Saturday, 1 October 2016, 10:23am
Andrew Strauss: I don't hold tour stance against Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales
Limited-overs captain Morgan and opening batsman Hales were sufficiently unnerved by July's terror attack at a Dhaka cafe, where 29 people were killed, to opt out of the trip despite ECB security advisor Reg Dickason giving the green light last month.
In the immediate aftermath, Strauss admitted he was "disappointed" with their stance, adding the pair had given others an opportunity to stake their place for a permanent slot in the team.
However, the former England captain respects their decisions and acknowledged it would have been unfair to force anyone to travel to a place where they did not feel comfortable.
Strauss, who arrived at England's team hotel in Dhaka on Friday night amid a heavy security presence, said: "I was disappointed and mainly because I just felt if we got the whole team together, I think that's a stronger statement.
"(But) the worst thing you could possibly do is force someone to tour somewhere if they're really, deeply uncomfortable because they're not going to perform on the pitch for you anyway.
"I certainly don't think the players are holding it against them in any way and I'm certainly not either."
The duo will miss the three one-day internationals, the first of which is next Friday in Dhaka, while Hales seemed likely to lose his spot in the Test side anyway after a disappointing return in the summer series against Pakistan.
Hales' form in the 50-over format has been electric however, with four hundreds in the last 12 months, while Morgan has overseen a stunning metamorphosis of the one-day team since last year's World Cup shambles, and both will therefore be in contention for the ODI series against India after Christmas.
Strauss said: "One thing you do do when you opt out of a tour is you give someone else an opportunity to stake their claim.
"But both Eoin and Alex have done a lot of really good things for England in the last 12 months or so, and I think Eoin, in particular, as captain has done some fantastic things in terms of instilling this new philosophy
"When we come to select the squad for India, we're selecting from that full squad again."
Jos Buttler will lead the ODI side in Morgan's absence and Strauss added: "He will be his own man and do things his own way. I think philosophically he's very similar to Eoin in terms of how he wants the team to play ."
England suffered another setback in their preparations when it was revealed their leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson and fellow fast bowler Mark Wood would also miss the tour after suffering recurrences of recent injuries.
Anderson's ongoing struggles with his right shoulder forced his withdrawal from playing in either of the two Tests that follow the ODI series while Wood, named in both squads, continues to battle a left ankle problem.
While Strauss remains optimistic both bowlers may feature against India, his reticence to put a timescale on Anderson's return in particular suggests the 34-year-old may be touch and go for the first Test on November 9 in Rajkot.
He said: "The message we've been given on both of them is that they both need more time and the worst thing you can do is rush them back before they're ready.
"We're hopeful that both will play a part at some stage in the winter but we just don't know .
"At this stage, all we're saying is Bangladesh (for Anderson) and we just need to see how quickly (his injury) develops."
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Andrew Strauss, pictured, hopes fast bowlers James Anderson and Mark Wood will play some part in England's winter schedule