Strauss left with plenty to ponder

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Perth, Feb 7 (AFP) England captain Andrew Strauss admitshe has plenty to think about as his side of walking woundedheads home from a marathon tour of Australia, with their WorldCup opener just two weeks away.

After emphatic Ashes glory, the tourists limped to thefinish line Down Under with a 57-run loss to Australia inPerth yesterday, ending in a dismal 6-1 defeat in the one-dayseries.

The result snapped a five-series winning streak for theEnglish in limited-overs cricket, but of most concern was thephysical toll of the tour.

The English squad finally leaves Australia today with sixmembers of the 15 currently on the injured list. They head tothe World Cup on Saturday.

Batsman Eoin Morgan looks set to miss the tournament witha broken finger, while Paul Collingwood (back), Graeme Swann(back), Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring), Tim Bresnan (calf) andStuart Broad (stomach) are among the walking wounded.

Potential replacement Chris Tremlett also missed the endof the ODI series with a side strain.

Strauss admitted he had plenty to mull over on the longflight back to England, with his team''s first World Cup matchagainst the Netherlands on February 22.

"The first thing to ponder on the flight back is who isfit and who is not fit. That is going to be important, to seeexactly where we are and who our best 11 available playersare," he said.

"We also have to think about what we haven''t done well inthis series and how to adapt our game to the conditions in thesub-continent.

"I still feel confident we can do well out there, but weneed to play in a different manner to what we have done here.

"We''ve made too many mistakes too often, but the WorldCup is a very different event in different conditions andwe''re still confident we can do well there."

Strauss insisted the ODI series was not as one-sided asthe final result suggested, noting that England were in goodpositions in several of the matches.

"There were three or four games at the halfway pointwhere we were in a very good position to win the game.

"Making sounder decisions under pressure is of vitalimportance in the World Cup and we didn''t do that enough inthis series," he said.

"One of the real benefits we''ve had in one-day cricketover the last couple of years is that we''ve had a very settledside and people have known their roles.

"That was disrupted this series, we had to blood someyoung guys and they will have gained a lot from it, so movingforward there is a lot to take out of this series."

Strauss said England''s capitulation in the one-day seriesdid nothing to diminish their historic Ashes triumph earlierin the tour.

"They are two different forms of the game and that Ashesvictory was incredibly special and one that we will savourforever." AFP SSC

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