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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
England skipper praises pace trio
Sajid Mahmood took 3-37 for England
Sajid Mahmood's 3-37 were his best figures for England
Acting captain Andrew Strauss praised his three young seam bowlers following England's welcome five-wicket win over India at Jamshedpur.

Sajid Mahmood, James Anderson and Liam Plunkett shared eight wickets between them as India were all out for 223.

"A hell of a lot of credit has to go to our seam bowlers who on a very flat wicket did a great job first up.

"Anderson, Plunkett and Saj were excellent and they really set the game up for us," Strauss commented.

"There was just a little bit more in it for us, but you've still got to get the ball in the right areas and if you were off your mark today the ball was going for four."

Despite the efforts of his seamers, it was Strauss himself who picked up the Man of the Match award for an innings of 74 which came to a premature end when he was forced to retire hurt with cramp.

"That was tough. A lot of the guys were suffering with cramp at the end, myself included. But this is India, that's the sort of thing you expect and it was good experience for us," the Middlesex opener said.

Strauss had been due to lead the team in last Sunday's abandoned game at Guwahati and was given the responsibility again with Andrew Flintoff opting to extend his break.

We were totally focused
Virender Sehwag

It was his first chance to captain the side in an international fixture, having done so in a warm-up game against Pakistan A on England's last tour.

The day was doubly satisfying for Strauss as the team recorded their first win in the best of seven series, reaching their target with over seven overs in hand.

"Chasing 220 we just needed to have wickets in hand really and we were able to do that," said Strauss, who put on 107 for the first wicket with Ian Bell.

"It's been a bit frustrating. I've got out cheaply a couple of times.

"We were just pleased to get a wicket with a bit of pace and bounce in it and fortunately I was able to take advantage of that.

"Belly played really, really well and just looked very solid," he added.

Interview: England stand-in captain Andrew Strauss

Simon Mann's column
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