On this day in 2006: Andrew Strauss takes over England ODI captaincy

Andrew Strauss took over as England one-day captain from the injured Andrew Flintoff on this day in 2006.

Flintoff was advised to rest for four weeks – rather than have surgery – for his problematic left ankle.

Strauss, who led England in Flintoff’s absence for the final stages of their last limited-overs series in India, was the obvious choice to do so against Sri Lanka once it became clear Michael Vaughan was not yet ready to return to international cricket following his knee injury.

Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff’s absence paved the way for Andrew Strauss to take the captaincy (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Test batter Alastair Cook was among six uncapped players in Strauss’ 15-man squad.

Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan, Lancashire’s pace-bowling all-rounder Glen Chapple, Middlesex pair James Dalrymple and Ed Joyce and Warwickshire’s Alex Loudon were the others.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney accepted it would not be an easy task for the new-look squad.

He said: “This will be a tough test for the team. Our first-choice captain is injured, and his nominated replacement Andrew Flintoff is also unavailable through injury – as are a number of senior players.

“Andrew Strauss will again deputise as captain. He did an excellent job captaining the team in difficult circumstances in India, securing our only win in the series, and will bring his experience of leading Middlesex to the role.”

Strauss’ side were comfortably beaten by Sri Lanka (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Before the sterner test of a one-day series against a strong Sri Lanka side, Strauss, then 29, led an under-strength team to face Ireland in their inaugural ODI at Stormont.

England piled on 301, at a time when they were often content to settle for considerably smaller totals, and won the match by 38 runs.

England were no match for Sri Lanka, whose engine room of Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas and Lasith Malinga was simply too strong. Strauss duly presided over a 5-0 home whitewash.

Wary of too much change at the top, with both Flintoff and Vaughan in recovery, Strauss was nevertheless appointed across formats for the forthcoming visit of Pakistan.

Andrew Strauss
Strauss steered England to their first Ashes win Down Under since 1986 (Gareth Copley/PA)

A 3-0 series win in the Test series, plenty of runs and the calm navigation of a ball-tampering controversy at the abandoned match at The Oval marked out the Middlesex man’s leadership skills.

Strauss’ time in charge ended after disappointment at the Champions Trophy in India later that year, with Flintoff back to resume the reins.

But Kevin Pietersen’s exit as captain in 2009 paved the way for Strauss’ second run at the job, taking the team to number one in the Test rankings and, in 2011, winning the Ashes Down Under for the first time since 1986.