Chennai, March 16 (IANS) With their backs to the wall and a game away from elimination from the 2011 cricket World Cup, England has no choice but to go for broke in their last Group B fixture against the West Indies here Thursday, said skipper Andrew Strauss.
While admitting that the team is under some pressure with just five points from as many outings, Strauss, speaking to the media here Wednesday, felt that it boiled down to the mindset, but was firm in his opinion that England has the ammunition to bring down the West Indies.
“I am genuinely excited about it. We have got nothing to fear. I think if we can go out there and play some really good cricket tomorrow, we can book our passage into the next phase of the tournament,” he said.
“Potentially, we have got four more games of cricket to play before a nice long break. We know what the prize there is. We are determined to make most of the opportunity,” he added.
Strauss, having declared that he is back on his feet after a bout of fever, asserted that it was a matter of having the right mindset going into the game against the West Indies.
“I think we have played well in big matches in past couple of years. The equation is very simple. This is not the time a kind of go into our shells. We have got to go out there and take the West Indies team on. It’s the mindset that really helps you.”
The England skipper pointed out that the West Indies who are on six points from three consecutive wins after a defeat to South Africa in their opening game, have not been under much pressure nor have they been tested.
“They have got a quite good balance to their side. They got three spinners. They probably got only one fast seamer.
“The key for me is that they have not been put under real pressure except in the South African game. The challenge for us is to put them under pressure from the word go and see how they respond.
“Once every team gets into the last eight, then every game is a must-win game. I have got every confidence we can be able to do that,” Strauss said.
Regarding the playing eleven for the game, Strauss said: “I think we have got a lot of options both with spin and seam for this game. We will pick a balanced bowling line up which allows us to exploit whatever the conditions the wicket throws at us.
“To be honest I have not seen much of it (the pitch). I did not practice yesterday. They are rolling a lot and cutting the grass. The likelihood is I think it is going to offer some turn. Probably a bit low I think.”
Strauss stoutly defended his key seamer James Anderson who has had a rather wretched tournament thus far and said he was still very much in the reckoning for a place in the playing eleven.
“I think we always try to pick the right side to win a game. Jimmy has had a tough time in some of the games in the World Cup so far. But we all know what a quality performer he is. He has done it over and over during the course of the winter and previously.