Strauss with a point to prove
Andrew Strauss is determined to show he has the skills to prosper in limited-overs cricket when he leads England into the Twenty20 international against West Indies and the subsequent one-day series.
The left-hander was dropped by England as a one-day player following the miserable World Cup campaign in the Caribbean two years ago after a run of only one half-century in 14 innings, and boasting an average of 31 from 78 games.
He has not featured in a Twenty20 international since 2006 but, after being handed the captaincy in all forms of the game following Kevin Pietersen’s resignation, Strauss is keen to make his mark at the Queen's Park Oval tomorrow.
"If ever I wanted to come back into the one-day side, now is the time," said Strauss, who hit three centuries in the Test series defeat in the Caribbean.
"I'm playing well, I'm hitting the ball well and I'm playing in quite a positive fashion, so I don't have to change my game enormously to prosper at one-day level.
"It's very exciting for me and I think for this group of players it's exciting to be moving on from the Test series and the thought of having a really good end to the tour.
“I am energised by it. I've been out for a couple of years and while I've been out I've played some pretty decent cricket for Middlesex.
"I don't feel like I'm incapable of playing at this level of one-day cricket and you have motivation to prove yourself again.
“It's like when I came back into the Test side. You've got that extra motivation to prove yourself again and that allows you to get up in the morning with a spring in your step.”
Having watched from home as England were thumped 5-0 by India before Christmas, Strauss is aware England have work to do before they can consider themselves competitive with the world's leading sides.
The first step would be victory over West Indies in Trinidad tomorrow, which would be their first in an international match this winter, and Strauss admitted: "If ever there was a time to break our duck for the winter, now is that time.
"The guys are excited about it. As is always the case with one-day series, the one-day guys come and add energy to the squad.
"The Test guys are looking forward to getting away from fielding for 170 overs and playing a slightly different brand of cricket.
"There's always that enthusiasm at the start of a one-day series and that enthusiasm can be built on by performing well and winning.
"I think we've got a good idea of the type of cricket we want to play. One thing that is very important for us is to get more out of the players we've got.
"We need to score more hundreds, be more consistent and put other teams under pressure more often. That's going to be the issue for us - to get more out of the players we've got because there's a lot of talent there.
"One thing that's important in one-day cricket is not to play with fear. I think fear creates a lot of problems both individually and collectively, but it's a lot easier said than done to just go out and not play with fear.
"You need to earn the right to do that, but as a general theme it's important we play good aggressive cricket with the bat and the ball."
All-rounder Andrew Flintoff is not considered fit enough for selection tomorrow but Paul Collingwood, who missed the warm-up match against the West Indies' Players' Association due to a bacterial infection, is expected to return.