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?
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices