Strauss warns England to beware of Bangladesh

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Andrew Strauss has warned his side against taking Bangladesh lightly ahead of their series opener at the Middlesex batsman's Lord's home ground.

Updated: May 26, 2010 14:03 IST
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Returning England captain Andrew Strauss has warned his side against taking Bangladesh lightly ahead of their series opener at the Middlesex batsman's Lord's home ground.

Bangladesh have won just three of their 66 Tests -- one against fellow strugglers Zimbabwe and two against a West Indies side weakened by player disputes -- and have never even drawn with England.

Strauss, rested from England's 2-0 series win in Bangladesh earlier this year and absent from the side that won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean this month as he no longer plays in the shortest form of the game - knows his side are expected to win well against the Asian minnows.

However, the left-handed opener told reporters at Lord's here on Wednesday, a day before the first of a two-Test series gets underway: "You can't underestimate them.

"They (Bangladesh) have got some very dangerous players. This series, it's important we concentrate on our own game and set our standards very high."

Former captain Michael Vaughan said this week that all England can do against Bangladesh is "fail" if they don't win by an innings at both Lord's and Old Trafford, where the second and final Test starts a week on Friday.

But Strauss said: "We'll be marking ourselves not on win/lose, but how close we get to playing the type of cricket we want to play.

"If we do it, no doubt we'll win Tests."

Strauss, who has been playing county cricket for Middlesex, said he was eager to return to international cricket.

"I'm incredibly excited to be among the group again, especially after what they achieved in the West Indies."

And he insisted he had no regrets about having to watch England win their first major one-day title without him.

"The reason I didn't make myself available is probably the very reason they went on and won it. The first six overs are so crucial and it's not a massive strength of mine to be whacking the ball straight over the bowler's head, which is why I didn't feel myself among the best T20 players in the country and didn't make myself available.

"It's fantastic the likes of (Craig) Kieswetter and (Richard) Lumb, played with that freedom which is so important.

"I had no regrets at not being there, but had a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction out of seeing them doing so well and playing that way."

Looking at the current squad -- which contains four Twenty20 'survivors' in Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan -- Strauss added: "It's great to be part of it again and start putting in place some of the things I've been thinking about while I've been away."

There had been concerns Strauss might struggle to re-assert his authority, with fellow opener Alastair Cook captaining the side in Bangladesh and now injured batsman Paul Collingwood leading the team at the World Twenty20.

But Strauss said he'd no regrets about taking a break.

"The downside was the short-term, change of leadership. Hopefully, the upside will outweigh that.

"I've had my break -- I can't see myself having one in near future, so now's the time for me to take the reins again and keep us moving forward.

Asked what plans he'd been working on during his time off from international cricket, Strauss replied: "We've had quite a lot of success over the last 12 months - the Ashes, the World Twenty20.

"But we're still number five in the world in Test and one-day international cricket, so it's not all about slapping each others' backs and telling everyone how brilliant it is.

"There are clearly areas we need to improve on in Test cricket. We don't make enough big hundreds - we'll look to improve on that over the summer, as well as some of our bowling when conditions are not in our favour, and we still want our fielding to be the best in the world.

"You look at those areas and say there's huge room for improvement. We need to do that right now."

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