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Congratulations Straussy

Posted in England

Playing 100 Tests for your country is a huge achievement and I'd like to congratulate Straussy on reaching his century.

He's the ninth person to reach 100 caps and he follows in the footsteps of some great players.

Cowdrey, Boycott, Botham, Gooch, Gower, Atherton, Stewart and Thorpe all played 100 Tests so Straussy is in good company.

Playing 100 Tests shows great longevity. Straussy has kept himself very fit - you need to be to play at the top for that length of time. He also works hard, is very driven and is level headed.

I've known him for many years to it will be great to see him walking out at Lord's on Thursday.

I was coming to the end of my career when he came to Middlesex from school. I had a couple of years as his coach too.

He had a very good grounding at his school, Radley. He used to get some banter being a public schoolboy but he always took it well.

You could see his determination all the way through. He knew where he wanted to get to and was prepared to put the hours in. In that respect it is no surprise to me that he's got this far.

Andrew Strauss Ashes

Andrew Strauss is already one of our greatest captains having won the Ashes twice and taken the team to number one

It's far from being 100 and out though. He'll want to play for a while longer and there are plenty more runs for him to score too. Next year is a big one too with two Ashes series so there is plenty of time for him to cement his name even further as a great.

His name will already come up when we talk about great England captains. This is his 50th Test as captain. He has won the Ashes home and away and taken England to number one. You can't really do much more than that. He's done a great job.

His partnership with Andy Flower has been important. You need two people there as it's a big job being captain of your country. Andy is a solid man.

Hopefully Straussy will mark his 100th Test with a win that will keep England at number one. They've worked hard to get there so it'd be a shame to lose it.

It's going to be difficult as South Africa are a very good side. We need to get some runs on the board and put South Africa under pressure. We will then see if they deserve to be called the number one side.

They have a very good bunch of players - the captain, Amla, Kallis, Steyn, de Villiers, Morkel - so we haven't underestimated them. They have outplayed us.

There has been a focus from South Africa since they've been here. They have a few players coming to the end of their careers who will want to get to number one before they finish.

While the focus this week will be on Strauss and his 100 Tests, we have a couple of young lads in James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow who are taking their first few steps in their England careers.

James showed some encouraging signs at Headingley while Jonny has some form behind him after a hundred for England Lions.

Perhaps this week both of them will make a name for themselves.

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