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Strauss hails his heroes

Performances of Broad, Bell and Cook please England skipper

Heroes: Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad with skipper Andrew Strauss

England captain Andrew Strauss has hailed his heroes after seeing his side finish 2009 with a comprehensive second Test rout of South Africa.

"Stuart can make things happen - that's his greatest strength."

Andrew Strauss

Quotes of the week

England beat the Proteas by an innings and 98 runs at Kingsmead - topping a year that also saw them lift the Ashes.

And Strauss was full of praise of his players with the performances of Stuart Broad in particular catching the captain's eye.

Broad finished with match figures of 6-87 in Durban and Strauss believes the 23-year-old can go on to bowl a consistent 'Glenn McGrath-style' line and length.

"He can make things happen - that's his greatest strength," said Strauss.

"He's not afraid to try different things, and I always think when it's reversing it's very awkward for batsmen to play him - because he's got the bounce as well as the ability to trap people lbw."

As well as his bowling ability, Broad has also caught the attention for a fiery streak, however Strauss has no problem with the way the pace man plays the game.

"Broady is a very strong character," Strauss said.

Commits

"He sticks up for what he believes in, and sometimes that ruffles a few feathers.

"But that's what makes him a very good bowler and very good cricketer - because he commits to what he thinks is the right thing to do.

"You don't want a bowler asking 'How do you think I should take a wicket here?' You want bowlers to know that."

Strauss was also impressed with the way underfire duo Ian Bell and Alastair Cook responded to their critics with centuries in the second Test.

"It's a horrible place to be when people start to talk about your place in the team," he said.

"It affects you. You try not to let it show that it's affecting you, but it definitely does.

"Ultimately, it's about digging deep and finding a way to get a score.

"Cooky did that brilliantly on the second day of the game - he had to graft it out for long periods - and Belly, I just love seeing him play his natural game.

"When he does that, he looks as good a player as anyone in the world. I hope he'll do that much more in the future."