England’s Andrew Strauss calls for calm after Pakistan whitewash
England captain Andrew Strauss urges the national selectors not to rush into panic changes after series whitewash by Pakistan
England captain Andrew Strauss is hopeful the selectors won’t rush into panic changes ahead of his side’s next Test series in Sri Lanka, despite crashing to a 3-0 series whitewash against Pakistan in Dubai.
Andy Flower’s men lost the third and final Test by 71 runs after throwing away a huge opportunity for victory by toppling the hosts for just 99 on day one.
Man-of-the-series Saeed Ajmal proved to be England’s chief nemesis with the ball again in this match, knocking over the top order in the second-innings with figures of 4-67.
But the game was won by Pakistan’s batsman in their second-innings with Azhar Ali (157) and Younis Khan’s (127) third-wicket stand of 200 wiping out England’s slender advantage from the first innings and taking the game beyond the tourists.
It was a familiar tale for England’s batsmen, who have endured a torrid time at the hands of Ajmal and spin partner Abdur Rehman in the Emirates as they have struggled to cope with conditions on the sub-continent.
England’s middle order of Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Ian Bell have averaged just 11 runs from 29 innings played between them on this tour, which will have to be addressed moving forward.
However, although honest about his side’s shortcomings, captain Strauss backed his team to bounce back and show why they have reached the pinnacle of Test cricket over the last few years.
“I hope we don’t make panic changes. We haven’t been in the business of panic changes and chopping and changing the side too much so I don’t expect we’ll start now,” Strauss told Sky Sports.
“I’m a great believer that you don’t become a great team overnight and on the same note you don’t become a bad team overnight.
“I’ve still got a lot of confidence in this team going forward but clearly there are some lessons to be learned.
“The obvious one is to post bigger scores on the board in this part of the world and to try and play spin bowling better.
“But I think we were a lot better at the end of the third Test than we were at the start of the first – but that’s too little too late.
“Yes, I think there are some regrets about how we played in the first Test, where the tone for the series is set.
“But every time you come across these sorts of things in your career you find a way of overcoming them and that’s what we’ve got to do now.
“I’ve got great faith in our players, we’ve got some outstanding cricketers, and they’ve shown that time and time again.
“In a way, this is an eye-opener for us that things don’t get easier, they get harder for us, so we have to keep working hard with the ODIs coming up and thinking ahead to Sri Lanka.
“There were some really good performances from our guys over the Test matches so we shouldn’t run away from that – but we weren’t good enough to be able to take those promising starts and nail home the final advantage.
“You’ve got to give credit to the way that Pakistan fought their way back into the game and we have got to go away and make sure we don’t repeat those mistakes.”