Newcomers excite England captain Strauss

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Andrew Strauss was enthused by the way several relative newcomers to Test cricket played major roles in the 10-wicket first Test thrashing of the Windies.

Updated: May 09, 2009 18:19 IST
  • Total Shares


England captain Andrew Strauss was enthused by the way several relative newcomers to Test cricket played major roles in the 10-wicket first Test thrashing of the West Indies here at Lord's.

The opening batsman hoped there was more to come ahead of a home season which features an Ashes contest against Australia.

England will head to the Riverside ground buoyed by a victory inside three days which put them 1-0 up in this two-match series and meant they'd won the opening Test of a campaign for the first time in 15 attempts.

Ravi Bopara, in only his fifth Test, and first at home, made 143 in England's first innings 377, having been given a chance to shine in the No 3 position ahead of the more experienced Owais Shah, Ian Bell and ex-captain Michael Vaughan.

Meanwhile, man-of-the-match Graeme Swann starred with both bat and ball, making a Test-best 63 not out and then returning match figures of six for 55, which saw the off-spinner twice dismiss Shivnarine Chanderpaul, ranked the world's number one Test batsman ahead of this clash, for nought and four.

Meanwhile England debutant fast bowler Graham Onions will now travel to his Durham base on the back of a match return of seven for 102.

"We played some pretty clinical cricket," said Strauss, who hit the winning runs on his Middlesex home ground.

England's first innings total was all the more impressive as star batsman Kevin Pietersen was out for a golden duck.

Strauss for one was glad that the team had been able to win without a contribution from the South Africa born shotmaker.

"We've relied on KP far too much in the last 18 months," Strauss told reporters."If you want to win games consistently you need performances coming from all eleven individuals.

There were some different selections, fresh faces and they all came to the party."

Character was the key to Bopara's selection and Strauss was delighted by the way in which the 24-year-old Essex all-rounder had made runs when England really needed them.

"We were in some trouble on day one at 100 for four and the way, in particular, that Ravi stood up and showed his temperament under pressure is really encouraging," said Strauss.

"The wicket was a bit green and nipped around a bit and someone needed to front up and play the conditions well. "He did that, and it's really encouraging when you see that from a guy who hasn't played a lot before because it's an examination of his temperament and character."

England, who lost a Test series away to India before going down 1-0 in the Caribbean during a five-match campaign and Strauss said, "It's just good to get over that finishing line which we struggled to do (in the WestIndies)."

Turning to England's bowling heroes, Strauss said, "Graeme Swann has been contributing pretty well for a while now.

"But what a great start for Graham Onions."He'll be delighted with his week, and I'm delighted for him."

Fast bowler Fidel Edwards took six for 92 in England's first innings but the West Indies hampered their own chances by dropping six catches after tea on the first day.

Then came a batting collapse and the follow-on, with only Australia-born Brendan Nash (81) and wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin (61) preventing the even greater embarrassment of an innings defeat.

"We are very disappointed in the manner we lost the game in three days," said dejected West Indies captain Chris Gayle.

"Fidel bowled brilliantly and could easily have set the game up for us. But the chances were put down."

The Jamaica opener did not pull his punches regarding his side's batting.

"The last couple of weeks we have had some hiccups with the batting, and in this Test match it kind of crumbled again and we lost the plot. It was a disaster for us," he said.

"In the second innings, Denesh Ramdin and Brendan Nash saved us from disgrace with a fighting performance."

For the latest Cricket news , Score, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

Leave a comment