Andrew Strauss still right man to lead England, says Andy Flower

Andrew Strauss

England head coach Andy Flower insists that Test captain Andrew Strauss is still the right man to lead the side.

But Flower also acknowledged that the 35-year-old opening batsman, who played in his 100th Test at Lord's, is tired and requires time to recover after the series defeat to South Africa.

"The last couple of weeks have been particularly draining on him," Flower told BBC Sport.

"But he will re-energise. He can certainly take the Test team forward."

Strauss scored a century on Test debut against West Indies at Lord's in 2004 and assumed captaincy of the side in January 2009 after Kevin Pietersen resigned.

He has formed a strong bond with Flower and the duo have overseen a successful period for England, including two Ashes victories in 2009 and 2010/11 and climbing to the top of the Test world rankings.

However, Test series defeats against Pakistan and South Africa within the last six months have led to Strauss's side relinquishing their status as the top-ranked Test side in the world.

Strauss has also had to contend with questions about middle-order batsman Pietersen, whose relationship with the England hierarchy degenerated during the recent South Africa series to such an extent that he was dropped for the final Test.

For Flower, the strains of trying the manage the Pietersen affair have had a negative impact on his captain.

"I think the last couple of weeks have been particularly draining on him," Flower admitted.

"This [Pietersen] issue has certainly not helped and it's been a very unwelcome distraction during a very high-profile and brilliant Test series."

However, England's Zimbabwe-born team director maintained that the experienced Strauss remains the right man to spearhead the England side when they travel to the subcontinent to face India in four Test matches in November and December.

"He's tired after a hard-fought series," Flower said. "He's taking a little quiet time with his family, which I'm very glad he's doing.

"But he will re-energise. He's a strong bloke and he will be back, feeling fresh.

"We know he's an excellent leader and he can certainly take the Test team forward."

Top Stories