England skipper Andrew Strauss declared on Wednesday that his side would go all out for a win in the final Test at The Oval despite enjoying an unassailable 2-0 advantage over the tourists.
“It is important to keep the momentum going. Winning becomes a habit and we would love to finish this series with three wins in a row,” Strauss said on the eve of the fourth Test getting underway here from today (Thursday). Strauss said that victory at The Oval would give his team a perfect launch pad for the five-match one-day series scheduled to begin from August 30.
England were whitewashed 5-0 by Sri Lanka in an ODI series in the first half of the summer and the hosts now want to wash away the tears of that embarrassment by prevailing over Pakistan.
“After doing not so well against Sri Lanka, it was very important for us to play better against Pakistan. We have done that in the Tests and would look to continue a similar showing in the one-dayers,” said the prolific left-handed batsman.
Strauss said that his team would not be complacent after having sealed a series win with crushing wins at Old Trafford and Headingley earlier this month. “As a team we are very well motivated to win this Test,” he said. “The players have done well in the series so far which is really important and the good results against Pakistan have given us confidence ahead of the Ashes,” he added.
England travel to Australia in November for the Ashes and according to Strauss the team is gelling in well for the tough task that lay ahead. “After a tricky start (this season), we are now in a great position to do well rest of the summer and winter,” he remarked.
Strauss believes the difference between the English team that was humiliated by the visiting Sri Lankans and the one that outclassed Pakistan is a change in their approach. “We learnt to be more clinical in the series against Sri Lanka and that really helped,” he revealed.
Strauss, who only stepped in as England captain for the series against Pakistan because of an injury to Andrew Flintoff, believes his leadership qualities are improving with each match. “You certainly improve with experience and I am learning all the time,” he told.
There have been reports that the English cricket authorities might stick with Strauss as captain even if Flintoff returns to the squad following the series win against Pakistan. But Strauss is not betting on that. “It’s up to the selectors to decide. If they opt for me then it would be a great honour but if Fred (Flintoff) is back as captain then he would have my hundred percent support.” Strauss pointed out although he may have led England to their first series win against Pakistan at home in 24 years, his prime job as a member of the team was to score runs.
Source:The NewsMore on:Andrew Strauss, england, Pakistan in England 2006
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