ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss has warned his side they must show the desire of champions if they are to beat Pakistan this winter and justify their position as the world’s No1 ranked Test side.
Strauss and his team return to Test action early this morning in Dubai, five months after they whitewashed India on home soil to inherit the mantle of the world’s premier five-day force.
England’s ambition is to create a lasting dynasty and dominate the sport in a manner achieved by the Australian side led by Ricky Ponting and, before him, Steve Waugh, and Strauss admits meeting that objective is no by no means a foregone conclusion.
“There’s no way to guarantee these things, but it’s about pushing people to go further and people being willing enough to improve,” said Strauss, whose fears over fast bowler Stuart Broad and batsman Ian Bell (right), who had been struggling with ankle and wrist injuries respectively, were allayed during yesterday’s final practice session.
“We all know if you remain stagnant for any period of time, other teams will catch you and pass you. It’s very important for myself, [coach] Andy Flower and the side to keep pushing ourselves to get better and keep learning from every experience we have – keeping it in the locker and use it at a time we need it in the future.
“It’s all about desire, motivation and hunger and I’m sure we’ve got that. There’s a lot of scope for improvement in our side, and I’ll be very disappointed if anyone sits back and thinks we’re the finished article – because we’re clearly not.”