London, Jul 9 (UNI) England opener Andrew Strauss is hoping to use the pace and hostility of the South African bowling line-up to his advantage during the first Test starting at Lords tomorrow.
The Proteas possess formidable firepower in the pace bowling department, boasting the likes of Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Andre Nel and the veteran Makhaya Ntini.
''The pace on the ball provides scoring opportunities as well,'' Strauss said.
''If they bowl well it's going to be hard work but if they're slightly off line there may well be more opportunities to score than, say, (against) the New Zealand bowlers who were very disciplined but with not quite so much pace,'' he added.
''All it boils down to in the end is how well they're going to bowl and how clear you are in your gameplan about how you're going to counteract that.'' Strauss was upstaged by Morkel during tour game between Middlesex and South Africa last week. Ominously, it took Morkel only six balls before he claimed Strauss' wicket but the left-hander is determined to learn from the experience.
''From my point of view it was fantastic to be able to face them before the Test series and start formulating game plans and how you're going to play the individual bowlers,'' he stated.
''I was keen to play in that game. I thought there was a lot more benefits to playing than possible negatives so it just seemed like the right thing to do and I'm pleased I did it.'' UNI XC AB RKM UCS1551