Sir Ian Botham praised the performance of Andrew Strauss after his knock of 61 in Colombo.
Last Updated: 04/04/12 2:46pm
Sir Ian Botham praised the performance of Andrew Strauss after England ended day two of the second Test on 154-1 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Having dismissed the hosts for 275, Strauss and Alastair Cook shared a 122-run opening stand to ease the pressure on the batsmen and put England in the driving seat.
Following a poor run of personal form and defeat in the first Test in Galle, Strauss' position as captain had come under scrutiny but Botham believes he has come out fighting after a knock of 61.
He told Sky Sports News: "He'll feel good and the great thing is it will go through the whole team. Everyone was delighted. The applause - you would have thought he'd hit 350 instead of 50. Everybody wanted him to do it, he did it.
"I just take you back Napier, when everyone was saying he was in the last chance saloon, and he got 170 odd. He's done it before, he's done it today and I expect him to continue.
"I'm delighted for him because his record as captain is magnificent and I think everybody who likes English cricket will be happy he has runs.
"I don't know what happened overnight but whatever it was they need more of it."
Sir Ian also thinks England's bowlers may have had a word in the ears of the out-of-touch batsmen after a significant turnaround in their fortunes.
"Strauss, right him off at your own peril, has set the tone a little bit. They were very dogged at the start, they were determined and rotated the strike. And thank goodness we didn't see that pre-meditated sweep shot," Botham added.
"I think there's been a long discussion in that dressing room and possibly the bowlers have talked to the batsmen. Questions have been asked and the batsmen have responded.
"It's looking good for England, I expect them to bat for most of tomorrow and perhaps have a little dart at Sri Lanka in the evening - that's the plan."