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan, which however provided opportunities to Alastair Cook, Jamie Dalrymple and Stuart Broad. Strauss felt that the squad now presented a good mix of youth and experience. Having regained his original slot as an opener with Marcus Trescothick, Strauss stated that the team management would stop experimenting with the opening slot.
"We've tried a few combinations. We were looking at the attacking opener at one stage and we've tried a couple of people in that role and that didn't quite work out for us. Maybe we have just gone back to trying to get more of an assured start and setting a platform for the middle-order players."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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