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Andrew Strauss is expecting to feel Sri Lanka backlash


Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss

Tom Shaw

Andrew Strauss

England captain Andrew Strauss has promised there will be no let-up from his players after their stunning triumph over Sri Lanka in Cardiff as the teams prepare to go head-to-head in the second Test at Lord's today.

Strauss' side pulled off one of the most remarkable victories in Test history as they skittled Sri Lanka for just 82 on the final afternoon to win the first Test by an innings and 14 runs.

England can wrap up the three-match series with another win over the next five days, but the skipper is not getting carried away.

He said: "We're pretty buoyant after the way we managed to get the victory in Cardiff, but we're also aware that it's right back to square one again here at Lord's.

"It's not often you win Test matches in that manner - most wins come from three or four days of very hard work getting yourself in the position to win, so we've got to get right back to square one here and I think the guys are excited to do that.

"We've got to push on and keep challenging ourselves to get better and better. We know that Lord's generally is a good wicket. You've got to fight hard for your wickets and it's usually five days of very hard work if you want to win a Test match."

Strauss expects a response from Sri Lanka after their dramatic capitulation in Cardiff.

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"You always expect a team to come out fighting," he said.

"I'm sure they would have been disappointed to be bowled out on that last day and with the quality of players they have they'll want to prove a point or two so we're expecting a pretty strong fightback from them."

Strauss and team director Andy Flower were set to decide this morning whether Jade Dernbach or Steven Finn will replace the injured James Anderson in the Lord's line-up.

"It's obviously between Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn for that last place in the side," said Strauss.

"We haven't seen a lot of Jade but he's been very impressive both for the Lions and when he's been amongst the squad.

"We know what Steven can do - he's been a quality performer for us over the last 12 months. We're going to have to decide what we think is the right balance of attack for this particular wicket.

"I think we've got some good strength in depth and whoever gets the final nod will do a good job, I'm sure."

Strauss was full of praise for batsman Jonathan Trott, who made a serene double century on day four in Cardiff and had encouraging words for Kevin Pietersen, whose vulnerability to left-arm spin was once again exposed in the first Test.

"If Trott maintains what he's done over the last 18 months we'll be very happy. He's been averaging about 90-odd, I think," he said.

"He's been a real rock for us at number three - not just the runs he's scored, but the manner in which he scores them. It's very low risk, calms everyone down in the dressing room and it infuriates opposition players, which is great.

"I've always maintained the only way you become the number one side in the world is by getting contributions from all 11 pretty much all the time, so we can't just rely on him."

On Pietersen, he said: "We all get asked questions throughout our careers. You've got to come up with answers to them. Kevin's come up with plenty of answers in the past to the challenges he's been thrown and he'll do so again.

"We don't have major concerns. He's working very hard on all areas of his play, not just left-arm spin. When you're as good a player as him, runs are always around the corner."

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