Geoff Miller defends England captain Andrew Strauss

First Test: England v India

  • Venue: Lord's
  • Date: 21-25 July
  • Start time: 1100 BST

Coverage: Live ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave & BBC Sport website; live video scorecard on Red Button (not Freeview); live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobile; watch live on Sky Sports (subscription required); highlights each evening on Channel 5

England captain Andrew Strauss

Strauss is preparing for the India series by playing for Somerset against India

England national selector Geoff Miller has defended captain Andrew Strauss's style of leadership.

Former skipper Michael Vaughan has labelled Strauss "defensive".

But Miller told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek: "I think he's a very logical and a very solid captain. He is a very rounded player and person."

Miller's comments came as he announced the squad for the first Test against India at Lord's on Thursday, with Tim Bresnan replacing Steven Finn.

A win by two or more Tests in the four-match series would move England above India at the top of the International Cricket Council's world rankings  and claim the number one spot for the first time.

Speaking in the Daily Telegraph,  Vaughan added: "Strauss likes to make the game safe before he attacks, but he has created a unit that plays for each other and that is why you feel they can go on and be the number one team in the world.

"[India captain] Mahendra Dhoni has been exceptional. He is a positive cricketer and he thrives on the leadership qualities he has as a captain. He is quite an aggressive captain.

"He is not scared to make moves and manoeuvre his field to give the opposition a chance to play aggressive cricket as well. That will be the challenge in this series.

"It may come down to which captain is the more adventurous because I see a lot of runs being scored. The pitches will be good and it may come down to which captain gambles in those key periods."

Miller responded: "At Test cricket you win by making the right decisions.

"It's not just about Andrew making those decisions, it's a team effort. The team know which direction they are going in. Andrew is in charge and he is in control of the way England want to go forward."

Yorkshire seam bowler Bresnan missed the 1-0 series win over Sri Lanka with a calf injury, but returns to compete with Nottinghamshire's Stuart Broad for a place in the final XI on Thursday.

Broad, 25, took eight wickets at average of 48.75 in three Tests against the Sri Lankans, but did pick up six wickets in Notts' draw with Somerset.

Tim Bresnan

Bresnan took 11 wickets during England's Ashes series win in Australia

Bresnan, 26, has not played a Test since the final match of the 3-1 Ashes series win in Sydney but, after proving his fitness with 4-64 in Yorkshire's win over Worcestershire, was called into the England one-day side for the 3-2 series win over Sri Lanka.

"The decision will be left to Andrew Strauss and [team director] Andy Flower," said Miller. "They will look at the conditions and decide who they need to play."

Miller also had encouragement for Finn, who was included in the England squad for all three Tests against the Sri Lankans, and played in the second match at Lord's following an injury to James Anderson.

"Steven has also benefited from his time at county level in recent weeks and continues to press hard for Test selection," he said.

"It's very pleasing to see the depth of quality around our bowling attack, particularly with a challenging four-match Test series on the horizon.

"This is clearly a highly-anticipated series between two of the world's top Test-playing nations, and I know the England team is certainly looking forward to the challenge of taking on the number one ranked team in Test cricket."

England squad: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson.