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Strauss gets widest command

ENGLAND have announced that Andrew Strauss will captain both Test and one-day sides for the duration of the Caribbean tour, removing one of the uncertainties surrounding his new appointment. There was no real alternative, and the one-day element might not be permanent.

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With the tour starting on Jan 21, it was no surprise that Strauss was confirmed as the all-round leader, and it was entirely logical that Andy Flower should be drafted in as caretaker coach after the sacking of Peter Moores in the wake of the Kevin Pietersen bust-up.

Strauss, in 78 one-day internationals, has scored two centuries and 14 fifties in 77 innings at an average of 31.98. His average and strike rate of 75.82 runs per 100 balls is unfortunately not as respectable as it looks because he has been flattered by big runs against Bangladesh.

One-day cricket is hardly a top priority, with the Ashes looming, but now that Michael Vaughan, mediocre in the upper order, has gone, England might be able to afford Strauss, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell in a sluggish top four -- just. The absence of Marcus Trescothick, with his power as opener, has made a huge difference.

Miller said: "The selectors feel that it is important to have stability and continuity on the Caribbean tour given the events of the last few days. Andrew and I have also agreed that we will review the one-day captaincy at the end of the tour. Andrew is extremely comfortable with that."

Strauss, 31, added: "I know I havenít played an ODI since the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007, but I do feel that I have something to offer in that form of the game. Now this situation has been resolved we can now all unite and get about the business of winning cricket matches for England and winning them consistently."

Andrew Strauss will be supported in the Caribbean by Flower, England assistant coach, and Phil Neale, England team operations manager as well as Englandís other specialist coaches and support staff.

Posted by Charlie Randall
09/01/2009 17:54:58
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