Thursday, November 19, 2009


THE England cricket team, led by Andrew Strauss, are ready to go toe to toe with the South Africans today as the one-day series takes off.

Skipper Andrew Strauss knows the home side will not hold back, particularly after five, straight 50-over defeats against England.

And the fact the last of those was the infamous Champions Trophy clash – when England beat South Africa on home soil after Strauss refused opposing skipper Graeme Smith a runner for cramp – adds even more edge than usual.

Smith could barely contain his anger towards Strauss after the game in September, saying: “The world is round and that will come back on him.”

However, the England captain has heard it all before and expects another ­confrontational series with their hosts, starting today in Johannesburg.

Strauss said: “We haven’t had much to do with them.

“South Africa-England games are always competitive, the cricket is always aggressive and in your face. This series is going to be no different. We know that and we’re prepared for it as well.”

The hosts have been vociferous in the build-up, with coach Mickey Arthur having plenty to say.

But that does not concern Strauss, who even took the opportunity to repeat Smith’s vague warning.
He said: “There has been quite a lot said but not much by me.

“I think, when you come to South Africa, you expect this. We’ve seen this before, so none of it particularly surprises me.

“All I would say is we’ve tried not to come out with big comments about the opposition – because, as we all know, the world is round and these things can come back to haunt you at some stage. I think we’re all excited to get out there on the pitch and let the bats do the talking.”

England’s continuing injury problems saw them call up Kent’s James Tredwell ­yesterday because of Graeme Swann’s side problem.

And Test squad member Liam Plunkett has had to take an early flight as cover for seamer Stuart Broad, who will not be considered for the first couple of matches.

However, Alastair Cook, Paul Collingwood and James Anderson all have a chance of playing today after recovering from a series of minor ailments.

Tredwell’s last-minute dash raises the possibility he may be preferred to Adil Rashid, who went for 25 in his only over in the second Twenty20 game on Sunday. Strauss did not give anything away but said 27-year-old Tredwell was in with a chance of playing.

“It’s definitely an option we want to have,” added Strauss.

“They’ve got quite a few left-handers and that ability to spin the ball away from them is an important one.

“But, at the same time, Adil Rashid is improving and I think the more exposure he gets to international cricket, the better he’ll get.

“I wouldn’t write him off [for today’s match] by any means.

“But, clearly, it is important we have both options.”

Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and Prasanna Jayawardene broke a 72-year-old world record in the first Test against India at Ahmedabad.

Sri Lanka declared their first innings at 760-7 after a marathon 351-run sixth-wicket stand between the Jayawardenes.

Australia’s Don Bradman and Jack Fingleton held the previous record of 346 runs, which was set in 1937 against England in Melbourne.

Subscribe in a reader

No comments:

Post a Comment