Andrew Strauss, England cricket, Others
England captain Andrew Strauss has spoken positively about the tough challenges ahead for his team in 2012.
Strauss hasn’t played international cricket since the 4-0 victory over India in the summer and he will next lead out England’s test team in January in a test series against Pakistan.
This is swiftly followed by a test series against Sri Lanka in March, before the English summer sees England take on West Indies and South Africa.
2012 is the first year that England will begin as the No.1 test team in the world of course and Strauss is ready for the task ahead of his team in the next 12 months.
The England skipper said: “The next 12 months will be the biggest test we've had yet, it's a different mindset being the hunted rather than the hunters. We'll have to retain that desperate desire to improve if we want to stay on top.”
"It's an exciting time for us. I'm certainly very excited about it, but we don't underestimate the size of the challenge. There are a lot of teams below us who want to knock us off our perch.”
Strauss then spoke of how keen he was to look forward rather than back when England take on Pakistan in January, the first time the two sides have met since the spot-fixing scandal.
He continued: “It will be a keenly contested series as they always are and the focus will be on the cricket. It is an opportunity to move on and that's the right way to go.”
Strauss finished by talking about the West Indies, a team he thinks are on the up and will offer a tough challenge for England in the first part of the England summer and South Africa, who are contenders to take England’s No.1 ranking in the future.
“We've seen a resurgence in West Indies cricket in recent times, so that will be a challenge for us. Hopefully early-season conditions will suit us more than them.”
“And we all know about the qualities of South Africa, they've just finished an outstanding series against Australia.”
"They have a very good bowling attack and their record here is very good.”
It will certainly be good to see test cricket return in January. It seems like ages since the India series and with the Ashes underway this time last year, the sport seems a bit empty without an England series at the moment.As for Strauss, he has had plenty of time off to play texas hold-em and is now raring to go again. Bring it on!
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