'England should start winning matches'
England captain Andrew Strauss has asked his teammates to put behind the bitter episode that portrayed the team as disjointed and take more responsibility to win games as they head to W Indies.cricket Updated: Jan 22, 2009 10:32 IST
England captain Andrew Strauss has asked his teammates to put behind the bitter episode that portrayed the team as disjointed and take more responsibility to win games as they head to West Indies.
The England team embarked on its tour of the West Indies with a new captain and a stand-in coach in former Zimbabwe batsman Andy Flower.
English cricket plunged into turmoil a fortnight ago after captain Kevin Pietersen was forced to resign and coach Peter Moores sacked.
"We want to get back to do what do we best, playing cricket and winning Test matches," Strauss told reporters before the team's departure for the Caribbean.
"We want to see players think on their feet and take responsibility for the situation and don't leave it to someone else," said Strauss.
"The only way we can do that is to give them more responsibility off the field as well. I'm challenging my players to start thinking a bit more about what they need to do in terms of preparation and I'm giving them a lot more flexibility to do that."
Asked whether absence of a full-time coach will affect the team, Strauss said: "I suppose the coaches will play more of an advisory or consultancy role. It's vitally important the players are challenged to think for themselves."
The 31-year-old left-hander said that he has the support of his predecessor Pietersen.
"I've never seen Kevin show a negative side to him. He's very positive, he does not dwell on the past. I am sure he's already plotting ways of spanking the West Indies bowlers."
England have had a good success against the West Indies in recent years. They won 13 out of their last 16 Tests in four series in nine years.
"We want to win both the Test and one-day series and start building some momentum before an important summer," Strauss said.
"The West Indies are now a very dangerous side. The likes of Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards are all very dangerous cricketers."