London: England cricket captain Andrew Strauss is determined to lead his team back to No.1 status in Tests after South Africa beat them by 51 runs at Lord’s on Monday to win the series 2-0 and claim top ranking.
South Africa’s series victory means that it is the clear leader at the top of the table and England is now second, pushing Australia to third place.
They now have 120 ranking points compared to England`s 117. They will have to defend their ICC ranking status when they travel to third-placed Australia for a three-match series in November and December.
Responding to a direct question about whether he is the man to lead England back to the top of the rankings in the post-match presentation ceremony, he said: “I hope so.”
Almost exactly a year since Strauss had been presented with the mace that represents the world Test supremacy, after England beat India at The Oval, Vernon Philander took two wickets in consecutive balls to complete a 51-run victory at Lord’s for South Africa.
“Maybe that tag of being number one hasn`t sat as comfortably as it should have done for us,” The Guardian quoted Strauss, as saying.
“Whether that`s because of a change of mind-set, from being the hunters to the ones that are hunted, I don`t know. Or, is it just that we came unstuck in the subcontinent and lost a bit of confidence along the way? I don`t know the exact answers right now. But those are the sort of questions we need to find answers to.”
“The mind-set switches straight away again – to us being the hunters – and maybe that suits us a bit better at the moment. That should give us the impetus and catalyst to go on and play some better cricket over the coming months.”