Strauss says Aussie thrashing inspiring England
England captain Andrew Strauss said last year's 6-1 humiliation by Australia was behind the change in approach which had helped them go ahead in the current one-day series with their oldest rivals.cricket Updated: Jun 25, 2010 18:46 IST
England captain Andrew Strauss said last year's 6-1 humiliation by Australia was behind the change in approach which had helped them go ahead in the current one-day series with their oldest rivals.
Cardiff's Sophia Gardens saw England secure their second four-wicket win in three days, following Tuesday's triumph at the Rose Bowl, in Cardiff on Thursday as the hosts went 2-0 up with three to play in the five-match series.
Fast bowler Stuart Broad led an attack that was able to recover, unlike in previous years, from a poor start with four wickets for 44 runs as England held Australia to 239 for seven.
Strauss, who once labelled himself a "stodgy" batsman, missed England's World Twenty20 final win over Australia in Barbados last month, which gave the team their first major global title, because he considers his game is not suited to the format.
But in Cardiff, the opener got England's reply off to a fine start with 51 at nearly a run-a-ball.
Australia may have lost the Ashes in England last year but the one-day world champions ended the tour strongly with a dominant limited overs display. They then beat England by nine wickets in the semi-finals before going on to win the Champions Trophy one-day tournament in South Africa although by that stage Strauss's side were starting to ditch the excessively cautious approach that allowed them to scrape wins against lesser teams but too often left them short against the world's best.
"When we got beaten by Australia last summer, that was an eye opener," Strauss told reporters in Cardiff on Thursday.
"We'd been playing okay up until then but it made us realise that what we were doing was not good enough and we had to find a way of being better."
The Middlesex left-hander added: "We came out to the Champions Trophy and tried to play a more fearless type of cricket."
However, Strauss stressed fearless did not equate to reckless. "It's very important we are calculated as well, and in the field we've been far better, the communication is better and the gameplan is clearer. We've stifled Australia with the ball and that's been as important as anything."
Turning to his own game, Strauss said: "Did I describe myself as stodgy? We're all trying to explore the limits of our games in practice and, by doing that, I think we're all discovering we can play more shots than we thought we could, or we can do things differently to the way we've done in the past."
Strauss, reflecting on last year's series, said: "You learn more about a side when you're losing than when you're winning.
"So in that respect it was a good thing, but for those of us who went through it, it was pretty horrendous, having just won the Ashes, to be beaten time and again in the one-dayers.
"Ultimately, this series will be decided in five games not two, but that 6-1 defeat is still fresh in our minds so we want revenge for that if we can."