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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Strauss ready for Test spot
Andrew Strauss
Strauss is waiting for his chance in the England Test side

Andrew Strauss will mark his Test debut with a century if he is picked to face New Zealand at Lord's, according to Middlesex coach John Emburey.

He believes Strauss, who could play if Michael Vaughan fails to recover from a knee injury, is at the top of his form.

"He has been on fire lately and it is an ideal time for him to come into the side," said Emburey.

"There will be huge support for him from his home crowd and it will be a fantastic feeling for him."

Strauss was drafted into the England squad on Monday after Vaughan hurt his knee during net practice.

If he is ruled out, one option would be to promote Mark Butcher to open, a role he has filled for much of his career, and include Paul Collingwood in the middle order.

But there is a growing feeling that the selectors may decide to leave Butcher at number three and slot Strauss in alongside Marcus Trescothick at the top of the order.

"He did very well out in the Caribbean but that was no surprise," said Emburey.

"He's been in that type of form for the last two years, and that is a tribute to the staff here."

The 27-year-old did his prospects no harm in the West Indies where he made scores of 67 and 66 in the last two one-day internationals.

He sped to Lord's immediately after returning to the UK and was soon at the crease for Middlesex against Lancashire, making 95.

And he maintained his form with an unbeaten 107 off 80 balls against the Scottish Saltires in Edinburgh on Sunday.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming knows Strauss well, having spent a summer with Middlesex in 2001.

"Stephen Fleming knows all about Andrew and has a lot of respect for him.

"I've no doubt they'll have a game plan but I'm expecting him to score runs," Emburey added.

"If England win the toss and bat on a sunny day there's no doubt he could go on and score a hundred."

England's Andrew Strauss
"It would be a dream come true if I make my debut"

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