Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Andrew Strauss' Career Best

It's pretty common knowledge that I love Andrew Strauss. He's one of my favourite players to watch, he's a brilliant captain who's seen England to near world dominance in test cricket, and he's a great bloke. In his long, illustrious career, he's pretty much had it all. Except a double century.

It's bizarre that a player of Strauss' calibre; one who's achieved so much, should have never passed 200. In fact, before today, he'd never got out of the 170's. It's been the one obvious box that's been left unchecked throughout his career.

Overnight in the Middlesex v Leicestershire game, Andrew Strauss is 185 not out. Overtaking the 161 from the 2009 Ashes, his previous best for Middlesex of 176, and that infamous career-saving 177 in Napier, Strauss has moved within touching distance of that maiden double ton. Only a fairly toothless Leicestershire bowling line-up tired from the T20 exploits of the weekend stand between Strauss and the 15 runs that can seal his own personal destiny.

Andrew Strauss is no longer a young man (although at 34 he still has a few years left in him), and the chance to score a double century may not come along again. Given that Strauss plays the majority of his cricket against proven international bowlers (and India's seamers) in the full glare of the media spotlight and under the pressure of captaining his country, he certainly won't get a better opportunity than against a ragged Leicestershire attack who are mentally counting down the days until their trip to the Champions League.

Scoring 200 would be huge for Strauss, as it would almost be the final piece of what's already been an exceptional career. While scoring 200 against a fairly disinterested bottom of the table side on a flat track in Division Two isn't the greatest achievement in the history of cricket, it would give Strauss the self-confidence and belief that he can do it; something that has held him back a touch as he's approached the milestone in the past. And given the dominance of his current test side, plus their penchant for 'daddy hundreds', you wouldn't be surprised to see Strauss being the latest addition to England's Double Ton Club over the next few games.

But first he needs to score 15 more runs for Middlesex against Leicestershire. He's already made his highest ever First Class score, which is some achievement, but now he needs to convert into into a double.

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