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Strauss likens India series to Ashes

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Andrew Strauss compared the npower Test series against India with the Ashes on the eve of the contest.

The four-match contest begins tomorrow at Lord’s with the 2,000th Test of all time and the 100th between England and India.

Strauss said: “There’s a lot of interest. It’s a series that doesn’t need much building up.

"Cricket-wise, it’s certainly as big a challenge as the Ashes. If we want to be the best side in the world, we have to beat sides like India.”

A large number of India supporters are expected at Lord’s and Strauss is looking forward to a good atmosphere. He also asserted his belief that India’s poor past record at Lord’s will count for nothing in this series.

Andrew Strauss

The media interest in the npower Test series is evident as Andrew Strauss gives a press conference at the Lord's Nursery Ground

“We’re comfortable at Lord’s,” he added. “We love coming here to play, but I think that what’s happened in the past is of very little relevance to what’s going to happen in this game.”

“There’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere at Lord’s and probably throughout the summer. We’re excited by that and we like that buzz in the ground.

“Home advantage counts for a lot in cricket, but it’s more to do with the conditions and the wickets than how many people are supporting you.”

Strauss was well supported by Somerset’s fans last week when he guested for the county in the tour match with India. Although he made a fifty and an unbeaten hundred, he is not getting carried away.

“I turn up here feeling in better nick, which is great, but I’ve got to start all over again and earn runs this week,” he said. “I enjoyed my time down there, Somerset were fantastic, and I really appreciate the opportunity, but it’s back to square one this week.”

Asked about the choice between Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan for England’s final bowling position, Strauss kept his cards close to his chest.

“Our considerations are that we’ve got to pick an 11 and we’ve got 12 here,” the Test captain replied.

“Both Stuart and Tim Bresnan have offered a lot for us over the last 12 months. Whoever plays, we’re very confident will perform well and make a big contribution.”

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