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Strauss answers critics with highest total in Test triumph

PUBLISHED: 15:05 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:53 07 September 2010

MIDDLESEX star Andrew Strauss answered his critics in the best possible manner when he racked up his highest career total in the third Test against New Zealand earlier this week. In balmy sunshine, Strauss, who was dropped by the England selectors for las

MIDDLESEX star Andrew Strauss answered his critics in the best possible manner when he racked up his highest career total in the third Test against New Zealand earlier this week.

In balmy sunshine, Strauss, who was dropped by the England selectors for last year's Sri Lanka tour, scored 177 runs against the Kiwis to stake his claim for inclusion in the starting line-up against New Zealand at Lord's in May.

On day three in Napier, Strauss, only the fourth batsman to bag a debut century at Lord's, grabbed 174 runs in an awesome eight-hour stand.

"It's been a pretty long time since I got a Test hundred," said Strauss. "There was a lot of emotion in it and a fair amount of relief. But more than anything there was the joy of contributing.

"Having got nought in the first innings, there was a lot of relief to see that ball go away through the covers for four to bring up the hundred.

"When I was left out of the Sri Lanka tour, my goal was to enjoy each Test as it came and play it as if it was my last."

l England beat New Zealand by 121 runs on Wednesday to seal a first away Test series win since 2005.

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