Andrew John Strauss
March 02, 1977, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
Also Known As
Sir Andrew Strauss
Straussy, Levi, Mareman, Muppet
Left hand Bat
Left arm Medium
Radley College, Durham University
Upstanding, self-effacing and privately educated, Andrew Strauss was the archetypical England captain, and one of their most successful ones. His understated authority underpinned England's rise to the top of the world rankings - for the first time in 31 years - in a journey that included a home Ashes win in 2009, an even sweeter victory in Australia for the first time since 1986-87, and a 4-0 whitewash to usurp No. 1-ranked India in 2011.
A compact left-hand opener, Strauss was severe on the cut shot, efficient off his pads and workmanlike everywhere else. Though most comfortable with pace on the ball, Strauss made two centuries against an Australia attack that included Shane Warne in 2005, and tenacious back-to-back hundreds against India in Chennai in 2008.
His early county cricket with Middlesex did not exactly suggest a star in the making, but following a few one-day caps in 2003-04, Strauss was called up for the first Test against New Zealand after Michael Vaughan twisted his knee in the Lord's nets. He responded with a confident century, and was on his way to another in the second innings when Nasser Hussain ran him out 17 short. But Hussain had seen enough: with Vaughan set to return, he announced his immediate retirement and Strauss' England career was set.
Strauss led England to victory at home against Pakistan in 2006 in the absence of the injured Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff, but despite his success, Flintoff was chosen to lead the side in the Ashes that winter. The series whitewash instigated a slump in form that saw Strauss go 15 matches without a Test hundred. Then, with his England spot looking desperately insecure, he produced an eight-hour 177, his highest Test score, to seal a series win in Napier and salvage his career.
When Kevin Pietersen - Vaughan's successor as captain - and coach Peter Moores fell out spectacularly in 2009, England turned to Strauss, who forged a successful partnership with new team director Andy Flower.
Despite centuries in the 2009 and 2010-11 Ashes, Strauss struggled elsewhere and when England lost four consecutive Tests in the 2011-12 winter, murmurings began about his future. He began the 2012 season with two hundreds against West Indies, but then had a terrible time both on and off the field against South Africa - England lost the series and with it the No. 1 ranking, Strauss scored 107 runs in six innings, and the Pietersen controversy went from bad to worse. A week after the end of that Test series, Strauss announced his retirement from all international cricket, having played 100 Tests, and having led England to victory in 24 out of 50 Tests in charge.
He was appointed as the ECB's director of cricket in early 2015 and was a key figure in England's transformation into a world-beating one-day side.
Batting & Fielding