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Former England captain Andrew Strauss believes that the national team have “been far too fearful of getting out” and have to change this mindset if they are going to taste success during their seven-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Strauss’ comments come after England were beaten 3-2 during their ODI series against Sri Lanka and 3-1 by India over the summer.
“I think the England players, even throughout my time, have played too fearfully,” Strauss told the BBC. “They’ve been far too fearful of getting out. And you can’t make 400 if you’ve got that kind of attitude.
“I would argue it’s not the strategy that is wrong, it’s that players haven’t actually played well enough. And it’s very hard to score 400 in ODIs if you’re not confident.”
Strauss also noted that England have to do everything in their power to win in Sri Lanka as it will give them a much-needed boost in confidence ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
“They’ve got to find a way of winning that series in Sri Lanka to get some confidence,” he said. “The real danger of this is they’re playing against three very good one-day sides, and if they don’t get on a bit of a roll and start winning then their confidence could be eroded rather than enhanced before the World Cup.”
Strauss added that current skipper Alastair Cook has to start performing with the bat again after his poor run of form over the summer.
“When he’s played well he’s scored quickly and he’s led by example,” Strauss said. “Now he needs to do that again for the next six months because that sets the platform.
“Bearing in mind this is his one shot of playing and captaining in a World Cup, he’ll be incredibly motivated and he’ll have all his focus on that.”