Strauss calls for calm in Ashes furore

CAPTAIN Andrew Strauss has called on his England players to show composure and not get caught up in the hype surrounding the Ashes series.<br />The Middlesex opener leads his side out for the eagerly-awaited first Test against Australia in Cardiff tomorrow with the intention of recreating the intensity of the victorious 2005 series.<br /><br />But with an electric atmosphere expected from a capacity crowd, Strauss has told his men to stay calm and play their own game.<br /><br />&ldquo;One of the things that&rsquo;s going to be important and goes without saying really is that the first morning is a time for us to be calm and play our cricket, not get carried away with what&rsquo;s going on,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />&ldquo;That&rsquo;s easier said than done but it&rsquo;s important we keep ourselves where we need to be, come out and put pressure on by the way we hit the ground.<br /><br />&ldquo;There are a lot of times in your career where you need to find intensity from somewhere and bring yourselves up for the occasion &ndash; this is not going to be one of those occasions.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to be one of those occasions where everything about you is going to be buzzing so you don&rsquo;t want to go over the top and go over that line not thinking clearly.&rdquo;<br /><br />England&rsquo;s 13-man squad arrived in Cardiff for their first training session yesterday afternoon, while captain and selectors analysed the pitch before choosing the starting XI.<br /><br />All indications point to a spin-friendly wicket which would see Monty Panesar pair up with Graeme Swann in a two-pronged spin attack, at the expense of paceman Graham Onions.<br /><br />Either way, national selector Geoff Miller is confident he has the right 13 at his disposal and is surprisingly bullish about England&rsquo;s chances.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m very confident,&rdquo; Miller said. &ldquo;I know we&rsquo;ve got players there who, if they play like they can play, we can give these a really hard ride.&rdquo;