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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 October 2006, 07:23 GMT 08:23 UK
Strauss talks up Dalrymple skills
J Dalrymple; A Strauss
He is a hard man to sweep because he has a big pivot at the crease and a quick arm

Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss says Middlesex colleague Jamie Dalrymple has the ideal mentality to help England perform in one-day cricket during the winter ahead.

Strauss is refreshed after a week's holiday in the south of France and is undaunted by the tasks ahead.

The 29-year-old said in his Sunday Telegraph column: "Dalrymple, England's new off-spinner, has been the ultimate competitor as long as I've known him.

"He hates losing at anything, whether it's a crossword or a warm-up game."

All-rounder Dalrymple, 25, was a surprise pick by the England selectors when asked to make his debut against Ireland in June.

But he has not missed a match since then, scoring 321 runs in 10 innings and taking nine wickets with an economy rate of 4.44.

Strauss said: "He has the sort of mentality which makes him more likely to succeed the tougher the going is.

"One thing we have learned about one-day cricket in the last year came from watching the Indian off-spinners Harbhajan Singh and Ramesh Powar.

"Their slower balls are almost as effective as the one that skids on.

"Dalrymple has this same ability to vary his pace. You can't anticipate the delivery before he bowls it.

"He is a hard man to sweep because he has a big pivot at the crease and a quick arm, making the ball dip and bounce.

In the past we have depended too much on Marcus Trescothick and Kevin Pietersen

"Early in his career at Middlesex he would bowl the odd great ball and not have much control but this summer he was consistently accurate."

England's first port of call is India, where they arrived on Saturday for the Champions Trophy, a month-long one-day tournament featuring all the Test nations.

Andrew Flintoff is back from injury as captain after Strauss spent most of the winter in charge of the team.

But after England won the last two one-day matches against Pakistan in the summer to square the series, Strauss is confident the team can stay competitive in 50-over cricket.

He said: "In the past we have depended too much on Marcus Trescothick and Kevin Pietersen.

"The rest of us batsmen now know that if we get into a good position we have to see it through.

"The key to one-day bowling is to put pressure on opposing batsmen by not letting them score.

"Jon Lewis did that with the new ball and allowed Pakistan no release."

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