England news April 7, 2009

Strauss supports Key for Twenty20

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Strauss said Robert Key has the credentials to captain England in the ICC World Twenty20. Strauss didn't find a spot in the 30-man preliminary squad, after deciding in conjunction with the selectors that he wasn't suited to the shortest format, and he feels that Key's domestic success with Kent will count in his favour.

"I think the fact some of the county guys have played more than the international players helps them," Strauss told reporters at Lord's. "Twenty20 is a very different format of the game and accordingly you need to plan for that format and don't look past that when you come to decide the side.

"The rumours you hear on the county circuit is that Rob has done a pretty good job. He is a good operator and definitely one of the names on the list.

Key, who led Kent to the Twenty20 Cup final last year, said he would relish the challenge of the captaincy but believes there are plenty of options.

"I suppose if you look at the squad there is a few of us with captaincy experience, but there are a few things to put right before we get to that," Key told Sky Sports News. "We need to get a coach in and then see who's in the final 15. It would be an unbelievable job [to be captain] - but there are a few who could do it." Key, who has played 15 Tests and five ODIs for England, is yet to feature in a Twenty20 international.

While Dimitri Mascarenhas and Andrew Flintoff are also among the players in the running to lead England, the selectors have decided against naming a captain as they feel it is more important to review the tour of the West Indies. "There are loads of options for us to go down, Andrew [Flintoff] is one of them," Geoff Miller, the national selector, said although he did admit one captain for all formats would have been ideal.

"We would have liked the option, but the option is not there - we made the decision and will stand by that decision. When the team director is in place he will discuss it with the other selectors, and a decision on the captain will be made before May 1."

Kevin Pietersen's name may also be thrown up during the discussions, although the former captain has previously insisted he would not accept the job. Strauss, who will carry on leading the Test and one-day sides, was left out following months of discussions that started well before his match-winning 79 against West Indies in the fourth ODI in Barbados last week, which set up England's first one-day series win in the Caribbean.

"Hopefully that innings proved there is more to my game than being a stodgy Test opener and why I feel I can keep doing a good job in 50-over cricket," he said. "But in Twenty20 you need the power player and that is not necessarily a strength of mine. I felt quite strongly that whoever captains any team should be worth their place in the side."

Strauss was only appointed as one-day captain on a temporary basis for the West Indies tour but is set to continue in that role, while sitting out the Twenty20 matches. "I was appointed captain of the West Indies tour with the proviso that both the 50-over and Twenty20 would be revisited at the end of the tour and I was happy with that," Strauss said.

"I think I have proved I am capable of playing 50-over cricket but it would be wrong for me to say I want to be Twenty20 captain so I am captain in all forms of the game. It is right to look at them separately. I have no problem handing over the reins to someone else. I think England can do well."