Andrew Strauss’ personal disappointment and that of England has not convinced the captain to quit his post. (Image | The Age)

England cricketer Andrew Strauss has told the BBC that he will not stand down as captain ahead of the first Test against the West Indies. England currently top the world rankings but are in danger of slipping  behind South Africa after a poor run of results.

Strauss’ side have won only once in their past five matches, and suffered a 3-0 series defeat to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. The captain himself has also experienced a dip in form, making one century in his last 49 innings.

When asked by reporters if he had ever felt “fed-up” of the job, Strauss replied: “Not even close.

“I’m excited about the challenges ahead, to come out at Lord’s again, and I’m hoping we will all show what we’re capable of this summer. The West Indies series is an important one for us and they’re a vastly improved side, so it will be a big challenge.”

The whitewash against Pakistan was followed by a 1-1 draw in Sri Lanka, but it must be said that all of these results came on the road. The West Indies test at Lord’s gives the side a chance to redress the balance and reverse its poor form on home turf.

“I think we’re all quite excited about being back in our home conditions,” Strauss added.

“The winter was a challenge and we’ve learned some really valuable things for the future but now it’s about reconnecting with what we’ve done well in these conditions.”

The last time the West Indies visited England, they endured a tough time, with the hosts comfortably winning the Test series after opening draws in Leicestershire and Essex.

The prospect of Yorkshire youngster Jonny Bairstow making his Test debut is extremely exciting ahead of the West Indies series. (Image | The Sun)

There is a new face in the England batting line-up, 22-year-old Jonny Bairstow, who is uncapped at Test level but has made six appearances in one day internationals and Twenty20 matches. The Yorkshire batsman is likely to bat sixth courtesy of Ravi Bopara’s injury.

National selector Geoff Miller told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek: “It is a tough decision [including Bairstow] but it is nice that we have got one or two lads knocking on the door to try and fill those places when they come available.”

With South Africa level on 116 points with England in the ICC Test rankings, the pressure is well and truly on Strauss and his team to put on a solid display on home ground, and reverse the trend before the series against the Proteas. The first test began earlier today (Thursday 17 May) at 11am (BST).

It will be tough for England, with the West Indies showing signs of improvement, and the well-documented problems of Strauss, who after all, is the side’s opening batsman. The timing of the Test is also far from ideal conditions-wise, particularly for the batting line-ups of either side, with England’s bowlers expected to run riot in front of the Lord’s crowds.

Tweet the author | @chriskking

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