England Test captain Andrew Strauss considers the upcoming series against India as tough as the historic Ashes but is banking on home advantage to upstage the World No. 1 side.
“This series against India is certainly up there with the Ashes. I think the one thing we have in our advantage over the Ashes is home advantage,” said Strauss ahead of the series starting July 21 at the Lord’s.
“We expect to beat any side at home — and so you should — because it is a substantial advantage. But you only have to look at what India have done in the last two years to know they will be incredibly confident,” he added.
Tough it might be but Strauss said the prospect of facing the world’s top side is also great motivation to do well. “They have a lot of good players and are heavily motivated to win. We will have to be at our best if we want to compete with them. We’re under no illusions on that, but that excites us.
“In international cricket, you always need challenges like this. I think we’re better equipped than in 2007. We’ve had a lot of success recently and we’re a more competent unit.
“We’ve been progressing every series we’ve played over the last couple of years,” he said.
“Over the next four Test matches we’re more than capable of winning. That motivation of playing against the best side in the world is just what we need at the moment,” Strauss added.
Strauss takes over from ODI skipper Alastair Cook.
Talking about England’s experiment with three captains for all three formats (Stuart Broad being in charge of the Twenty20 side), Strauss said he is still adjusting.
“The simple answer is I don’t know how it will be,” he said. “I have seen a few of the lads over the last couple of weeks and it didn’t feel particularly different — but we never know how things are going to work out. You can’t be sure and it would be arrogant for me to assume that it will be exactly as it was.
“But it is not like we are doing radically different things. Alastair, myself and Stuart Broad, we are still operating within a general strategy which we have all had a hand in formulating,” he added. Hindu