Andrew Strauss confirms commitment to Test cricket

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The Independent Online

Andrew Strauss insists his days as England Test skipper are far from numbered as he looks ahead to another summer of cricket with the national side.

Despite guiding England to successive Ashes wins, Strauss' position has been thrown into some doubt by the appointment of Alastair Cook as one-day captain and Stuart Broad as Twenty20 skipper.

Yet Strauss is confident he will be in the role for the long haul, insisting he is even looking at remaining beyond the back-to-back Ashes series which conclude in January 2014.

"I understand there is a chance what we are doing with Ally and Stuart could accelerate my replacement, but that is no reason not to do it," Strauss told the Daily Mail.

"What would be my motivation for resisting? 'I'm staying as one-day captain in case the England team moves forward'. That would be ridiculous.

"I'd love to think I could carry on even beyond the Ashes. It's less of a weight if you're winning and the majority of my captaincy we've done pretty well. So if we keep winning I've still got a long time left.

"I can't say I will be captain next time we go to Australia. All I'll say is I have a lot of cricket ahead of me."

Meanwhile, Strauss stressed that Kevin Pietersen is capable of rediscovering his top form after a recent dip in performance.

Strauss said: "Do I ever envisage sitting down and talking to him and saying 'you're dropped from the side?' Well, he should be too good for that to happen, he should be scoring runs consistently enough, often enough, for that not to be an issue.

"But we constantly say that nobody's place in the side is a God-given right and we all have to work and make sure that we're doing enough.

"If KP gets a hundred early in the season it will open the floodgates and he will be back to his best. I've got no real doubts about that."

The Tests and one-day matches against Sri Lanka are swiftly followed by the visit of India, and Strauss admits victory in that series would be an achievement to rival or better their Ashes successes - particularly given Australia's recent slide.

"Australia's aura of invincibility has been taken away," he said. "They're back in the pack now, like everyone else, losing some, scrapping to win others.

"Increasingly for us, although we will always value the Ashes, it is important to look beyond, at India and South Africa, to look to defeat these guys consistently, too, home and away.

"I've never beaten India in a Test series and if we want to be the best side in the world we've got to start by doing that."