Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Relieved Strauss Looking to Future

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Relieved Strauss Looking to Future

Article excerpt

ANDREW STRAUSS will turn his attentions to Lord's later this week as a relieved man intent on improving England's performance for their next confrontation in the Ashes series.

England captain Strauss admitted the immediate emotion was one of relief after watching last pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar repel 69 deliveries to hang on for a draw during yesterday's thrilling final day of the opening Test in Cardiff.

Their efforts finished off the job begun by Paul Collingwood, who battled for 343 minutes for his 74, and supported by Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann to save the game after they seemed destined for an emphatic defeat when they slipped to 70 for five.

But once the dust has settled on their nailbiting escape, England will have to start the post-mortem into the manner in which Australia outplayed them with bat and ball for the majority of the opening Test.

"There was a huge amount of relief in the dressing room and a lot of pride in how those guys played and how Colly, Graeme Swann and Fred (Andrew Flintoff) played - the second half of the order really stood up to be counted," admitted Strauss.

"There is a lot of pride in what they achieved, but more than anything there was relief in getting through the game and we're still 0-0 going into the Lord's Test match.

"We are relieved we came away with a draw, but we're not going to pretend we're happy with the way we performed this week.

"We were down on where we needed to be and Australia showed us they're going to be a tough nut to crack. We need to get better."

England's selectors were seeking the views of Strauss and coach Andy Flower this morning before announcing the squad for Thursday's next Test at Lord's, where they have not beaten Australia since 1934.

Strauss is likely to indicate he was not happy with his side's performance with bat or ball, although the selectors are expected to name an unchanged squad to assemble at Lord's for training on Tuesday.

"The wicket was still very flat (in Cardiff) and as the guys lower in the order proved, there were a lot of ways of staying in there but we didn't manage to find them and in that respect we have to learn a lesson from it," said Strauss. …

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