Strauss urges responsibility

Andrew Strauss believes the England players who face Australia in the upcoming Ashes must stand up and be counted if they are to win the famous urn for the first time Down Under in 24 years (England 10/1 to win Ashes series 2-1).

The 33-year-old was speaking to the assembled media at England’s Perth hotel after the 16 players charged with the task of holding onto the Ashes arrived following a 20-hour journey (Strauss 7/2 to be top England run-scorer in Ashes).

Much has been made about the current team spirit in the England camp and many in the game believe they hold the edge over the Aussies, who have now lost three Tests in succession and look a shadow of their former selves.

But Strauss knows how tough it is to win in Australia, having been part of a disjointed and under-prepared England team who were whitewashed 5-0 under the leadership of Andrew Flintoff four years ago.

England have won many Tests in recent times despite several batsmen being far from their best and the Middlesex man made it clear that England cannot afford to carry any of their players as it will be the collective will to win that will triumph in the expected war of attrition.

“When you’re out here, you can’t afford any passengers,” he said. “You need all 11 to be performing and standing up at the right time.

“It’s that balance, and being able to adapt to different circumstances in the game, that is more crucial than one or two players having a great series. You’ve got to be fit, strong, mentally very stable – and ultimately, you’ve got to grind Australia down.”

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