London, Oct.8 (ANI): Andrew Strauss has already started to plot England's defence of the Ashes Down Under.
After waiting 16 years to regain the urn under Michael Vaughan in 2005, England held it on loan for 463 days before they were whitewashed 5-0 in Australia in 2006-07.
Strauss, mindful of the backlash he can expect 13 months from now after his lap of honour at The Oval six weeks ago, admitted last night: "We will have to be on our guard to make sure there is no repeat of what happened after we won the Ashes in 2005."
The Mirror quoted Strauss, as saying: "I've always maintained that whether I was captain, or whether it was Flintoff or Vaughan in charge, I don't think the result of that series would have been any different.
"In some ways it was a blessing in disguise that I missed out on the job in 2006. I was keen to do it at that stage, but Flintoff was the next guy in line and he deserved to have a go. And I certainly feel it was the right time when it came back my way this year," he added.
"Now, we've won the Ashes back, obviously one of our longer-term goals is how we're going to retain them because we know the Aussies will be as fired-up again, as they were in 2006-7. There are lessons to be learned from that tour - we had problems about some of the players' fitness and there was a lack of stability because there had been so many different captains," he said.
Strauss will lead his men into a Test series in South Africa in December, rounding off an extraordinary year for the leading scorer in this year's Ashes.
"No-one expects us to go to South Africa and wipe them off the ground - but it's a massive task which has come just at the right time for us," he said, speaking at the launch of his Ashes diary Testing Times. (ANI)