Andrew Strauss named England captain

January 8th, 2009 - 2:51 am ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 8 (IANS) Andrew Strauss will captain England cricket team on the tour to West Indies next month after Kevin Pietersen resigned Wednesday morning. Strauss, 31, led England in five Tests in 2006, with an impressive series win against Pakistan.

However, it is unclear whether the Middlesex opening batsman will lead the one-day and Twenty20 teams.

Pietersen resigned over his rift with coach Peter Moores, who has been sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

On a day of dramatic developments, ECB managing director Hugh Morris said: “Andrew Strauss has agreed to lead the team to the Caribbean. He led the England team with distinction in 2006 when Michael Vaughan was injured.”

Strauss was the front-runner to stand-in for the injured captain Michael Vaughan during the 2006 Ashes, but the job went to all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and he presided over a 5-0 humiliation.

Strauss was a candidate to succeed Vaughan when the Yorkshire batsman stood down last summer but the left-hander was struggling with the bat, leaving Pietersen as the only viable choice for the job.

The ECB’s reluctance to split the captaincy after Vaughan quit and making Paul Collingwood the one-day side skipper afterwards were the major factors in Strauss not getting the post.

His century in each innings of the Chennai Test during the tour to India not only confirmed his place in the side, but also encouraged the ECB to get tough with Pietersen.

It is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for a man who was omitted from the 2007 tour to Sri Lanka and whose England place was not totally secure even when he returned to the batting line-up for last winter’s tour of New Zealand.

However, Strauss’s record suggests he is a player who thrives under the pressure of captaincy.

As captain against Pakistan in July 2006, he hit a second-innings 128 for the highest Test score by an Englishman captaining his country for the first time and then hit another hundred in the third Test to lead England to a 2-0 series win.

His batting average as captain stands at 55.66, compared to his overall Test record of 42.37.

The decision to name Strauss as full-time captain was made after the opening batsman had a meeting with national selector Geoff Miller at Lord’s.

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