Strauss 'quietly confident' about victory in Australia

Andrew Strauss believes an Ashes series victory in Australia could provide the career highlight for each of England's tourists. The England captain said yesterday that his squad were more excited than nervous as they counted down to their departure for the winter series.

"We've really been targeting this series because an Ashes win in Australia can be a defining moment in your career," he said. "You never know how it's going to play out there, how difficult or easy it might be, but what you've got to do is be as prepared as possible, be prepared for anything.

"When you're there, there's a lot of off-field things to deal with, being away from home for a long time, but if you deal with that well, it gives you a good chance of playing well on the field."

After another positive summer, Strauss feels England are well set for the trip. "We're in a good place as a side," he said. "We've made a lot of improvement over the last 18 months or so. We're aware it's a tough assignment going to Australia and winning, very tough, but we're in a good place to do it. We're quietly confident we can do it without being over-the-top arrogant.

"We need to play well out there, we need to be consistent and in the really crucial sessions we need to make sure we play well. But we're really excited and just ticking down the hours now."

Australia, on tour in India, have suffered a 2-0 series loss but Strauss is not placing too much store by that. "The conditions in India are so different," he said. "They've obviously lost a few Tests and have a few questions they need to iron out and that might preoccupy them where we don't have that. But we know from past experience that as soon as you arrive in Australia, from day one things get pretty tough. They're a proud side, their record in Australia is outstanding and we're expecting them to be at their best this winter so if we want to beat them we have to be better than that."

Strauss also backed the under-pressure Kevin Pietersen to shine. He said: "The question marks over his form will remain until he gets a big score, but all of us who have been through bad form know it only takes one innings and things are right again. When you're talking about a player of KP's class, it will happen. He will have an impact on the series, no doubt. These series bring the best out of him."

Pakistan have called up Shahzaib Hasan and Wahab Riaz to their one-day and Twenty20 squads for the series against South Africa. Batsman Hasan, 20, and 25-year-old pace bowler Riaz have been rewarded for excellent performances in Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 competition. Riaz took 10 wickets to help Lahore claim the Faysal Bank t20 title last week, while Hasan was the highest runscorer with 281 from four matches.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas