• England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord's, 2nd day

Strauss relieved to get monkey off his back after ton

David Hopps
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Andrew Strauss said he "had to dig pretty deep" on the way to his fifth Test century at Lord's © Getty Images
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Andrew Strauss promised that he would allow himself to celebrate with a "little glass of something" after his first Test hundred for 18 months ended concerns about his faltering batting form as England captain.

"You feel like you want to take the monkey off your back and contribute to the team - that's the most important thing," he said on Sky Sports. "It was a great feeling. It was quite tortuous getting the final 20 runs but I suppose that makes it all the more rewarding. I had to dig pretty deep."

Strauss' home crowd were jubilant as he made his fifth Test hundred at Lord's. "It was a very special ovation," he said. "It went on and on. It was slightly emotional. I have felt good in the preparation to this game but you still have to go out there and do it. It is a great feeling tonight to know that that I have got a few."

England finished the second day of the first Test against the West Indies on 259 for 3, 16 ahead, and Strauss, his authority again unquestioned as the captain who has led England to the No. 1 Test ranking and home and away Ashes triumphs, will resume on 121 not out on the third morning.

"I think my hundred on debut at Lord's was probably more important but it's been a while so it's probably one of the more special ones," he said. "I love batting here. It is the home of cricket and the ground by which every other ground is measured. I may have a little glass of something tonight."

Strauss had no complaints about the scrutiny that has built up around his modest batting form since his last hundred, against Australia in Brisbane in November 2010. "It is what it is. It becomes the talking point and until you get runs it remains the talking point. That's just how it is. It is enjoyable to get the hundred and now I can flick it to someone else."

He also had praise for the England team-mates who have stood by him. "We stick together and when one guy is under the pump a bit we are delighted when he comes through," he said.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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