England’s test captain Andrew Strauss has said that he is satisfied with England’s shape, even after a frustrating last test match against the West Indies. His team won that test series 2-0 and retained the Wisden Trophy, and the skipper has said that he remains confident ahead of the 3-test series against South Africa when the proteas come visiting in July.
The English captain spoke about the last test match and was quoted by a cricket website saying: “Obviously we played enough good cricket in those first two Test matches to win them reasonably comfortably. This Test match was frustrating for all sorts of reasons. Clearly the rain wiping out the first two days doesn’t help with the intensity of the cricket and we certainly didn’t get everything right when we were out there in the field, but I think by and large we are very happy to have won the series.
“West Indies have got some dangerous players, we were able to overcome that challenge and we obviously go into our next Test assignment in pretty good fettle and feeling pretty confident.”
Strauss had pointed out the difficulties his team faced on the fourth morning, when number 11 batsman for the West Indies, Tino Best stood his ground and scored an astonishing 95 runs. He said that his team was working on it. He also added that the batting performances by Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell and the bowling by seamers Steven Finn and Graham Onions had been remarkable.
Strauss, who was names England’s Man-of-the-Series for his 326 in 5 innings including two centuries, felt that his team could have got a third consecutive victory, had the rain not washed the last day as well.
“I think it was quite a good toss to win and if we had bundled West Indies out cheaply we had a great chance of winning the game,” he explained.
“But the wicket didn’t nip around all that much, it was a very good wicket given the circumstances, and they played well.
“There were a number of partnerships throughout their order and if we had bowled them out for 280-odd that would have been a good performance, but that 10th-wicket stand took our opportunity of winning the game out of the window. We had to fight quite hard to make sure they didn’t have an opportunity to win the game.”
“It wasn’t a perfect performance by us, in the little play we did have, and that is frustrating,” he added.
“There are definitely areas we need to sharpen up on. Obviously we dropped a few catches and you don’t want to be in a situation where number 11 gets 95 all that often!”
“We found ourselves under a bit of pressure with the bat, but there were still some good performances.
“I think KP and Belly batted very well and I thought Finn and Onions acquitted themselves exceptionally well and it was good to have them back in the side.
“Over the course of the three matches there are a lot of things to be very happy about, but we’re probably aware that we need to improve our standards a bit before that South Africa series starts.”
Before the test series against South Africa, the English will have to concentrate on the 3 ODIs and the T20 against a rejuvenated and strong West Indies eleven, the English side being led by Alastair Cook. How the players perform should further decide on the squad England pick for the test series, which starts on July the 19th at the Kensington Oval in London.