Strauss lauds England's fighting spirit

Andrew Strauss dismissed the notion that his side is aiming a whitewash against India Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Nottingham: Aug 1, 2011

England captain Andrew Strauss lauded his team-mates for their fighting spirit and ability to make comebacks from tight situations, which according to him was crucial to the home team’s unassailable 2-0 lead in the series against world’s number one Test side India.

In a spot of bother at 124 for eight in the first innings on the opening day of the second Test, England turned the tables around and defeated India by a massive 319 runs at Trent Bridge to go 2-0 up in the four-match series.

“Most sides are pretty good when they’ve got everything their own way. But one of the real measures of a good side is whether they are able to make comebacks from difficult circumstances. In the last two Tests we’ve had to dig pretty deep and it gives me a lot of pride to see guys putting their hands up and delivering when it matters,” said Strauss after the win.

“Twice in this Test we were in a position where India looked very much like favourites to win the game and we dragged it around,” he added.

Strauss had special praise for man-of-the-match Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan for their all-round performances. He also did not forget to mention the contribution of Ian Bell, who scored 159 in England’s mammoth second innings score of 544.

“There was Stuart (Broad) who rescued us both with the ball and the bat in the first innings and turned the match on its head with the second new ball. There were also Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan with the second innings batting which gave us a breathing space. It also fills me with a lot of confidence for the future that we can go on and become a better side,” the English skipper said.

Strauss dismissed the notion that with this win England has taken a very strong step towards completing a whitewash in the series. “We don’t look at it like that. All we are looking to do is to turn up at Edgbaston and try and win that Test match. We have had to work very hard to win these two Tests and we don’t expect anything different next week,” Strauss said.

“Once a team gets the momentum it can be hard to stop them and I’m delighted to finish a day early. It’s also very hard for opposition captains when guys in your lower order can play as well and as freely as those two (Broad and Bresnan) are,” he said.

Strauss also had words of appreciation for the depleted Indian bowling attack.

“They stuck to their task very well. They obviously have had to bowl a lot of overs but we had to work very hard for our runs. They have taken early wickets in all innings and our batters have done exceptionally well to gradually earn the initiative in both the Tests,” he viewed.

Man-of-the-match Stuart Broad, who made 64 and 44 runs in the two innings of the Trent Bridge Test and also claimed eight wickets including a hat-trick, was happy with his contribution in the match after being a marginal selection in the first Test at Lord’s.

“I will look back on my hat-trick on my own home ground with a lot of pleasure. I have looked to bowl a fuller length and the ball has swung for me. Things are not going to happen for me in every game but it’s nice to threaten the batsmen’s stumps and also get the edges,” he said.

“It’s nice when cricket is going your way but it’s even more special when you have had a pretty tough time over the last couple of months.”

Broad promised that his side would look to do better in the third Test starting August 10 at Edgbaston.

“We like to make an impact in the first hour of every day we play and take the game by the scruff of the neck. We will look to do the same at Edgbaston,” he said.

“India are number one team in the world and they have been tough to beat in both Tests. We won’t be resting on our laurels. We will be looking to better that at Edgbaston and hit India just as hard,” Broad added.