Strauss, Swann down with fever, will be fit for West Indies game

March 15th, 2011 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, March 15 (IANS) An injury-hit and rather jaded England team had two more players down with skipper Andrew Strauss and frontline spinner Graeme Swann nursing fevers, but Jonathan Trott was quick to douse speculation as to their fitness for Thursday’s do-or-die Group B World Cup game against the West Indies here.

Trott, who has emerged as a key player in the England squad with his consistent batting, said both Strauss and Swann, who skipped training Tuesday, would be fit for the West Indies game.

“They (Strauss and Swann) will be all right. There is 24 to 48 hours clarity on them. I am sure they will be training tomorrow. They have had two days of fever but are feeling better now. They should be ready for the game,” said Trott during a media conference here Tuesday.

The 29-year-old South Africa-born Trott believed that England, fifth in the group on five points, are still in with a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals should they beat the West Indies.

“Not much we can do (about England’s predicament). All our attention is on this game and it would be foolish if we take our eyes off this game. It is four knockout games for us to win the Cup and three for others,” he pointed out.

Despite being the second highest run-getter behind Strauss in the current World Cup, Trott still has to field questions over his strike rate that came in for some criticism, especially against the game against Bangladesh that England lost.

“People are entitled to their judgement. I am not affected by that. To me what (coach) Andy Flower says is more important.

“My role in the side entails getting as many runs as I can for the team, close to run a ball as possible, if situations and conditions allow, weigh the conditions and according to situation, you consolidate. It is about playing to the conditions and in the best interest of the team,” he asserted.

Trott has so far scored 289 runs to the 298 by Strauss in five matches with four half-centuries. But the strike-rate is 78.30 as against 99.66 of Strauss.

Inevitably, questions were thrown at Trott on the optimum utilisation of the batting Power Play that has evoked considerable debate in the cricketing circles.

“It is dangerous for batsmen to go after the ball always during power plays. Perhaps, you could do it on flat wickets like in Bangalore.

“On tricky wickets that has some turn, it is difficult, but with the seamers, you could perhaps adjust to the speed. One needs to play it along the ground, finding gaps for runs. The better option would be to play what is right for you,” he said.

Trott felt that England, inconsistent so far in the World Cup, could do better with more discipline in fielding and batting.

“We do have a good one day team. Perhaps, we need to get a bit more consistent in our discipline in fielding, running and batting.

“I think the Ashes being the big thing and the fact that we put in a lot of effort for that, we could not collectively do that in the World Cup.”

Finally, he hoped England would get a 100-over game on Thursday, but declined to say which team was favourite to win.

“I am not sure who is the favourite, but I hope it is a good game lasting 100 overs,” he said.

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