Blogs & Opinion


Andrew Strauss:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Ashes 2013: England batsmen piled pressure on Australia, says Strauss

Andrew Strauss - Andrew Strauss Posted 21st July 2013 view comments

England's better batting line-up was key to their dominant second Ashes Test success, Andrew Strauss told Sky Sports.

Ian Bell's first innings 109 and Joe Root's superb 180 in the second innings laid the platform for England to set Australia an unlikely 583 for victory at the start of day four.

Success: England celebrate Test win

Success: England celebrate Test win

The challenge of batting out two days always looked to be too tough a task for the tourists' fragile top order and, after a flurry of failures either side of half centuries from Michael Clarke and Usman Khawaja, Graeme Swann trapped James Pattinson in front just before the close to seal a 347 run triumph for the hosts and a 2-0 series lead.

In four innings in this Ashes series Australia have failed to pass 300 on each occasion and their failure in that department, rather than particularly spectacular bowling from England's attack, has led to their current troubles, says Strauss.

England haven't been 100% at their best but I don't think they've needed to be.

Andrew Strauss
Quotes of the week

"There was quite a tight opening day to this Test match but since then it has been all one way traffic," said the former England captain.

"England played really well and there have been some really good bowling performances - Graeme Swann took nine wickets in the game and James Anderson was good again, although he didn't take that many wickets - but England got the two hundreds and that was the most important thing.

"Ian Bell's hundred and Joe Root's big hundred was the major difference between the two sides.

"England have been really, really solid. I don't think they've been 100% at their best but I don't think they've needed to be. They've applied pressure on Australia and Australia haven't had any answer to that.

"Once England have got on top of the game Australia have had no way to get back into it."

Confidence

Australia legend Shane Warne agreed with the former Middlesex man and added that he hopes the tourists can find some form and confidence with the bat ahead of the third Test, which starts on August 1.

Australia's tail have scored plenty of runs in this series, but Warne says the onus is on their openers, Shane Watson and Chris Rogers, to stand up and deliver and for the rest of the top six to back them up.

"It was nice to see some fight from the tail but what Australia desperately need are some top order runs," he said.

"They need Rogers and Watson setting the tone early and making some big runs and going on to get hundreds. Watson has had a few starts but they need a top order guy to go out and get a big score.

"If you go back to the first Test match, there were 14 runs in the game. But a lot of those runs came from the tail. Can the top order get some runs? They've had four innings, all got a score, but it's about one or two of them being more consistent and going on to get a big score.

"They're going off to Sussex for a three-day game and hopefully they can get some big hundreds to give them some confidence going into the next Test match."

Mature

One player who certainly didn't struggle with the bat at Lord's was Root. The 22-year-old answered any critics who suggested he may not have been England's best opening option by steering the hosts out of trouble when they were 30-3 in their second innings and amassing a superb, man of the match winning 180 - before grabbing a couple of wickets with his off-spin as well.

And his performance won plenty of plaudits from Strauss, who opened for England in the last Ashes series.

"There were some question marks about Root's ability at the top of the order - could he transform his form in the middle of the order to the top of the order? He's answered that in the most emphatic of styles," said Strauss.

"It was a great innings, with fantastic strokes. He looks really balanced, really composed and it was a mature innings in a lot of ways.

"When the opportunity to score came he always took them. It was a top quality innings and from a position of a little bit of danger with England 30-3 he proved he's the right man for the job."

back to top

Other Cricket Experts:

Latest Posts in Cricket:

Latest News RSS feeds

Younis racks up 25th Test ton

Younis Khan hit his 25th Test century to guide Pakistan to 219-4 on the opening day against Australia in Dubai.

Lancashire release Kabir

Former England fast bowler Kabir Ali has been released by Lancashire after spending two years at Old Trafford.

Williamson ruled out of ODIs

Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the rest of New Zealand's ODI series against South Africa by a wrist injury.

ICC powerless in cricket board row

The ICC says it is unable to intervene in the dispute between the Indian and West Indian cricket boards.

Coetzer heroics in vain

Kyle Coetzer's knock of 128 was in vain as Scotland fell to a 67-run defeat against Otago on Tuesday.

Features

Good Week/Bad Week: Sky Sports take a look at the winners and losers from the past seven days

Good Week/Bad Week: Sky Sports take a look at the winners and losers from the past seven days

Another week has passed in the world of sport and, yet again, heroes and villains have been made. From the enthroned to dethroned, Sky Sports pass judgement on the unadulterated highs and soul-destroying lows.

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

The sporting theatre offers unadulterated highs and soul-destroying lows on a weekly basis and the past seven days have once again delivered moments of sheer quality, matched by adrenaline-fuelled madness.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: our pundits pick their England starting XIs

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: our pundits pick their England starting XIs

England’s World Cup campaign begins in a little over five months’ time when they take on co-hosts Australia at the MCG.