Strauss is hoping to end sorry record at Lord’s
Andrew Strauss is determined not to add to an especially unwelcome half-century against the West Indies at Lord’s.
A run of 50 innings containing just a solitary hundred is a statistic which dogs the England captain as his team seek to re-establish their world-beating credentials this summer, starting today.
Strauss’s vain quest for a 20th Test century is notable as much because of the knack he once had of converting double-figures into three, as the fact it has deserted him for the past 18 months.
Calls for the end of his Test career are reminiscent of his situation in March 2008 when a 30-innings run without a century was followed by a career-best 177 in New Zealand.
Unlike then, of course, the gripes about his form are accompanied by suggestions in some quarters that it may soon be time for him to give up the captaincy.
Strauss acknowledges opening batsmen need to score runs, and captains must be productive in their chosen discipline.
But he insists too he is ready and able to do just that, and is “not even close” to thinking he may have had enough.
“It was obviously a big issue at the end of the winter, and I recognise as captain and as an opening batsman that I need to contribute,” he said.
“I fully intend to do that.
“I’ve got no reason in my mind why I shouldn’t go on and do that this summer.”
The questions about Strauss’s future became deafening towards the end of England’s awkward winter, a 3-0 defeat against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and a 1-1 draw in Sri Lanka.
Team-mate Graeme Swann was even moved last month to describe the criticism as a “witch-hunt”.
The equable Strauss sees it differently.
“It didn’t feel like a witch-hunt; it just felt like the issue of the day – which is what happens.
“I think we all know that the only way to switch attention elsewhere is to go out and perform, and that’s what I intend to do.
“It’s not a simple thing to just go out there and knock up a hundred – even though sometimes it does seem that, the way some of our players have been playing recently.”
As for his tenure as captain, which dates back to England’s tour of the West Indies in early 2009, Strauss is planning to stick around for a while yet.
He did add, though: “If you’re too wedded to some ideal moment to go or to step down, you can be very surprised by it.
“If I feel like I’m still contributing and helping the side be better, both as a captain and batsman, then I don’t see any reason to change things,” he added.