KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Home England must perform- Strauss
Andrew Strauss knows England’s number one Test match status needs to be backed up with performances in all conditions - starting with the series against Pakistan.
England have just won their opening tour fixture against an ICC Combined Associates XI captained by Ireland’s William Porterfield. England winning by 3 wickets.
Their performances over the past 18 months have rightly established England as the team to beat in Test cricket, with convincing victories over Australia, India and Pakistan.
But their last series win in sub-continental conditions against a side other than Bangladesh was back in the heady winter of 2001 under the stewardship of Nasser Hussain.
And while the UAE is a different region, all indications are that the pitches will be more suited to the nominal ‘home’ side than England.
“England cricket teams' record in the sub-continent has been patchy,” admitted Strauss, who has played in just one victory in seven fixtures on the sub-continent - the famous series leveler against India in 2006.
That disappointing record in Asia will have to improve if they are to fully establish themselves as the pre-eminent side of their era.
Two Tests in Sri Lanka follow the foray to the Middle-East, while India - arguably their biggest challenge - are looming late in the year.
“I think it's a really good time for us to have a lot of subcontinent cricket because we are confident,” added the 34-year-old.
“We've done well over the last two years or so and this is a kind of new frontier for us - to win and hopefully win consistently in the sub-continent.
“We are aware it's a stiff challenge and we are also aware you need to have very different types of skills if you want to do well out there.
“If you want to be regarded all around the world as the best side in the world, then you've got to win in all conditions.
“But the rankings are there for a reason. To get to No. 1 you've got to win consistently. It doesn't mean you've got to win every series, but you've got to win consistently.”