Strauss determined to maintain England`s number one ICC ranking

Updated: Jul 15, 2012, 19:34 PM IST

London: Captain Andrew Strauss has taken England to the world cricket summit, and intends looking down on the rest of the cricket teams for some time. He is convinced England will see off South Africa in the coming weeks, win the Investec three-Test series and remain the planet’s No 1-ranked team.

“Am I confident we will win the series? Yes. Am I under any illusions it will be easy? No. It’s going to be a big challenge for us, but I’m sure we’ll come through,” The Sun quoted Strauss, as saying.

After a month away from the England dressing room, during which the national team won all seven limited-overs matches that were not washed out, Strauss will resume command at The Oval this week. Certainly there is very little chance of South African skipper Graeme Smith seeing off his third England captain.

On his previous tours here, Smith has been in charge while Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan have quit tearfully. Strauss has no plans to shift. He wants, and expects, to be England captain for another 18 months and dreams of standing down in January 2014 as a four-time Ashes-winner. Strauss, 35, who hit a century and half-century for Middlesex against Notts last week in his first innings for a month, added: “As an opening batsman, you must be prepared to face the best in the world with the new ball. I certainly feel in good form and ready to do that.” “The start we get at the top of the order has a big effect on everyone else. So, hopefully, Alastair Cook and myself will get some good ones,” he added.

“We are two very well-balanced sides with not much to choose between us.It will probably be the small sessions of play that determine the winner,” Strauss said. “We’re going to have to play at our best. But we have a lot of self-belief and being at home is an advantage too,” he added.