Strauss will come good with the bat, says Gooch ahead of second Test
08:34 GMT, 30 March 2012
England's leading Test run scorer and current batting coach Graham Gooch has backed captain Andrew Strauss to regain his form in the middle.
Strauss’ position is beginning to attract questions for the first time following four Test defeats in a row and a long-running personal failure to convert solid starts into major scores.
Strauss has not scored a Test century since first Ashes Test in November 2010, his only ton in 48 Test innings.
Backing: Gooch is England's leading Test run scorer
England’s second Test against Sri Lanka begins in Colombo on Tuesday, with runs for the skipper and an England win required to alleviate some of the pressure ahead of the domestic summer.
And Strauss goes into that match with the unequivocal backing of a man who knows all about the demands of leading his country.
'When you get defeats, you are going to get tough questions, but as far as I’m concerned Andrew Strauss is the best guy to captain England,' said Gooch, following England’s 75-run loss in Galle on Thursday.
'He is also one of the two best opening batsmen in the country, along with Alastair Cook.
Distant memory: Strauss celebrates his ton in Brisbane in November 2010
'I have every confidence in him. I see the passion in him, I see the commitment every day on the training pitch trying to improve his game.
'Yes, he’s been short of runs and he’s
had a little bit of a lean time in Tests but he scored a hundred in the
last match so he has had runs under his belt and he’s been practising
'There have been plenty of captains down
the years who have struggled. What we have to do is to remain faithful
to all our players and believe in their ability.'
England are waiting on the results of scans to determine the fitness of seam bowler Stuart Broad.
Struggling: Broad (left) has ankle and calf problems
Broad is carrying injuries to his left ankle and right calf and looked in visible discomfort while batting on day four of the first Test.
With the next match due to start on Tuesday and England favouring a two-man seam attack, Broad would have to be passed fully fit to have any chance of playing.
Meanwhile, former England captain
Michael Vaughan says Strauss’ team were guilty of 'basic schoolboy
errors' in Galle, and rejected the current skipper’s assertion that
improvements had been made playing against spin, regardless of the
'They’ve lost four on the trot, I don’t see a huge amount of improvement,' Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 Live.
Stuck in a rut: Strauss trudges back to the pavilion after his second innings dismissal on day three in Galle
'We’ve seen against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, they were up against a quality Pakistan bowling attack. This Sri Lanka attack, I hate to say it, is just orthodox, what you’d describe as a decent attack, nothing more than that.
'I’m not for one minute suggesting the ECB haven’t moved the team forward – everything about the team is professional – but just put it into context: they’ve lost four games this winter, and the cricket hasn’t been that good and we haven’t seen a huge amount of improvement.
'And we’ve seen in this game probably more mistakes than we’ve seen in Abu Dhabi, there really was some basic schoolboy errors, and that’s something that will disappoint the team.'