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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Gooch questions Strauss position
Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss has rarely looked at ease in recent times
Graham Gooch says the position of Andrew Strauss in England's Test line-up is under the microscope following the series loss to India.

Gooch told BBC Radio 5live: "Strauss hasn't played that well this summer.

"There's been lots of talk about his footwork and he looks a bit down on himself and not that confident.

"His position will come under scrutiny soon and there's a couple of lads coming through - Owais Shah has been waiting and there's young Ravi Bopara."

Middlesex man Strauss had an amazing start to his Test career, hitting five centuries in his first 11 matches from the summer of 2004.

But he endured a poor winter in Australia, lost his place in the one-day squad after the World Cup and has had no centuries in his last 13 Test appearances.

However Gooch, the leading scorer in Test history for England with 8,900 runs, did not limit his criticisms to Strauss.

He's been a real revelation with the new ball and he's been a bit of a cutting edge

Gooch on James Anderson

He went on: "England's batting has not been solid enough throughout the series. They have to sell their wickets more dearly.

"You have to convert to big scores.

"In this particular match [the drawn final Test at The Oval] there were a lot of middling scores that didn't really do us any favours."

But he praised fast bowler James Anderson, who took 14 wickets in the three matches.

"Anderson has profited from having the new ball. Normally he's operated behind [Steve] Harmison, behind [Andrew] Flintoff and behind [Matthew] Hoggard.

"Now he's been given the responsibility he's warmed to the task rather than being, what I would call, the last resort bowler. He's had a lot of potential for a few years.

CRICKET on 606
BBC Sport's Alistair Watkins

"He went back to county cricket and got some experience under his belt and he's been a real revelation with the new ball and he's been a bit of a cutting edge.

Meanwhile, Graham Thorpe has backed England to recover quickly from losing a first home Test series since 2001.

Thorpe told BBC Sport: "They will still be a capable Test side on the Sri Lanka and New Zealand winter tours and I think they can perform well in the seven one-dayers against India.

"They haven't had their first-choice seam bowling attack because of injuries but they have been able to see what Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom and Chris Tremlett can do.

"England now have some real fast bowling options and when Harmison and Hoggard come back they will know there are players behind them who are capable of playing at this level.

"That will put pressure on them to perform."

Thorpe played his part in England's 11 unbeaten home series with some crucial middle-order runs before retiring ahead of the 2005 Ashes victory after playing in 100 Tests.

Matt Prior, Ryan Sidebottom and Chris Tremlett
Prior, Sidebottom and Tremlett consider the series defeat

England have a poor recent record in one-day internationals but Thorpe believes they can turn it around in the series against India, which starts at the Rose Bowl on 21 August.

However, he cautioned about expecting too much, too soon from England talisman Andrew Flintoff.

"I hope he can get a good run of games because his fitness is vital to the team.

"It will be great to have him back in an England XI but there's still a long way to go for him to prove his fitness.

"He's had three operations on his ankle and needs to build himself up and look after himself so he can perform for England over a long period.

"But he gives England real options in how their team shapes up. It means in the Test series in Sri Lanka they can play two spinners and two seamers and Flintoff as an all-rounder rather than relying on four bowlers."

England take on Sri Lanka in three Tests in November and December before touring New Zealand for three more Tests in February.

Graham Thorpe was speaking to Alistair Watkins

SEE ALSO
Strauss left out
22 Mar 07 |  England
India in England 2007
08 Jan 07 |  Cricket
England in Sri Lanka 2007
25 Jun 07 |  Cricket
England in New Zealand 2008
03 Jul 07 |  Cricket


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