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England should make Strauss captain - Shoaib

Written by: Staff
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KARACHI, Sep 11 (Reuters) Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar believes that opener Andrew Strauss is the best man to captain England in the Ashes series.

Shoaib, who returned to action in the one-day series against England before missing the final game through injury, said all-rounder Andrew Flintoff should not be over-burdened.

''My personal opinion is that Strauss wouldn't be a bad call. I don't mean anything against Freddie (Flintoff) but he is coming back from an injury,'' Shoaib told Bigstarcricket.com.

''Freddie's a middle-order batsman, he opens the bowling, he stands at slip and to be captain as well is asking a lot. He's a massive player in the team and you wouldn't want to risk a player like that,'' he said.

England handed the captaincy to Flintoff on their tour of India this year when Michael Vaughan was ruled out with a knee injury.

They then turned to Strauss when Flintoff was not fit to play in the home series against Sri Lanka.

Strauss led England to a 3-0 series win over Pakistan and his team then came from behind to draw the one-day series 2-2.

''Freddie's done the job well before and is a potential captain again in the future. I just think he needs to concentrate on his own game at this stage,'' Shoaib said.

''I know from personal experience that it takes a few games to get your rhythm back.'' ''If he was captain and does not get runs or take wickets that would put a lot of unnecessary pressure on him and the team, Shoaib said.

''The best man should captain the team and if he was fit he should have carried on but in these circumstances Strauss is the man,'' he added.

Shoaib said Pakistan suffered in the final two games against England because of tiredness after a long tour.

''I think the main problem for the boys in that final game, maybe the last two games that we lost, was tiredness. It's been a very long tour for them and it started to get to them mentally and physically.'' ''I don't think they had the same energy in the last two games,'' he added.

''Everybody is mentally tired, there has been a lot of cricket and some controversy along the way and it takes its toll eventually.'' Shoaib missed the last one-dayer because of a sore knee but said it was not serious.

''I wanted to play but my knee was very sore. There is a massive bruise there and quite a big lump on it as well after I injured it at Lord's,'' he said.

REUTERS PDS SSC1125

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