Andrew Strauss was very proud and just a little disappointed after his career-best 158 helped England to a tie rather than outright victory in today’s wonderful World Cup match against India.
Strauss produced not only his highest but most accomplished limited-overs innings for his country as England responded to India’s 338 all out with 338 for eight at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Their captain needed to be at his best to earn a point off the tournament favourites and co-hosts in this Group B match, after Sachin Tendulkar (120) had become the first batsman to take his World Cup century tally to five.
“It was always going to be a tough task to chase down that sort of total,” said Strauss, who shared a third-wicket stand of 170 with Ian Bell (69) before both succumbed to Zaheer Khan (three for 64) and then had to watch England continue to falter.
They looked sure to fall short after all until Tim Bresnan - who had earlier taken five for 48 - Graeme Swann and Ajmal Shahzad snatched a share of the spoils with some outstanding late hitting. “We got ourselves in a position at 41 or 42 overs where we just needed to have a good powerplay, and we were there,” added the captain.
“But these powerplays can affect you both ways - and unfortunately, it affected us in the negative way. Then in the end, we did pretty well to scramble a tie out of it.”
Strauss had inevitable mixed feelings about the roller-coaster match and its outcome.
But he said: “We’ve got to celebrate the fact it was an unbelievable game of cricket - probably the best advert for the 50-over format you could possibly get.
“There were some great performances on both sides. Both sides will be partly happy, partly sad.”
As for his own performance, he added: “Given the importance of the game, against India in India in the World Cup, it was obviously crucial one of our players went on and got a big score.
“It was an innings I’m very proud of. It would have been great to have been not out at the end and seen the boys home. But it was my best one-day knock.”