Hoggard backing for under-pressure Strauss

England’s under-pressure captain Andrew Strauss has found support from his former Test team-mate Matthew Hoggard.

Strauss led England to Ashes success last year and took them to the top of the ICC World Test rankings but his future as England captain was in doubt going into the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo after a run of four straight Test defeats this year.

But Hoggard, who is now Leicestershire captain, believes that Strauss still has a future as a Test opener even if he decides to relinquish the England captaincy ahead of the first home series of the summer against the West Indies next month.

“He [Strauss] is under pressure but I think he is one of the best opening batsmen in the country,” Hoggard said. “He just needs to get a score underneath his belt and then he will go from strength to strength.

“As for his leadership, it could have been time at the end of the Australia tour to say: Look, let’s hand it over to Alastair Cook. He’s the one-day captain now, it’s time to take the Test team forward as well.

“But Andrew wants to keep on captaining, he’s got everybody’s full backing. He’s a very good captain and he’s a very good player.

“Sport is very fickle. As soon as you are in a little rut everybody is on your back. But I expect Andrew Strauss to have a very successful summer.

“I don’t know about the captaincy, but I hope he stays as a player. He’s definitely one of the best two opening batsmen in the country.”

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