Australia v England, 6th ODI, Sydney February 2, 2011

Strauss rues injury crisis

34

Andrew Strauss could only curse England's injury crisis as a shortage of bowling options meant a record-breaking batting effort went to waste at Sydney. The visitors were handsomely placed after piling up 333 but Paul Collingwood suffered a back spasm and was unable to fill his role with the ball as Australia won by two wickets.

Collingwood, who was picked primarily for his bowling, joined England's lengthy casualty list from this one-day series which has left Strauss with the bare bones of an attack. Tim Bresnan (calf) and Graeme Swann (back) are already back in the UK and will soon be joined by Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring) and Chris Tremlett (side), who will fly home from Sydney on Thursday.

Liam Plunkett, the Durham allrounder, has completed a 36-hour journey from the Caribbean to Perth where England head to tomorrow for the final one-day international on Sunday, and Collingwood's injury gives him a decent chance of at least being rewarded with a match for his brief visit Down Under.

The loss of Collingwood also turned the spotlight on England's gamble of playing just five bowlers with the fill-in 10 overs from Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott costing 72. Strauss admitted they will have to reassess the balance of the side heading into the World Cup, but added the injury situation hadn't left much breathing space in this match.

"He had a back spasm so he couldn't walk very well and he certainly couldn't bowl," Strauss said. "At the moment we are a bit short on bowlers full stop. So we were forced into right that at the moment. It's a fair question to ask. It's not ideal - I need five bowlers, there is no doubt.

"Ideally you will have six bowlers at your disposal; five specialists and a Collingwood-type bowler. We are going to have to decide what the best way of winning games out on the sub-continent is. The likelihood is there are going to be two spinners involved and that allows you to play with six bowlers."

The conditions also made it a tough day with temperatures nudging 40 degrees although England avoided the worst of the heat by batting first. Even then it took its toll on the batsmen with Jonathan Trott suffering from cramp during his 137 and needing a runner to complete the innings.

"It was certainly one of the hottest days I've ever batted in. That takes it's toll on the players, the players have played a lot of cricket over the course of this Australian summer," Strauss said. "It was hard work. It was very frustrating to do all that hard work and not get the result at the end of it."

Trott, who managed to take on fluids during the interval and fielding for most of Australia's innings, said the coloured one-day kits make it even harder. "It was really tough. It's just one of those things, also with the blue clothing, it's not the white stuff, so it heats up pretty quickly."

For a moment during Australia's innings it appeared another player may have gone down when Kevin Pietersen slid in the outfield and hurt his ankle. He limped off for treatment but returned to send down six overs and claim the wicket of Mitchell Johnson. Too many more injuries and England will struggle to name an eleven in Perth.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • brisCricFan on February 4, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    It's all well and good to say that you aren't interested in One Day Cricket... ... helps when your track record shows that you just aren't ever going to be competitive at it... ... ... sounds like a certain fox that couldn't quite reach the grapes. ... ... ... when is the rules just not cricket though ??? not a fan of cramps being sufficient for a runner and yes Strauss denied Smith but at the time, it was in the rules that cramp was not sufficient to be considered an injury; those rules are now changed and Strauss has become the benefactor although I recall his words being something along the lines of "In my opinion cramps will never be an excuse for a runner period." The infamous underarm was legally within the rules too... but just not cricket.

  • Meety on February 4, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    @ karl43 - true I'd gladly swap this for the Ashes, that being said I can tell you now a W/Cup is right up there. I can also tell you that if England won the 50/50 W/Cup - you'd be having ticker tape parades & handing out knighthoods too!

  • PTtheAxis on February 4, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    england trying to win ODI's with the TEST team. just too funny. they got some brains going for T20 when they kept prior/bell/anderson etc on sidelines. its back to same old same old. there are so many in the county game like david malan who are much fitter for ODI's.

  • karl43 on February 3, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    It's been a long tour but the fact is that England's test team is far superior to the ODI side, England were playing very good cricket as soon as they landed in oz and apart from the perth blip they were awesome, beating australia by an innings 3 times in one series was an epic achievement which will live long in the memory and wisden's bible. Australia have a better odi side so there is no argument that we have been beaten by the better team much as the end of the english 2009 summer, I don't mind us losing the odi pyjama cricket as long as we keep winning ASHES.

  • FlashAsh on February 3, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Hang on a minute!! I think our Aussie detractors are forgetting something? Who won the Ashes by 3 innngs defeats? Who cares a less about this "series"? Don't forget the English have always been dismissive of ODI's.

    The WC may be a different matter since we beat Australia to our first ICC Trophy in 2010. But this series doesn't even feature, its not even a warm up for the WC as the conditions will be entirely different. Only benefit is to SA, Sri and India who must be laughing their heads off at the casualties being suffered by both sides!!

  • Something_Witty on February 3, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    *Agrees with othello22* 25 char

  • charlzy_33 on February 3, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    i remember not that long ago Strauss refused to give Graeme Smith a runner when he was on about 140, doesnt mind having a sook when his players are on 100+ and need a runner though! how bad were his cramps? he took a great catch in the field not long after his innings!

  • othello22 on February 3, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Oh boo hoo, someone play a violin for Andrew Strauss. He whinges about his team's injuries as though that's why they lost (yeah right... take a look at Australia's injury list, our best batsman, number 1 & 2 spinners, Ryan Harris, Nathan Bracken, the list goes on), complains about the perils of having to bat first in such hot conditions (yeah, i'm sure the team having to field and bowl first in said conditions felt really sorry for you mate), and suddenly thinks batsmen having runners because they're cramped is a good idea now that it suits him (anyone recall the incident with Graeme Smith??? Anyone???). What a tool.

  • Meety on February 3, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    @Warren Smith - trouble is - Englands "average" score this series is more like 280. Three times they surpassed "280" & twice they were beaten - once easily. The win they had - the margin was 21 runs, (that being said the reality was England had that game in the bag). So England may need 380 to win games regularly in the W/Cup - particularly if you listen to Paul Rone Clark, he says that their trump bowler (Anderson) "has played very few ODI's in the last 5 years (even when fit)". Uh Oh! @Chris_Howard - fair point but at least he wasn't bowling @ 150kph under that sun! @Imran Sethi - good call, I think he would be good. @ Garp - I don't think Strauss is the greatest ODI captain around - but I think you always go to your main man in a crisis. BTW - Andersons last over only conceeded a few runs & got a run out, it was the 47th & 45th overs during the power play (I think) that were carted.

  • Meety on February 3, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    @Paul Rone Clarke- enough of the whinging - you had several "FIRST CHOICE W/CUP SQUAD MEMBERS" sitting on the sidelines uninjured (Wright & Tredwell). Your "spherehead" Anderson played & Yardy - who appears to be going to be the 2nd spinner in India & will play most games. The last 2 W/Cups we Oz have lost key players before a W/Cup & during various comps & still succeeded. In 2003 Lee,Watto,Gillespie & Warne. In 2007 Lee & Watto. This edition- we have no Starc, Hazlewood, Harris, McKay or Bracken. Bracken a fmr#1 ODI bowler, & Haris who's S/R is amazing. We have Hauritz out, Doherty out, M Hussey & Punter out, Tait shaky, Lee returning from injury & I have suspicions that Bolly is not fully fit (he's bowling about 10kph slower than last year).Your Top 7 players were playing & Davies is not that good anyway - you may not have meant to but you basically compared him to Gilchrest - not very smart mate! Regarding Cook - yes he is in form, but if he plays ODIs -Test career will drop again!

  • brisCricFan on February 4, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    It's all well and good to say that you aren't interested in One Day Cricket... ... helps when your track record shows that you just aren't ever going to be competitive at it... ... ... sounds like a certain fox that couldn't quite reach the grapes. ... ... ... when is the rules just not cricket though ??? not a fan of cramps being sufficient for a runner and yes Strauss denied Smith but at the time, it was in the rules that cramp was not sufficient to be considered an injury; those rules are now changed and Strauss has become the benefactor although I recall his words being something along the lines of "In my opinion cramps will never be an excuse for a runner period." The infamous underarm was legally within the rules too... but just not cricket.

  • Meety on February 4, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    @ karl43 - true I'd gladly swap this for the Ashes, that being said I can tell you now a W/Cup is right up there. I can also tell you that if England won the 50/50 W/Cup - you'd be having ticker tape parades & handing out knighthoods too!

  • PTtheAxis on February 4, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    england trying to win ODI's with the TEST team. just too funny. they got some brains going for T20 when they kept prior/bell/anderson etc on sidelines. its back to same old same old. there are so many in the county game like david malan who are much fitter for ODI's.

  • karl43 on February 3, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    It's been a long tour but the fact is that England's test team is far superior to the ODI side, England were playing very good cricket as soon as they landed in oz and apart from the perth blip they were awesome, beating australia by an innings 3 times in one series was an epic achievement which will live long in the memory and wisden's bible. Australia have a better odi side so there is no argument that we have been beaten by the better team much as the end of the english 2009 summer, I don't mind us losing the odi pyjama cricket as long as we keep winning ASHES.

  • FlashAsh on February 3, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Hang on a minute!! I think our Aussie detractors are forgetting something? Who won the Ashes by 3 innngs defeats? Who cares a less about this "series"? Don't forget the English have always been dismissive of ODI's.

    The WC may be a different matter since we beat Australia to our first ICC Trophy in 2010. But this series doesn't even feature, its not even a warm up for the WC as the conditions will be entirely different. Only benefit is to SA, Sri and India who must be laughing their heads off at the casualties being suffered by both sides!!

  • Something_Witty on February 3, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    *Agrees with othello22* 25 char

  • charlzy_33 on February 3, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    i remember not that long ago Strauss refused to give Graeme Smith a runner when he was on about 140, doesnt mind having a sook when his players are on 100+ and need a runner though! how bad were his cramps? he took a great catch in the field not long after his innings!

  • othello22 on February 3, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Oh boo hoo, someone play a violin for Andrew Strauss. He whinges about his team's injuries as though that's why they lost (yeah right... take a look at Australia's injury list, our best batsman, number 1 & 2 spinners, Ryan Harris, Nathan Bracken, the list goes on), complains about the perils of having to bat first in such hot conditions (yeah, i'm sure the team having to field and bowl first in said conditions felt really sorry for you mate), and suddenly thinks batsmen having runners because they're cramped is a good idea now that it suits him (anyone recall the incident with Graeme Smith??? Anyone???). What a tool.

  • Meety on February 3, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    @Warren Smith - trouble is - Englands "average" score this series is more like 280. Three times they surpassed "280" & twice they were beaten - once easily. The win they had - the margin was 21 runs, (that being said the reality was England had that game in the bag). So England may need 380 to win games regularly in the W/Cup - particularly if you listen to Paul Rone Clark, he says that their trump bowler (Anderson) "has played very few ODI's in the last 5 years (even when fit)". Uh Oh! @Chris_Howard - fair point but at least he wasn't bowling @ 150kph under that sun! @Imran Sethi - good call, I think he would be good. @ Garp - I don't think Strauss is the greatest ODI captain around - but I think you always go to your main man in a crisis. BTW - Andersons last over only conceeded a few runs & got a run out, it was the 47th & 45th overs during the power play (I think) that were carted.

  • Meety on February 3, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    @Paul Rone Clarke- enough of the whinging - you had several "FIRST CHOICE W/CUP SQUAD MEMBERS" sitting on the sidelines uninjured (Wright & Tredwell). Your "spherehead" Anderson played & Yardy - who appears to be going to be the 2nd spinner in India & will play most games. The last 2 W/Cups we Oz have lost key players before a W/Cup & during various comps & still succeeded. In 2003 Lee,Watto,Gillespie & Warne. In 2007 Lee & Watto. This edition- we have no Starc, Hazlewood, Harris, McKay or Bracken. Bracken a fmr#1 ODI bowler, & Haris who's S/R is amazing. We have Hauritz out, Doherty out, M Hussey & Punter out, Tait shaky, Lee returning from injury & I have suspicions that Bolly is not fully fit (he's bowling about 10kph slower than last year).Your Top 7 players were playing & Davies is not that good anyway - you may not have meant to but you basically compared him to Gilchrest - not very smart mate! Regarding Cook - yes he is in form, but if he plays ODIs -Test career will drop again!

  • on February 3, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    Australia Shaun Marsh (Hamstring), Ricky Ponting (Finger), Nathan Bracken (Knee), Nathan Hauritz (Shoulder), Xavier Dorerthy (Injured)....... so wats u excuse now Strauss???

  • stationmaster on February 3, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Anderson was clearly not too bothered about going for 14 an over at one stage, just kept chugging away without any thought or guidance. Anderson will be better after a short break. I would like to see him and Simon Jones bowling together ! Simon Jones has just been top wicket taker in a T20 series and bowls faster than Brett Lee on average over 5 overs. Bring him back PLEASE !

  • Garp on February 3, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    Strauss should be upset with himself, how on Earth he had Anderson bowl the 49th over is beyond me? Jimmie had been going for 9 runs an over up to that point and he had both KP and Trott who could still bowl a couple of overs each who'd only gone for 7 an over. Jimmie who is usually spot on but wasn't yesterday went for 13 or 14 runs in that over and basically sealed our fate. Some will point out that Trott missed a catch but it was by no means a sitter and as I said if more attention would of been paid to the runs that certain bowlers were going for an over we could of squeaked out the win. Injuries are part of the game, and the Aussies have had to endure just as many as we have so for me injuries is a mute subject.

  • on February 3, 2011, 0:10 GMT

    England have a severe bowling crisis. I vouch for a forgotten bowler , Simon Jones to be brought into this team. he was bowling at 91- 92 mph and was in terrific form for Hampshire in the 20/20 series in the Carribean this January and was joint top wicket taker.

    He is great at reverse swing and would do very well on sub-continental pitches in the World cup.

    He has not played for England since 2005 but really wants to play for England again. I believe he has 2 or 3 year left in him and has outgrown his injuries. His last performance for England was 6/50

  • Chris_Howard on February 2, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    "Trott said the coloured one-day kits make it even harder. "It was really tough... with the blue clothing...it heats up pretty quickly."

    It's absolute madness. I can't believe team doctors let them get away with playing in dark colors under the Aussie sun. NZ do it to with their black uniforms. Aussies have dark green. It must also create a disadvantage for the team, as it'd sap them of their energy faster. Yellow and pale blue of years ago may look wussy, but for health and safety of the players, it should be mandatory.

  • Boba_Fett on February 2, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    While you never like to lose, if I were England I wouldn't be getting too upset. Both teams had first choice players out through injury so I don't think too much can be gleaned from this result. At the end of the day a game that goes down to the last over means the two teams were pretty evenly matched.

  • FlashAsh on February 2, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    Collingwood would have been perfect on this pitch especially when taking the speed off and forcing the batsmen to make big hits!! So blaming the team or captain for injuries sustained within an inniings is idiotic!! I can just see India losing Zaheer Khan before he's bowled a ball and being not able to defend 400 as they have even less options within their squad? Maybe dhoni would bowl as not sure Indai have a seam attack that can lose 4 and then take out whoever is considered their best spinner as well? Who would that leave?

    Get a life its unfortunate Eng have so many injuries, but look on the bright side many of their key bowlers are now getting a well deserved rest! and some key batsmen are scoring runs! Maybe Flower has just quite rightly just written this series off and used it for batting practice and blooding a 2nd string bowling attack? Who else but the Eng backroom team confirm injuries to players?

    Roll on WC!! its going to be a cracker!

  • allblue on February 2, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    My boots are packed, I'm just waiting for the call...

  • Talubar on February 2, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    The surfaces in Australia are hard and unforgiving, (like the team used to be) and the program of tests was compressed in to a period far too short. That's why the injury toll is mounting. The England attack was second rate and looked tired and uninterested, even Anderson went for plenty.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 2, 2011, 20:17 GMT

    The idioits who organised this series so close to the World Cup at the end of such a long tour are hopelessly incompetent. England should have won today - but didn't have the fire-power (Tremlett, Bresnan, Swann, Broad, Shazad) at their disposal. This ODI series is a pointless exercise. Both teams will suffer.

  • on February 2, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    Loss of Collingwood troubled? omg.. Are they playing him as a bowler??

  • on February 2, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Simply no excuse if you fail to defend 333... it all about bad Captaincy...Even AUS moved Johnson at top order and Eng Team cudn't handle him ... which bowler they need for Johnson??? AU batting line was also hit by Injuries but still they managed to do it well...

  • on February 2, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    @mighty_cricket_lover. Id bet on it in fact - not that i support or 'like' England. I really dont, but you can not deny that this is a team made of class individuals - if not Englishmen. The factors that made Morgan a force will once again be present at the world cup - low batting friendly tracks that players like he and Duminy like. Hes lack of contribution in the middle order in Oz were the reason England didnt put consistently good totals on the board. Hell make a ton of runs in india and Avg score 220 wil be avg score 280 - Eng will unfortunately be a force.

  • voma on February 2, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    When you score over 300 you expect to win , the reason we didnt was down to our bowlers . 1 in paticular , but as im a big fan of him i wont be to hard . Our confidence is being battered yes .But when broad and swann our back and maybe tremlett , it will be different . Well played Australia in the odi s .

  • hawksred11 on February 2, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    England lost because of "the fill-in 10 overs from Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott costing 72"? Australia scored at 6.77. Anderson went for 91 off his 10. Collingwood could easily have gone for more than 72...

  • on February 2, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Neither Anderson of Finn are ODI bowlers. Anderson has played very few ODI's in the last 5 years (even when fit) and Finn is far too young and attacking. Woakes is a baby who will get better. Not one first choice bowler bowled a ball today (Broad,Swann,Bresnan,Tremlett,Collingwood) Imagine the great Aussie team of 10 years ago without Warne, Mcgrath, Gillespie, Lee and McGill. Then for some inexplicable reason you choose not to pick Gilchrist and instead pick a keeper whose average struggles to reach 20 and makes fundamental errors (1 missed catch and another missed stumping today from Prior as well as next to no contribution with the bat ...again)Then send your best opener home as well (Cooke) The Aussies were the better team - no doubt. But it wasn't an England I recognise that they were playing today. A second choice bowling attack, a second rate keeper and a guy who just broke a ton of batting records back home in Essex walking his dog. That's England now

  • on February 2, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    England lack a genuine all-rounder. I think the vacuum created by retirement of Andrew Flintoff is not filled yet. England really need to look after the balance of their side going into the world cup.

  • chsar on February 2, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Why the hell is this series being played days before world cup. To make world cup a successful tournament all teams should be full strength. And all to those who are blaming English captain, what can he do if he doesn't even have 2nd string bowling.

  • on February 2, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    England should have win today........... no excuse...........

  • braindead_rocker on February 2, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    England lost the 6th ODI only because they did not have the bowlers.

  • mighty_cricket_lover on February 2, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    would anybody still date to bet that thin ENG team will win the WC2011??? Strauss, dont give excuses. U shud defend 333, provided u have gud bowling attack. Anderson and Finn were there.

  • dsig3 on February 2, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Injuries are part of the game. Every team goes through it. He should be a bit more focused on his captaincy. Tonight he made some bad calls at the end of the game including bowling a rookie at the death.

  • arounr on February 2, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Strauss has to understand the fact that he has a very mediocre team and stop blaming injuries. They are what they are!!!! Please stop comparing with any top teams. They are too over rated after ASHES.

  • boris6491 on February 2, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    With a WC in less than a month, England have not only to hope that their first choice players will be rehabilitated and in a condition to play at high intensity for the duration of the tournament, but also that they are not rusty and require time to settle in. A bad start to the tournament can mean curtains very quickly (a la India and Pakistan in 2007). An injury crisis has hit for both teams in this bilateral series and it really leaves one wondering whether this is coincidence or blunders on the part of the fitness and physio teams.

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  • boris6491 on February 2, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    With a WC in less than a month, England have not only to hope that their first choice players will be rehabilitated and in a condition to play at high intensity for the duration of the tournament, but also that they are not rusty and require time to settle in. A bad start to the tournament can mean curtains very quickly (a la India and Pakistan in 2007). An injury crisis has hit for both teams in this bilateral series and it really leaves one wondering whether this is coincidence or blunders on the part of the fitness and physio teams.

  • arounr on February 2, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Strauss has to understand the fact that he has a very mediocre team and stop blaming injuries. They are what they are!!!! Please stop comparing with any top teams. They are too over rated after ASHES.

  • dsig3 on February 2, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Injuries are part of the game. Every team goes through it. He should be a bit more focused on his captaincy. Tonight he made some bad calls at the end of the game including bowling a rookie at the death.

  • mighty_cricket_lover on February 2, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    would anybody still date to bet that thin ENG team will win the WC2011??? Strauss, dont give excuses. U shud defend 333, provided u have gud bowling attack. Anderson and Finn were there.

  • braindead_rocker on February 2, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    England lost the 6th ODI only because they did not have the bowlers.

  • on February 2, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    England should have win today........... no excuse...........

  • chsar on February 2, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Why the hell is this series being played days before world cup. To make world cup a successful tournament all teams should be full strength. And all to those who are blaming English captain, what can he do if he doesn't even have 2nd string bowling.

  • on February 2, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    England lack a genuine all-rounder. I think the vacuum created by retirement of Andrew Flintoff is not filled yet. England really need to look after the balance of their side going into the world cup.

  • on February 2, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Neither Anderson of Finn are ODI bowlers. Anderson has played very few ODI's in the last 5 years (even when fit) and Finn is far too young and attacking. Woakes is a baby who will get better. Not one first choice bowler bowled a ball today (Broad,Swann,Bresnan,Tremlett,Collingwood) Imagine the great Aussie team of 10 years ago without Warne, Mcgrath, Gillespie, Lee and McGill. Then for some inexplicable reason you choose not to pick Gilchrist and instead pick a keeper whose average struggles to reach 20 and makes fundamental errors (1 missed catch and another missed stumping today from Prior as well as next to no contribution with the bat ...again)Then send your best opener home as well (Cooke) The Aussies were the better team - no doubt. But it wasn't an England I recognise that they were playing today. A second choice bowling attack, a second rate keeper and a guy who just broke a ton of batting records back home in Essex walking his dog. That's England now

  • hawksred11 on February 2, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    England lost because of "the fill-in 10 overs from Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott costing 72"? Australia scored at 6.77. Anderson went for 91 off his 10. Collingwood could easily have gone for more than 72...