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.

Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
News
Stephen Hawking is reportedly taking steps to trademark his name
people
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor