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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 November, 2003, 16:11 GMT
Strauss well equipped
By Martin Gough

When he gets the chance to break into the England line-up, Andrew Strauss will make the most of his opportunity, county coach John Emburey believes.

Andrew Strauss
Strauss has impressed in two tour matches for England
So far he has made the most of limited chances, hitting 51 in a warm-up match in Bangladesh and 83 against a Sri Lanka XI on Saturday.

And after opener Vikram Solanki continued his poor form Bangladesh in that same match, a place may be up for grabs.

Because of one-day tactics, England may opt not to use him in the role he plays for Middlesex, where he opens the batting.

But Strauss at least believes he could fill a role either as opener or middle-order man in either one-day or Test cricket.

And many observers believe his selection for the one-day side is more about testing the 26-year-old's ability at the highest level with a view to the Test side.

In the five-day game, England's strongest suit is the opening partnership of Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan.

John Emburey
Andrew has the attitude, the temperament and the work ethic to do all of the right things
John Emburey
So Strauss may have to wait for one of the veteran middle-order batsmen - Mark Butcher, Nasser Hussain or Graham Thorpe - to call it a day before he can establish himself.

But Strauss now has an ideal chance to pencil his name in for the future.

Former England off-spinner Emburey believes Strauss has got all the attributes to succeed for England, even if he may not be ideally equipped right now.

"He is better-suited to the top of the order because he likes the ball coming onto the bat," Emburey told the BBC Sport website.

"He is better there than when the ball is older and it's more difficult to time but there is no reason that he can't learn.

"Andrew has the attitude, the temperament and the work ethic to do all of the right things."

Handed the Middlesex captaincy at the age of 25 after Angus Fraser's sudden retirement at the beginning of the 2002 season, Strauss has shown an ability to learn and adapt.

Strauss playing for Middlesex
Strauss' one-day game improved after he played in the Twenty20 Cup
The batsman's experience in this summer's Twenty20 Cup is an ideal example.

"He notes every innings in his diary - he is very methodical," says Emburey.

"He took to Twenty20 like a duck to water and that was reflected in the 50-over game."

Said Strauss of the 20-over competition: "That forced you to work out different scoring areas as a batsman and the percentages of your riskier shots."

It brought him an innings of 127 against Lancashire in a televised National League match, taking his season's one-day figures to 723 as a respectable average of 34.42.

Add that to his 1529 Championship runs at 50.96 and it is no wonder he gained a call-up, whatever England's strength in his preferred position.

"He is positive in approach - he doesn't have too many downers," said Emburey.

"He sets himself goals and goes out to achieve them."

His latest goal is the biggest so far, but Emburey for one will not lay odds against him achieving it.



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