Strauss wants to begin on front foot

England v West Indies

Watch Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower speak to the media ahead of the First Test in Jamaica

Andrew Strauss has called upon his England colleagues to use the start of his reign as official captain as the first step back towards the top of Test cricket's rankings.

Strauss, 31, is excited about a new era for England as they begin their first assignment of an Ashes year - the four-match Test series against West Indies, which opens at Sabina Park today.

Five years ago this tour proved a springboard to beating Australia, a 3-0 campaign win providing a momentum which did not cease for 18 months.

Now placed fifth in the world, however, there is work to do for a side who have lost two captains, Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen, in the past six months, to clamber upwards once again.

"Generally we like to think we are a young team," said Strauss. "We have got quite a few young players but they're getting more and more experience now.

"If we want to rise to the top of the world, those consistent performances have to come from numbers one to 11.

"You can't just rely on a KP going out and getting eight hundreds a year, all that sort of stuff, it has to come from different people.

"We have to push each other forward and this tour is a good starting point for that."

Strauss, who oversaw England's 3-0 victory over Pakistan in 2006 in a temporary capacity, should have a full squad to pick from, with key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff expected to be fit following a side strain.

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