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25 March 201116:48

Strauss says troubled England all set for Sri Lanka

England's captain Andrew Strauss feels all the players are focused ahead of the important clash against Sri Lanka

Strauss says troubled England all set for Sri Lanka - Cricket News

England captain Andrew Strauss during a training session.

England captain Andrew Strauss shrugged off Michael Yardy's World Cup withdrawal on Friday, saying his players were all focused on Saturday's quarter-final against Sri Lanka.

All-rounder Yardy left for home Thursday after suffering depression, leaving injury-hit England with more problems ahead of their knock-out game at R. Premadasa stadium.

"It's not difficult to focus our minds on this game of cricket," said Strauss.

"It's a must-win game. It's a one-off event. If we lose, we are on the plane home. If we win, we are in the World Cup semi-final."

England, who have not qualified for the semi-finals since their runners-up finish to Pakistan in 1992, have called up leg-break bowler Adil Rashid from the England Lions' tour of the Caribbean.

But he will not be able to make it in time for Saturday's match.

Rashid is the fourth replacement in the England squad since Stuart Broad (side strain), Kevin Pietersen (hernia) and Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring) were forced out.

Strauss said facing Sri Lanka will be a big challenge.

"Sri Lanka are a good side with a lot of attacking options both with bat and ball and they are obviously on their home patch," he said.

"It's going to be a significant challenge for us. The key, like it always is, to get your nose in front of the game and the pressure is big, especially at this stage of the World Cup."

"We are very excited about the challenge. At this stage there is nothing to lose. You have got to go out there and win games of cricket. And that sort of mindset has served us well in the past."

Strauss said England have battled through the group stages, beating South Africa but losing to Ireland and Bangladesh after their tied match against title favourites India.

"We have shown a lot of resolve, we have shown that we are able to stick together in close encounters, but you never know what this game is going to throw at you. You have to be quick enough to adapt to whatever comes your way."

Strauss said dealing with injuries has tested his side.

"We have had to deal with that right from the end of the Ashes (in Australia). We have had a lot of injuries, a lot of people coming and going, and I think that tests out your resolve as a group."

Strauss said struggling paceman James Anderson, who has taken only four wickets in five matches, could be an option against Sri Lanka.

"He has freshened up to a certain extent. Obviously he didn't play in the last game. He has had nine or 10 days away from cricket, and he certainly bowled very well in the nets and, with his experience, he is an option."

Strauss added that medium-pacer Tim Bresnan should be fit for Saturday after suffering a calf injury.