Strauss happy but not cocky about top spot

Monday, 15 August 2011 00:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

While politicians and cricket supremos queued up to heap praise on England for seizing the world No.1 Test ranking from India, captain Andrew Strauss doesn’t want to get too excited.

“There are a number of other teams that are anxious to have this mantle and to be the No.1 side,” Strauss said.

“I think it’s arrogant to assume that we can just waltz our way and everything’s going to be hunky dory all the time.”

England completed a 12-year ascent from the bottom of the world Test rankings to the top on Saturday at Edgbaston by trouncing India by an innings and 242 runs.

Needing to win the four-test series by a margin of 2-0 or better, England dethroned India by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead ahead of next week’s last Test at The Oval.

“It’s been a great privilege for me to captain the side over the past two years,” Strauss said.

“My job’s been very easy and that’s because of the individuals involved, not just in the side but the support staff.”

Having already overseen England’s first Ashes series win in Australia since 1987 earlier this year, Strauss lauded another major milestone for the side.

“It’s different,” he said.

“With an Ashes series there’s so much emotion and rivalry between the two countries, and I think this series was about I suppose measuring ourselves against the best side in the world and having hopefully the opportunity to overtake them and become No.1.”

How long England can stay at No.1 was another matter.

“Clearly we haven’t reached the end of the road here, that’s not how international cricket works,” Strauss said. “There are going to be stern tests for us in the future, we know that.”

Anxious to focus on a good news story after the rioting across Britain this week, Britain Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the achievement.

“I congratulate the England cricket team on their fantastic achievement,” Cameron said. “It was a massive team effort, bowling India out twice for less than 250 and always being so sharp in the field. I watched the closing overs on the sofa at home and will remember the joy of the crowd at Edgbaston and England getting to No.1 in such style for a long time to come.”

The chief executive of the ICC, Haroon Lorgat, also praised England.

“I know they were determined to be No.1, and through careful planning and a series of clinical performances, they have deservedly achieved their goal,” he said.

“This achievement is just reward for the hard work from all the players and team management, and they no doubt will celebrate being on top of the world.”

The jubilation at Edgbaston contrasted acutely with the derision piled on England in 1999, when its players were booed off the pitch at The Oval, after an abject 83-run defeat to New Zealand that left them rock bottom of the world rankings.