Strauss Celebrates Victory and Praises Swann
Wednesday, 30 December 2009

England captain Andrew Strauss described his team's crushing innings victory over South Africa on Wednesday as one of the best away wins he had experienced.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann and paceman Stuart Broad bowled South Africa out for 133 to complete an innings and 98-run win and give England a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

"It's as emphatic a win away from home as we've had since I've been involved," Strauss told a news conference.

"Pretty much everything we wanted to do, we did. They never got away from us, we hit them hard early with both bat and ball, and then put the runs on the board to have them under pressure.

"It's a case of keeping things simple and doing the hard work and we've come a long way in the last 12 months. It's great to end the year on a real high."
Strauss inherited the captaincy after the relationship between former coach Peter Moores and previous skipper Kevin Pietersen broke down.

He said the team's current success showed that relationships within the team had now been mended.

"We've embraced the change and enjoyed each other's success. We've achieved because we stick together in the tough times," Strauss said.

Strauss said Graeme Swann, who claimed five for 54 in South Africa's second innings and 9-164 for the match, had been a key figure in England's resurgence this year.

"Graeme has had a massive impact over the last 12 months. He's always been a very attacking spinner, he gives it a rip and bowls an attacking line, and, with the extra pressure of test cricket, that can be invaluable," he said.

"Off the field too, he lightens the mood, he keeps guys going when they are down and he has made a big difference to the team."

Strauss would not comment on South Africa's problems but said he was sure they would hit back hard.

"I always think it's unwise to comment on another country's selections," he said.
"South Africa have a method that has worked for them, so it's understandable that they stick with that. We still have a lot of hard work to do because South Africa are a proud team and have lots of good players.

"But the way we won here - - we didn't expect it to be so easy -- means we will be taking a lot of confidence into the next test."


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