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Thursday , July 14 , 2011
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We expect to beat any side at home: Strauss

Andrew Strauss is optimistic of a smooth transfer of power from Alastair Cook when he resumes the England captaincy next week for the npower Test series against India.

Since he led the side to a 1-0 Test series victory over Sri Lanka, Strauss has watched Stuart Broad lead the Twenty20 team and Cook supervise a 3-2 victory in the one-day series.

“I’ve seen a few of the lads over the last couple of weeks and it didn’t feel particularly different,” he said. “We never know how things will work out and it would be arrogant for me to assume that it will be exactly as it was. But, we’re not doing radically different things. It should be a fairly smooth transition.”

Strauss considers the upcoming series against India as tough as the historic Ashes but he is banking on home advantage to upstage the world’s 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 a huge 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’s preparations for the Test series took in a session of high-speed driving at the Jaguar testing track in Warwickshire on Tuesday. 

The Times, London

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