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Strauss urges team to forget Ashes success

Posted By: Staff

Cape Town, Dec.16 (ANI): England cricket captain Andrew Strauss has urged his team mates to forget their Ashes success and concentrate on winning the series against South Africa here.

According to former England fast bowler Derek Pringle, Strauss's "instructions are to return his side to the cricket they played against Australia, but to ditch the nostalgia that often occurs when teams take a backward glance."

"It has been a while and we're all eager to return to Test cricket. It will allow us to reconnect with what happened in the Ashes a little bit and think about what went well in that series and what didn't," The Telegraph quoted Strauss as saying on Tuesday on the eve of the Centurion Test.

"That's a healthy thing for us but we have to acknowledge that there are a different set of circumstances here, with different balls, different conditions and a very different type of team we're playing against. We can't afford to look back too much," he added.

For both sides the grassy pitch will have solidified the plan of playing six batsmen, though with Jacques Kallis unable to bowl, South Africa were always heading down that route anyway.

England will do the same, batting Ian Bell at six and Matt Prior at seven. Their only issue, and Strauss will leave it until he has assessed conditions again this morning, is which of Graham Onions and Ryan Sidebottom will join James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, with the spinner now over his side twinge.

With Kookaburra balls rarely swinging for more than 15 overs, and with Anderson already there to do that job, Onions would be many people's favourite. But Andy Flower once said that Sidebottom, with the change of angle his left-arm bowling offers, would always play if fit.

Whatever the final elevens, both captains profess their teams to be ready, though with South Africa not having played against a red ball for six months, a degree of bluff must be involved. (ANI)

Story first published: Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 12:43 [IST]
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