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Very Iffy England, Lose Again

January 8th 2013 17:23
England certainly need to turn around their current performances if they want any chance of beating the World champions on their own turf. As it was proved last year, an under prepared and skill lacking England side will struggle in the harsh environment of the Indian cricket watching public. The problem England have is, the opposite to that of their hosts’, bowling. The Three Lions lack bowlers who will trouble batsmen on territory they know. The decision to rest Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann from this tour has obviously come about in an attempt to lessen the work load, however it also leaves the touring party at a disadvantage, as well as new coach Ashley Giles and the full England squad in general.

Firstly, the squad that has travelled to India doesn’t contain the best One-Day players the country has to offer. Doing this on probably the toughest tour in cricket is certainly not going to help any of the inexperienced players, and more than likely will lead to a loss in confidence for the senior players. Yes it gives younger players a chance to progress and test themselves, but Anderson, Swann and Jonathan Trott will more than likely be in the next England World Cup side, and them not being here means that a consistent XI cannot be found and preparation, albeit early, for the World Cup in 2015 cannot begin. The best teams in the world will have settled squads looking ahead to the World Cup, and more readily appearing, the Champions Trophy. This enables them to forget about the clichés of taking every game as it comes, and prepare an outfit with the ability to win a global tournament. The toughest conditions call for the best players, and that is not what England has done, thus leaving them vulnerable to the aforementioned loss of confidence and then loss of interest.

Secondly, Ashley Giles has just taken over as England’s One-Day coach, and a tour of India is certainly a good one to test his bottle. Granted he did select the touring party, but there is no doubt his selections were influenced by the leadership team running the Test XI. The players who aren’t on this tour are being rested in an attempt to lower their tough workload. This I can understand, but when Jimmy Anderson, the leader of our attack, bowls so well in short bursts of spells in the Test side, and looks fit as a fiddle throughout, surely the couple of weeks everyone got off is enough for him to be able to come back and represent his country, as every schoolboy wants to. Right now I would say that I’d want to play for England every day, I know that people who have had the opportunity to play for England would call me naive because it takes more than passion to play all the time. But I would say to them that you should take every opportunity to play for the badge emblazoned on your shirt because millions of people want that opportunity, and in the case of Tom Maynard, you may not get all that long to savour it.
Thirdly, every fan of cricket in England wants to see their country do well on the International stage, luckily in recent years we’ve had the opportunity to see that in the Test arena, but England still fall down in their attempts to raise the 50-over World Cup, a tournament which should hold a lot of good for English cricket should we win it. Therefore, the squads we select should be looking forward to that. Now I can see the point that the current squad is looking towards that as it holds the future of the England side, however tournament experience is key and a good run in the Champions Trophy this summer could really lead to a surge in World Cup opportunities.

I think the big names should’ve gone on this tour and with the way the warm-up matches have gone, I think it is almost a necessity that they play leading roles in all One-Day squads for the next 3 years.

This tour has started poorly for England with real weaknesses showing up all over the place. Ian Bell has batted superbly for his 91 and 108 in the two warm-ups with Eoin Morgan scoring himself into some form with his knock of 52 today. However, the bowlers for England have been incredibly tame, Finn, Dernbach, Woakes and Bresnan haven’t done anything to put fear into the Indian batsmen who will face them over the coming weeks. James Tredwell has bowled well, but with his spinning partner being Samit Patel, England are left a bit short. Hampshire’s young Danny Briggs deserves a try as he has proved himself to be excellent over the previous domestic seasons. I very much hope that England see the light and remove Samit Patel from any thoughts they have about International cricket, as he is a very, very average player indeed.

England vs. Delhi – Second Warm-Up Match
England 294-5 (50overs) Ian Bell 108(125) Eoin Morgan 52(55)
Craig Kieswetter 41*(27)
Delhi 295-4 (48.3overs) S Dhawan 110(109) Milind Kumar 78*(85)
Delhi won by 6 wickets.

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