Strauss plans to prove the critics wrong in one-dayers
Andrew Strauss last night reflected on a Test job pretty well done and then stressed he has every intention of remaining at the helm of England's one-day side through to the World Cup, which begins next February.
Although Strauss admitted to being a bit "rusty" at Lord's a week or so ago, the Ashes-winning captain has slotted back into the five-day team without a hint of difficulty following a period of rest and recuperation through February and March. But a fair bit happened while he was away from his troops – and nothing more significant than England winning the World Twenty20 under Paul Collingwood's leadership last month.
It was Strauss's decision, of course, to make himself unavailable for Twenty20 cricket – prompted by his belief that other batsmen were better equipped to give the side a brighter start in the shortest form. But he has no doubt he is still worth his place in the 50-over outfit, as opener and captain, despite a few mutterings that England might be wise to move him on.
"All I can say is that everyone has been very supportive so far," said the Middlesex man as attention turns to Thursday's announcement of a squad for nine one-day internationals against Scotland, Australia and Bangladesh. "One of the great challenges of being captain is to make sure you are worth your place in the side and that is always a very good starting point. I've had a reasonable amount of success in one-day cricket over the last 12 months but I should – and can – play better and that is the challenge for me."
Next year's World Cup, on the subcontinent, is what it's all about in 50-over cricket. Asked whether he wanted to be captain for that event, Strauss answered with a firm "absolutely" and seemed slightly surprised that anyone should be in any doubt.
"The Twenty20 team has moved on," he agreed. "But I think we had made some quite significant changes and improvements in the 50-over game over the past nine months or so. It will be great to talk to the likes of Paul Collingwood about some of the things they are doing in Twenty20 game and see if they are transferable to the 50-over game.
"But I'm excited about our one-day cricket in general because I think we've started to play a style that is important if you want to win consistently away from home, and there's no plan to change that."
As for the Test series just finished, Strauss was content enough with the way England polished off Bangladesh. "Two crazy sessions finished the game and it was a nice way to wrap things up," he said. "Generally it was a very professional and efficient job.
"We are also realistic that there are more significant and sterner tests to come for us as a side. But it's been really good for us to look at some of the other guys, like Finn, Shahzad and Morgan."
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