It is said that opportunity knocks on your door only once. In the context of a home series it is even more appropriate. In a home series the final Test squad is usually picked before every test and a double innings failure usually results in being dropped unlike an away series where a squad of 15-16 is a fixed combination for the whole tour. Yes, I am talking about two left handers one from England (Andrew Strauss) and the other from Australia( Matthew Elliott) who got their chance this summer. Both were playing ersatz to their captains and seemed to have a similar approach to meeting the leather with the willow. But the commonalities end just there.
While on one hand the adroit Strauss signaled his arrival with a magnificent ton, Elliott came out a cropper. It’s hard to digest sometimes that the man whom Mark Waugh tipped to amass at least 5000 runs in test cricket (We know Mark Waugh’s exploits and his penchant for punting in the Racecourse) hasn’t been able to find a firm footing in the first test 11. While it may not be the end of the road for Elliott, it most definitely is going to be a long hard grind for him to make a comeback, more so after the last double failure.
But the man who deserves all the attention and adulation he is getting is Strauss. In his short stint with the English side he has already evinced his probable future exploits. Good sound technique, aversion to flashing outside the off should really stand him in good stead in the future. His sagacity was even more evident when he batted at No 4 in the One Dayers where in he got another ton which is certificate to his adaptability. For a top-flight batsman it’s imperative to possess the ability to hit the 100 mark regularly and Strauss is definitely in that mould. Sterner tests might be still to come when he tours Down Under or the subcontinent, but I think he has the attitude and is ordained for a successful international career.