Home > Features >

England will rue the absence of Andrew Strauss the leader

England will rue the absence of Andrew Strauss the leader

Andrew Strauss’ struggle with the bat was one possible factor in his retirement, as his last Test century came against a lowly West Indies in May 2012, after a period of 15 months © Getty Images

By Devarchit Varma 

 

These are testing times for English cricket. Just days after being toppled from the top spot in International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings, they have lost their captain and one of their mainstays in the batting. 

 

The media and cricket fraternity may go speculating the reasons for Andrew Strauss’ sudden retirement and some link it to the Kevin Pietersen row. Whatever be the reasons, here is no doubt that Strauss’ decision has put England in bit of a bother. 

 

England weren’t doing that bad under him and they would have surely got back to winning ways, given the fact that they consider Test cricket as the pinnacle and do all the necessary things to make sure things fall in place for them. 

 

Being toppled from the top spot would have indeed been one of the low points in Strauss’ otherwise glorious career, but it also presented him yet another chance to prove his mettle and restore the pride of English cricket. 

 

Strauss’ next assignment as skipper would have been in November-December 2012 for a four-match series in India. He had ample amount time to chalk out the plans and be fully prepared for it. 

 

Strauss was gifted with leadership qualities, and was respected not only by his teammates but by the opposition as well. England have lost a leader who took them to become potent force in world cricket. 

 

Despite announcing retirement from one-day and Twenty20 cricket, Strauss was at times seen in the England dressing room during their limited-overs clashes, perhaps keeping a sharp eye on developments and performances. 

 

Strauss was more a leader, less a captain. He took the baton and responsibility from where Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher left, and took English cricket to unprecedented heights along with coach Andy Flower. It was a winning chemistry – something that England will be hard-pressed to find. 

 

As a captain, Strauss ended his tenure with 24 wins in 50 Test matches, second highest after Michael Vaughan in England’s history. Vaughan had 26 wins in 51 Tests as England captain, and three more Test wins would have made Strauss the most successful England captain ever. 

 

Strauss’ struggle with the bat was one possible factor in his retirement. Strauss’ last hundred came against a lowly West Indies at Nottingham in May 2012, a series wherein he hit one more century. Strauss also had a poor 2011 with no Test century to his name. 

 

But such run-famine never affected Strauss the captain, as he remained calm and in control on the field. In fact, he led England to a memorable 4-0 rout of India in 2011 to help England climb the summit of Test cricket. 

 

Looking at the challenges ahead, England selectors and management would have liked to have someone with Strauss’ calibre and experience in their ranks. He could have continued as a batsman, with important tours of India and New Zealand ahead and the Ashes series in 2013. England would have liked to have a settled opening pair in Strauss and Alastair Cook.  

 

The 35-years-old Strauss hadn’t had too many fitness issues and could have continued as a batsman. Sadly, that was not to be. 

 

The truth may never be known, but the Pietersen saga probably hurt and drained Strauss out. It is disheartening for any leader to discover that one of his troops not only dislikes him, but also discusses his team with the opponents.  

 

Strauss belonged to the rare league of England captains – to have won the Ashes Down Under as well at home. Strauss led England to Ashes wins in 2009 and 2010, and provided significant contribution as a batsman in 2005.  

 

His triumphs as a captain in the most anticipated Test cricket contests put him in the league of Sir Leonard Hutton and Mike Brearley – who won the Ashes both at home and in Australia.  

 

With more than 7,000 runs in 100 Tests and 4,200 runs in 127 One-Day Internationals, Strauss was one of England’s most successful players in both the formats. 

 

England may not miss Strauss the batsman or Strauss the cricketer, but they’ll surely rue the absence of Strauss the leader.

 

(Devarchit Varma is a cricket fanatic who finds nothing more exciting to do than to write, watch or talk about the sport. Having played the game at club and college level, he now pursues his passion as a scribe)

 

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

Photos

CSK vs KKR, Match 1 CLT20 2014

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Pakistan selectors thinking of dropping Younis Khan from ODI squad

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel following Biryani episode

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kings XI Punjab’s batting gets the extra punch with Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Hobart Hurricanes vs Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights Pakistan

Champions League T20 Live Cricket Scoreboard: Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 4th Match at Mohali

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers Live Cricket Score CLT20 2014 Match 4 at Mohali

CLT20 2014: Rain threatens Hobart Hurricanes vs Cape Cobras encounter

Sachin Tendulkar to felicitate Lata Mangeshkar on her 85th birthday

CLT20 2014: Andre Russell credits Wasim Akram, support staff for success with KKR

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: Barbados Tridents’ likely XI

Don Bradman plays his final innings in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, Match 4, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: KXIP’s likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

NGOs pursue education for all

Live Cricket Score Board & Ball by Ball Commentary of Dolphins (DOL) vs Perth Scorchers (PRS) Group A Match 4 of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014

Kangana Ranaut pulls off the rock chic look for a leading fashion brand – View pics!

Asian Games 2014: PV Sindhu’s match suspended due to power outage

Asian Games 2014: Indian women hope to return to winning ways against Thailand

Revealed — why we feel disappointed and let down

This toolkit will help you master soft robotics

Discovered — new gene linked to diabetes development

Khoobsurat box office collection: Sonam Kapoor’s film does a dull business, earns only Rs 3 crore on day 1!

Asian Games 2014: Sardar Singh to lead India’s hockey challenge in the opener against Sri Lanka

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here