'Lord Brockett' thrives in high-pressure world

England has a new hero this morning. The Middlesex captain, Andrew Strauss, became the first home player since John Hampshire against the West Indies 35 years ago, to score a century in his maiden Test innings.

England has a new hero this morning. The Middlesex captain, Andrew Strauss, became the first home player since John Hampshire against the West Indies 35 years ago, to score a century in his maiden Test innings.

The South African-born Strauss, dubbed "Lord Brockett" because he is regarded as a bit of a toff, having been educated at Radley College and Durham University, said: "It's been a crazy week and a great day for me."

The most striking thing about his five-hour performance was how calm he seemed. "I think Test cricket examines your temperament far more than county cricket does. It also examines your ability to deal with pressure. There is never a time out there when you feel relaxed and easy.

"And for me today it was fairly high-pressure stuff. The adrenalin started flowing a bit and when I was 98 I tried to drive one that was that was almost a bouncer really. It wasn't great judgement. At times like that you have to try to calm yourself down.

"I think, though, being on my home ground helped me lot. I know the slope well and I know the wicket and also being familiar with the surroundings."

Hampshire, who is now a first-class umpire, did not see Strauss' innings, but he said last night: "It can't have been worse than my innings and I am sure it was much better. I was absolutely crap, I nicked everything. Mine was one of the worst Test hundreds ever seen at Lord's. And I got my just deserts, I was dropped next match having only come into the side because of injury."

Coincidentally, that had been the reason Strauss found himself in the England team - as a replacement for the injured captain, Michael Vaughan. "I thought to myself: 'I've got nothing to lose here, I am coming in probably for just the one game, I feel in good form, I am hitting the ball well', so I was just determined to enjoy it."

He did, and so did his family and his wife Ruth - an Australian actress. On this occasion, she will have been happy to cede centre stage to her husband, and on this evidence there will be many more starring roles for Strauss in the future.

The other success for England was Steve Harmison. With his fifth ball of the morning, Harmison got Jacob Oram playing at one that he could just as easily have left alone. Geraint Jones claimed his third catch of the innings. New Zealand were rocking, Harmison was on a roll and back to the thunderous form he showed in the Caribbean.

Suggested Topics
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all