calls on England to show self-belief
England: Captain Andrew Strauss called on England to show they have
rediscovered their self-belief and hunger for victory on the eve of the
second test against Pakistan.
"We have had a lot of
problems off the pitch, with injuries and stuff like that, it has been
harder to go out and believe we are going to win every test match," Strauss
told a news conference at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
"Now I think we have
come to terms with those injuries a little bit, we are moving forward. The
guys who have come in have spent a little bit longer in the team as well so
there is no reason why they don't feel they can't make a match-winning
"We need to make sure
we do things very well for the rest of the summer. If we show that hunger
and self-belief that is going to serve us very well in this series and in
the winter as well."
deprived through injury of their first choice captain Michael Vaughan, his
successor Andrew Flintoff, Simon Jones and Ashley Giles, drew the first test
against an equally injury-hit Pakistan side at Lord's.
Strauss, leading the
team for the second time, had been expecting to hand the reins back to
Flintoff in Manchester only for the all-rounder to break down again with
ankle problems. Flintoff now faces more surgery and a race against time to
be fit for the Ashes in Australia.
"All the indications
were that Freddie would be fit. It was a bitter pill to swallow when we
heard," Strauss said. " It's a real shame that we are going to be without
him for the rest of the series. The side showed we could play without him at
Lord's and we now need to show it for the next three games.
"Sometimes you need
someone as important as him not to play to realise you don't have to rely on
him time and time again."
suggestions by former Australia captain Steve Waugh that England had become
too casual, arguing that the team were preparing in exactly the same way
they had done previously.
But he did concede
that England, who drew 1-1 with Sri Lanka before the Pakistan series, had
not "snatched match-winning situations a couple of times and I think that is
vitally important. We have to recognise those situations and play the game
accordingly. We need to get that back on track.
"The important thing
is the way we approach the test match, how much effort and commitment we put
in. These are the things that make the difference between winning and
losing. We saw last summer against the Aussies that if we want it badly
enough we will win. That is exactly what we have to show in the next three
"History suggests that
most matches here go five days and we have to be prepared to play five long,
hard days of cricket if we want to get a result.
"If we draw on what
happened at Lord's and just play a little better in certain areas there is
no reason why we can't win the series."
England will name
their team on Thursday morning. Strauss said there were several options to
consider, with seamers Sajid Mahmood and Jon Lewis in contention to replace
the injured Liam Plunkett.
"Mahmood is a bit
quicker and can reverse it. It's a balance between the steady bowler and the
guy who can produce something special," he said.
England released off
spinning all rounder Jamie Dalrymple on Thursday, indicating they believe
the pitch will favour the pacemen.