Andrew Strauss hopes the fascinating Test series with Pakistan does not boil over into anything like the controversy he had to deal with in his first series as the England captain. In 2006 Pakistan forfeited the Oval Test after being accused of ball-tampering and subsequently refused to take the field. "That series was all over-ridden by what happened at The Oval, with the match being forfeited in the end," Strauss said. "It was a bit of a baptism of fire for me. Let's hope this one is lively in a good way, rather than a bad way. I don't think either side want to be involved in anything particularly controversial - and let's hope that the case." Instead, Strauss will have to contend with a potentially explosive Pakistan bowling attack. Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif overwhelmed Australia last week and are likely to prove a handful for the England batsman. "It's a ground where generally the ball swings around a bit," he said of the venue in Nottingham.
"It does depend quite a lot on the overhead conditions, but I think both bowling attacks are going to be looking at that and hoping to be making early inroads into the opposition. "It's important we react better to those conditions than the Pakistanis. They're a good, varied bowling attack. But I don't think it's our job to over-hype the opposition. Most Test teams you play against have got a good bowling attack, and Pakistan is one of the better ones we'll see." Strauss senses a frailty too in the tourists' largely inexperienced batting line-up. "You know that they're not likely to be on their game for the full five days," added the opener. "They have batted in pretty bowler-friendly conditions. It's a young batting line-up - there's no doubt about that - and if there is inexperience in these conditions we need to exploit that."