England is the new no.1. Really?

Posted: August 16, 2011 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, India in England 2011

 Srikrishnan Chandrasekaran

 16 August 2011

There have been plenty of former and current English players speaking about how England would become no. 1 at the end of 3rd Test. Sure, England have blanked India in the three Tests so far. But, is it really a dominating performance by England? Not at all! The matches looked really odd where the English bowlers have got the ball to move and bounce around the legendary Indian batsmen and at the same time were able to score plenty of runs against Indian bowlers like a Twenty 20 match. Indian team had a reasonable chance in the first two test matches but the outcome was really pathetic with England scampering home by huge margins. In the 3rd test match, it was more about India’s fielding where four catches were dropped in a single innings. The bowlers would have needed all the help they needed to get wickets and their own fielders let them down. There were plenty of times when the bowlers ended-up on a few close LBWs, on all occasion the ball pitched outside the leg stump.

Is this England team as good as they are made out to be?

England played decent cricket, but they are not really no. 1 material yet. The wickets were not really earned by their bowlers; it was more thrown away by Indian batsmen in all the three Test matches. All other top cricket nation players will not end up playing these kind of shots on a continuous basis. Even though England are no.1, their bowlers will have a real tough time in their upcoming series. Most of their Test victories are on their home soil, yet to make a decent show in subcontinental conditions. The batting clicked for Englishmen in all the 3 test matches with 2 out of top 7 emerging with big runs in almost all innings. On a few occasions, the lower order put up a great fight which led them to win the first 2 test matches. On a whole, the English batting is still lacking consistency from their top order players.

When there is a collective team effort and the team ends up on the winning side, most people don’t look at the individual performances and also the strength of their players in difficult times. But in the case of a team which is experienced and fail on a continuous basis on a single tour, then the whole world talks about hectic match schedule and lack of fitness of their players. This is really a rare incident in Indian cricket, there is no need to panic or talk about match scheduling without much break to the players or bringing in fresh blood to the Indian team. It is really important to bring the next generation into the side, but there should be some senior players for the next two to three years to bring them in to a level where they can be on their own in all conditions.

The key areas to focus for team India in the last test match is:

1. Team coordination on the field: The captain and senior players in the team should talk to the bowlers frequently during their long spells, educate to the bowl at right places.

2. Active involvement by team players: Involvement should be more than what it has been during the last three matches. Players should not miss easy chances and also try to convert half chances on the field which really boosts the bowlers and the whole team.

3. Bowlers should understand and bowl to plans: Bowlers should have the courtesy to bowl a decent line and length continuously. They should make the batsmen play at most of the deliveries in an over. There should be variation in line-and-length and pace during their spell.

4. Batsmen should hold their wickets: Batsmen should take a fair amount of responsibility and try to build some partnerships. The trio of Laxman, Dravid and Tendulkar has been pillar of the Indian cricket should understand and take the game on, which will boost the lower order players and also create fear in the opposition camp.

The only odd thing during this series was Indian batsmen failing for 6 consecutive innings whereas their opponent team were able to score twice of their total runs in less than a day’s time.

If England team lost the test series like this in Indian soil, England’s Michael Vaughan would have commented as “the curator applied some stuff on the pitch every time before the commencement of England team batting”

Wishing Indian team all the very best and they will surely end up in a good note on this series.

  1. rajesh says:

    “The wickets were not really earned by their bowlers; it was more thrown away by Indian batsmen in all the three Test matches”
    What makes you think so my friend? Dravid, Laxman and SRT are all seasoned enough and they put a price to their wicket, if you’ve got them cheap then, due credit to your bowlers.

    England have achieved the no.1 Ranking after being through their share of lows, remember them getting white washed by the Aussies at home 5-0 and being bowled out for 57 by the windies.Never the less they have been consistent in the past 2 years or so and they truly deserve to be no.1

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