Andrew Strauss to stay as England skipper
Andrew Strauss has received a vote of confidence from England coach Andy Flower.
The side’s skipper has endured a tough few months, with four consecutive Test defeats coinciding with his own loss of form with the bat. That led many to question the opener’s place as the captain - Strauss is without a Test ton in 25 innings - going into last week’s must-win Test against Sri Lanka.
However, an eight-wicket win in the Colombo clash, which levelled the two-Test series, along with a welcome 61 runs in the vital first innings has given Strauss breathing space.
And Flower claims he has no intention of not having the affable Englishman as his voice on the field. Asked if he had seen Strauss’ conviction waver, team director Flower said: “No, not once. Of course we were aware of what was happening around us in the press, we’re aware of that.
“But he’s a strong man and is obviously a very confident and secure bloke and he’s been focusing on scoring runs and leading the team well.
“He’s got a few runs here and he’s led the team outstandingly well. I’m very happy with him as the Test captain.” England will need Strauss to be a decisive leader and brilliant batsman for the rest of the year with two big tests waiting the world No.1 side.
This summer they face world No.2 South Africa before flying out to India for a much-anticipated four-Test series. Last year’s 4-0 thrashing of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men means the hosts will be out for revenge.
Meanwhile, Strauss’ opposite number at Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardene, has reiterated his role as team skipper is only short term.
The master batsman took on the job after Tillakaratne Dilshan was sacked following defeat to South Africa. But having taken on the taxing task - Sri Lanka are without a Test series win since Muttiah Muralitharan retired two years ago - the 34-year-old is keen that a long-term successor is found soon.
“I’ve been given the challenge to lead the team and took that for 12 months to see what happens,” he said.
“I would love to groom another leader and hand it over to him as quickly as possible. That’s the way Sri Lanka cricket should move on.”