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The Mind of an Ashes Captain - Vaughan, Strauss and Cook discuss - 5 Live

England's Andrew Strauss (L) and Michael Vaughan (R) celebrate after their side beat Australia on the final day of the fifth test of the Ashes series at The Oval cricket ground
©Reuters
 

“The level of interest, pressure, scrutiny is like no other matches you play in… you’ll feel pressure like you’ll never feel again in your life”: Andrew Strauss reflects on being an Ashes captain

Andrew Strauss, one of only three England captains to win the Ashes both home and away, has spoken about the pressure of being an Ashes captain, saying: “The level of interest, pressure, scrutiny is like no other matches you play in and, as captain, you’re the centrepiece of that.”

Speaking in a special edition of the Test Match Special podcast called Inside the Mind of an Ashes Captain ahead, Strauss says: “You have to keep the show on the road, you’ve got to avoid the train going off the track, which it so often does during an Ashes series. And at the same time, you have to do your job and perform in the middle with the bat or the ball in your hand, so you’ll feel pressure like you’ll never feel again in your life.”

In Inside the Mind of an Ashes Captain, Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss, Sir Alastair Cook, Allan Border and Ian Chappell all discuss their experiences of their time as Ashes captains.

Vaughan, Struss and Cook look back at some of England’s most famous Ashes wins, while also discussing how they dealt with some of England’s embarrassing losses.

Discussing how his desire to win the Ashes in 2010-11 started after losing the 2006 Ashes series 5-0, Strauss says: “I remember being in the lift of an hotel in Perth and the Barmy Army and England fans coming in the lift and saying ‘that was a disgrace, you should be ashamed of yourselves’.

“To hear that from your fans is hard to stomach and after that, I made a vow when we came over here, whether I was captain or not, we were going to do things differently.”

Michael Vaughan says he believes the planning of this Ashes series would have been hampered planning for the World Cup: “Because England have won so many Ashes series [in England], maybe they feel they feel they just turn up and win Ashes series in England.

“For England to win in Australia or, vice versa, Australia to win here for the first time since 2001, I think you need to have a more of a strategic plan, and a plan that goes over two years, not two months. And at the minute, I think they’ve both got short term plans.”

Inside the Mind of an Ashes Captain airs tonight on BBC Radio 5 Live at 8 pm. It’s available to download as a TMS podcast here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07j5ywn

 Test Match Special brings live and exclusive ball-by-ball commentary of the Ashes on 5 Live Sports Extra and Radio 4 Longwave from Thursday 1 August. There will also be a Test Match at the Ashes podcast every day available on BBC Sounds.

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