Andrew Strauss: 'Each time we make history, I feel part of something special'
Shortly after tea in the second Test yesterday, England made history. More history, it could be said, for a team which has made such activity routine.
The winning boundary from the bat of Jonathan Trott gave England a 2-0 lead against West Indies and their seventh successive series victory at home. They have managed six twice before – in spells between 1884 and 1890 and 1955 and 1960 – so such sequences seemingly occur around once in 50 or so years.
Whether they can now achieve an eighth will depend on how they deal in the next series of the summer, against South Africa, with a different proposition. West Indies were hard to break in both Tests and clawed their way back when the game seemed up.
If England gain those sorts of opportunities against South Africa they have to take them or perish. Andrew Strauss, England's captain, was aware that they had not been as ruthless as they might have been. "To think you can beat anyone at home is the right attitude but you have to earn it. Test matches are hard to achieve and we have had to work hard in both those Tests.
"We have had opportunities to grab both matches by the scruff of the neck and we haven't been able to do that. But credit has to go to the opposition. Two sides play in a game and they dug deep and showed spirit and desire to get back into the game.
"I don't think we're looking at South Africa [yet]. We have built up some early momentum and played some good cricket in the first two matches. Why wouldn't we want to make it 3-0?"
But England are thinking of South Africa all right, and that much will be plain in their discussion of the team for the third Test of the present series, at Edgbaston next week. Part of them will wish to seize the opportunity to rest a fast bowler or two with a heavy workload ahead but with nine days between Tests there is plenty of recovery time.
Fast bowlers like Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will not be thinking of resting their bodies: they will be dreaming of more Test wickets. It is possible that Broad, given his injury history and his regular participation in all forms of the game, will be omitted. Tim Bresnan, man of the match yesterday for his eight wickets, has secured his place. But in the past England's rotation policy has been forced on them by injury. This is different. "We will definitely think about it," said Strauss. "Resting and rotation is something you have got to do on a case-by-case basis. We will speak to the seamers and see how they're feeling – see how things are looking for the rest of the summer as well. You have always got to look quite a long way ahead when it comes down to potentially resting someone. There is always a balance to strike, because primarily you want to win every Test match you play in, that's always the starting point."
Strauss has been at the helm of England at a truly rousing time. Two Ashes wins, home and away, a No 1 world ranking and now a record run of home series victories are true landmarks.
"It's nice to achieve these milestones," he said. "I remember winning the Test match at Lord's against Australia, the first since 1934, that was a significant little feather in our cap. Each time you achieve one of these things it makes you feel part of something special."
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
Gaël Clichy: Roberto Mancini must take share of blame for dismissal
Sergio Garcia apologises for 'fried chicken' remark aimed towards Tiger Woods
Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
Phil Neville in frame for role at Stoke City
Andy Carroll stalls on £15m move to West Ham in hope Newcastle step in
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 3 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 4 Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.