England news April 25, 2012

Strauss captaincy questions 'ridiculous' - Vaughan

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Michael Vaughan has dismissed talk of dropping Andrew Strauss from England's Test team as "ridiculous" and insisted that his worth as a captain out-weighed any concerns over a lack of runs. While Vaughan, a former England Test captain, accepted that Strauss "needs a big score" and that judged simply as a batsman his place would be in jeopardy, he expressed confidence that Strauss' technique remains up to the task of opening the batting in Test cricket.

Strauss has scored just one century in his last 50 Test innings - and none since November 2010 - and has averaged 26 in the last calendar year, leading to speculation about his position during England's series in Sri Lanka, which was drawn 1-1.

"As a captain, it's ridiculous to talk about Strauss' position," Vaughan told ESPNcricinfo. "You only get better as a captain: tactically and management wise. I'd be a better captain now than I was when I retired. You're more mature. You've seen more situations. And that's what captaincy is: it's a man-management role.

"What Strauss needs now is a score. He needs a big score. He's playing all right: his feet are going quite nicely and I don't see any technical flaws. But he needs to make the starts count.

"He knows that he needs a big score. One hundred in 50 innings he knows that, if he wasn't captain, he would be under serious threat. But there's more to his position in the side when you're the captain. He averages 26, but his average is probably worth in the 40s because of what he brings to the team. If you're just judging someone purely on stats, you forget what they bring to the side. As a captain you bring a lot more to the side than the runs you score on the pitch.

"But there's no question that, in the series against the West Indies, he needs a big score or that problem will get bigger. You can't keep going on as an opening batsman - even if the side are winning.

"The same thing happened to me. In 2008 we went to Lord's to play New Zealand. I'd had a stinker in New Zealand and, though there was no talk of the captaincy, there was talk of my form. I somehow managed to score a hundred. I don't know how - I played terribly to 60 and edged it everywhere - but he might have to play an innings when it looks very ugly. When you're out of form it's a grind, but he somehow has to get three figures in that end column.

"Strauss will know his returns are not great. And he will know when it's time to move on. But at the moment, the time is not right. He'll hope it's in Sydney in 2014 - that will be his dream - but one day he will wake up and say 'I've had enough.'"

Vaughan also expressed a concern over the quality of replacements available in county cricket. While he felt there were several aggressive candidates who could fulfil a role in the middle-order, he was less impressed by the number of top-order batsmen who could see off the new ball in conditions offering encouragement to seam bowlers.

"There is a worry that the batting is not as good as we think it is," Vaughan said. "Strauss would be under more pressure if there was an Alastair Cook waiting in the wings. There are lots of batsmen who could fill roles at five and six, but there aren't many sticking their hands up for one, two or three. That's a concern. Nick Compton has had a good start, but will need to do a lot more. Luke Wells is a quality player. I've seen Carberry; I've seen Chopra. I just don't think we have enough who play old school batting and that is what is required at one, two or three at the minute.

"Ravi Boprara will play against the West Indies, I'm sure of that. Eoin Morgan won't play the first Test. He will have to score a load of runs to get back in the side. England will beat the West Indies 3-0 unless it rains. I just can't see how the West Indies are going to get enough runs against England's bowling attack."

Vaughan was talking at the launch of NatWest's Locals v Legends series. The scheme offers local cricket clubs across England and Wales an opportunity to play a T20 match against a team of England legends captained by Vaughan, with an aim of providing a boost to club funds.

For more information visit www.natwest.com/cricket

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shan156 on April 28, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    @5wombats, I agree with most of your points especially about the "comfort zone". Australian grounds can most likely be the worst nightmare for an English cricketer and the pitches are nothing like what one would find in England. Anyone who claims that Australia is England's "comfort zone" is clueless. However, I beg to differ on one point - believe it or not, India has actually won three series in England - 1-0 in 1970/1971, 2-0 in 1986, and, most recently, 1-0 in 2007. Apart from this, they won one test in Headingley in 2002 as part of a drawn series. So, they have won a grand total of 5 tests and lost 26 in England. So, it is still a very poor record considering that India has so many "stars" and England have none (according to Indian fans, of course). But, England and West Indies are the only away countries where India have won 3 test series.

  • 5wombats on April 28, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @karthik_raja on (April 28 2012, 05:21 AM GMT) You haven't got a CLUE. "I doubt if u hv ever walked into a field". For your information I played grade cricket in the Western Suburbs of Sydney for several seasons. Most probably before you were born. Evidently you do not know the first thing about Australia, Australian conditions or the fearsome way they play their sports. We seriously doubt whether you have any genuine interest in or knowledge of the greatest game. Look at indias last 2 whitewashes - start from there. Even when india had a team full of "stars" it wasn't that good - it never won a series in either SA or Aus and only ever won a series in England once. So much for "great team", so much for "stars". The only people who think indian players are stars are indian. No-one else does. You can discount and excuse indias "performances" if you like - but the rest of the world has noticed and the rest of the world has concluded that basically, india aren't very good. Truth.

  • JG2704 on April 28, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    @karthik_raja - re "barring the recent 2 series, Ind has always done reasonably good" trouble is we're not barring last 2 series and last 2 series are the most relevant for any side - and that incs our own who also had a bad couple of tours. And re "I hope u wont disagree that Eng play against/in Aus more often than against any other nation" Actually we will disagree because it is totally untrue. You or anyone can check the stats yourself. We played Aus 4 in Aus 4 times since 98/99 and India in India 3 times since that time and after our next tour of India we'll have played them the same amount of times in India as we have Aus in Oz. By and large we'll have played teams home and away over the last decade an equal number of times - If you don't believe me check the stats out for yourself.

  • karthik_raja on April 28, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    @5wombats and @A_Vacant_Slip. If u dont know wt is comfort zone for a cricket player, ask a player himself. I doubt if u hv ever walked into a field. Comfort zone is something which a player feels, when he very often plays against same opposition under similar conditions. I hope u wont disagree that Eng play against/in Aus more often than against any other nation. Something similar to Ind-SL ties. India's comfort zone is spinning conditions in subcontinent where Eng failed miserably recently. And they pretty well in their zone. And Mr. @Vacant slip, barring the recent 2 series, Ind has always done reasonably good in "out of comfort areas" like Eng,Aus,NZ,WI,SA in past 10 years or so. U can check ur stats by urself.

  • Meety on April 28, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    Funny how this thread ended up being a gazillion miles away from the topic of the article, ah well! @JG2704 - I note your handle is missing the crucial last 2 or 4 digits LOL! Congrats or commiserations???

  • A_Vacant_Slip on April 27, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    @karthik_raja - what you say here. Very funny comment about comfort zone. Ha ha! Only India is India comfort zone. The minute India come out of India - they get crushed. Comfort zone. LOL.

  • 5wombats on April 27, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    @karthik_raja on (April 27 2012, 07:38 AM GMT) - so Australia is now a "comfort zone" for England is it? What rubbish. Sorry that the stats for the indian "stars" didn't stack up for you in Australia. They didn't in England either did they? There are still way too many excuses pouring from the keyboards of certain india followers - take them somewhere else.

  • JG2704 on April 27, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    @Lord_Dravid on (April 26 2012, 23:00 PM GMT) No one is saying they are icons or anything. You seem to be coming onto our threads to stir up an argument which is totally unnecessary. ESPN please publish

  • JG2704 on April 27, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    @Shan156 Yes unfortunately I'm a year older today but thanks for good wishes. I'll talk more cricket later. All the best

  • zenboomerang on April 27, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    @SLAZV600 :- "This may have more to do with the fact you were much better than all teams for a long period than through ruthless declarations"... Do you mean the last 130 years?... You are probably right... But who is "us?"... India, South Africa, England?... Or do you mean a combined World XI v Oz?... Neither Dhoni, Smith or Strauss have been aggressive in their declarations in the last few years, even when well on top... Where as Oz's last 4 captains have all riskily declared on more than 1 occassion each to get a result rather than bat out for the draw... Again, I feel you have zero knowledge on Oz cricket or our nations attitudes as it goes way deeper than just sport...

  • Shan156 on April 28, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    @5wombats, I agree with most of your points especially about the "comfort zone". Australian grounds can most likely be the worst nightmare for an English cricketer and the pitches are nothing like what one would find in England. Anyone who claims that Australia is England's "comfort zone" is clueless. However, I beg to differ on one point - believe it or not, India has actually won three series in England - 1-0 in 1970/1971, 2-0 in 1986, and, most recently, 1-0 in 2007. Apart from this, they won one test in Headingley in 2002 as part of a drawn series. So, they have won a grand total of 5 tests and lost 26 in England. So, it is still a very poor record considering that India has so many "stars" and England have none (according to Indian fans, of course). But, England and West Indies are the only away countries where India have won 3 test series.

  • 5wombats on April 28, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @karthik_raja on (April 28 2012, 05:21 AM GMT) You haven't got a CLUE. "I doubt if u hv ever walked into a field". For your information I played grade cricket in the Western Suburbs of Sydney for several seasons. Most probably before you were born. Evidently you do not know the first thing about Australia, Australian conditions or the fearsome way they play their sports. We seriously doubt whether you have any genuine interest in or knowledge of the greatest game. Look at indias last 2 whitewashes - start from there. Even when india had a team full of "stars" it wasn't that good - it never won a series in either SA or Aus and only ever won a series in England once. So much for "great team", so much for "stars". The only people who think indian players are stars are indian. No-one else does. You can discount and excuse indias "performances" if you like - but the rest of the world has noticed and the rest of the world has concluded that basically, india aren't very good. Truth.

  • JG2704 on April 28, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    @karthik_raja - re "barring the recent 2 series, Ind has always done reasonably good" trouble is we're not barring last 2 series and last 2 series are the most relevant for any side - and that incs our own who also had a bad couple of tours. And re "I hope u wont disagree that Eng play against/in Aus more often than against any other nation" Actually we will disagree because it is totally untrue. You or anyone can check the stats yourself. We played Aus 4 in Aus 4 times since 98/99 and India in India 3 times since that time and after our next tour of India we'll have played them the same amount of times in India as we have Aus in Oz. By and large we'll have played teams home and away over the last decade an equal number of times - If you don't believe me check the stats out for yourself.

  • karthik_raja on April 28, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    @5wombats and @A_Vacant_Slip. If u dont know wt is comfort zone for a cricket player, ask a player himself. I doubt if u hv ever walked into a field. Comfort zone is something which a player feels, when he very often plays against same opposition under similar conditions. I hope u wont disagree that Eng play against/in Aus more often than against any other nation. Something similar to Ind-SL ties. India's comfort zone is spinning conditions in subcontinent where Eng failed miserably recently. And they pretty well in their zone. And Mr. @Vacant slip, barring the recent 2 series, Ind has always done reasonably good in "out of comfort areas" like Eng,Aus,NZ,WI,SA in past 10 years or so. U can check ur stats by urself.

  • Meety on April 28, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    Funny how this thread ended up being a gazillion miles away from the topic of the article, ah well! @JG2704 - I note your handle is missing the crucial last 2 or 4 digits LOL! Congrats or commiserations???

  • A_Vacant_Slip on April 27, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    @karthik_raja - what you say here. Very funny comment about comfort zone. Ha ha! Only India is India comfort zone. The minute India come out of India - they get crushed. Comfort zone. LOL.

  • 5wombats on April 27, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    @karthik_raja on (April 27 2012, 07:38 AM GMT) - so Australia is now a "comfort zone" for England is it? What rubbish. Sorry that the stats for the indian "stars" didn't stack up for you in Australia. They didn't in England either did they? There are still way too many excuses pouring from the keyboards of certain india followers - take them somewhere else.

  • JG2704 on April 27, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    @Lord_Dravid on (April 26 2012, 23:00 PM GMT) No one is saying they are icons or anything. You seem to be coming onto our threads to stir up an argument which is totally unnecessary. ESPN please publish

  • JG2704 on April 27, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    @Shan156 Yes unfortunately I'm a year older today but thanks for good wishes. I'll talk more cricket later. All the best

  • zenboomerang on April 27, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    @SLAZV600 :- "This may have more to do with the fact you were much better than all teams for a long period than through ruthless declarations"... Do you mean the last 130 years?... You are probably right... But who is "us?"... India, South Africa, England?... Or do you mean a combined World XI v Oz?... Neither Dhoni, Smith or Strauss have been aggressive in their declarations in the last few years, even when well on top... Where as Oz's last 4 captains have all riskily declared on more than 1 occassion each to get a result rather than bat out for the draw... Again, I feel you have zero knowledge on Oz cricket or our nations attitudes as it goes way deeper than just sport...

  • karthik_raja on April 27, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    @5wombats. Gud stats. It wud b nice if u cud give their averages "out of their" comfort zone. i.e, except Aus and Eng. Will u plzz? How abt comparing Ind & Eng players stats in Subcontinent. Lets start from there.. Expecting a reply from u.

  • Stevros3 on April 27, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    You can only replace a player if there is someone ready to step up, we don't really have anyone, especially not an opener. The closest opener in my opinion has to be Varun Chopra, with an average last season of 45 opening an now with a century this season. However I still feel he is short of test status and if you don't play him you need to open with Bell or Trott and play the other at 3 (and neither of them are natural openers) and have someone like Stokes play at 5 (not sure he's ready yet either, but I'm convinced neither Bopara or Patel are a test no.5)

  • Front_Foot_Lunge on April 27, 2012, 3:00 GMT

    Why shouldn't his captaincy be questioned? When has Strauss done anything of note on the field?

  • Shan156 on April 26, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    @5wombats, England's second innings score in the first test at Brisbane was 1/517. But, India trumped that with 1/836 (spread across two tests - Sydney and Perth. Between Cowan's wicket in Sydney and in Perth, 1 wicket, that of Ponting's, was taken and 836 runs were conceded). Yeah, they were at the receiving end of that but still they were associated with it and so it counts. You boast of all the batting records of England batsmen in the 2010-2011 Ashes. Can they come remotely close to this remarkable achievement? Cricinfo, please publish.

  • Lord_Dravid on April 26, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    @5wombats and co..the players you've mentioned like strauss, cook with good averages have just been playing well recently (barring spin bowling) but that dosent make them icons or stars or legends of the game. and you seem to keep mentioning one or two specific matches of the past where cetain english players have done well but you gotta know one swallow dosent make a summer! some of indias stars havent done well recently (partly to blame on some reasons) but hey everyone at some point goes through a rough patch, just like ponting, lara, kallis did but nevertheless their career record speaks volumes. kp and trott are good players but they are south africans..i wonder where england be without them! my instincts tells me eng will lose no1 ranking after india tour later this year..and im also waiting for the day to see the laras, kallis, tendulkars, pontings, dravids and the warnes of england..guess it wont happen lol.

  • 5wombats on April 26, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    @Shan156 yeah mate you got me there! In the Ashes in Australia SIX, yes SIX England Batsmen made Hundreds; KP made a huge double, Trott 2 great hundreds, and Hero Cook made THREE hundreds including one helluva double. Meanwhile, when india tour Australia only ONE player Batsman manages to make a hundred - Kohli, and yet, incredibly - it's india that is full of "stars", even though Sehwag, Dravid, Gambhir, Dhoni, Laxman had sub-25 batting averages and Khan - india's "best" bowler had an average over 30. indian "stars". Yeah right. @Lord_Dravid - Strauss made a hundred against Australia in Australia and yet you call for him to retire. Kohli also made a hundred against Australia - so, by your logic - you should be calling for Kohli to retire. Your logic, not mine. By the way - Kohli was india's "best" Batsman in Australia averaging 37. Strauss averaged 44. Be careful who you are calling mediocre, especially if you have just lost 8 consecutive away Tests in 2 WHITEWASHES. Please publish.

  • Shan156 on April 26, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    @5wombats, @JG2704, you don't understand. "Stars" are created by Indian fans. If they don't acknowledge someone as a star, that someone can never be a star no matter what he achieves. You have to accept the "fact" that Rahul Sharma and Rohit Sharma are already stars but Trott, Cook, Broad, et al. can never be. BTW, JG, by any chance, is tomorrow (27-04) your b'day? If yes, happy birthday.

  • yorkshirematt on April 26, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    @ lord dravid Since when have "stars" made a good cricket "team". I seem to recall India's "stars" taking a bit of a pounding in their last two away test series

  • AjAdam on April 26, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    1st we choose 11 best inform player ,then we choose capable player who lead them and Strauss seems to not making into 11.

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    @Lord_Dravid on (April 26 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) Quite ironic that you make such comments using the Dravid name when Dravid comes across as a humble magnanimous man

  • 5wombats on April 26, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    @Lord_Dravid on (April 26 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) "the england side has no real star". RUBBISH. These are the averages of England batsmen in Australia just over a year ago; AN Cook 127.66. IJL Trott 89.00. IR Bell 65.80. KP Pietersen 60.00. AJ Strauss 43.85. MJ Prior 50.40. How many india Batsmen averaged more than 38 in the recent series in Aus? Answer = NONE. Including Strauss 8 England Batsmen averaged over 38 against india last Summer. How many india Batsmen averaged more than 38? Answer = One. Bowlers? Remember Stuart Broad? - You know; Man of the Series against india with 25 wickets in 4 Tests @14? We could look at the india bowling, if there was any. Isn't it supposed to be india that is full of "real stars"? Talk is cheap, and it's always obvious when people don't bother to look at the facts before they talk. Truth is - india lost their "shaky no1 status" in very short order once they reached England. Time for some of their fans to get over it. Please publish.

  • Lord_Dravid on April 26, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    the england side has no real stars..KP is the only real star but he's a south african so it dont count..mediocre players like strauss need to be dropped forthwith otherwise england are gonna lose their shaky no1 status within a year after reaching it..they almost lost it so quick against sri lanka and my god would that have been funny! but i say after the india tour later this year it will be a definite drop from no1 ranking for them.

  • SLAZV600 on April 26, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    @Zenboomerang - "We have the lowest "draws" compared to the top nations". This may have more to do with the fact you were much better than all teams for a long period than through ruthless declarations. Not taking anything away from what Clarke did but i stand by my comment and would love him to declare and give us a 50 run advantage in the first test in 2013 but doubt he will do this. Not taking anything away from a young and exciting looking West Indies but i expect he was very confident that the only result his declaration would bring was a win to Australia.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 26, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    It seems clear that Vaughan is influenced in saying this by his own experience of being an England captain who wasn't exactly pulling his weight with the bat. When he says 'As a captain you bring a lot more to the side than the runs you score on the pitch', he's not thinking of Strauss. I think Vaughan is wrong to suggest 'there was no talk of the captaincy' early in 2008 (the likes of Jon Agnew e.g., were discussing Vaughan's position) and he seems a bit dismissive of Cook's credentials for taking over the captaincy; he's clearly being groomed and has already captained England in tests. I think Vaughan is correct however when he questons the standard of opening batters in the English county game. @Riaz Khan; I think you're right that Vaughan's 3-0 prediction could easily fall flat on its face, but you don't have to go back to 1950 for ex-England captains making duff predicitions: think of Ian Botham's comments about the Australian team being 'dad's army' ahead of the 2006-7 Ashes.

  • Thanju on April 26, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @valavan hussain retires because he was mocking smith in medias.smith responded with back to back double tons and he drop his catch too. and proteas toured to srilanka only once under his captaincy.

  • on April 26, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    english players and media are so much over confident just only few month ago they predicted that england would beat pakistan but look what happened.don,t underestimate wetindies bcoz they are giving austrlians tough times in all the format

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    @Meety - Obviously Strauss was lucky in that test - England weren't. But Yes , in that test Aus were 4 down - and I believe they had their 2 best form batsmen Hussey/North at the crease. I was livid at the time as I saw no point in carrying on batting to build such a big lead. It's not even like county cricket where you get bonus points for extra runs etc. A draw is a draw in test cricket whether one side is dominating or not.

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    @Thanju on (April 25 2012, 21:54 PM GMT) The last 6 series between SA and Eng stand dead level at 2/2 with 2 draws - 8 tests each - although I understand how easy it is to come on here and put your own spin on things regardless of facts. Not sure about Hussain's reason's but Vaughan had a chronic knee problem and unless the name for that knee problem was Graeme Smith - which seems unlikely then you are very wrong. If SA beat Eng and Strauss resigns it will be the straw that broke the camel's back situation and not just on the SA series

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    @Deuce03 I think there are good and bad things re Strauss's captaincy. I have already touched on 2 examples where I believe over cautious captaincy cost or could have cost us results. Also I felt (and I'm not solely blaming Strauss) his inability to make (selection) changes to try and stop the rot in UAE was poor. For some reason Eng would never consider 5 batsmen and 5 front line bowlers because of their obsession with batting depth. That formula did not reap any fruits until the last game of the tour against a very average SL bowling attack. Batting depth on paper is all well and good but when in reality it's not working why not try a different tact? And how must Bopara have felt not getting a game under that situation? Like the guy and his leadership is admirable but I do feel that Clarke would have at least tried something different (even if it failed) to stop the rot under those circumstances

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    @SpecialSauce on (April 26 2012, 07:23 AM GMT) - Very few of us England fans gloat. I've not noticed one gloating comment on this thread saying how good we are. How can we after we lost 3-0 in UAE. However , re Australia being the worst team when Eng beat them. I'd disagree. Many of the Australians who are doing so well now were playing in the last Ashes series. Maybe they've improved or maybe Eng made them look bad. Would you say for instance Cowan is better than North? They certainly have a better spinner now and IMO a better captain. If SA destroy Eng their rightful place will be number 1 but at the moment they are drawing more series than they win.

  • 5wombats on April 26, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    @SpecialSauce on (April 26 2012, 07:23 AM GMT) - the only amusing thing on this England forum is the repeated posts by india fans like you. The only reason indians love Saffers so much is because South Africa is the only side recently who didn't deal india a thrashing. Please publish.

  • zenboomerang on April 26, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Strauss has shown many abilities that do not need 'runs on the board' to prove his usefulness to this team... Sure age is catching up with him but I think he has 2 more summers left in him... Cook? - how many Tests has he captained?... Real different games ODI's & Tests... England selectors must be already grooming the next generation of openers, but are they ready yet?... Not from what I've seen so far... Perhaps Flower needs to re-evaluate team selection & look for a more balanced lower middle order to meet the needs for the next few years... Been my bug-bear for a while now...

  • zenboomerang on April 26, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    @SLAZV600 :- "i very much doubt that Clarke would have been quite so brave in the first test of the Ashes or against SA, India etc"... Not trying to sound rude, but you obviously do not follow Oz cricket or the way we play the game... We have the lowest "draws" compared to the top nations which conversely shows our attitude to not play for draws rather than wins... For me & many Aussies, going for the win & losing is far better than a draw could ever be...

  • charlesandrewbudge on April 26, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    Uncyclopedia defines a half century as the "amount of time which typically passes between the end of a game and the Australians admitting they deserved to lose it." RandyOZ seems to be awfully bitter towards any English captain who beat Australia with these digs at Vaughan. At this point I don't think there's anyone in a position to take the reins from Strauss, even though Cook is obviously being groomed for the job. Regardless of his form with the bat against the West Indies and South Africa, I think he needs to retain the captaincy over the winter.

  • SLAZV600 on April 26, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    dsig3, Nail firmly struck on the head. There are a few ego's that need to be tamed at times and Strauss does that well. He may be considered a weak link in the side as a batsman but you only miss what you have when it's gone and for those that are wanting his head on a plate be careful what you wish for! Will the next guy be able to control the team and deal with the media etc? The Pieterson/Moores debacle is still a time a wish to forget but Strauss and Flower have turned that around. Personally i still think Strauss has a lot to offer England and although 1 century in 50 innings or is it 2 in 51 innings is not a great stat his partnership with Cook more often than not gives us a good start to the innings. His captaincy may be consevative at times compared to Clarke's, i very much doubt that Clarke would have been quite so brave in the first test of the Ashes or against SA, India etc.

  • SpecialSauce on April 26, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    i find it amusing to listen to all the English fans talk up their side they havent even been #1 for a year and are very luck too still be there, and they still talk about the last ashes victory as though it was yesterday and lets face it, it was probably against the worst Australian team in years and they are already on the way back with their new squad...Having said that England have no one else who could captain the team as yet so Strauss it is Again England keep the gloating at bay until you have been ranked number one for more than a week BTW the Saffers are going to destroy England and take their rightful mantle as best test team

  • dsig3 on April 26, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Strauss is a big reason why England got to number 1. The work involved in managing ego's like KP, and occasional sooks by Broad should not be underestimated.

  • on April 26, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    England must find a way to handle spin bowling better otherwise nobody will help their downslide

  • jmcilhinney on April 26, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    @RandyOZ, Strauss is more English (has one English-born parent) than Khawaja is Australian and you seem pretty keen to have him in the Australian team. Why is that, after you called for him to be axed following the loss to NZ in Hobart? You also called for Phil Hughes to be axed and now you want him back too. Is that the great Australian depth that you keep telling us about?

  • on April 26, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    I don't think Vaughn should predict a 3-0 victory for England vs the West Indies. I suggest he reads all articles written about the 1950 tour by the WI and see the predictions made by the English press after the WI lost lost the first test at Old Trafford. The rest is history. I think WI have a good young team and a good bowling attack that might surprise people in the English team.

  • Ronita on April 26, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    Make Monty Panesar captain and send Strauss on leave for couple of months...bringing in smith patel along with monty and swann was big mistake in Srilanka.

  • Meety on April 25, 2012, 23:32 GMT

    @JG2704 - the last Ashes, England beat us fair & square & deserved the win in the 2nd test BUT, you are 100% right about luck. Less than an hour after the Ozzy innings finished (& the match), the heavens opened & the match could/would of been washed out! As can be seen these days, it appears much more common for tailenders getting stuck in & being difficult to remove, one stubborn partnership (obviously didn't happen) & Strauss could of looked foolish. Ah well, not to be! Wouldn't really have wanted our bacon to be saved by RAIN anyway!

  • Last_Wicket on April 25, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    I thought Strauss maybe should have retired after the summer on a high. After some lows of the winter tour I dont think he should retire just yet, maybe still play but hand captaincy to Cook like Pontin has done. As for Strauss needs a big ton, I dont think so. Consitancy is more important, so plenty of ton partnerships with Cook for first wicket would have a much more greater importance along with god results.

  • RandyOZ on April 25, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    Apart from not even being English, Strauss should never be captaining a side. He only makes his county side because of how weak the county system is! His batting is terrible, as is his captaining, and when it comes to poor batting and captaining, Michael Vaughn knows all about it, so he should know better than to post silly comments like this.

  • on April 25, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    What a hypocrite!! Just a few days back he was asking for Strauss's head.

  • Valavan on April 25, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    @Thanju, why giving wrong info, when did GC smith made Hussain to retire, hussain retired gracefully and that series was drawn 2 - 2 and the only time SA won in Englnd is 2008 since readmission. How many times GC Smith should have retired after getting whitewashes back and forth in the hands of Australia and from England in 2004/05 and 2 times against SL in SL. Probably we are kids in handling spin, but we have enough ammunization to tame the SA in our home.cricinfo please publish.

  • Thanju on April 25, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    All I can see is the history will repeat it self agian when they face proteas this summer.remember graeme smith made both hussain and vaughan resign their captaincy in his last two tours.and now it's strauss turn.

  • snajuro1111 on April 25, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    I like to know just out of interest , why the England national team dominates the headlines on the website. While test matches go on , live, if there happens to be a piece about England , then the test takes second place, except of course when England play. Size is not everything nor the headline, however if we are suppose to be promotong test matches , I would much prefer that than hearing the latest GOSSIP about England. Out of interest, is it the same for the Australian and Indian vesions of this site? Assuming there are!

  • Deuce03 on April 25, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    @Rajiv: It was Vaughan's performance in the otherwise dismal 2002-3 Ashes series, when he scored 633 runs including three centuries at 63.30 against the best team in the world, and was ranked the #1 Test batsman, that established his reputation. He took up the captaincy after that and was very successful, although his batting did suffer. It might appear that he wasn't good enough by today's standards but context is everything and he was actually England's most successful batting captain since Graham Gooch. He was also considered one of the best captains in the world (probably second to Fleming) which added a lot to his perceived value to the team.

  • Deuce03 on April 25, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    I do find it odd that people criticise Strauss for overly conservative captaincy. In the last two years England have drawn only three Tests and all of those were ruined by the weather. Strauss is allowing England to build big scores but on most of those occasions they have only batted once. Clarke has been a revelation at Australia (they should have made him captain in 2008/9, on this showing) but that doesn't mean that Strauss should change his approach. England's failures this spring were not down to bad or conservative captaincy, and until that point Strauss's strategies were working perfectly. There's no point changing a winning formula.

  • on April 25, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    Under estimating the Windies is going to doom the Barmy army. West indies has a lot of young guys and a lot of potential. And England don't seem to be high in confidence. I expect the Windies to at least challenge the Barmy army.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    @maximum6 on (April 25 2012, 14:10 PM GMT) I agree with you there. I still think Strauss can be a little over cautious in his declarations. Many felt it cost us a drawn series in WI and In the last ashes series (2nd test) I strongly felt he (Eng) batted for too long. He carried on until we had a 375 lead until he declared. I think Aus were 4 down overnight at the end of day 4 and on day 4 we managed to finish off the inns before lunch. This was lucky because Hussey and North were there overnight and Haddin next in and had they and the tail seen them though to lunch the result would have been a draw - which would have felt like a defeat. I mean surely 250-300 would have been a safe lead as Aus would have had to score 400+ to even have a sniff by making Eng chase 100-150. Thought it was very poor captaincy. However as a leader I think the guy is superb.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    @Rajiv Radhakrishnan - You speak very negatively of Vaughan. I mean you say he did well for 6 months. I'm not sure he would have got to number 1 in the rankings on just 6 months worth of decent form unless every other batsman in the world were all out of nick at the same time. Re character - does the fact that he became no 1 batsman in the world while captain after such a mediocre start not show character? The same with leading Eng from a test down vs a decent Aus side to win the ashes for 1st time in 18 years by playing positive cricket not show character? I don't think 41 is that bad an average for a player who started off his test career in poor form and maybe he is not acknowledging things because he feels he did a good job. I , for one am happy at what MV did for English cricket and I'm sure most Eng fans would second that opinion.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    @Jonesytoo - I think another problem no one mentions is the combo of spin and DRS. Maybe Pak would not have got so man wickets without DRS and by the same token maybe other spinners would have had more success against us with DRS. I think we were a little psyched out vs Pak. Maybe in the long run that whitewash will do us good as vs SA there are many who seem to expect us to lose

  • Nadeem1976 on April 25, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    Straus should be dropped from the team if he fails in this english summer. 2 years are enough for a batsman to prove his form and if he is not playing well then he should be replaced by new young talent. He is good captain but now he is burden on english team. Captains come and go but #1 rank don't come that often, england is lucky that pieterson played a gem of an innings in srilanka to win the test match otherwise they would lose #1 rank and that would be because of poor batting not poor bowling.

  • on April 25, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    I think Strauss should retain his spot as the captian ! i am quite sure he will bounce back and score runs soon ! he was the captian when england won the ashes in 2009 and 2011 ! i think he needs one more ashes and hopeful that he will do good this summer !!!

  • on April 25, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    Strauss should retain his spot as the captain ! no matter is lack of consistency , but i am sure he would bounce back soon ! he was the captian when they beat australia in the ashes in 2009 and 2011 ! strauss needs one more ashes ! selectors should have faith in him and let him continue and i am hopefull then england cricket will dominate in this summer to !!!

  • sephotrig on April 25, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    jonesy2, Strauss a poor captain? Since he became captain in early 2009 England have become the number 1 test team. He is a far better player than Cowan who looks less and less like an international player every innings. Your comments provide more entertainment than some of the spinners you have used since Warne retired.

  • on April 25, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    I think Strauss has earned the right to continue for now as captain with Cook his obvious successor. I suspect Trott and Pietersen will continue in the middle order as will Bell despite a lack of winter runs. Bopara will get a chance at 6 assuming England continue with six batsmen plus Prior. I suspect Anderson, Bresnan and Finn will get the seamer nods (with Broad and Tremlett injured) and Swann will be the lone spinner. I would love to see a little experimentation with newer batsmen like Taylor or Buttler or Bairstow, but I suspect they will have to wait...

  • jonesytoo on April 25, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    @Sinhaya, England only seem to have a problem against spin in Asia. The had no problem against the Aussie spin bowlers (if you can call them that) in the last Ashes, Ajmal averaged double what Swann did in England in 2010 and Herath and the Indian spinners looked completely innocuous last summer. Also, let's wait until Narine has actually played Test cricket before proclaiming he's better than Herath.

  • jmcilhinney on April 25, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    @jackiethepen, if you read the article properly you'll see that that average of 26 is for the last calendar year. Also, if you listen to the Switch Hit Podacst you'll hear Vaughan specifically say that there aren't really any parallels between his and Strauss' positions for the very reason you mention: Vaughan packed it in because of his injured knee. I think Strauss will definitely be around for this English summer. He wouldn't want to make any decisions before trying to redeem himself at home and, if he fails against WI, he wouldn't want to leave England with a new captain when playing SA for the #1 ranking. If he has a poor summer then he may step down before the tour to India. If he goes to India and fails there then I reckon he'd step down then, regardless of his home performances. He's never been a great on-field captain (Cook will do as well) but he's one of the best off-field captains going. If jonesy2 can't see that then it just goes to show how little he knows about cricket.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    @Sinhaya on (April 25 2012, 12:50 PM GMT) England crumbled due to a combination of spin and pressure. They didn't so much crumble in the 2nd test - 8 wickets I think it was. Agreed Eng will have to up their game to beat India in India , but they have hardly been on fire themselves

  • wrenx on April 25, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Best send out some scouts to scour the South African leagues to find a replacement

  • Shan156 on April 25, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    @Sinhaya, England's fallibility against quality spin bowling is only in the sub-continent. In England, where there won't be that much assistance for the spinners, especially in early season, England batsmen would be fine against the spin threat of Sunil Narine.

  • 2.14istherunrate on April 25, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    Strauss has had a good run as captain and apart from jamaica and UAE the results have excelled. BUT, and it is a very big but, the management need to take a long hard look at the way Michael Clarke is operating. Clarke seems to be happy to have thrown the old Test captaincy manual into the incinerator and gone his own way- the way all romantics might wish for Tests to be handled. Seriously he is way ahead of the league in his intent and fortune usually favours the brave. Strauss needs to bring into his captaincy a bit more of the aqgression and adventure that goes into his batting. No more waiting to get 550 for a target, no more two slips and a gully for the new ball, no more sitting and waiting for things to happen. He must leave defensiveness for appropriate times and let agression be the key. We have the players so lets do it.

  • PanGlupek on April 25, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Interesting, because I'm sure about a month ago, Vaughan himself was questioning how long Strauss can keep going for...

  • on April 25, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    Part 3

    In summary, Vaughan had 6 good months in Test Cricket, and he lived off that run for the rest of his career. He fails to acknowledge this in his autobiography. He talks about how important "character" is to play for England; whilst this is true, you still need the stats to back it up, which Vaughan did not seem too concerned about, which was lucky for him considering how poor his figures were for most of the time he was in an England shirt.

  • on April 25, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Part 2

    When we think of Vaughan we think of the Ashes 2005, but he only averaged 32! And that was thanks to one major score at Old Trafford where he scored 166. He was extremely lucky in that innings too, as he was dropped on 41, and bowled off a no-ball the very next delivery (so his average could easily have been 20 in that series).

    And his presence in the ODI side was an embarrassment. He held back England's progress in this form of the game, and he does not admit to this in his book. He still maintained he was good enough, even after 2007 World Cup debacle. In 86 matches, he averaged 27, with a strike rate of 68, where he batted in the top 3 for most of the time. How was he allowed to do this?

    Owais Shah and Robert Key were never given these kind of extended opportunities!

  • on April 25, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Of course MV will support AS, I wrote this letter but it never got published.

    Part 1

    I have recently read Michael Vaughan's autobiography and it is a very interesting read. However, I get the feeling from his book that he thinks he was a better player than he actually was. Additionally, I always thought the media overrated him too.

    So how good was the former England captain? His international career lasted from 1999 - 2008, where he scored 16 centuries (which is excellent), but his average was a mere 41. In the modern era that is not good enough. If you look closer, he averaged 31 between 1999 and the start 2002 English summer. He then has a golden 6 months, against India, and then in Australia where he averaged a mammoth 76, scoring 7 centuries. However, from January 2003 until his last Test in 2008, he averaged just 36 over 54 matches!

  • on April 25, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    though out of form he still has england as no 1 on test rankings..........should not be dropped

  • Meety on April 25, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    I think Vaughn is correct as of NOW, but IF, England lost the 2nd Test to SL, questions should be quite rightly asked of him. Fact is, he did play an important knock in the win (2nd Test) & so unless something catostrophic occurs, (like losing the test series to the WIndies), he is fairly safe through to the Ashes. I have said before I don't rate his captaincy from a tactical angle, but he is a fine leader of men, it is clear he has their support (even KPs), so it really won't be a problem as long as England DO NOT LOSE!

  • Sinhaya on April 25, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Well England is weak against spin as proven by their 3-0 loss at the hands of Pakistan. Cant blame Strauss's captaincy alone for the debacle. England's weakness against spin will again be exposed if Sunil Narine plays the tests against England. England crumbled at the hands of Rangana Herath and Sunil Narine is far better than Rangana Herath!

  • jackiethepen on April 25, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    I don't know about improving as captain, Vaughan seems to have gone downhill since becoming a media commentator. How on earth did he get 26 as an average for Strauss? That is really misleading. Does he mean over the last 12 months? Strauss's average is 41 which shows the amount of runs he has delivered for England. Vaughan likes to refer everything back to himself. But his situation was quite different when he resigned as captain. He had not recovered enough from his injury to ever be the batsman he once was. Strauss is just having a downturn but he is injury free and fit as a fiddle. All batsmen go through these low passages. As for all the aggressive Test candidates for 5 and 6. Perhaps Vaughan would like to name them? Most of the youngsters haven't yet conquered the lowly heights of T20s and ODIs. There is a shortage of Test substitutes never mind Test players. If Bopara fails and Morgan isn't up to scratch, then someone will have to step up to face South Africa at 6. But who?

  • Riderstorm on April 25, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    Vaughan told ESPNcricinfo. "You only get better as a captain: tactically and management wise. I'd be a better captain now than I was when I retired. You're more mature. You've seen more situations. And that's what captaincy is: it's a man-management role. Just doesn't seem right. I mean in that manner, nobody could excel Ian chappell, gavaskar as captain at present. They are older than Vaughan.

  • landl47 on April 25, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Strauss is now 35 and coming to the end of his career. England has been training Alastair Cook as his successor and Cook did a great job in the ODIs in Pakistan, captaining well and making runs. However, at the moment there's no-one in county cricket making so many runs as an opener that Strauss would automatically be replaced by a better player. The more likely scenario would be to play Trott as opener, move Pietersen and Bell up to 3 and 4 and bring in a younger player at 5. Then England needs a genuine all-rounder at 6. For the future, my money would be on Taylor at 5 and Stokes at 6, but neither looks quite ready. Hildreth is a more mature player and has started the season well, so he might get a look. Further down the road, Hales or Root might be challenging as openers and Bairstow and Buttler are promising, but their time is not yet. I think England will have too much for the WI, but SA will be a real struggle- can't wait!

  • on April 25, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Keep Strauss at the helm until SA gets there. I'm sure Smith would love another England captain's scalp on his already impressive CV.

  • 2.14istherunrate on April 25, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Though I do not think that Strauss was undone by SL pitches, everything at Lords will be in his favour-the place, the conditions and above all an attack based on seam not spin, coming on to the bat. Tastey is really what he should be thinking then.

  • MaruthuDelft on April 25, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    It is Strauss who always gave the confidence to other English batsmen; not Cook, Trott, Bell nor Pietersen. After being shot out for 51 Strauss scored a century in the first innings of the second test in England's last caribean tour to start England's ascendancy as a force in test cricket. He continued playing the first important knocks for England in every home series including the Ashes. After a dismal first innings down under Strauss came up with a century in the second to turn things around decisively in the last Ashes series. And finally in Sri Lanka in the recently concluded tour Strauss's first innings fifty was a very important contribution to restore confidence in England batsmen's minds. Still he is very good.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Tough one. Up until the UAE you could not fault the results England got under Strauss's captaincy but the team selections and his/Flower's reluctance to change things selectionwise when it was all going so pear shaped doesn't sit well with me at all. To me it has become a batters union team where continuity is a must but a different story with the bowlers. I'm not a big Bopara fan but he must feel very aggrieved not to get an opportunity in any of the tests where no one covered themselves in glory up until the last test. I'm going to try not to rant about the 5 man bowling attack because the horse has long bolted and they will surely play Swann plus 3 pacemen in England and I don't feel the 5 man attack would be AS important to try on pitches which don't turn so much even if I still think our best side would inc that formation. I do feel that Bell should have to make some big 100s and for me Bopara among others should be picked ahead of him unless he finds his form in very soon

  • johnathonjosephs on April 25, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    The problem is that Cook has been shown to be a decent captain in the shorter formats of the game, and could probably do the same at the Test Level. Strauss has been out of form for quite a while and given the competitiveness of the England team at the moment (few failures for Morgan and he was axed), he should have been gone long ago. I'd say the first 2 test matches against South Africa will be very pivotal for Strauss. If he continues to fail again, he might be gone for good

  • jonesy2 on April 25, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    strauss is a poor captain in all facets anyway. oh the only thing funnier than the fact that strauss is still in the side is that ravi bopara will be in englands team, he is such a poor batsman he is hardly up to first class level, windies will be licking their chops at the though of bowling to englands batting line up especially in seaming conditions, windies will have the upper hand in the bowling department for sure so it will interesting.

  • jonesy2 on April 25, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    riciculous? the only ridiculous thing is that strauss has even made it to playing test match cricket let alone captaining a side. embarrassing for all concerned.

  • wrenx on April 25, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    A real sign of how silly things have gotten when Michael Vaughn is weighing in

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  • wrenx on April 25, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    A real sign of how silly things have gotten when Michael Vaughn is weighing in

  • jonesy2 on April 25, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    riciculous? the only ridiculous thing is that strauss has even made it to playing test match cricket let alone captaining a side. embarrassing for all concerned.

  • jonesy2 on April 25, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    strauss is a poor captain in all facets anyway. oh the only thing funnier than the fact that strauss is still in the side is that ravi bopara will be in englands team, he is such a poor batsman he is hardly up to first class level, windies will be licking their chops at the though of bowling to englands batting line up especially in seaming conditions, windies will have the upper hand in the bowling department for sure so it will interesting.

  • johnathonjosephs on April 25, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    The problem is that Cook has been shown to be a decent captain in the shorter formats of the game, and could probably do the same at the Test Level. Strauss has been out of form for quite a while and given the competitiveness of the England team at the moment (few failures for Morgan and he was axed), he should have been gone long ago. I'd say the first 2 test matches against South Africa will be very pivotal for Strauss. If he continues to fail again, he might be gone for good

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Tough one. Up until the UAE you could not fault the results England got under Strauss's captaincy but the team selections and his/Flower's reluctance to change things selectionwise when it was all going so pear shaped doesn't sit well with me at all. To me it has become a batters union team where continuity is a must but a different story with the bowlers. I'm not a big Bopara fan but he must feel very aggrieved not to get an opportunity in any of the tests where no one covered themselves in glory up until the last test. I'm going to try not to rant about the 5 man bowling attack because the horse has long bolted and they will surely play Swann plus 3 pacemen in England and I don't feel the 5 man attack would be AS important to try on pitches which don't turn so much even if I still think our best side would inc that formation. I do feel that Bell should have to make some big 100s and for me Bopara among others should be picked ahead of him unless he finds his form in very soon

  • MaruthuDelft on April 25, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    It is Strauss who always gave the confidence to other English batsmen; not Cook, Trott, Bell nor Pietersen. After being shot out for 51 Strauss scored a century in the first innings of the second test in England's last caribean tour to start England's ascendancy as a force in test cricket. He continued playing the first important knocks for England in every home series including the Ashes. After a dismal first innings down under Strauss came up with a century in the second to turn things around decisively in the last Ashes series. And finally in Sri Lanka in the recently concluded tour Strauss's first innings fifty was a very important contribution to restore confidence in England batsmen's minds. Still he is very good.

  • 2.14istherunrate on April 25, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Though I do not think that Strauss was undone by SL pitches, everything at Lords will be in his favour-the place, the conditions and above all an attack based on seam not spin, coming on to the bat. Tastey is really what he should be thinking then.

  • on April 25, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Keep Strauss at the helm until SA gets there. I'm sure Smith would love another England captain's scalp on his already impressive CV.

  • landl47 on April 25, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Strauss is now 35 and coming to the end of his career. England has been training Alastair Cook as his successor and Cook did a great job in the ODIs in Pakistan, captaining well and making runs. However, at the moment there's no-one in county cricket making so many runs as an opener that Strauss would automatically be replaced by a better player. The more likely scenario would be to play Trott as opener, move Pietersen and Bell up to 3 and 4 and bring in a younger player at 5. Then England needs a genuine all-rounder at 6. For the future, my money would be on Taylor at 5 and Stokes at 6, but neither looks quite ready. Hildreth is a more mature player and has started the season well, so he might get a look. Further down the road, Hales or Root might be challenging as openers and Bairstow and Buttler are promising, but their time is not yet. I think England will have too much for the WI, but SA will be a real struggle- can't wait!

  • Riderstorm on April 25, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    Vaughan told ESPNcricinfo. "You only get better as a captain: tactically and management wise. I'd be a better captain now than I was when I retired. You're more mature. You've seen more situations. And that's what captaincy is: it's a man-management role. Just doesn't seem right. I mean in that manner, nobody could excel Ian chappell, gavaskar as captain at present. They are older than Vaughan.