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More challenges ahead

Posted in England v India 2011

Seeing Straussy walking around the Oval outfield with the Test Mace seems a little while ago now, but I wanted to reflect on what was a fantastic performance by the England team.

They deserve to enjoy what they’ve done and will be looking forward to what’s ahead. It’s great when you’re winning and enjoying yourselves and a lot of them know the bad side of things because they’ve been there in the past.

I’m sure they’ll tell you how much better it is to be on top, even if it means an extra bit of work now and again.

One crucial factor in the India series was the battle between their batters and our bowlers, which we obviously won. The world’s best batsmen have struggled against our attack

The ball has moved around and the bowlers haven’t produced any bad spells. If one bowler doesn’t get you somebody else is ready to, and Tim Bresnan has come back in and been a revelation with both bat and ball.

The heavy run-scoring of the batsmen has been a fantastic improvement. That’s mainly to do with the quality of the mental attitude of the players.

I’m sure Goochie’s helped with that attitude, emphasising that big hundreds, not small ones, win you Test matches.

There are players all the way down the order who look capable of getting hundreds, and a lot of good heads on shoulders, which is what you need if you’re going to be good at Test cricket.

The manner of the victories; winning by an innings – like we did three times out of five in Australia, too – really does show a side that’s playing well.

Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower & Graham Gooch

My old team-mate Goochie has played his part since joining the England team which batsmen now getting big hundreds

The batters all batted well together, the bowlers all bowled well together, and we didn’t drop too many catches. When a team is playing that well it’s a difficult team to beat. The confidence and the teamwork is there, which is very important.

Straussy’s been a very good leader along with Andy Flower behind the scenes. He’s still learning how positive he can be and to show confidence in the side to do the job. Some of the declarations just recently have been very good.

England’s whole demeanour and approach to the game is very positive and the final pieces of the jigsaw are really coming together. They’re now the side everyone’s got to beat.

There are more challenges ahead and it will be interesting to see how they get on but they will definitely be full of confidence after what has been a terrific Test match summer.

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