Andrew Strauss saw a glimpse of England's future in their 10-wicket dismantling of the West Indies at Lord's - and the captain is excited at the prospect of more to come.
Strauss delighted at 'clinical' victory over West Indies
LONDON // Andrew Strauss saw a glimpse of England's future in their 10-wicket dismantling of the West Indies at Lord's - and the captain is excited at the prospect of more to come. The performances of debutant seam bowler Graham Onions, emerging all-rounder Graeme Swann and new No 3 batsman Ravi Bopara underpinned a victory inside three days in the first npower Test.
"It shows there's some good talent in English cricket. It was fantastic to see those guys do well," said Strauss. He was especially encouraged that the key contributions came from players finding their feet in a Test squad he hopes can confirm their superiority over the Windies at Durham next week - and then get the better of Australia in the Ashes. Onions finished with a haul of seven for 102; Bopara battled hard for a crucial first-innings hundred, and man-of-the-match Swann excelled with a maiden fifty and figures of six for 55 with his off-spin.
The West Indies never had a lasting answer, suffering debilitating collapses two days running. "We played some pretty clinical cricket," Strauss said. "You'd be hard pressed to find too many 'negatives' out of this game." The captain added: "If you want to win games consistently you need performances coming from all 11 individuals. "There were some different selections, fresh face s - and they all came to the party.
"That's what you want to see; you need some depth in an international squad if you want to do well, and it looks like we are building some decent depth." Bopara answered the call emphatically to fill England's problem position at one-wicket down. "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. "It was crucial to the outcome of the Test match."
The West Indies captain Chris Gayle did not seek to hide from some painful truths. "Obviously, we are very disappointed in the manner we lost the game in three days," said the Jamaican. "We have to give credit to England. I thought they played some good cricket all round." * PA Sport