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Benj Moorehead: Balanced Strauss the man to heal England

January 9th, 2009 by Benj Moorehead in England and tagged ,

On leaving the Captain Strauss press conference one had no more than a whiff of what has been going on lately but a far greater sense that the ECB may have found a most convenient man for a most inconvenient situation. There was one nervous glance as he walked in to an excited pack of journalists. But for the rest the new captain was composed, impressive, affirmative, clear, balanced - much like his batting in fact. If there are splits in the England camp, this man may heal them.

Speaking of England’s problems, he said: “The reality is that it’s going to take some effort on everybody’s behalf. That’s the reality.” Reality is what Strauss might provide England with a healthy dose of. No more love-ins, no more individualism. Feet back on the ground - unity and professionalism. “It is important at this stage, more than anything, that there is leadership in the side,” he said.

Strauss is battle-hardened, too – an entrenched member of Team England and a successful stand-in captain who has overcome the disappointment of being overlooked for the long-term captaincy and fought his way back after being dropped from the side.

And another point. The England team may be divided, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Strauss, by his nature, lies somewhere between the factions, holding the middle ground from where a captain can unite his side.

His measured manner invites questions about the degree of invention he will bring to captaincy. England gambled and went on the charge with Pietersen as captain; now they seek healing from the dependable Strauss. But there were signs too that the he wants to impose his “strong views” upon the team, to “run the team as I feel it should be run,” which is what Pietersen brazenly sought to do, only Strauss may have a little more tact. “All the players need to get together in a room, said Strauss, “[in part] for me to lay down what I believe the way forward is.”

Make no mistake – England are in a mess. But after the upheaval they have faced since last summer – Stanford humiliation, one-day annihilation by India, the Mumbai attacks, losing to India, losing their captain and coach - steady Strauss, on this form, is ideally suited to the considerable task at hand.

Benj Moorehead is editorial assistant of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in England | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Benj Moorehead: Balanced Strauss the man to heal England”

  1.   Som says:

    The only itching part is when you have someone at the top for whom none has a nasty word to say, you know there is something seriously wrong with him, or his colleagues. Good lucky Strauss, you need loads of them.

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