ANDREW Strauss’ appearance for Middlesex in last week’s draw with Notts will be his last for a while yet according to former Test captain Alec Stewart.
Strauss’ position as current England captain has been the source of much speculation following a run of just one century in 24 innings for his country.
The last came at Brisbane in the Ashes winning series of 2010.
However, Stewart does not believe Strauss’ place as leader of the No 1 cricketing nation in the world is under any serious threat - at least in part because there is not exactly an orderly queue forming to replace him.
Therefore, in the former Surrey and England wicketkeeper’s opinion this week’s opening Test of the summer is a long way from the last chance saloon for Strauss and Middlesex will have to do without him well beyond next week’s visit to reigning County Champions Lancashire.
He said: "Andrew Strauss has had a poor 12 months or whatever it may be, but Nasser Hussain always says you always appear to be a better player out of the side than you are when you are in it.
"He will know he hasn’t scored a hundred in a while, but I’d like to think he knows he is a good player who warrants a place in the team and I just throw it back to you, if Strauss doesn’t play then who plays instead, because there are not many out there putting pressure on England’s opening batsman.
"You have the young lad up at Yorkshire Joe Root who Graham Thorpe speaks very highly of, Michael Carberry down at Hampshire and putting my Surrey hat on I still believe Steven Davies even though he is seen as a wicketkeeper, he’s opening for Surrey - he could be in the England side just as a batsman because he is that talented.
"However I have always said you have got to earn the right to be selected ahead of somebody who is already in that team."
Stewart’s comments were made at the Ladbrokes sponsored Sports Journalists Association lunch in Fleet Street last week.