Strauss confident of England bouncing back

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The Independent Online

Andrew Strauss is hoping England can take world cricket by surprise again, in pursuit of only their second global trophy – just as they did when they broke their duck last year. Strauss was absent, following his retirement from the shortest form of international cricket, when Paul Collingwood led England to the World Twenty20 title in the Caribbean.

After 25 years of failure in international events, England arrived in Bangladesh yesterday intent on doubling up with a maiden World Cup success. Nine previous attempts have foundered – some haplessly, like the last one in the West Indies, others with pride intact after near-misses.

Strauss' team hardly raised expectations of doing better during the 6-1 one-day international thumping which concluded in Australia last week. But the captain believes if they bring their A game, England can shine. And whatever happens, Strauss said, England will play attacking cricket.

"We're here to win it and we feel like we've got an excellent chance," he said. "We're excited about it and I think the guys took a lot of confidence from the fact we won that Twenty20.

"They know they can do it on the big stage, under pressure, which is important. We've got some pretty firm ideas about how we want to go about our cricket here and we hope we take some sides by surprise by doing that."

Graeme Swann has not flown out with the team – his wife is about to give birth – but Collingwood did arrive in Dhaka with his team-mates after his spouse had their child earlier than expected. He will therefore be available for the warm-up game against Canada on Wednesday.

Strauss yesterday put a positive spin on that ODI trouncing by World Cup holders Australia – reasoning the humbling against a country who have won the last three 50-over titles was offset by a rash of injuries to several first-choice players.

Swann, Collingwood, Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan all had to leave Australia early but will be fit for the World Cup. Stuart Broad, absent with an abdominal tear since the Adelaide Test more than two months ago, is also raring to go again, meaning only key middle-order batsman Eoin Morgan, among the recent injury victims, will miss the main event.

"The 6-1 defeat to Australia was not ideal," Strauss conceded. "But in some ways we might have benefited from the fact that five or six of our players picked up some injuries and therefore had an opportunity to rest for two or three weeks – and we've got a lot of in-built confidence.

"I hope we've learned some lessons about what we didn't do well in Australia. But these are very different conditions and a lot of our personnel will be different in this World Cup."

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