Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More fitness worries for England!

Injury worries continued to mount for an already stricken England as the group that practised at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium on Tuesday, ahead of the side's must-win clash against the West Indies, did not include skipper Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann.

Jonathan Trott clarified that Strauss, the leading run-scorer for England in the tournament, and Swann, the joint highest wicket-taker for the side in this edition, were down with a stomach bug and that a clearer picture would emerge after Wednesday's practice session.

“They are two key players in our side, in anybody's side they would be, especially with Andrew being captain, but I'm fully confident they will be alright.

“It is one of those (24-48 hours to recover from) things and I'm glad it happened sort of now and not tomorrow,” he said.

Trott himself admitted to not being ‘100 per cent,' saying: “(It is) sort of a fever, not quite sure what it is. Feeling a little better today, not a hundred per cent, but had a bit of running and exercise under my belt.”

Vital match

England is already without the services of Kevin Pietersen (hernia) and Stuart Broad (side strain), who have been ruled out of the World Cup.

Though Strauss, Swann and Trott are expected to make light of their fitness concerns and play the vital tie against the West Indies on Thursday, a win may still not be enough to ensure progress to the quarterfinals, and the side may have to wait for other results in Group B.

Trott, however, said the West Indies clash was all that England had eyes for, at least for the moment.

“There is nothing we can do (about the other results); all our attention is on the game coming up against the West Indies. It will be stupid to take our eyes off the match. We've got ourselves in this position and we got to back ourselves to get out of it. It's simple really, four knockout games for us and three for everyone else and no reason why we can't do it,” said Trott. Trott put his team's woes down to the inability to play consistent cricket across the duration of the match, saying: “I just think we haven't obviously played a good 100-over match.

“We haven't played consistently both sides. (We have been) good with the ball and poor with the bat, great with the bat and poor with the ball.

We managed to bowl out South Africa, but did not do well with the bat and the bowlers bailed us out. As a batting unit we got to put our heads down and get a big score or chase down whatever West Indies set.”

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