Sometimes criticised for being too conservative, captain Andrew Strauss has emphasised that England will not settle for a draw in the third Test against Sri Lanka.
Were the game at the Rose Bowl to end with honours even then the home side would still walk away with the series victory. England though will be looking to show their dominance in Southampton, according to their skipper.
“We are determined to make it 2-0 and finish the series off,” enthused Strauss.
“There’s been some good cricket played by both sides amongst the showers we’ve had but we want to build on what we’ve done so far.
“We’ve got into decent positions in the two games so far and we want to get the victory this time.”
With both of the first two Test matches severely interrupted by Rain, it has been a frustrating time for both teams, but there have been encouraging signs from England nonetheless.
“The first two games have been very stop-start, it’s been hard to build rhythm,” added the England skipper.
“But we’ve made five centuries in the first two games and if you do that you’re going to win more games than you lose. There have also been some really good bowling performances and good catching.
“We haven’t quite been at 100% but hopefully we’ll improve.”
“What Lord’s showed is the quality of our bowling over the last 18 months, we were a bit down and it became very obvious. You can’t expect to play the perfect Test every time but we need to improve.”
James Anderson was not at Lord’s due to a side strain, but the bowling kingpin has declared himself fit to play despite missing out on a trial run for Lancashire in a rained-out T20 clash this week.
“We all know what an important part of our bowling he is,” Strauss said of his opening bowler.
“He’s been very consistent and accurate in his performances for a long time now, so hopefully he’ll be fit and leading the attack.
“We’ll pick the side in the morning. We’ll have a look at the wicket in the morning and make the decision then.”
The major question mark in the England camp revolves around who Anderson will replace.
“Steven Finn did some good things at Lord’s and got four wickets, which was a good effort. We all know he’s got a big future.”
As for Broad, Strauss added: “He’s bowled some really good balls, some really good spells, and he hasn’t got the wickets to show for that.
“We all need to perform, there are people pushing to take your places.”
“I want to win the series, most importantly,” he concluded, “and hopefully get runs myself so I can head off and watch the one-dayers having secured the series.”
The England captain also praised the effort of the staff at the Rose Bowl for the preparation of the ground which is set to host it’s first-ever five-day game.
“We’re excited about it, they’ve done an amazing job with the stadium and there is an enthusiasm about the Rose Bowl’s first Test.”
“They’ve put a lot of time, effort and money into the ground. When it was first built the wickets weren’t very good and now they’re excellent, so they’ve answered all the questions asked of them.”Cricket365