Shahzad staying calm

England seamer refuses to panic after defeat in Melbourne

Last Updated: 17/01/11 9:22pm

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Ajmal Shahzad says England will not be pushing the panic button just yet after their defeat against Australia in the opening one-dayer, saying there is still a long way to go in the seven-match series.

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"If we had taken our chances it could have been a different story. It gives us a little bit more energy to take into the next few games. It is a long series."
Ajmal Shahzad Quotes of the week

England lost by six wickets at the MCG thanks to Shane Watson's brilliant innings of 161 not out, one of the best one-day knocks ever seen on the day used to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 50-over game.

Andrew Strauss and his men did post their best score against the Aussies Down Under, with Kevin Pietersen top scoring with 78 in their 294 all out, and that means there are few reasons to panic.

Shahzad says confidence is still high in the England camp and they are not taking the defeat too hard.

"It's not much of a setback," Shahzad said. "We are disappointed to lose but there were plenty of positives to take out of it. We ran them until the end, but you also have to give credit to a guy that has played superbly well.

Chances

"If we had taken our chances it could have been a different story. It gives us a little bit more energy to take into the next few games. It is a long series."

Shahzad admitted that finding a way to remove Watson early would be crucial to his side's fortunes following the opener's dominant display last night.

"He's been one of their best players. He's been batting superbly," he added. "If we can plug him down or get him early doors it would be a big setback for them.

"I haven't really bowled at him that much but he's a superb player.

"He's not got many areas of weakness. On a wicket such as that, which was very flat and slow, we didn't have many options.

"To his credit he played very well. Hopefully we can learn from it and move on."

Game time

The match was Shahzad's fourth consecutive game on a tour that he has spent sat mostly on the sidelines after not being called upon during the Ashes series.

After returning for last week's warm-up game in Canberra, before the two Twenty20s and last night's game the 25-year-old said he was starting to feel back to full match sharpness.

"It's been frustrating and difficult just to bowl at batsmen in the nets for so long. There's only so much you can do. I feel as though I'm getting into a better rhythm now in regards to everything.

"My batting, my bowling and my fielding. I feel like I belong on the pitch now. Personally last night I thought I did okay. I wish I could have changed it a little bit more our way and got a few wickets in the middle period.

"Hopefully I can get a decent run and show what I have got to offer."

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