Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Batsmen failed us: Strauss

England skipper Andrew Strauss criticised his batsmen for being architects of their own downfall during the defeat to Australia in the second NatWest Series clash.

Strauss and opening partner Ravi Bopara had England cruising towards victory at Lord's before losing four wickets for 23 runs and eventually getting bowled out for 210.

“Having been 70-odd for none we were in a great position to come home comfortably but we were the architects of our own downfall to an extent,” Strauss said after the 39-run defeat.

“There were three soft wickets in a short space of time and you are asking for the bowlers to score runs for you.”

Shane Watson dismissed Bopara and Matt Prior in consecutive overs, then Strauss chipped one back to Nathan Hauritz and Owais Shah was run out.

“Everyone has got a start but hasn't gone on,” Strauss said. “Maybe we haven't been smart enough with our percentage shots and a bit soft with our dismissals.

“I firmly believe your top six have to score the bulk of your runs. You're always worried if it is a losing pattern but it's encouraging that we're in the game at the halfway point,” he added.

Strauss admitted the regular wickets falling caused him the problem of when to use his third powerplay.

“The batting powerplay you want to take when you have freedom to play and not lose wickets, from my thinking it has to be in the latter half of the game but when you lose wickets it gets pushed back,” he said.

“It is the call of the two guys in the middle after consultation with the dressing room.”

Strauss was also ruing the decision to leave out Adil Rashid, two days after he batted and bowled well at The Oval.

“It was a difficult call and not an ideal situation to be in because he bowled so well,” Strauss said.

“To a certain extent we were hamstrung because Stuart Broad wasn't fit and that weakened our batting. It turned more than we thought it would, but our seamers did a good job.”

Broad was missing with a back strain and will be assessed today ahead of the third clash of the series, at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday. Strauss also confirmed Joe Denly has been jogging and has netted following his knee injury.

Australia set their target of 250 after Mitchell Johnson's unbeaten 43 from 38 balls.

Johnson admits winning the one-day series would slightly make up for the disappointment of losing the Ashes series this summer.

“It's all dead and buried now,” he said. “Maybe in some ways it might (make up for losing the Ashes). We spoke about doing well after the Ashes and we have started very well. Hopefully we can notch up a win.

“We performed well as a side again. We started pretty well with the bat as well.

“We're very happy to be 2-0 in the series going into the next game, we've got to take each game at a time but we're in a good place. There's a good vibe, with a lot of young guys in the squad.”

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