England in crisis January 9, 2009

Strauss takes charge for whole tour

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Strauss has been recalled as ODI captain today © Getty Images
Andrew Strauss has been appointed as England's captain for the entire tour of the West Indies, 24 hours after being unveiled as the new Test skipper. He will work alongside the current coaching set-up, headed by Andy Flower, although according to an ECB statement, his one-day captaincy will be reviewed at the end of the tour, leaving open the possibility that England could yet seek their fourth captain in 12 months should results not go to plan.

"The selectors feel that it is important to have stability and continuity on the Caribbean tour given the events of the last few days," said England's national selector, Geoff Miller. "Andrew and I have also agreed that we will review the one-day captaincy at the end of the tour. Andrew is extremely comfortable with that."

Strauss was the stand-out choice to succeed Kevin Pietersen in the longer form of the game, but admitted that the situation regarding the one-day job remained "in a state of flux". He has not been a part of England's ODI set-up since being dropped during their ill-fated World Cup campaign in the Caribbean two years ago.

In 78 ODIs to date, Strauss averages 31.98 with a strike-rate of 75.82 runs per hundred balls, which compares favourably to the record of his former captain, Michael Vaughan, who averaged 27.15 from 86 matches, with a strike-rate of 68.39.

His efforts also compare favourably to the current ODI opener, Ian Bell, whose average (35.47) is higher, but whose strike rate (72.36) is lower. One of England's current top-order will have to make way to accommodate the new captain, and that man could be Bell, whose form fell away badly on the recent tour of India. Strauss has two ODI centuries to his name, with a highest score of 152 against Bangladesh in 2005.

"I am delighted to lead the team in the one-day Internationals and Twenty20. I know I haven't played an ODI since the end of the World Cup in 2007 but I do feel that I have something to offer in that form of the game," Strauss said. "Now this situation has been resolved we can now all unite and get about the business of winning cricket matches for England and winning them consistently."

Should the West Indies series, which comprises five ODIs and a Twenty20 international, not go to plan, the other alternative would be to revert to the split captaincy format, with Paul Collingwood the likeliest choice to resume the role he relinquished in favour of Pietersen back in August.

Strauss will be supported in the Caribbean by Flower, England assistant coach, and Phil Neale, England team operations manager as well as England's other specialist coaches and support staff. Although no official interim appointment has been made, Cricinfo understands that Flower will be the senior man in the coaching hierarchy, and has been named, along with Strauss, as one of the three selectors on tour.

The ECB refused to comment on reports in The Guardian that Pietersen had wanted Flower removed from his post along with Peter Moores, though Cricinfo understands that Flower has since sought assurances from the ECB about his long-term future in the England set-up, and remains in the frame to take over the role on a full-time basis.

Hugh Morris, England cricket's managing director, said: "We have a backroom team with a proven track record. They will all work very closely with Andrew Strauss during this tour with the sole aim of securing success in the Test, ODI and T20 matches."

A successful tour will enhance Flower's prospects of securing the full-time role, although competition could yet come from the Western Australia coach, Tom Moody, who did not rule out his candidature while speaking to reporters in Perth.

"You'd look at anything," said Moody. "This day and age, you're not going to turn your back on any opportunity, [but] I'm very happy here in Perth, [the] family is settled, I've got a great job, enjoying what I'm doing. I've got no reason to be looking further afield."

Meanwhile Moores has spoken for the first time since losing his job. In a brief interview with Sky Sports News, Moores described the events of the past week as "interesting" and said that a full statement would be coming out shortly. On the subject of Pietersen, Moores buried any animosity saying: "Kevin's got to go on, hopefully, and I want to see a successful England team."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sandip on January 11, 2009, 19:58 GMT

    Well we have to see. England is going to play against Minos ( West Indies) of World Cricket so whatever the achievement ( even if it is ALL win) won't be enough for Ashes. Average of 37 in ODI doesn't make you fit for Captain of the team. He is captain by default and English cricket and Cricketers have to understand that. I don't think Strauss got agressiveness and tactics for a good captain. It is shame that Kevin is not a captain. dark days for English Cricket. May be ECB needs to understand Modern game better and see how things are done in Australia, India and South Africa.English cricket has taken a big backward step.

  • James on January 11, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    Strauss is a good batsman, I feel its a good decision. It will be good if Kevin continues his good batting form this year. Overall current England team has many strong test and ODI players in the squad. An excellent coaching can bring England team to top of the rankings in both Test and ODI. I would prefer Tom moody to be englands next coach, because he has done well in sri lanka and in punjab. Things can be decided only after this caribbean tour.. All the Best for the ENGLAND team and special wishes for its Star Players(Kevin, Flintoff, Colling, Shah and Harmision).

  • Christopher on January 10, 2009, 21:58 GMT

    I'm getting excited again for English Cricket. I believe this is just what both Andrew and the Team needed. I'd imagine KP will be looking to re-affirm his slot during this tour. It may take sometime before we see the "Unity," there has to be some trust issues floating around out there. I think a player meeting must be held and all the ill-feelings and broken trust issues must be resolved to trully move forward. If not there will always be that voice in the back of their heads saying "I wonder which side he was on?" Regardless I'am a England International Cricket fan, and I will support my Team win, lose, or draw!

  • Daniel on January 10, 2009, 16:11 GMT

    The appointment of Andrew Strauss, which is a good decision, was still the only viable alternative; Andrew Flintoff does not want it, especially after the horrible experiences of Ashes 2006-07, and why would Paul Collingwood accept the job five months after turning it down? England are at best, a mediocre one-day team, and perhaps a new face like Strauss is just what they need.

  • Craig on January 10, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    I think Strauss is a quality batsman. Quality players should be able to score runs in all forms of the game. Strauss can score quickly if neccessary and gives england stability at the top of the order when the new ball is swinging and seaming. I'd rather have Strauss batting for my life than Ian Bell, who is talented but a question mark remains over him when it is a pressure sitaution - his test average is still very high thanks to cheap runs against Bangladesh.

    With potentially Shah, Flintoff, Pietersen, Prior and Collingwood England will need an experienced opener who can drop anchor if neccessary - you should be able to expect any of the 5 players above to crack on a score quick 50's and hundreds.

    I think the age of split captaincy has passed - it accelerated the end of Waugh, Hussain and ironically his successor too in Vaughan.

  • Mayur on January 9, 2009, 23:53 GMT

    I dont think this appointment makes sense...I think the ECB have been totally caught off guard during this KP-Moores saga and have gone a step back...why would you want to make a guy the skipper of the side who doesn't even feature in your ODI plans?? whats wrong with Freddy being the skip? If he doesn't want to take it up even then its no solution to give it to a guy who u wont play in your XI if he was not the captain...there are guys in the England set up who have waited long on the sidelines...I think its time for the Boparas and the Shahs to take over...England are already carrying Bell for a long time, Collingwood hasn't had a good year and bringing Strauss in at this hour and trying to win an ODI series in the Caribbean is certainly more optimistic then hoping the SUN will rise in the West...

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