What is a proud moment in cricket

Leading England is an immensely proud moment but my focus is purely on always winning

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Test cricket is back and I can't wait to get out and start again. It was a long time to come.

We all know why we've had this long hiatus, and we also know that things haven't got back to normal yet.

But thanks to the tremendous work of so many people at the ECB and thanks to the support of West Indies cricket, we will be able to bet on one card and I hope you all enjoy it.

It's going to be a special day for me as I lead the team for the first time with Joe Root unavailable and immensely proud of it, but my focus is on the job, not the bells and whistles.

I have been told that I will be the first Durham player to captain the England Test team. I have to admit I thought Paul Collingwood had done it before, but it turns out this is a record I hit him too.

I get very proud of skipper England
(Image: Getty Images ECB)

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In 27 years as a first-class county, Durham has been very successful in making games for England.

We may not quite have the test story of a Lancashire or Yorkshire, but we've also now had one of our own national side runs and make it a special day.

I've talked about taking a positive attitude towards my job as a captain and I think that's the way we've usually gone about things as a team for a while now.

We always play on our strengths and think about what to do first before worrying about the opposition, and that's a positive attitude.

The only thing I expect from the team this week especially 100 percent effort during the five days, because it's a huge effort everyone in the team to get the win, we're looking for you against a quality, the West Indies -team.

It is an unusual set of circumstances that we are playing.

My role with the bat and ball didn't change anything - despite the skipper
(Image: Getty Images ECB)

We don't have crowds, we don't really do it in our test grounds, but we're sure going to a large audience in the form of people watching at home.

This will be the first major international fixture played since lockdown and that brings a lot of attention, with so many millions of fans supporting us and wanting to do us good.

All I want to see is that overall player engagement and not letting the fact that there isn't a crowd there as an excuse for anyone dropping in our intensity.

I had my first selection the other day, it was an interesting experience.

It's part of the job and it was nice to see how everything works and input into things.

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I'm not going to give too much away on the team that I'm afraid of other than to say I'm going to be fulfilling the same role I've done for the last couple of years - that doesn't change in terms of my batting either position and the overs
I give bowl.

This is a one-off test for me as a captain and I want to do the best I can, which means to be true to myself and only to me.

I don't think about talking too much about it or anything like that. If I have something to say, I'll say it.

The fact is the West Indies have the right to brag and the Wisden Trophy from the last series and we do
both back.

Nothing helps more than getting this week off to a good start before I get the reins in hand to our captain
Joe.

Posted on Author Categories Sport