July 27, 1997
A Sunday League debut
After spending the summer of 1996 with Durham University and Middlesex's second XI, Strauss's first appearance for the county's first XI comes the following year in an Axa Sunday League game against Kent at Lord's
. It is an unpromising debut as, batting at No. 8, he contributes only three runs before being bowled by Matthew Fleming.
August 31, 1998
An impressive first-class start
At the age of 21, Strauss's first opportunity in the county championship comes in Middlesex's game against Hampshire
, when, given a chance up the order, he makes 83 in the first innings before edging Nixon McLean, the West Indies fast bowler, to second slip. He fails in the second innings, however, scoring 12 before the declaration in a match that Hampshire go on to win by 7 wickets.
May 6, 2000
Foreshadowing an opening role
Strauss had switched to the position of opener the previous summer with reasonable success, and gets his maiden first-class hundred in that position when he makes 111 not out in the second innings of a drawn game against Northamptonshire
. His sole century of the summer is a timely one, coming in Middlesex's first game of the championship season. Its setting - Lord's - is a special one too, and the ground would come to hold several fond memories for Strauss in the years that follow.
May 11, 2002
Captaincy by default
After Angus Fraser's surprise retirement, Strauss captains Middlesex for the first time against the touring Sri Lankans. It is an unassuming beginning to his captaincy in a drawn game
, but a significant moment in Strauss's career, if not altogether unexpected. He had led the ECB National Academy - a squad containing Ian Bell, Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison - on a number of occasions during their tour to Australia in 2001-02.
April to September, 2002
Beginning to blossom
Strauss, Middlesex's new captain at 25, comes of age as a batsman scoring 1133 first class runs - with almost 1000 coming in the County Championship - at an average of 47.20, including three hundreds and five half-centuries. In a reasonably successful season, Middlesex finish second in the second division of the Championship, although one-day honours prove rather harder to come by.
September 10, 2003
Nudging the selectors
As a reward for a fruitful county season in which he scores 1401 first-class runs at 51.88, Strauss, 26, is named in the one-day squad to tour Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the winter. He is already being spoken about as being an outsider to become Michael Vaughan's eventual successor as captain.
November 18, 2003
When good debuts turn bad
After staking a claim with a brace of fluent half-centuries in warm-up games against a Bangladesh Cricket Board development XI and a Sri Lanka Cricket President's XI, Strauss usurps a struggling Vikram Solanki at the top of the order to make his full England debut in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka
at Dambulla. What should have been a happy event quickly turns into a nightmare, however, as England are rolled over for a paltry 88 - their lowest one-day score overseas - with Strauss contributing just three runs, before Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana sprint to a 10-wicket victory in the 14th over.
March 5, 2004
Test honours beckon
A few days after his 27th birthday, Strauss, who had been due to arrive with the England one-day team in April, is called up to England's Test squad in the Caribbean as cover for Mark Butcher, who injured his ankle in the first match of the tour, and Graham Thorpe, who suffered a recurrence of a niggling back injury. In the event, both recovered in time for the Tests but Strauss's reputation continued to grow in the one-day series which followed, as he registered successive fifties in sixth
games at Gros Islet and Bridgetown.
May 22, 2004
Waltzing to a debut hundred
Called up two days before the first Test against New Zealand after Michael Vaughan had twisted his knee in the nets, Strauss makes a dream debut as he becomes the fourth player - and the first Middlesex captain - to score a century at Lord's on his Test debut
. The only blip in his silky 112 is a nervous patch as he enters the 90s, and he looks set for a hundred in the second innings too, before he is run out by Nasser Hussain, the man he had been tipped to replace in the Test side.
July 6, 2004
More Lord's magic
It is at Lord's, once again, that Strauss reaches his first hundred in one-day internationals
. He adds 226 with Andrew Flintoff - a record one-day stand for England - to rescue his team from a perilous 54 for 3 and goes on to reach a round 100 before picking out Dwayne Bravo at deep midwicket. His efforts are in vain, however, as West Indies chase down their target in the final over courtesy of Chris Gayle's unbeaten 132 to knock England out of the NatWest series.
May to September 2004
Making hay while the sun shines
Strauss enjoys a prolific summer, making 273 runs in three Tests against New Zealand at 45.50, and 317 runs in four Tests against West Indies at 45.28 to go with 256 runs in five NatWest series games, with yet another hundred at Lord's, and 102 runs during the Champions Trophy...
December 2004 to February 2005
A fruitful safari
...but that was just the warm-up, as Strauss really gets going on England's tour of Southern Africa. He singlehandedly wins the first Test against South Africa
at Port Elizabeth with scores of 126 and 94 not out in the second innings run-chase. He goes on to add another hundred in the second Test at Kingsmead
, and another as England seal the series in the fourth Test
at the Wanderers. In a remarkable series, he tops the batting charts with 656 runs at 72.88.
July to September 2005
A part in history-making
May to September 2006
Captain-in-waiting gets his chance
After cutting his teeth in the role in the India series, Strauss captains England for the first time at home by default after both Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff are ruled out with injuries. He starts with a traumatic 5-0 whitewash against Sri Lanka in the one-day series, but begins to settle into the role in the first Test
of the series against Pakistan which followed with another Test hundred at Lord's, although the series is ultimately overshadowed by the ball-tampering row in the fourth Test at The Oval.
October 2006 to January 2007
With Andrew Flintoff back at the helm, England head to Australia to begin their Ashes defence after a largely forgettable performance at the Champions Trophy. In the midst of England's five-nil drubbing, Strauss suffers a dramatic loss of form, reaching fifty just once in the series and stumbling to 247 runs in 10 innings. His returns in the CB series which followed are equally disappointing.
March to April 2007
An unhappy World Cup
After initially, and justifiably, losing his place at the top of the order at the World Cup, Strauss eventually regains the opening slot but struggles to make an impact at a disappointing tournament for England with a return of 46 runs from four innings.
May to August 2007
Although he returns to some semblance of form against the West Indies with his 77 at Durham
, Strauss has a shocker of a series against arguably the weakest bowling attack he had faced in his three-year career. He is the only member of England's top seven to miss out on three figures, as his footwork goes awry and with it his judgment against off-stump deliveries. Strauss captains a strong England Lions side against the touring Indians, but his inconsistent form continues in the Test series which follows. Although he narrowly misses out on a hundred in the first Test
at Lord's, Strauss himself admitts it "wasn't a free-flowing innings by any means".
October 2007 to January 2008
Missing out... briefly
After struggling with his form for 18 months, Strauss is left out of England's Test squad for the tour to Sri Lanka. His return to the side is swift, however, as he is recalled for the New Zealand trip early in 2008 despite having no chance to show his form.
After a century in the warm up game
against the Major Association XI at Dunedin, Strauss struggles in the first
Tests, falling to horribly weak strokes to leave his England future in serious jeopardy going into the final Test in Napier. He responds to the challenge in the most emphatic way possible, scoring a cathartic 177
to reinvigorate his career.
The England captaincy
Strauss, 31, is formally unveiled as England's Test captain at a packed press conference at Lord's, after a tumultuous 24 hours for English cricket surrounding the double departure of Kevin Pietersen and the coach Peter Moores. He is not, however, named England's one-day captain, a decision that Strauss admits is still in "a state of flux".
February to March 2009
A shocker at Sabina Park
England, still fractured after the Pietersen-Moores spat, are bowled out for 51 to lose the first Test of Strauss's reign by an innings at Sabina Park. Despite three big hundreds from him in the third
, and fifth
Tests, England suffer an unexpected series defeat.
July to August 2009
After finding some joy with a 2-0 series win over an uninspired West Indies in May, Strauss leads England to victory over Australia to regain the Ashes. England's highest run scorer by some distance, his 474 runs at an average of 52.66 prove vital. Strauss's only scores one hundred in the series, but seizes the momentum at a key moment when does so with a rousing 161 on the first day at Lord's
to inspire a 115-run victory. Further half-centuries follow at Edgbaston
and The Oval
as England wrap up a 2-1 series win.
November 2009 to January 2010
A unifying force
Strauss suffers a rare dip in form on England's tour of South Africa, scoring just 72 runs in the ODIs series and 170 in the Tests, being visibly ruffled by Morne Morne's round-the-wicket line, which accounts for three of his seven dismissals in the Test series. But he excels as a leader on a long, arduous tour, rallying England to victory in the one-day series and holding South Africa to a drawn Test series.
Taking a break
After the South Africa tour, Strauss decides to opt out of England's trip to Bangladesh, explaining that he is fatigued and jaded after a year of almost non-stop touring. He explains
that the decision to take a rest is an effort to save himself from burn-out during a busy 18-month period which includes the Ashes series and the World Cup.
The Ashes retained
Strauss joins an elite band of England captains to have won Ashes series at home and away with his triumphant campaign
in the winter of 2010-11. The trip started traumatically with a third-ball duck in the first over of the series at Brisbane, but Strauss's steely second-innings hundred would become the first of nine England centuries in a run-laden tour.
February 27, 2011
An ODI high
In a high-scoring World Cup thriller
against India in Bangalore, Strauss scores 158, his highest ODI score, as England achieve a tie, scoring a daunting 338. However, he doesn't pass 50 even once in his next five innings in the World Cup, and quits the format after England's defeat in the quarter-final, handing over the captaincy to Alastair Cook.
August 22, 2011
The No.1 Test team
England officially become the top-ranked team in Test cricket after thrashing India 4-0
in the home series. That follows a 1-0 defeat of Sri Lanka earlier in the season. It's a great a season for Strauss the captain, but not so good for Strauss the batsman, as he scores 256 runs in ten innings, with only one half-century.
Struggle in Asia
England's batsmen come unstuck in consecutive series in Asia, against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They lose 3-0 to Pakistan
, but manage to hold on to their No.1 ranking by winning the second Test to level the series against Sri Lanka. Strauss' batting remains shaky, with only 264 runs in ten innings.
Runs at last
Strauss regains some form with centuries in successive Tests
against West Indies, as England win the series 2-0.
Undone by South Africa
In a series to decide the number one team in Test cricket, England are outclassed by South Africa, losing 2-0. Strauss' batting horrors return as well, as he scores 107 in six innings. Plus, there's the distraction of the Pietersen saga to contend with, as his exclusion from the team for the third Test leads to negative comments about the England team management, of which he is a part. The last Test of the series, at Lord's, is his 100th, and his 50th as captain.
August 29, 2012
Farewell to cricket