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Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Ex-England captains divided over Andrew Strauss absence

Andrew Strauss
Strauss made his international debut in November 2003

Former England captain Alec Stewart says it was the wrong decision to rest Andrew Strauss for next month's tour to United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh.

Alastair Cook will deputise for Strauss on the six-week trip but Stewart said: "As a leader you have to lead.

"I'm not convinced the selectors have got this spot on. Captains take on responsibilities and a big workload."

But Michael Vaughan said on Sunday: "I look at the bigger picture, we need him fit and fresh later down under."

Vaughan, who holds the record for the most Test victories as England skipper, added: "The team will miss him because he's a good leader but we've got to get back to winning ways in Bangladesh, which is a little banana skin.

"Just because I never got a break I look back at it now and wish there was a time when I could have a three-month break.

"Andrew Strauss could have that now and it might rejuvenate him."

Since Strauss was appointed captain in early 2008 he has played in all 28 of England's Test matches.

But Stewart, who captained the Test side on 15 occasions between 1993-2001, said: "If I was Andrew Strauss I'd be saying 'I don't want to be rested and I want to lead from the front.'

"Once you start resting players I'm very uncomfortable with that when you're the leader."

England host Bangladesh and Pakistan for Test series this summer, as well as facing both of those sides and Australia in one-day matches.

Strauss's side meet Australia in the first Test of the 2010-11 Ashes series on 25 November in Brisbane.

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see also
Cook stands in for jaded Strauss
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Jonathan Agnew column
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Michael Vaughan Q&A
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England to face Pakistan in Dubai
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England in UAE & Bangladesh 2010
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England collapse to heavy defeat
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Review errors no excuse - Strauss
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England in South Africa 2009-10
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