Win against India at home bigger than Ashes: Strauss

Strauss, who led England to back-to-back Ashes victories, said winning against top teams like India and South Africa is the next level of development for them as a cricketing nation.

"Increasingly for us, although we will always value the Ashes, it is important to look beyond, at India and South Africa, to look to defeat these guys consistently, too, home and away," he said.

"I've never beaten India in a Test series and if we want to be the best side in the world we've got to start by doing that. I'd say to win in India would be bigger than winning the Ashes in Australia because the conditions are even more foreign," Strauss told 'Daily Mail'.

India is scheduled to tour England later this year for a full series. Strauss said its high time England should concentrate on other challenges than the Ashes. "Winning out there (in India) seemed a very difficult thing to do because we had all grown up with England being demolished in Australia, but there are plenty of other challenges. We can't just dwell on that one. It's over," he insisted.

He also said that Australia are no longer the potent force in world cricket. "Australia's aura of invincibility has been taken away. They're back in the pack now, like everyone else, losing some, scrapping to win others and now different sides are trying to create their own aura -- India, South Africa, ourselves," Strauss added.

Although he stepped down as England ODI captain after the World Cup, Strauss said he still has plenty of years left as a cricketer. "The captaincy can definitely wear you down and if I was still playing One-day cricket it could wear me down quicker.

"I don't know how far away that time would have been but the landscape can change very quickly. Michael Vaughan looked very much in control one minute, the next he had lost form and retired; Paul Collingwood was playing the best cricket of his life 12 months ago and now he's gone, too," he said.

"So I can't say I will be captain next time we go to Australia. All I'll say is I have a lot of cricket ahead of me. I am in good shape physically, I feel fresh and motivated and I really like the idea of pushing this Test side forward," the left-handed opener added.

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