Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Seconds Away for Strauss

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Seconds Away for Strauss

Article excerpt

Andrew Strauss is today preparing for that difficult second Test after his stunning debut for England a fortnight ago.

Middlesex captain Strauss won the man-of-the-match award after scoring 195 runs at Lord's as England opened up a 1-0 lead in the npower series against New Zealand.

That was enough to encourage Nasser Hussain to retire a few months ahead of schedule and might also lead to Michael Vaughan, the man he replaced after being called in as cover, dropping down the order to number four when the Headingley Test gets under way tomorrow.

Strauss, 27, recovered from his exploits on his home ground by putting his feet up for a week.

"I have enjoyed the week off and I feel refreshed," said Strauss. "I was able to bask in it for a couple of days but needless to say that my team-mates at Middlesex brought me back down to earth pretty quickly.

"I had a bit of idle banter from them. `Lord Brocket' has been kept out of the Middlesex dressing room but unfortunately the England boys seem to like to call me it more and more."

Although there is some conjecture as to who will fill Hussain's position at number four, it is thought that Strauss will open with Marcus Trescothick, having shared a 190-run stand in the first innings at Lord's.

"During the majority of my career I have opened the batting and in an ideal world I would prefer to open but we have not really spoken about it yet and we will have to wait and see," Strauss said. "But I will do whatever I am told to do."

His England commitments, meanwhile, could restrict his involvement with Middlesex this summer.

But he insisted: "Middlesex are more than happy at this stage to do what England ask them to do; it is never an ideal situation because the county wants you to play for them as much as possible.

"We have back-to-back Tests coming up and it could potentially be a very busy summer for me and it is important that both I and Middlesex

realise that. …

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