England captain Andrew Strauss has said he felt his team had a point to prove to Bangladesh and any other critics following their ‘freak’ ODI defeat on Saturday.
England responded to their five-run loss by hammering the tourists in the series decider by a massive 144 runs, in which Strauss led from the front together with Jonathan Trott. The pair put on a record breaking 250-run partnership, making 154 and 110 respectively.
Strauss said after the game: “I think we all felt we had a point to prove after what happened in Bristol, we wanted to finish this series on a high and play like we have been doing recently. It was potentially a bit of a tricky toss to lose, we had to work a little bit harder in that first 10 overs to counteract any seam movement and then it was a case of building the partnerships. I am delighted that two of us got hundreds, we got a big score on the board and defended it comfortably.”
Saturday's loss was the first time England had lost to Bangladesh since they gained Test-match status. This was due to a poor batting performance, as they could not chase down the 236 runs that Bangladesh set them, despite Trott making 94 from 134 balls to hold the innings together. He was not supported by his team-mates however as the next highest score came from Strauss with 33.
Strauss said: “I think everyone felt disappointed about what had happened, more than anything it it was a case of learning the lessons and moving on and not dwelling on it too much. I truly believe that was a poor performance, an aberration and not something we have been doing often recently so it was a case of putting that behind us and the guys did that very well. It was a pretty professional performance.”
Trott scored his maiden ODI century help England get to the unattainable target of 347. The Bangladeshis only managed to make 203 from 45 overs in response, with Mahmudullah top scoring with 43 from 81 balls.
“I think if you look at it now it's been nearly a year that I have been playing international cricket and I have not done too badly to be honest so I am pleased," Trott said.
"There are always ups and downs in a person's career and I have certainly been there and I have had things go my way and not go my way so it is just important that I kept believing in myself and remained constant and try and contribute to the team always been successful.”
With Ravi Bopara also playing a superb cameo knock of 45 not out from 16 deliveries and bowling well, gaining figures of four for 38 from his 10 overs, including one maiden, it leaves captain Strauss and coach Andy Flower in a tough position to select the team for the upcoming series against the ever-dangerous Pakistanis.
Strauss concluded by saying: “I think things have clouded over a little bit because because guys have come in and done so well and I think that is a great thing. When you have got a lot of guys competing for places - Bell, Trott, Bopara in this game and Ajmal (Shahzad), it should not be a closed shop. There are some very good performers dying to get in the side and if that is not motivation to the guys who are already in the team then I do not know what is.”
© Cricket World 2010