Ashes challenge excites Strauss

Colin Cowherd knows exactly how No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 12 Syracuse will end on Saturday

Speaking at the launch of a match for the ???Hope for Heroes??? charity in September in which he will play, Strauss described Australian Bayliss as a “real asset to English cricket.”

???It???s very last minute in turns of him coming into the England set-up before the start of the Ashes,??? Strauss told Sky Sports News HQ.

???The training camp we had in Spain was absolutely crucial in terms of letting everyone get to know him and feel comfortable with him before we turn up in Cardiff.

???He is a very laid-back, down-to-earth guy with a very simple philosophy and I don???t think he is going to confuse anyone in the coming days.

???He is going to be real asset to English cricket, I am sure of that. You feel there are some really healthy relationships building between him and the players.

???Ultimately, he is going to be there to try and enable the players to go out and play the game they can.

???If we see them doing that, starting on Wednesday, we have a good chance in The Ashes.???

England showcased a much more free-flowing, attacking style of play in the recent ODI series success over New Zealand.

Alastair Cook???s side are likely to be more circumspect against Australia in the extended form of the game but Strauss feels they can take confidence from the positive way they approached the limited-overs series with the Kiwis.

???We need to make sure cricket grows and flourishes long-term and we are not going to be able to do that if we are not playing entertaining cricket,??? he added.

???In this position, I am seeing the bigger picture a little more than when I was England captain.

???Winning is the most important thing in international sport, where you are judged on your performances, and rightly so.

???But the way you play also has a direct influence and effect on how people view the sport and anyone who has been involved in English cricket can only be heartened by how the one-day series was played.

???The Ashes series is a real shopfront for Test cricket. It is a series that a lot of people around the world watch and it is a good opportunity for us to show the best cricket has to offer.

???I am very optimistic and I honestly cannot wait for this series to start. It is such a special thing to represent your country in an Ashes series and they have an incredible seven weeks of their lives ahead of them.???

As for his new role, Strauss insists the decision not to recall Kevin Pietersen to the England set-up and the dismissal of former head coach Peter Moores were necessary for the game to move on.

???It???s still early days and I???ve only been in the job six weeks. The intention in making those decisions was really to give some clarity around the direction of English cricket in the short-term,??? he said.

???I hope that is what we have been able to do and I think Alastair Cook and Eoin Morgan have responded well to that.

???It is fantastic to now have Trevor Bayliss in position and I am encouraged by what I have seen so far.

???I am also realistic to say we haven???t cracked this yet, there???s a long way to go.

“Win or lose in this Ashes series, there???s still a lot of effort and work that needs to be put in to make sure English cricket is capable of sustained success over a long period of time.

“That is what I will ultimately be judged on in this job.”

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