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Strauss urges change of attitude

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Strauss praises bowlers for setting tone

England captain Andrew Strauss believes his side need to play "without fear" if they are to have any impact in the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.

The hosts laboured to a four-wicket win in the seventh one-day match against Australia at the Riverside, avoiding a 7-0 series drubbing in the process.

England play their first match in the Champions Trophy on Friday.

"I do like the talent we have in our side, but we need to show that and play without fear," Strauss told BBC Sport.

"Conditions will be different in South Africa and we need to adapt. We're playing teams other than Australia, which will hopefully freshen things up. As I see it, we haven't got too much to lose."

A superb bowling display was capped by only the fifth ever five-wicket one-day haul for an English spinner as Graeme Swann's 5-28 helped dismiss Australia for 176.

But despite a competent start from the openers, a middle-order collapse saw England fold from 106-0 to 151-5 before they finally reached a modest target of 177.

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"It was a better performance, certainly with the ball," said Strauss.

"There was early movement when Graham Onions and James Anderson bowled and Graeme Swann was exceptional, a great spell of spin bowling.

"There was a bit of a wobble which we could have done without, but we just about got over the line."

Man-of-the-Match Swann blamed England's lacklustre performances in the one-day series had been a result of playing the matches after the successful Ashes Tests.

"It has been the classic 'after the Lord Mayor's show', it really has felt like that," Swann said.

"We have been beaten by a very good Australian one-day team. It's good that we managed to grab a win at the end, 7-0 would have been would have been embarrassing, it's bad enough at 6-1 but 7-0 would have been a world record and a horrible world record to hold. We're happy we've avoided that."

But Strauss insisted England will need to dramatically improve their one-day form to have any impact on the world stage.

"We need to be honest and not settle for mediocrity," he added.

"Anyone who has been part of this series does not want to go through this experience again."

Coach Andy Flower agreed that vast improvements had to be made if England are to challenge in South Africa.

"Our batting's been poor, our bowling's lacked wicket-takers which has highlighted how far off a good one-day team we are, so we've got some decision-making to be made," he said.



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see also
England escape one-day whitewash
20 Sep 09 |  England
England v Australia photos
20 Sep 09 |  Cricket
Australia humiliate sorry England
17 Sep 09 |  England
Broad joins Wright on sidelines
17 Sep 09 |  England
Ponting ton seals Aussie victory
15 Sep 09 |  England
Clinical Australia wrap up series
12 Sep 09 |  England
White condemns England to defeat
09 Sep 09 |  England
Aussies see off misfiring England
06 Sep 09 |  England
England fall short in run-chase
04 Sep 09 |  England
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England
ICC Champions Trophy 2009
05 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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