England can manage without Vaughan: Strauss

Published: Monday, February 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England opener Andrew Strauss said he is looking forward to the challenge of facing the Indians at home and believes that despite the odds his injury-plagued side will manage to come good against Rahul Dravid's men.

''It's not ideal but If we have to go into a Test without Michael we have to believe that we have the players in our squad to beat India,'' he told BBC Sport.

Vaughan will return home for treatment of his knee after being ruled out of the series. His absence has paved the way for Alastair Cook to make his Test debut in the match starting March 1 in Nagpur and Strauss has no doubt that the rookie will make a good opening partner.

''He's looked every inch a Test-class batsman and if he gets the opportunity I'm sure he'll relish the challenge,'' he said on Cook.

Strauss admitted that English will be hampered by the loss of the experienced opener Marcus Trescothick.

''The team is going to be weaker without Marcus playing, there's no doubt about that,'' Staruss said.

''He's proved over the past couple of years what an important part of the side he is. It's going to be a big challenge for us to fill his boots and provide that solid opening platform he has done time and time again.'' On his own form, which has been anything but impressive during the two warm-up matches, Strauss said.

''I haven't spent as long in the middle as I'd like to but I do feel I'm hitting the ball pretty well in the nets.'' ''As long as I get myself mentally right for the Test matches what's gone on in the practice matches will be irrelevant. The important thing is what happens on Wednesday.''

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