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Strauss says Barbados wicket strangest he's played on
April 12, 2007 22:25 IST
England batsman Andrew Strauss says the wicket at the Kensington Oval is one of the strangest he has seen because of the deteriorating bounce.
England limped to a four-wicket win over Bangladesh in the World Cup Super Eights on Wednesday with the Barbados pitch starting out much livelier than other Caribbean wickets before becoming increasingly slow towards the end.
England used the extra pace to dismiss Bangladesh for 143 but they lost regular wickets in the run chase as the pitch changed.
"It was one of the strangest wickets I've ever played on," Strauss told reporters on Thursday.
"It was very quick and bouncy early on and then it was pretty skiddy and low and a bit two-paced at the back end."
England play South Africa on Tuesday at the same venue in a match they must win to maintain a decent chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
"I think we have learnt a lot about how to win on that wicket now," Strauss added. "So that is going to be a pretty big advantage for us to have going into that South Africa game."
England also face West Indies on April 21 at the Kensington Oval, which will host the final on April 28.
England have struggled so far and Strauss said the close nature of the Bangladesh win reaffirmed how poor they have played.
Wednesday's victory over Bangladesh was the first time England had beaten a Test side at this year's tournament.
"We made it hard work for ourselves. We haven't really fired as a batting unit if we are honest. But even when we haven't played our best we have shown glimpses that we can beat anyone," he said.
"We need four wins in a row and if we do that we are going to be World Cup champions. We can almost play with a bit more freedom in those games because that is all we have to do. This is the business end of the World Cup."
Strauss was dropped for the start of the tournament after a disappointing tour of Australia with the bat. However, he returned in place of Ed Joyce to make seven in Sunday's defeat by Australia and hit 23 against Bangladesh.
"It's always a bit tricky to come into the side having not played cricket for a while. But having had some time out and sitting on the sidelines for a while I feel mentally fresh," he said.
"I'm really excited about these games to come. I really feel personally I have got a couple of big scores in me."
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