Strauss admits England failings after Pakistan loss

Monday, 30 January 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: England captain Andrew Strauss admitted his team were not good enough after they were bowled out for 72 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday to give Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

England’s second innings total was their fifth-lowest of the past 50 years, and the world’s top-ranked test side were condemned to their first series defeat since 2009 having lost last week’s first test in Dubai by 10 wickets.

“Individually, we haven’t been clear enough about our game plan against the spin, where are our scoring areas are and we’ve allowed pressure to build,” Strauss told reporters.

“Each time a wicket falls it makes it harder for the next guy coming in. As a batting unit we have to hold our hands up and say we haven’t done well enough. No excuses, we need to be better than that.”

Strauss has scored 68 runs in four innings and Kevin Pietersen 17 as England’s top batsmen have struggled against Pakistan’s spinners. On Saturday Abdur Rehman celebrated a six-wicket haul, while Saeed Ajmal has 17 wickets for the series.

England got closer to Pakistan in Abu Dhabi but barely improved on their mauling in Dubai.

“The fact we got rolled over twice in Dubai meant there was baggage going into (Saturday’s) final innings,” Strauss said.

“This is the final frontier -- the subcontinent. England sides haven’t done very well out here in the past, but we came here and approached things pretty positively and we thought we had a great chance to win this series.

“Test cricket exposes any vulnerabilities and excuses you have.”

England will try to make amends in the third test, which starts in Dubai on Friday.

“The batsmen need and want to show that we’re better than what we’ve shown so far in this tour -- that’s a pretty good motivation,” Strauss said. “As a side we want to demonstrate we can play in these conditions, which I am absolutely certain we can do because we played a lot of good cricket in this game.”

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said the hosts’ convincing series win would help shift the focus away from the spot-fixing scandal that led to the imprisonment of three former players.

“It should do,” said Misbah. “Both teams are playing good cricket in a good atmosphere, concentrating on what’s important -- on the field.”

Misbah paid tribute to his spin-bowling trio of Rehman, Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez.“Any team playing on this type of surface last and the kind of bowlers (Pakistan have) playing well, I think it’s difficult,” Misbah said.“When you are not able to see which side the ball is going it’s really difficult and that happened in this game.”

Pakistan play their home matches in the Gulf due to security problems at home.