Strauss excited by special century
England captain Andrew Strauss will approach his 100th Test with the same “boyish enthusiasm” that was prominent during his bow in the game’s pinnacle format.
When Strauss reaches the milestone at Lord’s against South Africa tomorrow, he will become the eighth player on a list populated by Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott, Sir Ian Botham, Graham Gooch, David Gower, Michael Atherton, Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe.
The 35-year-old’s emotions will doubtless differ to those he experienced at the venue in 2004, when apprehension preceded him marking his debut with scores of 112 and 83.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, the skipper said: “I suppose I do feel completely different. After 100 Test matches, you are a lot more battle-hardened and have been through more ups and downs.
“I still have that boyish enthusiasm I had when I first played; it is still a special thing to represent England. The fact I will be walking out for the 100th time may help me re-connect with that and remember how special it is.
“What makes you go through all of the training and the hard times is that fact that you know you are doing something you love and enjoy.
“Hundreds of thousands of people would love to be doing what you are doing and it is important to remember that. I have always tried to and am determined to this week.”
Talking about his debut eight years ago, Strauss added: “The vast majority of the players are different now; it was a different era for the England cricket team.
“I was the new kid on the block and that’s where you’ve got to prove yourself and make an effort with people and show whether you have go the mettle to play for England out there in the middle.
“It was a momentous week for me because I was stepping into the unknown. It was the right time for me to come in, but you are never sure how you are going to handle the attention - it was a relief to score runs straight away!”