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

Strauss rues injury crisis

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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!

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