Belfast Telegraph

New dawn for Strauss

New captain Andrew Strauss is excited about a fresh start for England as they begin their first assignment of an Ashes year.

Strauss leads his first Test series as official captain against West Indies, beginning tthis afternoon at Sabina Park, hoping to put a turbulent start to 2009 behind the team.

England will not name their first XI since the new year fiasco, which accounted for former captain Kevin Pietersen, until the toss.

But the signs regarding all-rounder Andrew Flintoff appeared to be positive as he bowled with the rest of the anticipated pace attack for a quarter-of-an-hour in the middle, under the supervision of Ottis Gibson.

"There have been plenty of new dawns over the last few years," said Strauss. "But the reality is we have pretty much got the same bunch of players who've been playing for a while now.

"We all want to see us play more consistently and see the players reach their potential.”

Strauss is hoping a mature approach will benefit all.

"We have to trust players to take responsibility for their own performances," he believes.

"If that works well they will start pushing themselves a little bit harder. I have always had a feeling that if you're told what to do all the time there is a slight inkling of resentment there, and that maybe doesn't allow you to reach your potential.

"A lot of it is going to be about playing together as a group, dovetailing well, and reacting well in pressure situations - and winning the important sessions.”

Belfast Telegraph

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