Australia v England, 3rd ODI, Sydney January 23, 2011

We'll keep playing attacking cricket - Strauss


England captain Andrew Strauss has refused to panic despite his team falling 3-0 behind in the one-day series against Australia, leaving the visitors needing to win all four remaining matches to take the contest. The latest reversal was by four wickets at the SCG after another poor batting display which totalled 214.

Strauss insists that post-Ashes malaise isn't to blame for the decline in form, but it's hard not to think that the players have found it difficult to raise themselves to the same level that they found for the five Tests when the urn was at stake. Although England began the series with 294 at Melbourne, which still didn't prove enough, the last two matches have produced a return to the bad old days of their one-day cricket.

There is some mitigation in that the bowling attack is missing key personnel with Tim Bresnan the latest to join the list after he was ruled out of the series. But it's unfortunate timing because over the last 18 months the team have made considerable strides in the 50-over game and have won their last five series against South Africa, Bangladesh home and away, Australia and Pakistan.

Those past performances are what gives Strauss faith that the players can turn the series around when it resumes in Adelaide on Wednesday. "It's not the time to panic," he said. "There's obviously a couple of guys who are not in brilliant form at the moment but that can change around very quickly. Now's the time that you have got to have confidence in players rather than damage them.

"You have to give credit to the way Australia have bowled. We haven't been as smart as we should have been. I don't know the exact answer to it, all I can say is we need to look forward and improve. There's no point us crying into our cornflakes tomorrow morning."

While it's true Australia have bowled well, especially Brett Lee, there have been a range of loose strokes and some poor decisions by the England batsmen. In the latest match the captain was run out in a horrid mix-up, Eoin Morgan pulled a long hop to midwicket and Chris Tremlett produced a schoolboy howler by not grounding his bat.

For Strauss it's the running between the wickets that causes the most frustration and he will continue to back his batsmen to play in a positive manner because he believes risk brings reward.

"I hate run outs, I hate seeing run outs because it is needless," he said. "You have to understand that in one-day cricket you are going to get one or two soft dismissals an innings because you are pushing things pretty hard. What we need to avoid is the four, five or six that we've shown so far in this series.

"I still want us to play positive, aggressive, attacking cricket. That's the only way we are going to succeed in Australia or in the World Cup," he added. "I don't want too many of our batsmen scratching their heads wondering whether they should play a shot or not. I want them to play with freedom. If we keep doing that and keep believing then I think things will turn around."

However, there is a growing concern about the impact a heavy series defeat here would have on England's World Cup campaign even though conditions will be very different. Those players heading to the subcontinent only have three days at home, but Strauss won't hear any talk of weariness. "If fatigue is setting in, then that's not good enough," he said. "If we keep believing we'll turn things around."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • 5wombats on January 24, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    @Campbell; Panic not. I actually met her at Old Trafford in 1981. We've never been apart!

  • Campbell on January 24, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    @5wombats - Married 6 years? Did you forget the 2 year 5-0 separation in 06/07?

  • 5wombats on January 24, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    @Meety; No mate - I bowled a Maiden Over!!!

  • Meety on January 24, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Okay to be attacking - but when has Strauss really been attacking all summer? I have felt all thru the summer that Oz under performed BUT that is either due to lack of preparation or England made us under perform. I think it was more the latter with a healthy dose of the former. That being said Strauss in the Tests & then in the 3 ODIs so far has been defensive in the field. Didn't matter too much in the Tests Plan A worked pretty well, but I think attack means more then just flinging the bat at the ball. @5wombats- re: Bangladesh, they are usually good for one upset per World Cup, also they have improved alot in the last 12 mths & to take them lightly will be painful for any side. I don't think they'll do it but a Tamim/Nafees combo opening the batting could well do a Kalu/Jayasurya this WC edition. BTW you're response to Warnerbasher was edged onto the stumps!

  • 5wombats on January 24, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    @warnerbasher; I was in Trafalgar Square to see the bus arrive my friend - and when it was all over in the middle of the crowd I knelt in front of my lady and proposed to her. That was a great day. "In Australia Ashes victory are met with a yawn" - this comment is unbelievable tosh and you know it. Winning the Ashes was something Australia used to take for granted - but it has become quite hard for Australia lately - perhaps you've now learned to appreciate it a bit more. BTW we've been married 6 years. Thanks for the reminder of that lovely sunny late summer September day in 2005! We even have photos if you are interested. @pie314; I confused - can you explain this remark please?

  • Jaggadaaku on January 24, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Don't just say that like The stupid Punter was saying every time. Mr. Strauss, you have to do it. You are a culprit selecting Collingwood regularly besides he is failing in every game like Indian captain keep selecting his old friend-Yuvraj in every game. Stop this partiality to such out of form players, the success will be in your feet. You cannot win if you use same test team for the ODI series. You need to give more chance to the batsmen playing faster. I mean Jonathan Trot, Bell, Prior, and Yardy are good/best for Test format only. Look their average strike rate in ODIs. They all keeping their average strike rate below 75. Collingwood also carries average strike rate 76 in ODIs, but sometimes he captures the wickets. And look at the AUS ODI team. All AUS batsmen carry the average strike rate 75+. Now, tell me how would you play attacking cricket keeping these bullock-cart players in ODI team???? Think about it...........

  • pie314 on January 24, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    "Aussies will rejoice in any victory against England", it appears Mr 5wombats is a pot who calls the kettle black.

  • dummy4fb on January 24, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    I found it hilarious that Shahzad threatned to knock Haddins block off with the cricket ball haha.. in the likelihood it'll be Haddin smacking it back towards the bowlers head :P.. great game by Australia and they have shown they are still the team to beat in ODI's

  • johntycodes on January 24, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Hey cricket australia remember a few years back when you decided that there were too many dead rubbers in the tri series one dayers in australia. So you changed the whole format well last year there were 4 dead rubbers 2 each against west indies and pakistan and this year there will be 3 dead rubbers. Good move CA.

  • warnerbasher on January 24, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    5wombats "australians rejoice in any victory against England" I don't know where you were in 2005 but I recall a joyous bus ride through Trafalgar square on a bus with thousands of Pom fans screaming with delight and a number of cricketers who received knighthoods or MBE's or OBE's or whatever they were issued with. In Australia Ashes victory are met with a yawn. Didn't Cook(one of the few English in the team) get a key to the city when he returned this time. Despite the utterances of the journalist above Australia are not near full strength either.

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