Cricket Expert & Columnist
Andrew Strauss proud of brave England after World Cup win
"They've been brave enough to try something different, something we've never done before, and it has come off"
Last Updated: 15/07/19 12:13am
Instrumental in England's white-ball turnaround, former director of cricket Andrew Strauss reflects on their astonishing Super Over win over New Zealand which saw them lift the World Cup for the first time...
It's completely unfathomable. The commitment, the effort, the drive, the determination, the hunger the guys showed under the upmost pressure, it was just extraordinary to watch.
It is the greatest game of cricket in history! And it was in a Lord's World Cup final.
There is no better showcase for the game. It was utterly extraordinary! You hope it will inspire people. There will be new fans tuning into the Ashes now; the eyes of the country will be on these guys, and rightly so.
We haven't had a moment like this before in English cricket - those guys deserve to celebrate.
I'm so proud of the team. They've been brave enough to try something different, something we've never done before, and it has come off.
It's one thing trying to play a different style, but then you've got to stick with it when you have your bad days, when the press get on your case and when people start doubting you. You've got to stick with players when they're out of form, and back the coach when people are perhaps on his case as well, and rally behind your captain.
Over the four years, that's what they all did. They came into this tournament the No 1 team in the world, with a lot of deep-rooted confidence and belief that they could do it, but boy did they have to dig deep in the final. That was as hard as it can possibly get.
The pressure was extraordinary on all 22 players, and all involved should be incredibly proud of themselves. They have done their countries proud. New Zealand did nothing wrong the whole way through the final.
Incredible calmness from England, when they really had to deliver, got them over the line. The last 10 overs, the Super Over, such clear thinking under pressure. I think that only comes when you know your method really well, you back yourself - we saw that with Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan. You could tell he was incredibly calm.
In the early part of the summer, the Archer situation was a headache. Should he get in the squad? Who does he replace? By the end of the Pakistan series, it was clear this guy had to play. He gave us something we didn't have otherwise - that X-factor, that extra pace, the calm presence under pressure. All from a guy playing in his first dozen one-day internationals. It's utterly extraordinary, the journey he has been on.
This guy has got a massive England career ahead of him, starting with the Ashes. He goes straight in! You play him, give him a taste against Ireland, and then you say 'we're backing you to help us win the Ashes'.
He will ask questions of those Australian batsmen. In Test cricket, he is going to be a handful - no doubt about that whatsoever.
We're very quick in this country to look at other teams and look at all the world-class players they have, but we have got some of the greatest white-ball cricketers in the world at the moment - Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy has pushed himself to a different over the course of the World Cup, Jofra coming in - and they will only benefit from this experience.
It will be different from now on, and they will need to kick on again. You can't just hope that in four years' time, if we do the same things, we'll win again. No.
You've got to start from scratch, rebuild, innovate, rethink about what's going to win in four years in India - winning in the sub-continent is a very different challenge to winning here.
Morgan, will he be there? I don't know. But I think we should just spare a thought for how hard this tournament must have been for him.
We see him on the pitch looking calm and composed - he was a bit rattled only a couple of times - but just think about all of the thinking he has had to do off the pitch, the various conversations he will have had, and the deep soul-searching he has had to do about his own game, particularly against the short ball.
For him to come through it all, it's validation of his method, his strength of character, his desire and his commitment to see this through to the very end.
Its an amazing time for all of those 11 guys - they'll remember it for the rest of their lives - and a special time for this country.