Andrew John Strauss, (born 2 March 1977) is an English cricketer who plays county cricket for Middlesex County Cricket Club and is captain of England. A fluent left-handed opening batsman, Strauss favours scoring off the back foot, mostly playing cut and pull shots. Strauss is also known for his fielding strength at slip or in the covers.
He made his first-class debut in 1998, and his One Day International (ODI) debut in Sri Lanka in 2003. He quickly rose to fame on his Test match debut replacing the injured Michael Vaughan at Lords against New Zealand in 2004. With scores of 112 and 83 (run out) in an England victory, and the man of the match award, he became only the fourth batsman to score a century at Lord’s on his debut and was close to becoming the first Englishman to score centuries in both innings of his debut. Strauss again nearly scored two centuries (126 and 94 not out) and was named man of the match in his first overseas Test match, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in December 2004. Strauss suffered a drop in form during 2007, and as a result he was left out of the Test squad for England’s tour of Sri Lanka, and announced that he was taking a break from cricket. After a poor tour for England, Strauss was recalled into the squad for the 2008 tour of New Zealand, and subsequently reestablished himself in the side with a career-best 177 in the third and final Test of that series, and a further three centuries in 2008.
The Ashes Record of Andrew Strauss
Strauss Struggles for Consistency in Australia: By the winter of 2006 England had already undergone severe fluctuations since beating Australia at home. Strauss had been made stand-in captain after injury to Michael Vaughan. But for the Ashes series in Australia leadership was handed to Andrew Flintoff, and Strauss returned to the ranks. Like the rest of the side he struggled in Brisbane, making scores of 11 and 12 as England were roundly beaten by 277 runs. England had lost the first test of 2005 and fought back, and they attempted to do the same at Adelaide. Despite the loss of Strauss for 14, they managed a handsome first innings total. But Australia were in no mood to submit, and in the second innings England found themselves sliding into trouble. Strauss top scored with 34 as they were bowled out for 129. Australia took full advantage of the lapse and went on to win the match by six wickets. Having declared on 551 in their first innings, England had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and their confidence was shattered. Strauss hit 42 at the third test in Perth, but England still failed to match the Australian total of 244. The home side piled on the misery in their second innings, eventually setting England 557 to win. Strauss made a duck as England lost by 206 runs. Strauss finally made his first half century of the series in the Melbourne test, but his was the only score of note in a total of 159. In the second innings he top scored again, but with only 31 as England lost by an innings. Australia sensed blood for the final test, knowing that a 5-0 victory was within their grasp. Strauss was again unable to turn starts into big scores, dismissed for 29 and 24 as England lost by 10 wickets and slid to a humiliating whitewash.
Strauss Leads England to Ashes Victory: By 2009 Strauss was back as England captain, now in the job full-time, and expectations were high for a series which could match the excitement of 2005, and expunge the memories of 2006/7. In the first test at Cardiff Strauss made 30 as England reached 435, but they still conceded a large first innings lead, and when Strauss was among several early second innings wickets, it looked as though they would slip to defeat. A gritty innings from Paul Collingwood and a fraught last wicket stand eventually secured a draw. England needed to regain the initiative at Lord’s and Strauss led from the front, hitting a majestic 161 to help his side to a total of 425. Australia were all out for 215, but Strauss elected not to enforce the follow on. He made 32 out of a rapid 311 for six declared, and although Michael Clarke led yet another Australian comeback, England kept their opponents at arms length and ultimately won by 115 runs. England remained in control as the series moved on to Edgbaston, with Strauss scoring a first innings 69 to help his side into a useful lead. However with no play on the third day, and Australia finding batting comfortable in their second innings, the match fizzled out into a draw. Strauss then made an error of captaincy at Headingley, electing to bat after winning the toss, he was out for three as England were blown away for 102. Australia amassed a lead of more than 300, and then struck at England again, Strauss made 32 but even with a breezy lower order stand between Broad and Swann England were still 80 runs short of making their opponents bat again. The series was level going into the final test, and Strauss’s chance of emulating Vaughan and winning the Ashes seemed to be slipping away. All hope was not extinguished however, and Strauss led the way at the Oval with 55 in a score of 332. Australia then collapsed to 160 all out as batting suddenly seemed to become more difficult, and England were reduced to 39-3 in their second innings. But Strauss hung in, making 75 to help England turn the corner and set the Australians a huge target of 546 to win the series.