England news June 7, 2010

Strauss looks to reaffirm one-day credentials


Andrew Strauss faces an important period of one-day cricket as he aims to reaffirm his credentials to be England's 50-over captain at next year's World Cup. Although he has slotted back into the Test side with two comfortable victories against Bangladesh, following his absence from the tour in March, England's World Twenty20 triumph in the Caribbean has thrown the spotlight on their limited-overs plans.

The last time Strauss played in coloured clothes for his country was back in November when he helped the side to a 2-1 series victory in South Africa, their first in that country in one-day cricket, which came on the back of an improved showing in the Champions Trophy where they reached the semi finals after being thrashed 6-1 by Australia last September.

Strauss had not played since the 2007 World Cup when he was handed the one-day captaincy by default in early 2009 following the messy departure of Kevin Pietersen. In 21 matches since then he has scored 647 runs at 32.35, which is almost identical to his career average, with one hundred and four fifties. Although Geoff Miller, the national selector, confirmed he would be retained as captain for the forthcoming ODI campaign, Strauss was surprised when asked to defend his place ahead of the match against Scotland on June 19 then the five-game series against Australia.

"I have had a reasonable amount of success in one-day cricket over the last 12 months but I should and can play better," he said. "That is going to be the challenge for me. Everyone has been very supportive so far. One of the great challenges of being captain is to make sure that you are worth your spot in the side."

In Strauss's absence Alastair Cook led the side on the Bangladesh tour and opened the batting. Cook enjoyed a strong series with the bat as England won 3-0, but it isn't attention from Strauss's Test opening partner that is increasing the pressure on his place, but rather the dynamic style of cricket the team produced in West Indies.

Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb opened for the Twenty20 team which was led by Paul Collingwood, who will return from his rest period when the one-day squad is named on Thursday, but has insisted he has no desire to reclaim the 50-over captaincy. The new first-wicket duo gave England the type of starts they have rarely achieved in the Powerplay overs.

"The Twenty20 team has obviously moved on," Strauss said. "But we have made some quite significant changes and improvements in the 50-over game over the last nine months or so. Clearly we will have the likes of Paul Collingwood back, which is going to be a massive addition to the squad. I am excited about having him back.

"It will be great to sit down and talk about some of the things they are doing in the Twenty20 game and see whether that is transferable to the 50-over game. I am excited about one-day cricket in general. I think we have started to play the style of cricket which is so important if you want to win consistently away from home. There is no plan to change that. We are going to continue with that and it would be wrong not to."

Kieswetter, who made his ODI debut in Bangladesh and hit a hundred in his third game, is expected to be named in the squad this week, possibly at the expense of Matt Prior, and there is a school of thought that Lumb should be allowed to recreate his successful pairing.

However, since returning from the World Twenty20 where he made 137 in seven innings at a strike-rate of 141.23, which was the highest among the England team, Lumb has struggled for Hampshire with scores of 5, 0, 0, 0, 31 and 38.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Minura on June 11, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    1.strauss 2.keiswetter 3.trott 4.peterson 5.collingwood 6.morgan 7.wright 8.swann 9.bresnan 10.broad 11.anderson

    but lumb has a real potential be in the team...so does finn and y dont they give another chance to the likes of napier and mascarenhas

  • surya on June 8, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    When will people stop this habit of judging players half bakedly by mere instinct?..strauss has a strike rate of 76 in ODI's which is good (greater than some ODI giants like ganguly).sure he is one dimensional but oflate it has been more clear that u need a shhet anchor to hold the innings..case in point hashim amla.he can make a good opener if he is committed.."Resting" himself for few games wont help his case though

  • Shivakumar on June 8, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    I think it will be a bad move to ignore Strauss completely!!! The way I look everyone in the English squad are confident of their places. Give him a couple of series to get into the groove. He might be the perfect spoil in the Sub-Continent pitches. He has all the shots in the book, he has solidity all he has to do it apply himself. He can be the rock around which all the English partnerships are made!!! Most of all, he is very deceptive; comes along as a very nice guy and then suddenly the gloves are off and he just pounces on you

  • Simon on June 8, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Hear, hear, Strauss is a cert. and should be too. growltiger and Herbert are pretty much spot on. I'd take Strauss, Kieswetter, Pietersen, Collingwood, Morgan, Bell/Wright.

  • Steve on June 8, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    @popcorn - wasn't such a slow coach in the first two sessions at Lord's last year, was he? Your lot even made Alistair Cook look like Virender Sehwag at times.

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    @Herbet, I do believe New Zealand for ODI'shave "2 out and out tonkers" up first with Brendon McCullum being one of the most destructive batsmen on his day, and Jesse Ryder can be incredibly destructive in his own right too.

  • Rajaram on June 7, 2010, 18:50 GMT

    Are you kidding me? Andrew Strauss is a slow coach.

  • Richard on June 7, 2010, 16:00 GMT

    Strauss was our best batsmen v Australia and SA last year and often got us off to a fairly nippy start most of the time. No team has 2 out and out tonkers opening up, you need someone to play properly, 50 overs is quite a while. I'd open up with Strauss and Kieswetter and try and slot Bell in the middle order in place of Prior somewhere. They should sack off Cook as an ODI player though.

  • J.R. on June 7, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    The mutterings about Strauss as an ODI batsman seem to disregard the evidence of his actual stats and performance. He is actually one of the better England ODI batsmen measured by strike rate alone. His strike rate is better than, for instance Bopara, or the bright and breezy Swann (the latter having an average of 12). But he also has the substance of producing regular 50s and occasional 100s. In the 50-over format this is a quality combination; over the longer haul it is a world away from the Michael Clarke type of performance in T20, where the longer he stayed in, the worse the drag on the team total. If you compare Strauss with the dynamic Collingwood, you find that the strike rate in 50-over cricket is almost identical. By the way, Strauss is also an excellent fielder; his catch in the gully to remove Gilchrist in 2005 is iconic, and he took a pretty sharp slip catch yesterday. Comparison with Lumb in 50-over cricket is a joke. And the side needs a proper captain.

  • rob on June 7, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    For the love of god, please don't pick Lumb!

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