Pakistan v England, 1st Test, Dubai, 3rd day January 19, 2012

'Chance to show our resilience' - Strauss

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Sometimes it is in their lowest moments that sides find strength. Just as Pakistan, torn asunder both on and off the field, regrouped at the end of 2010, so England used the pain of their humiliation in Jamaica in 2009 to inspire them to build for better times.

Now Andrew Strauss hopes that England will utilise the anguish of the first-Test defeat as a motivational tool. While accepting that England's much vaunted batting line-up had seriously underperformed, England's captain was keen to avoid recriminations.

"In both innings we didn't apply ourselves as well as we should have done with the bat," Strauss said. "You can scratch your head and ask why and come up with so many recriminations and questions. The most important thing is that the batsmen are very clear about their method and that they use that feeling of disappointment as motivation to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"It won't be a huge challenge to pick the team up. There will be a huge feeling that we haven't given a good an account of ourselves, and that will give us good motivation to come back in the second Test. We're a really tight unit. We win and lose together, you move on and it's a chance for us to show our resilience and character. I know we have those in abundance but we have to show that. Nobody likes losing, that is for sure.

"We treated it like an aberration when we lost in Perth and we will treat this as an aberration as well. But we do have to make sure we don't repeat those mistakes. One of the things you have to be, as an international cricketer, is honest with yourself. You have to make sure you ask yourself the right questions and come up with the right answers before moving on."

Strauss has a hard balancing act, however. Several of England's batsmen - notably Kevin Pietersen - fell to shots bordering on reckless, but Strauss is aware that the spirit within the squad will not be improved by blaming individuals. At the same time, though, he wants the players to take responsibility for England's first Test defeat since December 2010.

"When a guy has just come in after a bad shot, you don't expect your team-mates to jump up and down telling you what a terrible shot you played," Strauss said. "But it's important you don't run away from facts and the truth. As batsmen we have to be honest and ask did we play well enough. We have to ask: was our game plan smart enough, were we switched on enough. All those questions are important. But I also think, at times like these the easy thing is to look at everything that went wrong. As a side it's important we keep connected with the fact we've done a lot of good things over the last two years and we will continue to do so."

Strauss made no excuses, though. He accepted that the pitch was flat and dismissed that his side had any inherent problems against the spin of Saeed Ajmal.

"We were caught off guard in that first session of the first day on a very flat wicket," he said. "From then on Pakistan never let us back into the game. You have to congratulate them for the way they played, but we're disappointed with the way we batted in both innings, particularly the first innings as it wasn't a 50 for 5 wicket. We have to learn some lessons and move forward.

"A couple of us contributed to our own downfall, which allowed Ajmal to put more pressure on the batsmen coming in. The ball wasn't turning a huge amount and I think the players who did get in and spend some time at the wicket looked fairly comfortable, but not enough of us were able to do that. We face a lot of good bowlers in Test cricket. I don't think there's anything about Ajmal that we should be unduly worried about. We have to be very clear about our game plan and make sure we don't make the same mistakes.

"It's a disappointing result because we did a lot of things well in our build-up. We played good cricket in the warm-up games. We weren't undercooked or underprepared. I'm certainly determined to come back strong in Abu Dhabi and I'm sure the rest of the guys are too."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on January 22, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @Garp on (January 20 2012, 17:32 PM GMT) I'm guessing you didn't see the documentary on England's rise to the top on SKY? Strauss said that after the Australians drew level (Ashes in Aus 2010/11) and being comprehensively beaten they took some time out, played a bit of golf etc and we all know what happened in the rest of the series. It does sound daft to do things that way but I'm guessing they're confident it will work for them again. Maybe they could be putting too much pressure on themselves by going over things all the time and taking their mind of the game could be the best solution. Time will tell

  • dummy4fb on January 22, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    England were skiitled out by passionate Pakistan always hurdled by preplanned controversies. All credit goes to the men in Green. When every moment of the match was so exciting and England felt the pain, suddenly as usual someone tries to use the same tactics to undermines Saeed's performance. Yes again we must emphasise that few wins in your den doesn't means Ur number 1, England's performance in Dubai shows their inability to maintain their number 1 streak. English media should hail Pakistan's performance with brave heart rather than old mud slinging technique, and expect England to bounce back. Otherwise, it's just matter of 3 days to defeat so called number 1 side. Beware of Paki Power. Good luck England

  • Naikan on January 21, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    I am not surprised with the result. A few weeks ago in articles on England's no. 1 test rank, I had predicted that England would not find their matches against Pakistan as easy as they did against India. For pure test skills, Pakistan has an excellent group of bowlers to draw from. If it had not been for the spot fixing scandal, Pakistan probably has the best collective bowling outfit. Evenso, I feel they are a formidable set. The main reason is the bowlers target taking wickets and not containment. That aspect is a must. Unfortunately the popularity of the short forms of cricket in India (Oneday and T20) has transformed most of the frontline Indian bowlers into containment skill bowlers. But containment will not work for long periods like a 5 day test. A good deal of England's victories are based on their excellent batting record of last 2 years. However i feel it never really got tested. If they have to come back their batting has to click.

  • dummy4fb on January 21, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    england ll strike back .....lights og KP, TROT,BELL ,COOK N MORGAN RNT GONNA GO OFF........DEY LL COMBACK N CRUSH PAKISTAAN IN DE UPCOMING GAMES .....STRAUSS IS A GUD CAPTAIN MATTY IS DOIN WELLL.....N ENGLAND HAS 3 OF WORLD'S TOP 10 ALL ROUNDERS......DE BOWLIN WAS GUD EVEN IN DE 1ST GAM DEY LL COMBAC N BEAT DE PAKISTAANI TEAM WICH LACKS XPERIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

  • JG2704 on January 21, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    @Garp on (January 20 2012, 17:32 PM GMT) I'm guessing you didn't see the documentary on England's rise to the top on SKY? Strauss said that after the Australians drew level (Ashes in Aus 2010/11) and being comprehensively beaten they took some time out, played a bit of golf etc and we all know what happened in the rest of the series. It does sound daft to do things that way but I'm guessing they're confident it will work for them again. Maybe they could be putting too much pressure on themselves by going over things all the time and taking their mind of the game could be the best solution. Time will tell

  • RVC-38 on January 21, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    @garp spot on, the same with their rugby and football teams, they can reach the pinnacle then its jobs finished.

  • crazier on January 21, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    im a pakistan fan. But i hate when someone critice england about their players that they are from other countries. I think its shame to those countries whose players play in england side. so please keep ur mouth shut!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 21, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    With only 15 runs to get, why would any straight person use regular bowlers? What does that tell us about you Strauss. You are a very mild mannered bloke. But sorry Strauss, that was absurd and pretty ordinary behaviour from you.

  • phoenixsteve on January 21, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    England played badly and deserved to be beaten by a really good Pakistan side. It's just 1 of 3 tests though and chickens should not be counted just yet? Even the second rate Aussies managed to win one test at home in the recent Ashes! It's interesting how many fans of inferior sides are revelling in this one result? They don't seem to realise that if Pakistan manage to win a series against England it makes their sides look even poorer.... if this is possible! Whilst I am worried after the first test..... I have faith! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • 5wombats on January 20, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    @JG2704 on (January 20 2012, 10:45 AM GMT) - we said weeks ago that Pakistan fans are, in the main, salt of the earth. Play cricket with Pakistanis; they live the game. Magnificent. There to be admired. Meanwhile, there are a load of graceless leeches from over the border who take delight in jumping onto the coattails of the Pakistan team who, remember, are one of only two sides to defeat England in England in a Test Match in the past 3 years. india are not one of them. Quite why they are here, crowing over their 7 consecutive away defeats has to be one of the biggest jokes in the history of cricket. Please publish.

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