Strauss not keen for warm-up match


England Test captain Andrew Strauss has refused to set too much store by his appearance for Somerset against India in the tourists’ only warm-up match ahead of next week’s first Test at Lord’s. India, who only last weekend wrapped up a 1-0 Test series win in the Caribbea, have just one three-day match against Somerset, starting here on Friday, before heading to Lord’s for the first of a four-Test series.
Although he is a Middlesex cricketer, his own county’s lack of first-class action has led to Strauss — who quit one-day internationals following England’s World Cup quarter-final defeat by Sri Lanka in March — being given permission to play for Somerset. The left-handed opener managed just 27 runs during England’s recent 1-0 win at home to Sri Lanka in a three-Test series and is looking forward to spending time in the middle against India’s attack.
However, Strauss told reporters at Taunton on Thursday: “What happens here has no great factor on what happens in the first Test. “I don’t think what happened against Sri Lanka is all that relevant. “But I don’t think I have ever taken part in a Test match after not playing any cricket in the three weeks beforehand. “We knew there were scheduling problems at Middlesex, and there were no matches for me there. “It will be perfect preparation for the Test match, playing against some of their bowlers. But it does not guarantee anything for that first Test.” If England win the series by two clear Tests, they will replace India at the top of the Test world rankings.
“We know the size of the challenge against the number one side in the world, and it will be a tough nut to crack,” Strauss said. “But these challenges generally bring out the best in our players.” Strauss, though, said England didn’t have to get to top spot in the next month. “We’ve always said our ultimate goal is to become the number one side in the world. “Whether that happens at the end of this series or in six months’ or 12 months’ time, it is still going to be a goal for us.”