Tie a 'privilege' to play in: Strauss
England captain Andrew Strauss said it had been a "privilege" to play in a dramatic World Cup tie with India today. India racked up a huge 338 with Sachin Tendulkar hitting 120, but England came out firing, Strauss leading the way with a composed 158 and Ian Bell hitting 69.cricket Updated: Feb 27, 2011 23:38 IST
England captain Andrew Strauss said it had been a "privilege" to play in a dramatic World Cup tie with India on Sunday.
India racked up a huge 338 with Sachin Tendulkar hitting 120, but England came out firing, Strauss leading the way with a composed 158 and Ian Bell hitting 69.
With victory in sight, England slumped from 281-2 to 289-6, with Zaheer Khan taking three of the wickets, and the match appeared to be heading India's way until a late flourish from England's tailenders tied the scores.
Strauss said he had mixed emotions after the nail-biting end to the game in Bangalore.
"We were in a great position to win the game after 41, 42 overs. We had a shocking powerplay and from that stage onwards India were favourites to win the game," he said.
"Ultimately it's just been a great game of cricket, there's no doubt about it. Great advert for the 50-over format. In some ways we're happy, in some ways we're distraught."
But he said he felt "privileged to have played in a game like that."
And Strauss brushed off fears that England would be tired amid their exhausting schedule, which included an Ashes contest in Australia.
"In this format there's a lot of time to recover between games. We're not tired at this stage. We're excited about what's to come."
Handed the man-of-the-match award for his knock of 158, he said: "It's the best innings I've played and hopefully there's some more to come."
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised Zaheer for bringing India back into the contest by removing Bell, Strauss and Paul Collingwood in quick succession.
"The way they were going, I think they got off to a very good start, I think Andrew (Strauss) batted really well. There was a time where it seemed like they were going to chase the score in 48, 49 overs," he said.
"I think the partnership, they were just two wickets down and the way both the batsmen were batting, it was getting pretty difficult for the bowlers.
"Zaheer came in to bowl a really good spell and brought us back into the game."
He said he believed a score of 338 would be enough to win the game.
"I think so because if 338 is not enough then every game you will have to look to score maybe 350 or 360-odd runs which I think is difficult.
Zaheer said: "I felt the wicket got better later on and Strauss obviously batted damn well to put pressure on us and it was a cliffhanger until the end.
"A win would have helped here but a tie is a also a good thing for the team. We've got some points out of this game," he said.