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Strauss puts his trust in England character

England captain Andrew Strauss goes into Wednesday's first cricket Test in Cardiff against Australia confident his developing side have the character required to cope with the pressure of Ashes cricket.

cricket Updated: Jul 07, 2009 17:46 IST

England captain Andrew Strauss goes into Wednesday's first cricket Test in Cardiff against Australia confident his developing side have the character required to cope with the pressure of Ashes cricket.

England's form since winning the 2005 Ashes has been mediocre and when the Ashes were last up for grabs, in 2006/07, they were thrashed 5-0 in Australia.

While the likes of Strauss, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff remain from the side that triumphed four years ago, at least five players - Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Graham Onions - could be making their Ashes debuts here at Sophia Gardens.

Since Strauss was thrust into the captaincy in January, after Pietersen's falling out with then coach Peter Moores, England have lost a series in the Caribbean and beaten a poor West Indies team at home earlier this season.

Strauss, who has repeatedly emphasised the importance of keeping a cool head, told reporters in Cardiff: "The key to the series is how you handle those pressure moments and there are going to be plenty of them.

"That's going to be a bit of a test of character and a bit of a test of courage and technique. You have to be prepared for that and be mentally switched on enough to come through that, come out the other side and then apply the pressure on the opposition."