Andrew Strauss’s two centuries in England’s tests against the West Indies have justified the selectors’ faith in him as a captain. Prior to this series, Strauss last hit 100 in November of 2010, but talk of him recovering his batting rhythm – while true, and important to the team – slightly misses the point. Strauss has led England’s cricket team as much with personality and attitude as with personal results.
An opening partnership sets the mood for the team’s batting. Strauss and Alistair Cook’s pairing was labelled this week by Simon Hughes at the Telegraph as the best in Test cricket. Hughes rightly pointed to the pair’s visible confidence and ability to “transmit a relaxed ambience” to the batsmen waiting their turn at the crease. A nervous opening partnership can lead to nerves further down the order – and with it, disaster.
According to stats from ESPNCricInfo.com, Strauss currently sits ninth in the list of top Test scorers from 2007-12. His calm style is highlighted by his meagre total of sixes – just four in that time. Compare that to teammate Kevin Pietersen at number four, who hit 30 sixes in that time.
The perseverance shown to Strauss by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) speaks to the importance of sticking with natural leaders as a means of securing team success – even when their own individual performances may be lacking. This is an approach that is all too lacking in professional sport – and management as a whole.
Management ups and downs
Both for getting promoted to League One and hanging on to wunderkind Nick Powell for the season. The 18-year-old Powell looks to be Premiership bound in the coming weeks – and scored the first, decisive goal in the League Two playoff final.
Since winning the Australian Grand Prix in March the former F1 champion has been all but irrelevant this season. Drivers are generally judged against the other bloke in the same car, and Button’s teammate Lewis Hamilton sits three places above him.