Strauss: Our batsmen will shine at Lord’s

CAPTAIN Andrew Strauss has vowed to lead by example when England take on Pakistan in the series showdown at Lord’s this morning.

The hosts’ batting line-up has come under scrutiny following two collapses during their four-wicket defeat at the Oval last week as Pakistan kept the series alive at 2-1.

But Strauss is keen to help his side avoid a repeat of events in the third Test as England aim to finish the summer on a strong note ahead of their Ashes tour of Australia this winter.

“I would like to have scored more runs than I have done this series, clearly,” said the England skipper, who has recorded 142 runs in six innings against Pakistan.

“But it has been tough for the opening batsmen, and the ball has been swinging around. I would like to get a score both as a batsman and as a captain to lead by example.

“I’ve had a couple of starts, a couple of reasonable innings but I missed out at the Oval. I generally enjoy batting at Lord’s so hopefully there’s a good score there for me.”

England opener Alastair Cook’s position at the top of the order was under scrutiny going into the last match but he silenced his critics with a confidence-boosting century in the second innings.

And Strauss, 33, believes dips in form are simply part of the life of any batsman.

“Just as I said about Alastair Cook, as batsmen you are not going to score runs every time you bat – otherwise your name would be Don Bradman.

“You’ve got to realise there are going to be games when things don’t go your way. The key is that when you get in, you cash in.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Salmaan Butt has set his sights on leveling the series at Lord’s.

“I think it would be the most wonderful thing,” said Butt. “To come from 2-0 down to level the series would boost confidence for the rest of our futures.”