• England news

Strauss best choice by far - Swann

ESPN staff
March 12, 2012
England captain Andrew Strauss is the only man to lead the side at present says Graeme Swann © PA Photos

Graeme Swann has given his unflinching backing to England captain Andrew Strauss, saying "nobody comes close to rivalling" the Middlesex batsman for the leadership of the Test team.

Strauss has come under pressure from some quarters following England's series whitewash defeat to Pakistan last month, but Swann has highlighted the 35-year-old's qualities with a strong endorsement of his team-mate.

"Andrew Strauss is the best captain in England, and nobody else comes close to rivalling him," Swann told The Sun. "I'm laying my cards on the table in support of Strauss and saying with 100 per cent certainty he remains the best man to lead England in Tests.

"For me, and I'm sure everyone else in the dressing room, Straussy's tactics, experience, demeanour and man-management skills makes him the top man for the job. He is one of the most successful England captains of all time and his CV includes back-to-back Ashes victories -- including the historic triumph Down Under last winter -- and leading England to No. 1 in the world Test rankings."

Swann, one of those best placed to give an insight into the England captain's psyche, admitted that Strauss would have been bitterly disappointed with his own displays against Pakistan, but he expects a captain's response in Sri Lanka for the two-Test series which gets underway later this month.

"I'm expecting big things from him in Sri Lanka. He always looks in good nick and impresses in the nets. His early departure for Sri Lanka shows his hunger is as strong as ever. Those few extra days will allow him and the others to acclimatise to the turning pitches as well as the heat," said Swann, who also views Alastair Cook as a future Test captain.

"I see qualities in Cook that mark him out as a Test captain of the future. He has an old head on young shoulders and definitely knows his way round a cricket field."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.