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Cricket World Cup: England out to win - Andrew Strauss

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Dates: 19 February-2 April Venues: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Coverage: Highlights on BBC TV, Red Button & BBC Sport website (UK users only); Live Test Match Special commentary (BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website, some games also on BBC Radio 4 LW) and live text commentary on all England matches and selected other major games; Also live on Sky Sports

Andrew Strauss
England will have their first net sessions in Bangladesh

Andrew Strauss believes England have an "excellent chance" of surprising the more fancied sides at the Cricket World Cup, which starts on Saturday.

England, last of the 14 teams to arrive on the subcontinent for the marathon tournament, have injury problems and have just been beaten 6-1 by Australia.

But skipper Strauss insisted: "We're here to win it and we're excited.

"I think the guys took a lot of confidence from winning the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean last year."

That success, which came last May and without Strauss in the side - Paul Collingwood leads the Twenty20 team - was pleasantly unexpected.

And if England are to win their first World Cup after three runner-up finishes and some embarrassing failures in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007, then they will again have to register some shock results.

Even with batsman Eoin Morgan missing through injury, and Stuart Broad likely to be rusty having not played since early December, Strauss reckons England will be able to adapt their talent pool to the demands of 50-over cricket well enough to win outright.

Strauss also suggested England would attempt an adventurous brand of cricket, having faltered too often through undue caution in the past.

You're allowed to experience defeat at times. In some ways, it can be a huge motivating factor for you - as long as it doesn't erode your confidence too much

England captain Andrew Strauss

Four years ago they won an important toss in a must-win match against South Africa in Barbados only to limp to 154 in 38 overs, and were heavily beaten.

Three years later, it was a very different England team who triumphed at the same Bridgetown ground to lift their first global trophy, albeit in the Twenty20 format.

Strauss said: "The guys know they can do it on the big stage, under pressure, which is an important hurdle to overcome.

"We've got some pretty firm ideas about how we want to go about our cricket here, and we hope we take some other sides by surprise by doing that.

"We're going to have to play well on the subcontinent - something English sides haven't done brilliantly in the past - but I think we have the raw materials, a lot of talent in our squad and guys who can play expansive cricket and aggressive cricket.

"We're going to need to do that over the course of the next six or seven weeks."

Graeme Swann, Paul Collingwood, Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan all had to leave Australia early during the one-day series, which became a shambolic end to a tour which had hit the high notes with emphatic Ashes Test wins in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Andrew Strauss
England will have their first net sessions in Bangladesh

Those four are all expected to be fit by the time the serious action starts in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, although Chris Tremlett has travelled with the squad as first reserve.

Broad, absent with an abdominal tear since the Adelaide Test more than two months ago, is also raring to go again - meaning only Morgan, among the recent injury victims, will miss the main event.

"The 6-1 defeat by 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 from the cricket we've played over the last 18 months.

"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 are going to be different in this World Cup.

"You're allowed to experience defeat at times. In some ways, it can be a huge motivating factor for you - as long as it doesn't erode your confidence too much, and I don't think it has in our case."

England have warm-up matches against Canada and Pakistan on Wednesday and Friday, before what should be a straightforward tournament opener against the Netherlands in Nagpur on 22 February.

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see also
Monday's Cricket World Cup gossip
14 Feb 11 |  Cricket
England World Cup team guide
13 Feb 11 |  England
Ireland beaten by NZ in warm-up
12 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Ireland lose to Kenya in warm-up
08 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Tremlett named as England reserve
09 Feb 11 |  England
Injured Morgan replaced by Bopara
08 Feb 11 |  England
England tour ends in heavy defeat
06 Feb 11 |  England
Cricket World Cup warm-up matches
16 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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