• England v SA, 3rd Investec Test, Lord's, 5th day

Strauss plays down resignation talks

ESPNcricinfo staff
August 20, 2012
Andrew Strauss said he hopes he is the man to lead England back to No. 1 © Getty Images

Andrew Strauss has no intentions of marking his 100th Test by resigning from the captaincy after England's 2-0 Test series defeat against South Africa, their heaviest defeat in a home Test series for 11 years.

"Hope so," was his brief response when he was asked at the presentation ceremony at Lord's if he wanted to captain England as they try to reclaim the top Test ranking which they have held so shakily for the past year.

In that time they have lost to Pakistan in the UAE and at home to a South Africa side who out-performed them in all facets of the game. The last time England lost a home Test series by more than one match was against Australia, who prevailed 3-1 in the 2001 Ashes.

Strauss admitted that it had been a difficult year, one which he would remember: "Not with a great deal of fondness".

He said: "We have had some tough times and I think that is a good thing. Test cricket tests out your character and your resilience. When you are No. 1 people are trying to gun you down and we have come unstuck a few times. I think we have learned a lot along the way.

"It will be a shame to hand over that mace to South Africa but right at the moment they deserve to be No. 1 and we will come back.

"When you reach No. 1 you have to up your performance, you can't rest on your laurels, you can't afford any bad days, you have to be hungry, just as motivated. Athough I can't fault the effort the guys have put in, in certain areas we haven't been quite on the ball.

"We were never favourites to win the game today, but I thought the spirit the guys showed and the never-say-die attitude they displayed was a great credit to all the players. This was how I expected the whole series to play out - very close games of cricket, small margins between the sides.

"But South Africa were the better side, not just in this Test match but in the course of the series and they thoroughly deserved their victory."

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