SPORT

Special moment for me: Strauss



Sports Reporter

Mumbai: Andrew Strauss's eighth Test hundred his first time in nine innings past 50 helped England to a position of strength on the first day of the third Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium here.

"I know it has been a little while coming," said Strauss at the end of day's play. "The key was not to dominate too much, to wait for the ball to come to me and put it away when it deserved punishment. It was a conscious effort about which shots to play and which not to play. It worked for me today, and that is fantastic. When things aren't going your way, you have to work out ways of making runs, and the best way to do it is in the middle.

"It's never great when you are not scoring runs. But in international cricket, you can't score every time you go out to bat. There will be periods when it will be tricky, the important thing is to keep working hard. But yes, it has been a frustrating time. Having said that, this is a really special moment for me.

India is a fantastic place to play cricket in, and it is a real honour for me to make a hundred in India, especially when I have been in a bit of bad form."

Crucial stand

On his partner in a crucial second-wicket stand, Strauss, tongue firmly in cheek, said, "With Owais, you also come to expect the unexpected!" before adding, "he was fantastic, he played very positively. He had a bit of cramps, and it was quite hot out there. Hopefully, he will go on and get a bigger score tomorrow. Everyone said to him you have nothing to lose, go out and play your natural game, and that's precisely what he did."

Was he surprised by the Indian captain's decision to field first? "We were going to bat first anyway. There was a little bit of moisture to start with, but I was surprised at how well the surface behaved after the first hour, when the moisture dried out.

Towards the end of the day, there was a little more bounce, and it will be crucial at the back end of the game how much bounce there is. We need to keep knuckling down, see off the new ball and pile up as big a total as we can."