England news June 20, 2010

Kieswetter revels in Strauss partnership

Cricinfo staff

Craig Kieswetter believes his combination with Andrew Strauss at the top of the order for England can be successful after the pair shared a rapid century stand against Scotland.

Since coming into the side in February Kieswetter has become a central part of Andy Flower's limited-overs strategy. His clean-hitting approach alongside Michael Lumb was pivotal to England's success in the World Twenty20 but he must now forge a new partnership with Strauss, who was rested during Kieswetter's previous ODI appearances in Bangladesh.

Strauss's return to England's one-day side was questioned in some quarters, with doubts over his ability to match the powerful hitting that England had adopted so successfully in the Caribbean.

In their first outing together, however, Kieswetter and Strauss put on 121 runs in 15 overs, smiting 21 fours and two sixes, which has filled Kieswetter with confidence that the pair can gel.

"It was good to get a win and good to get a nice start at the top with Straussy," he said. "We batted nicely together, got a good bit of banter going and I thought we dovetailed quite well together.

"We'd like to think we can [continue in that vein]. It was a really good track to bat on but hopefully it wasn't quite as easy as we made it look."

Sterner tests await on Tuesday when England meet Australia at the Rose Bowl. For Kieswetter it's another chance to impress after his man-of-the-match winning performance against them in the final of the World Twenty20 and for Strauss it's a chance to nail his authority ahead of the Ashes in November.

"It's nice to get runs and for the openers to get a start sets us up well for the Aussies. It's going to give us a lot of confidence for Australia, who are obviously going to play some aggressive cricket as well. But we're happy with where we are at the moment and excited about the next five one-dayers which will be a big test for us."

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