Handling of pressure is the key: Strauss
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:KP Pietersen, A Flintoff, AJ Strauss
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 7th July 2009


Andrew Strauss is confident he will lead his with the character to handle the expectations of playing in the Ashes.


The England captain has time and again emphasised to his team the importance of staying calm, amidst the intensity and hype that the series is generating.


If they are to achieve what Michael Vaughan's men achieved four years back, Strauss is well aware that his players would need to perform in the big moments and believes he has a squad capable of stepping up to establish themselves as Ashes heroes during the next five Tests.


"The key to the series is how you handle those pressure moments and there are going to be plenty of them," said Strauss, who will captain England in an Ashes Test for the first time in Cardiff tomorrow.


"That's going to be a bit of a test of character and a bit of a test of courage and technique. You have to be prepared for that and be mentally switched on enough to come through that, come out the other side and then apply the pressure on the opposition."


Last time players like all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen, captain Michael Vaughan and Strauss made important contributions to the stunning victory.


England will again be reliant on the experience of Strauss, Flintoff and Pietersen, but Strauss is equally confident there are other members of the side who can step up and make a telling contribution.


There could be up to five players in England's starting line-up - Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Graham Onions, who are yet to taste the unique atmosphere of the Ashes.


"I'm very happy with the characters we've got in our side.


"All 11 of them have shown before that they can handle those situations. An Ashes series is slightly different and we've only got probably half our team that have played in an Ashes series before.


"But the guys that have come in have an opportunity to show they can do it in an Ashes series and I've got very few concerns in my own head that there are any weak links and that's encouraging."


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