Strauss urges side to improve

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ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss has challenged his team to keep improving, telling them: “Getting to number one in the rankings is nothing.”

Strauss’ men landed in Dubai today ahead of a three-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which will be their first since they ascended to the top of the ICC rankings with a whitewash of India last summer.

Pakistan have overcome the controversy of the spot-fixing scandal to play some impressive cricket of late, sealing Test series victories against Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

It means England will have to be at their best in alien conditions if they are to maintain their position at the top of the tree, and Strauss is keen to ensure there is no complacency among his charges.

“The only way to ensure it is to make sure you’re just as desperate to go on and improve as you were a year or two ago,” he said.

“Getting to number one in the rankings is nothing, really. It’s your name on a piece of paper, that’s all it is.

“There’s always a new challenge ahead of you, this one coming up against Pakistan is a very stern challenge.”