'Not our proudest hour'

“You can divorce the two (sport and riot),” said Strauss when asked if it was a good idea to play cricket now. “I think this is an opportunity for cricket to put a feel-good factor into the newspapers and show that not everything is bad at the moment. Let’s just divorce cricket from what is going on in the country, clearly not the proudest hour for the country at the moment.”

England will take India`s number one Test ranking if they win the match and take an unassailable 3-0 series lead. “The rankings are not on our minds at the moment. The number one ranking is possible because of playing good cricket and we have to concentrate on that and not worry about the rankings,” he noted.

England’s margins of victories in the first two Tests show that it has largely been a one-sided affair so far but Strauss cautioned against complacency. “We expect this to be a tough Test, we’ve not had everything our own way. We’ve had to dig deep at times and I expect this to be similar. India will be determined to play better and they have the quality in their ranks to do so. It (the defeats and injuries) can actually have a galvanising effect (on them). India are a very strong side and in the last two Tests, we had our backs to the wall,” he explained.

Strauss also felt that Virender Sehwag will be rusty coming into the match. “He is a quality player,” Strauss started. “His record speaks for itself but then they have quite a few quality batsmen. We back ourselves against anybody especially in these conditions. It would be a test for him as well as others.”

England, Strauss said, have learnt their lessons from their past experiences when they have blown away the advantages. “We have learnt our lessons from Headingley in 2009. We then made the mistake of looking too far ahead; we were waiting for the outcome rather than starting well,” he reasoned.

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