London: One innings into England's Test summer, Andrew Strauss' authority has been emphatically re-established. That it should take place at Lord's was entirely appropriate because there is something about Lord's that encourages the best in him. He is attuned to its trim and orderly air and after an unrewarding winter that brought his right to the England captaincy into focus he has never valued it more.
Strauss has struggled to establish an air of superiority at the crease over the past two years, and his delight at his fifth Test hundred at Lord's suggested that beneath his placid exterior he had felt the tension. An undemonstrative man, he greeted his rasping square cut against Darren Sammy with a roar of satisfaction. It has never become a debate about his fitness to lead, more a growing concern about his batting state of health. That is no longer up for debate and England are better for it. Whatever else will we talk about?
Lord's is never happier than when imagining that it has sustained an England captain, especially a captain as courteous as Strauss, and their fondness for him was apparent in their cheers. "Commendable stuff," one could imagine the members muttering as he crashed a cut or stroked a straight drive, a greater than average number for him, proof enough that he was on his mettle.