England in SA

A hot reception for Strauss?

2009-11-05 11:30
Andrew Strauss (AFP)
Johann de Jager

Bloemfontein – The England cricket team has closed ranks around skipper Andrew Strauss on the eve of their Pro20 internationals against the Proteas.

This development comes after Strauss again found himself in the firing line this week for his refusal to agree to a runner for his South African counterpart, Graeme Smith, in the recent clash between the sides in the Champions Trophy tournament.

Smith, who fought a lone battle to no avail with 141 runs, asked for a runner after struggling with cramp.

The South African captain warned on Wednesday that Strauss can expect a hot reception when the first Twenty20 clash is played in Johannesburg next Friday.

English all-rounder Luke Wright said that the visitors would not pay any attention to the latest shots fired in the psychological war.

“We concentrate on our preparation rather than take notice of that,” Wright told Sport24.

“There is always needle between top cricketing nations, whether the incident will be an issue or not. South Africa are always in your face and it’s going to be a heck of a series.”

While the 24-year-old all-rounder has already been earmarked to fill the big shoes of Andrew Flintoff, it is the Proteas’ Jacques Kallis that he looks up to.

“Flintoff and I don’t have much in common. He is more than six feet tall and bowls at 145km/h, while I’m shorter and cannot nearly generate that pace,” said Wright.

“Kallis is probably one of the great all-rounders – someone to whom everybody looks up.

“He has performed well for South Africa over the years and is still doing it. As a young player you strive to be like him. Hopefully I can achieve what he has.”

While he views the Proteas as the favourites, he believes South Africa can potentially come off second best over the next 12 weeks.

“South Africa are the top team in the word with obvious strengths,” said Wright, who is also set for his test debut next month.

“They are also a good fielding side, have a good batting line-up and fantastic bowlers. But if we play the way we know we can, they can be beaten, as they were in the Champions Trophy.”

England reached the semifinal stage of the tournament after beating the Proteas by 22 runs.

However, the English lost the game against arch-rivals Australia, something they are still struggling to come to terms with.

“We probably surprised people by progressing that far in the tournament. We now have to try and build on that. We have an excellent chance if our preparation goes according to plan.”

English talisman and star batsman Kevin Pietersen will arrive in South Africa on Tuesday. He has just recovered from a persistent heel injury and will therefore miss the touring team’s first warm-up game against the Eagles on Friday.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Of the four South African born players in the English cricket side, who would you most like to have a beer with at the end of the series?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.