India v England, 1st Test, Chennai, 4th day December 14, 2008

Proud Strauss says England must be patient

Cricinfo staff


Andrew Strauss is proud of his achievement © Getty Images
 

Andrew Strauss's feat of hundreds in each innings was overshadowed by Virender Sehwag's blitz late in the day, but England's opener believes patience, not urgency, will help the tourists in their quest for a win on the final day in Chennai.

"I think we are in a pretty strong position", Strauss said. "The way the wicket is behaving suggests there is going to be at least nine wicket-taking opportunities for us. The way the ball is turning and bouncing there are going to be opportunities there.

"We just need to take them tomorrow, be patient and not chase the game too much. I'm sure we have a great chance of winning." Strauss' scores of 123 and 108 have helped England set India a target of 387, but Sehwag's 69-ball 83 leaves the hosts needing a further 259 from the fifth day, with nine wickets in hand.

Commenting about the pitch, he said: "I think it is deteriorating a lot, although it would be nicer if it was playing a little quicker, then it would be even harder to play. But there is definitely enough there for us. If we do the right things and remain patient we have a good chance.

"The Indians are used to batting in these conditions so it is not going to be easy, but I'd prefer to be in our position rather than theirs."

Strauss said he was satisfied to complete a century in both innings, becoming the tenth England batsman to achieve the feat - the first among them in the subcontinent. "I've never done that before in first-class cricket and given the circumstances before the game I'm pretty proud to have achieved that - also to get us into a nice position alongside Colly [Paul Collingwood]."

Strauss put on 214 with Collingwood, who followed up his poor run in the ODIs - 84 in five innings - with a century. "Those sort of circumstances bring out the best in Colly," he said. "He was at his best today, the way he scampered and put them under pressure. It was brilliant to see him back among the runs and that underlines his value to the England team."