Ashes concerns linger over England batting, admits Strauss

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 21, 2017

Turning to the problems England have had in filling his old position, Strauss said: "I would resist any narrative that says we have been chopping and changing willy-nilly".

England's top-order batting woes mean they'll arrive for the Ashes in Australia dogged by uncertainty, the country's director of cricket, Andrew Strauss, concedes.

Strauss himself, Mike Gatting, Mike Brearley and Ray Illingworth are the only England captains to have defeated Australia in an away Test series since the mid-1950s.

"There are two or three places up for grabs, which is never ideal, and our consistency hasn't been quite what we want".

"Certainly for me it was my greatest moment as an England captain, and I think Joe will be incredibly motivated to do that early in his captaincy career", Strauss said, as quoted on the Daily Mail.

Since Strauss' retirement, Cook has opened the batting for England's Test team with 12 different partners, although Stoneman's gritty end to the West Indies series suggests he will remain in situ Down Under.

"Most of these guys had a good length in the team and would hold their hand up and say it wasn't a bad decision to remove them for a bit".

Nevertheless, Strauss - who led England to a 3-1 Ashes triumph in Australia in 2010/11 - is adamant Root, for whom the Australia tour will be his first overseas assignment as a Test captain, could match his achievement.

As for what lies in store for Root in Australia, Strauss said: "It's the biggest challenge an England captain will ever have".

'He's got a great chance, and he's started brilliantly. You are living in this incredible bubble for a long period of time, everything is directed towards you as England captain in terms of being responsible for what's happening on the pitch.

Root, 26, began his Test tenure with back-to-back home wins over South Africa and West Indies but both his tactical acumen and temperament will be under examination in the higher pressure environment of a five-match Ashes series scheduled over seven weeks.

"But also the conditions in Australia are very changeable from one venue to another. you need to be able to adapt to those conditions you see in front of you. He's got his own way of thinking about the game and that will stand him in very good stead in Australia".

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