Worries mount for Strauss

ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss admits he is facing some tough selection decisions this week as poor form and injuries continue to plague his side’s preparations for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Eoin Morgan was missing with a broken finger as England’s dismal one-day international series with Australia ended with yet another defeat. The tourists lost by 57 runs as Australia sealed a 6-1 series win in Perth.

Batsman Morgan could now miss the World Cup as he returned home to see a specialist about a fracture in the middle finger of his left hand.

There was some good news on the injury front however as Tim Bresnan confirmed he would be fit for the tournament, which starts on 19 February. The bowler had missed most of the series with Australia with a calf injury.

Fellow bowlers Graeme Swann, Ajmal Shahzad and Chris Tremlett also missed much of the series and now face a battle to be fit for the World Cup.

Strauss conceded that to lose Morgan would be a big blow with just over two weeks to go until England’s first group game against the Netherlands.

“It’s a big loss for us potentially,” Strauss said. “He is important in those conditions as well, being able to clear the ropes in the manner he does. If he isn’t available someone is going to have to fill those shoes.” Morgan’s absence was felt in this latest defeat as England’s batsmen once again crumbled, failing for the fifth time this series to bat their overs. Australia set England 280, thanks to half-centuries from Adam Voges and David Hussey, and despite late resistance from Michael Yardy (60no) England were skittled for 222.

Strauss, who was dismissed for a second ball duck, insisted that his side remained upbeat about their chances at the World Cup. He said: “We are still positive and confident we can do well.”