Sri Lanka v England 2011-12 March 30, 2012

Strauss braced for dog days

Despite the England captain's poor form with the bat his influence extends beyond the middle - when he goes it should be on his own terms
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Just as the time comes when a much loved but ailing family dog must be taken to the vet, so the time has come to make difficult decisions about the future of Andrew Strauss. The signs can no longer be avoided: Strauss, metaphorically at least, is off his food. His tail has stopped wagging and he can no longer be bothered to chase the postman.

It is not beyond possibility that he could make a full recovery. His current form is a concern, certainly, but he has been down before. It pays not to write him off.

It is worth looking at the statistics. Strauss has not scored a Test century since November 2010 - 16 Tests ago - and has made only one in his last 48 innings stretching back to July 2009. In the last calendar year he has averaged only 25.50 and any suggestion he is surviving on his captaincy record is undermined by the fact that England have lost four Tests in a row. He has passed 50 only twice in 18 innings and England have recorded an opening stand above 31 only three times in the last 17 innings. Nine times they have failed to pass ten.

It looks grim. In a different era - an era of weak management and fickle selectors - you can bet that Strauss would have been axed already. But we live in more enlightened times. These days the selectors take a longer term view. They appreciate that even the best players suffer dips in form and they appreciate that continuity of selection is a key to coaxing the best out of players. The carrot tends to work much better than the stick.

But there is only so long even the most patient selectors can be expected to wait. Strauss' form is, unpalatable though it may be to some ears, compromising England's hopes of competing. Time is running out for him.

That is not to say he is about to be dropped. He will certainly captain at Colombo and, if he goes ahead of the West Indies series in England, it is likely to be his own decision. It may also be worth remembering that the last two permanently appointed England captains - Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan - were both casualties of South African home series. England entertain South Africa again this summer. Might lightning strike for a third time?

It would be wrong to judge Strauss purely by his batting statistics. While he may not be the best tactician, captaincy is about far more than that: it is about leadership, inspiration and unification. In those regards Strauss is exceptionally good and his role in the resurgence of England's cricket cannot be overstated. Besides, he has been in a similar position once before: on the tour to New Zealand in 2008 he had gone 15 Tests without a century and looked almost unrecognisable from the pleasing left-hand batsman who had scored a century on debut. He was probably within one innings of being dropped when he responded with a century in Napier that revitalised his career. If England persist with him, he may well repay their investment.

After all, his long-term record remains good. Unlike Mike Brearley, who failed to score a century in a 39-Test career, only five men (Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott, Ken Barrington and Graham Gooch) have scored more than Strauss' 19 Test centuries. But Jack Hobbs' past record is excellent, too: it hardly guarantees his performance in the next Test. The concern is that Strauss' run of poor form has been so prolonged that it represents a terminal decline.

There is no obvious reason that should be the case. He is 35 and remains fit. It is not as if he is suffering abject failure, more that he is struggling to translate those good starts into meaningful contributions. And he is not the only man struggling: Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell have endured even more grisly Test tours.

"Strauss is not the only man struggling: Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell have endured even more grisly Test tours"

England should not stick with Strauss simply because they are unsure of their alternatives, however. There are other options. Jonathan Trott could shuffle a place up the order - he has, in effect, been opening the innings anyway - allowing England to draft any one of several contenders into the middle order. Opening candidates are less obvious, but Hampshire's Michael Carberry, who is now restored to health and scoring runs by the bucket load, and Varun Chopra, who has scored three first-class double-centuries in the last calendar year, including one in Sri Lanka, are viable options.

Captaincy alternatives now exist, too. The way Alastair Cook grew into the role in the UAE was immensely encouraging and suggested that, when the transition comes, it need not be as painful as it might have seemed only a few months ago.

That is not to say that Cook will be vying for the role. The respect with which Strauss is held by his team borders on the reverential: personal ambition does not come into this.

Indeed, no-one wants to stick the knife into Strauss. No-one wants him to fail or depart the international game under a cloud. Not even his opponents, who recognise the dignity with which he has led and the control he has exerted over a team that can, at times, become somewhat excitable.

Andy Flower, England's coach, recognises the qualities of Strauss, but Flower did not reach the top through a surfeit of sentiment. He will not be afraid to take a tough decision if he thinks the time is right.

My view? I would stick with him and allow him to go on his own terms. He knows the situation. He knows his stats and he knows that the team need him to contribute more. He is a fellow abounding with positive qualities and is surely wise enough and selfless enough to recognise when the time comes to step down. I fear it may be soon, but I hope I'm wrong.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Meety on | April 2, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    Very good analysis on Strauss. He is by no means either a great opening batsmen or a great tactical captain (too defensive IMO), however he is a great leader. It is tricky as I don't think England are overflowing with top order options, I'd be loathe to move Trott up the order in case it stuffs him up (not likely but possible). I think it would not be good for England to blood a new captain v The Saffas - they're hard enough to beat with that distraction. He has got to retire/or be sacked (assuming no batting improvement) before the WIndies series - or after the Saffa series. Cook has to be the man to take on the job, probably with Prior as vice captain.

  • POSTED BY on | April 1, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    In 7 out of the last 10 times that they have opened together, Strauss has outscored Cook. End of story.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | April 1, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    Strauss is to England what Tendulkar is to India - washed up and playing for records. Give up the ghost and give a young guy a go. I like the look of Taylor myself.

  • POSTED BY on | April 1, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    let's be fair,those opening stands also count for Cook too...Who is often out cheaply...Either that or he gets 200! ;) Danger mouse isn't finished yet. Cook will be next captain, but i'd give Andrew another yr minimum-hope i'm right!;)

  • POSTED BY HatsforBats on | April 1, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    Drop him. He's not scoring runs, he's not tactically astute, and he's little more than competent in the slips. So he's inspirational and a great motivator? Then drop him and hire him on in the support staff; he can do the pep talks before the games. Prior is good enough to keep batting at 6, bring in Bresnan.

  • POSTED BY kitten on | April 1, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    @kriskingle...agree with your comments...@kumarcoolbuddy.....you have made a very valid point. England were indeed very good in their own backyard and also in Australia which also had fast tracks, but unfortunately have been found wanting in the subcontinent against good spin. @lord.emworth....I feel too, that Strauss is due a big innings, and when that happens, he will get the critics off his back, at least for another few months. He has led admirably over the last couple of years, and has taken England to the top, and I feel he deserves a little bit of leeway. Though, I would like him to succeed in the second test against SL, I feel he may not do too well, but will certainly come into his own against WI and SA. Strauss, give it your best shot, before you hang up your boots.

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | April 1, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    England have severe problems with their batting, which have been exposed by Pakistan and to a lesser extent Sri Lanka and which were only hidden earlier by the frailty of the appalling Indian and Australian "attacks". Pietersen and Bell's technical and mental flaws respectively are plain to see. Strass is in the same irreversible decline as Laxman and Tendulkar and Sehwag: you can't hold back the advance of time forever, and Strauss was never as good as those three in the first place. England will have to go back to basics v South Africa: use Prior, Bresnan and Broad as all-rounders at 6, 7 and 8 and just play five specialist batsmen (Cook, Trott, Bell, Pietersen and Bopara) on the basis that they haven't got a sixth Test-standard batsman anyway. I can't see an additional mediocre batsman being much use v Steyn / Morkel / Philander anyway, so they might as well just play more all-rounders.

  • POSTED BY PBs09 on | April 1, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    Maybe England needs someone like a Collwingwood back. Despite a lack of obvious batting talent, you could be sure of some steel in the middle. Although having said that, the English have actually got some real batting talent right now and rather than a major overhaul, they might be better served to get their batsmen to work facing of spin bowling. If they do manage that, they might just become the legends they can be.

  • POSTED BY sufi_cool91 on | March 31, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    Feeling pity of those english fans who wer shouting they r d no. 1 side aftr beating india...u can't play spin got white washd against india n pak n nw on path of defeat frm sri lanka

  • POSTED BY Kirstenfan on | March 31, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    All set up beautifully for smith to eliminate his 3rd england captain! Steyn, morkel, philander so excited for a cheap early wicket

  • POSTED BY Meety on | April 2, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    Very good analysis on Strauss. He is by no means either a great opening batsmen or a great tactical captain (too defensive IMO), however he is a great leader. It is tricky as I don't think England are overflowing with top order options, I'd be loathe to move Trott up the order in case it stuffs him up (not likely but possible). I think it would not be good for England to blood a new captain v The Saffas - they're hard enough to beat with that distraction. He has got to retire/or be sacked (assuming no batting improvement) before the WIndies series - or after the Saffa series. Cook has to be the man to take on the job, probably with Prior as vice captain.

  • POSTED BY on | April 1, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    In 7 out of the last 10 times that they have opened together, Strauss has outscored Cook. End of story.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | April 1, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    Strauss is to England what Tendulkar is to India - washed up and playing for records. Give up the ghost and give a young guy a go. I like the look of Taylor myself.

  • POSTED BY on | April 1, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    let's be fair,those opening stands also count for Cook too...Who is often out cheaply...Either that or he gets 200! ;) Danger mouse isn't finished yet. Cook will be next captain, but i'd give Andrew another yr minimum-hope i'm right!;)

  • POSTED BY HatsforBats on | April 1, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    Drop him. He's not scoring runs, he's not tactically astute, and he's little more than competent in the slips. So he's inspirational and a great motivator? Then drop him and hire him on in the support staff; he can do the pep talks before the games. Prior is good enough to keep batting at 6, bring in Bresnan.

  • POSTED BY kitten on | April 1, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    @kriskingle...agree with your comments...@kumarcoolbuddy.....you have made a very valid point. England were indeed very good in their own backyard and also in Australia which also had fast tracks, but unfortunately have been found wanting in the subcontinent against good spin. @lord.emworth....I feel too, that Strauss is due a big innings, and when that happens, he will get the critics off his back, at least for another few months. He has led admirably over the last couple of years, and has taken England to the top, and I feel he deserves a little bit of leeway. Though, I would like him to succeed in the second test against SL, I feel he may not do too well, but will certainly come into his own against WI and SA. Strauss, give it your best shot, before you hang up your boots.

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | April 1, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    England have severe problems with their batting, which have been exposed by Pakistan and to a lesser extent Sri Lanka and which were only hidden earlier by the frailty of the appalling Indian and Australian "attacks". Pietersen and Bell's technical and mental flaws respectively are plain to see. Strass is in the same irreversible decline as Laxman and Tendulkar and Sehwag: you can't hold back the advance of time forever, and Strauss was never as good as those three in the first place. England will have to go back to basics v South Africa: use Prior, Bresnan and Broad as all-rounders at 6, 7 and 8 and just play five specialist batsmen (Cook, Trott, Bell, Pietersen and Bopara) on the basis that they haven't got a sixth Test-standard batsman anyway. I can't see an additional mediocre batsman being much use v Steyn / Morkel / Philander anyway, so they might as well just play more all-rounders.

  • POSTED BY PBs09 on | April 1, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    Maybe England needs someone like a Collwingwood back. Despite a lack of obvious batting talent, you could be sure of some steel in the middle. Although having said that, the English have actually got some real batting talent right now and rather than a major overhaul, they might be better served to get their batsmen to work facing of spin bowling. If they do manage that, they might just become the legends they can be.

  • POSTED BY sufi_cool91 on | March 31, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    Feeling pity of those english fans who wer shouting they r d no. 1 side aftr beating india...u can't play spin got white washd against india n pak n nw on path of defeat frm sri lanka

  • POSTED BY Kirstenfan on | March 31, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    All set up beautifully for smith to eliminate his 3rd england captain! Steyn, morkel, philander so excited for a cheap early wicket

  • POSTED BY wagon_wheel on | March 31, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    so it will be nice if we accept the point that there is no great team around and be modest in our victories...otherwise what goes around will come around... in the meanwhile all English fans can enjoy their SL tribulations...

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 31, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    @Nutcutlet, England will do themselves a favour by hiring you as their consultant. Very methodical and clinical in your approach. But I still say, KP is a once in a generations player and he shouldn't be scrutinised so closely and magnify every failure of his. Trott and Bell (my other two favourites in your team) have showed their class. KP will come good in Colombo. Hoping to listen to some well thoughtout and balanced inputs from JG as well.

  • POSTED BY kriskingle on | March 31, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    No doubt he has been a fighter and a stabilising factor since the Pietersen-Moore fracas, but dignity? The man who refuses a dehydrated batsman batting in draining conditions,the opposing captain no less, a runner because that would be unfair advantage, but has the gall to go upto the opposite dressing room to plead the case for reinstating a runout batsman? Sorry, but Strauss has flirted more with the boundaries of good sportsmanship more than anyone in the Australian teams of the past three decades put together have done. And that to me is the meaning of dishonourable.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    @ richardror and Daniel Powell look no doubt pietersen is my fav.player and any day ma fav. team playing with other teams expect india ,,, ,,, when any subcontint. team visit ,,, eng. s.a. aus they made very bouncy track ,,,,,,,, as its same when team coming from these mention place to visit subcontint. u have face to much spin track,,,,,, this time srilanka ,,pakistan alreay murdered you (eng.) and end of the year India going to kill england best of luck guyzzzzzzz,,,,,,,aussie too

  • POSTED BY richardror on | March 31, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    I'm all for congratulating Pakistan and Sri Lanka and admit that England's batsmen have fallen short as of late, however i don't understand the Indian and Australia fans jumping on the bandwagon. You can boast about your victories after your own series however using other countries victories (after previously insulting them) is wrong. Especially since India are now quite clearly worse than Pakistan and Sri Lanka in both ODIs and test matches (their weakness in ODI's being proved in the series with Aus and SL and the Asia Cup)

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    No mention of James Taylor in the alternatives? Is now not the perfect time for a new, young batsman?

    As for all the Indian fans whining (as always seems to be the case in ANY article on here); people criticised India's failure heavily becayse there was a sense that India (and India's fans) were becoming arrogant and overzealous. It's always funny watching someone get knocked off their high horse! I think people are generally more forgiving of England because, unlike India, there aren't any "superstars" in the team and it's more of a "rags to riches" story. I don't think any serious England fan believed that England's stay at #1 would last. Anyway, India got THRASHED in England. England actually did pretty well in Pakistan. 4-0 definitely doesn't tell the full story; those games were close, and Pakistan are a truly excellent team in my opinion, even without those 3 unmentionables. Sri Lanka, too, are an excellent team. England is playing poorly against spin, though, admittedly.

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | March 31, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    The media went to the town when the Lankans collapsed in Cardiff but England was not anyway behind getting out in 40 odd overs in the first innings but the irony was they have the number one sticker behind their back.I think Strauss will survive provided the second Test is not sort of a disaster (even though a definite loss) because he usually scores well against the South Africans and England will be very keen to topple the SA'ns in the summer with him being at the top. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | March 31, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    2nd post: Re:(b) the side isn't playing to potential & seems to lack confidence, like the captain.The best example of this was Monty's drops: surely should have caught the second chance offered to him, if not the first. The strokes of Strauss & KP suggested strong hints of desperation - so they gifted their wickets to competent - not inspired - bowling. Eng cannot afford them in the side. As Alec Stewart said in review:' Slow bowling gives you time to think about your shot.' Well, if the thinking is scrambled (and it certainly seems to be), then the shot won't be executed with confidence. Sitting in there, letting the runs come, picking off the singles - all of that needs confidence as Trott showed admirably. Many of the rest seemed to have the attitude of: "Please let me get some runs before they get me!" Hence the rush to catch the bus in the first innings! Then (c) Gooch. What is he doing? He hasn't got any answers & doesn't inspire confidence. The sweep shot needs sorting out!

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | March 31, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    Strauss has one very strong suit: his men believe in him absolutely. Moreover, they have been a happy & until recently, successful unit under his leadership. It is, however, becoming apparent that his and his team's limitations are becoming exposed - first, by the UAE failures (where, if you like, England was unprepared) & now the disappointment in Galle. Should the slide continue in Columbo, then the moment will have arrived to reassess (a) his role in the side as capt. & opener; (b) the composition of the side generally (c) Gooch as batting coach. Re (a) with his giving up of the shorter versions of the game (Bob Willis believes that pressure from home & family was responsible), his form has dipped. He is now becoming too cautious as a capt. too - a sure sign of insecurity/lack of confidence.It's better he goes sooner rather than later, as India in the autumn looms and Cook needs time in the role to develop his potential if Eng. is to approach that tour prepared. Continued...

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    mORE TO FOLLOW THEY GET HAMMER 0-3 IN SRI LANKA AND INDIA WHO WILL KEEP THIER HURT ALIVE WILL THRASHED 4-0 THE SAME YTEAM WHEN THEY ARRIVE LATER THIS YEAR

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    Dubious Cricket Critics.. When World No 1, India is thrashed in Australia and England, we get labeled as didnt deserve to be World No 1, and we are poor travellers etc etc. But when World No 1 England gets thrashed by a second string Pakistan side (no they are not as good as they were earlier) and then starts getting thrashed by Sri Lanka, noone questions them. Awesome Double Standards.. Even when Australia were No 1, they defeated India in India only towards the end of their domination in 2004.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    I wonder if his form would have been a worry had England kept winning.

  • POSTED BY bustermove on | March 30, 2012, 23:22 GMT

    Really loving the fact that you never know who's going to win a series these days. All we need is for the WI to get up at home against Australia and test cricket will finally have rosy cheeks again. Ummmm....isn't it only a year and a bit since England's demolition of Australia, when there was talk of a new world order, a great English dynasty led by Andrew Strauss and ably supported by the likes of KP and Ian Bell. Now, all 3 are suddenly struggling to keep their places in the side. Don't get me wrong, I'm an Aussie and in full support of the path to self-destruction that England have decided on. All we need now is for Jimmy Anderson to get the yips and we'll be a chance in the next ashes series!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    If Strauss doesn't start getting runs in the next test and the tests against WI, then he should stand down as captain. This said, I am not one that wants him gone, I just feel that he needs to start performing as he is not showing that he deserves his place in the side, his primary role in the team is as a batsmen, and whether he is captain or not, if he is not scoring runs then he doesn't warrant a place in the side. However I hope that he does get some runs, preferably a hundred in Colombo as I know he is a very very good batsmen.

  • POSTED BY kumarcoolbuddy on | March 30, 2012, 21:55 GMT

    I didn't see ENG playing consistently after the series with India. It was India's badluck with few options in hand at that time. It was ENG's bad luck as well because winning against that kind of Indian team made them over-confident. It is a good lesson to ENG that winning in it's own den and against weak teams (India and AUS at that time) doesn't make it a greatest team.

  • POSTED BY Sumanth.G on | March 30, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    I really doubt England would last as world no 1 for more than two series... They are pretty ordinary side in the sub continent conditions...If flat track pitches are dead easily to score y can't England post a score greater 300?... When people say England thrashed australia so they are good out of home... India also won in srilanka and thats outside home too....Aus and Eng pitches are pretty much same so Eng were able to perform better...but see their performance in Subcontinetal conditions....pathetic.... Atleast Ind did well in SA.... so all those england fans who were bashing by saying India are just flat track bullies and saying flat tracks are very easy to bat on....England is pathetic on flat tracks...so what to say abt a team which cant bat on supposed to be easy pitches....

  • POSTED BY whoster on | March 30, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    I really hope Straussy can start scoring runs again soon, because if his woes continue into the English Test season, it'll be hard to make a case in retaining him. The side are in a bit of a crisis at the moment, and four straight Test defeats isn't great for anyone's confidence. England's problems are all with the bat, while the bowling attack has been superb in such tough conditions. If England lose the next Sri Lanka Test, and Strauss fails again, I reckon he'd fall on his sword. He's a dignified bloke, and he wouldn't want to hang around with the team struggling. Would love to see him score some big runs next week, but then again, I'd love to see any England batsman score big runs! I wouldn't say I was brimming with expectation.

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | March 30, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Really amusing piece Mr. Dobell. I would say that writing off Strauss or rather 'saying every dog has its day' is a bit too early for Strauss. He is 35 - just the right age for a mature captain and could well have 2 jolly good years left. I think the tail might still wag a bit and the urge to bite the postman probably is still strong despite tired legs...He just needs a good score.

  • POSTED BY cricket_vijay on | March 30, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Different yardstick for Tendulkar and Strauss..

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | March 30, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    A good captain who is out of form can be carried when the rest of the team are performing well. Apart from the bowling attack, this team isn't performing well at all with several batsmen out of form. Since there isn't a lot of scope in the current squad to do much by way of changes, the we must assume that the same batting line-up will play the next test. Should England lose and with it their number one ranking, then no doubt about it, the hounds will be baying for blood.

  • POSTED BY coolerking on | March 30, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Chopra? I'm a mad keen Bears fan but that's mental. There are probably half a dozen other county openers I'd pick before Chopra.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | March 30, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    Strauss currently reminds me of Ganguly back in 2004-05, he was a successful captain but could not score any runs. But England right now have bigger problems than Strauss, their dreams of a legacy and world domination have been put in a twister at the first sight of quality spin bowling. I say they should expand their player poaching network to include countries other than Ireland, Zim and SA. Poaching Pakistan batsmen is highly recommended fix for their problems.

  • POSTED BY prakash5455 on | March 30, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    Mental pressure game begins!

  • POSTED BY srivatsan on | March 30, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Good one george. I feel he should go unlike being dumped (like Ponting). Recovering into form beyond age of 35 is something unlikely (yes blokes like Ponting have done that before but you can count by hand the people who did it). South Africa series and Indian subcontinent series later on don't make things any better for him.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | March 30, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    The player who is under the spotlight now is usually the next born again hero of the side. Remember Bell??( yes that complete dummy who really should not be in the side) Well, last week he was next for the block( chopping), then came 52 in Galle and now he is name is mentioned with reverence once more (not that 52 is really enough). it is like changes in the weather if you are English. Can you remember what rain was like now? Once we've had a couple of days of it again, it is the memory of sunshine which will have been consigned to the rivers of forgetfulness. Today Strauss is the fallguy, the man on the hotspot...tomorrow?? it will be some other erstwhile but now fallen hero. Ephemerality is the name of the game.

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  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | March 30, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    The player who is under the spotlight now is usually the next born again hero of the side. Remember Bell??( yes that complete dummy who really should not be in the side) Well, last week he was next for the block( chopping), then came 52 in Galle and now he is name is mentioned with reverence once more (not that 52 is really enough). it is like changes in the weather if you are English. Can you remember what rain was like now? Once we've had a couple of days of it again, it is the memory of sunshine which will have been consigned to the rivers of forgetfulness. Today Strauss is the fallguy, the man on the hotspot...tomorrow?? it will be some other erstwhile but now fallen hero. Ephemerality is the name of the game.

  • POSTED BY srivatsan on | March 30, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Good one george. I feel he should go unlike being dumped (like Ponting). Recovering into form beyond age of 35 is something unlikely (yes blokes like Ponting have done that before but you can count by hand the people who did it). South Africa series and Indian subcontinent series later on don't make things any better for him.

  • POSTED BY prakash5455 on | March 30, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    Mental pressure game begins!

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | March 30, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    Strauss currently reminds me of Ganguly back in 2004-05, he was a successful captain but could not score any runs. But England right now have bigger problems than Strauss, their dreams of a legacy and world domination have been put in a twister at the first sight of quality spin bowling. I say they should expand their player poaching network to include countries other than Ireland, Zim and SA. Poaching Pakistan batsmen is highly recommended fix for their problems.

  • POSTED BY coolerking on | March 30, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Chopra? I'm a mad keen Bears fan but that's mental. There are probably half a dozen other county openers I'd pick before Chopra.

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | March 30, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    A good captain who is out of form can be carried when the rest of the team are performing well. Apart from the bowling attack, this team isn't performing well at all with several batsmen out of form. Since there isn't a lot of scope in the current squad to do much by way of changes, the we must assume that the same batting line-up will play the next test. Should England lose and with it their number one ranking, then no doubt about it, the hounds will be baying for blood.

  • POSTED BY cricket_vijay on | March 30, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Different yardstick for Tendulkar and Strauss..

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | March 30, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Really amusing piece Mr. Dobell. I would say that writing off Strauss or rather 'saying every dog has its day' is a bit too early for Strauss. He is 35 - just the right age for a mature captain and could well have 2 jolly good years left. I think the tail might still wag a bit and the urge to bite the postman probably is still strong despite tired legs...He just needs a good score.

  • POSTED BY whoster on | March 30, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    I really hope Straussy can start scoring runs again soon, because if his woes continue into the English Test season, it'll be hard to make a case in retaining him. The side are in a bit of a crisis at the moment, and four straight Test defeats isn't great for anyone's confidence. England's problems are all with the bat, while the bowling attack has been superb in such tough conditions. If England lose the next Sri Lanka Test, and Strauss fails again, I reckon he'd fall on his sword. He's a dignified bloke, and he wouldn't want to hang around with the team struggling. Would love to see him score some big runs next week, but then again, I'd love to see any England batsman score big runs! I wouldn't say I was brimming with expectation.

  • POSTED BY Sumanth.G on | March 30, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    I really doubt England would last as world no 1 for more than two series... They are pretty ordinary side in the sub continent conditions...If flat track pitches are dead easily to score y can't England post a score greater 300?... When people say England thrashed australia so they are good out of home... India also won in srilanka and thats outside home too....Aus and Eng pitches are pretty much same so Eng were able to perform better...but see their performance in Subcontinetal conditions....pathetic.... Atleast Ind did well in SA.... so all those england fans who were bashing by saying India are just flat track bullies and saying flat tracks are very easy to bat on....England is pathetic on flat tracks...so what to say abt a team which cant bat on supposed to be easy pitches....