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England's Chance for a Slice of Cricketing History

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Mike Selig
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Post by Duty281 Sat 07 Apr 2012, 6:21 pm

October 29 2004

Shane Warne took the last wicket of Zaheer Khan which sealed victory for Australia in the third test and with it the series and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy because Australia were 2-0 up with one to play. And why does it matter? Because that was the last time India had lost a home Test Series. Their record since then is:

India 1-0 South Africa
India 1-1 Pakistan
India 2-0 Sri Lanka
India 1-1 England
India 1-0 Pakistan
India 1-1 South Africa
India 2-0 Australia
India 1-0 England
India 2-0 Sri Lanka
India 1-1 South Africa
India 2-0 Australia
India 1-0 New Zealand
India 2-0 West Indies


Now that is a monumental record and just goes to show that India is the toughest place to go and win Test Series. Just about every major cricketing nation has gone to India since 2004 and lost or, at best, drawn.

When England go over there in September/October they may never get a better chance to beat India on their own patch and prove that they are worthy No.1s (if they're still no.1 by then!). This winter has shown us that England's bowlers, especially Anderson and Swann, can operate and do well on the subcontinent. While the batting has been poor India, in my humble opinion, have only 1 World-Class bowler (Zaheer Khan) and no World-Class spinners.

So victory for England on the final frontier? Or another miserable expedition for Strauss' men?

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Post by Duty281 Tue 27 Nov 2012, 9:07 am

Since I wrote this, a lot has changed - Strauss is no longer captain and England aren't no.1 anymore. But England do have a massive chance of winning in India and would be the first team to do so in 8 years.

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Post by Fists of Fury Tue 27 Nov 2012, 10:03 am

It's still going to be incredibly tough, duty. I fear one or two may be getting carried away with our fantastic win - it was because our two major batsmen stood up and our spinners bowled excellently.

Cook and Pietersen won't always perform in such a manner, and I fear that our other batsmen aren't best placed to step in to the breach. We will need a lot of luck, a lot of skill and a lot of application to repeat that performance.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 27 Nov 2012, 10:30 am

Fists of Fury wrote:It's still going to be incredibly tough, duty. I fear one or two may be getting carried away with our fantastic win - it was because our two major batsmen stood up and our spinners bowled excellently.

Cook and Pietersen won't always perform in such a manner, and I fear that our other batsmen aren't best placed to step in to the breach. We will need a lot of luck, a lot of skill and a lot of application to repeat that performance.

It was a wonderful victory but I still share some of Fists' caution.

A couple of questions:
1. Can Cook, Pietersen, Panesar and Swann continue where they left off?
2. Can others come to the party and perform?

If the answers to both are 'yes', we're pretty much home and dry.
If the answers to both are 'no', we're in big trouble.
If, as perhaps most likely, there are elements of 'yes' and 'no' in the answers to both, then we're at least in for two more intriguing Tests.

I do believe the need for others to deliver is paramount. Certain individual performances have been bordering world class. However, to put a different perspective on matters, after two Tests only four players are averaging over 21 with the bat and ony two bowlers have taken more than two wickets.

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Post by Fists of Fury Tue 27 Nov 2012, 10:35 am

Excellent facts, Guildford.

The law of averages suggests that Cook won't keep scoring hundreds and that Pietersen isn't going to blaze 186 every time he walks out to bat. Who will step up when they fail? I'm really not sure.

Another facet is the pitch. If India produce a flat pitch I actually fear for us more than on a turner. We often wilt in the face of scoreboard pressure, so the toss would of course be crucial, but our bowlers assets would be totally removed and I just think that the Indian batsmen have a sounder technique against slow-turning/bouncing spin than ours do. In a war of attrition, I think India will take it.

It'll be interesting to see what we get at Eden Gardens, but I imagine India will want to nullify the threat of Panesar on sharp turning/bouncing tracks as a starting point.

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Post by Stella Tue 27 Nov 2012, 10:40 am

All teams rely on individual performances. Trott and Bell are both world class players and are due runs.

My worry is, our seamers not getting anything from the wickets if Monty and Swann struggle.
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Post by sirfredperry Tue 27 Nov 2012, 1:20 pm

When it was announced that Pietersen was back for England, I reckoned he would play two match-winning innings in the four Tests, or at least make a couple of 100s (match-winning or not) ijn the series.
Well, we've had one and I don't see why he can't come up with at least one more.
As for Cook, few probably thought he could repeat his back-to-back Brisbane/Adelaide efforts from 2010, but he did. Also, if the law of averages suggest failures for KP and Cook, surely they suggest that runs could be returning for Trott and Bell.
A further thought. If India prepare a bunsen burner, there is the fear they could be outbowled. If they prepare a flat track, they could be playing some of the out-of-form England batsmen into form.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Tue 27 Nov 2012, 2:10 pm

Apparently that was the first time theyve taken 19 wickets with spin since the early 50s.
Also the first game theyve won with Swann and Pannesar playing together

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Post by Stella Tue 27 Nov 2012, 2:13 pm

Laker took all those 19 as well.
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Post by Fists of Fury Tue 27 Nov 2012, 2:13 pm

Bit of a skewed stat that, PSW. True, but skewed.

It would suggest that Swann and Panesar don't bowl well together, when in reality they twice bowled England in to winning positions in the UAE only for the batting unit to totally and utterly capitulate.

Good to get the monkey off their back, though.

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Post by liverbnz Tue 27 Nov 2012, 2:34 pm

It's a massive opportunity for England right now. They have the ability to do it, there's no doubt about that. And I don't think it really matters what sort of pitch India prepare, I think overall England have the better side, man for man. It's just whether or not the batting demons in Asia can be stifled enough to allow them to get into, and convert, a winning position again.

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Post by Mike Selig Tue 27 Nov 2012, 2:45 pm

Fists of Fury wrote:Bit of a skewed stat that, PSW. True, but skewed.

It would suggest that Swann and Panesar don't bowl well together, when in reality they twice bowled England in to winning positions in the UAE only for the batting unit to totally and utterly capitulate.

Good to get the monkey off their back, though.

Actually I think it hides a more pertinent point. For me, this was the first time I've seen Swann and Panesar bowl well as a team. At times in the UAE it looked like Swann was frustrated at being outbowled by Panesar, and trying too hard as a result (Swann didn't bowl that well in the UAE) - he likes to be the main man. In this test, he settled into a more supporting role much more comfortably, kept the runs down and chipped in with crucial wickets. It was a real partnership, whereas in the UAE and certainly in SL it felt more like a competition.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Tue 27 Nov 2012, 3:34 pm

Fists of Fury wrote:Bit of a skewed stat that, PSW. True, but skewed.

It would suggest that Swann and Panesar don't bowl well together, when in reality they twice bowled England in to winning positions in the UAE only for the batting unit to totally and utterly capitulate.

Good to get the monkey off their back, though.

Just heard it on TMS the other day *shrug*
I guess their greatest acheivement together till now was Panessar saving the Ashes singlehandedly with the bat!

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Post by Hibbz Tue 27 Nov 2012, 4:33 pm

Mike Selig wrote:
Fists of Fury wrote:Bit of a skewed stat that, PSW. True, but skewed.

It would suggest that Swann and Panesar don't bowl well together, when in reality they twice bowled England in to winning positions in the UAE only for the batting unit to totally and utterly capitulate.

Good to get the monkey off their back, though.

Actually I think it hides a more pertinent point. For me, this was the first time I've seen Swann and Panesar bowl well as a team. At times in the UAE it looked like Swann was frustrated at being outbowled by Panesar, and trying too hard as a result (Swann didn't bowl that well in the UAE) - he likes to be the main man. In this test, he settled into a more supporting role much more comfortably, kept the runs down and chipped in with crucial wickets. It was a real partnership, whereas in the UAE and certainly in SL it felt more like a competition.

I think some kudos should go to KP_fan who on many occasions suggested that Panesar was a more attacking bowler than Swann (to much ridicule I might add). Whether it was done more by design or luck they were clearly more successful as a pair with Monte performing the attacking role.

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Post by skyeman Tue 27 Nov 2012, 10:43 pm

Fists of Fury wrote:Excellent facts, Guildford.

The law of averages suggests that Cook won't keep scoring hundreds and that Pietersen isn't going to blaze 186 every time he walks out to bat. Who will step up when they fail? I'm really not sure.

Another facet is the pitch. If India produce a flat pitch I actually fear for us more than on a turner. We often wilt in the face of scoreboard pressure, so the toss would of course be crucial, but our bowlers assets would be totally removed and I just think that the Indian batsmen have a sounder technique against slow-turning/bouncing spin than ours do. In a war of attrition, I think India will take it.

It'll be interesting to see what we get at Eden Gardens, but I imagine India will want to nullify the threat of Panesar on sharp turning/bouncing tracks as a starting point.


Totally agree, it is a sign of weakness/ego on Dhoni's part to tell the press he still wants a turner in Kolkata, but it imo will never happen, it will be as flat as a pancake.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Tue 27 Nov 2012, 10:51 pm

I think its brave of Dhoni to go for a result/turning pitch over a pancake. Of course England cant keep producing displays like that, but the law of averages also says the side with better spinner is more likely to win on those tracks. Hed also be risking losing the series. We also may win a toss eventually.
Playing on a flat pitch as has been said still gives England to fold, and makes things very comfortable for the Indian batsmen. It would be a lot harder for them to lose on it, and only slightly harder to win.

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Post by skyeman Tue 27 Nov 2012, 10:54 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:I think its brave of Dhoni to go for a result/turning pitch over a pancake. Of course England cant keep producing displays like that, but the law of averages also says the side with better spinner is more likely to win on those tracks. Hed also be risking losing the series. We also may win a toss eventually.
Playing on a flat pitch as has been said still gives England to fold, and makes things very comfortable for the Indian batsmen. It would be a lot harder for them to lose on it, and only slightly harder to win.

So which will the BCCI choose Very Happy

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Post by skyeman Tue 27 Nov 2012, 10:58 pm

It's gonna deffo be a flour, eggs, sugar and milk pitch, maybe with a bit a baking soda.

100%.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Wed 28 Nov 2012, 5:14 pm

On this subject Raul Dravid has excused England for their losses in the UAE by declaring or games played on spinning wickets to be a lottery. Clealry we were just unlucky, not outplayed, and should be restored to number one in the rankings.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-england-2012/content/video_audio/593729.html


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Post by Duty281 Wed 28 Nov 2012, 5:34 pm

Fists of Fury wrote:It's still going to be incredibly tough, duty. I fear one or two may be getting carried away with our fantastic win - it was because our two major batsmen stood up and our spinners bowled excellently.

Cook and Pietersen won't always perform in such a manner, and I fear that our other batsmen aren't best placed to step in to the breach. We will need a lot of luck, a lot of skill and a lot of application to repeat that performance.

Look at it this way, we've just managed to hammer India by 10 wickets with only 4 players playing well. Imagine what we can do when other players step up to the plate. For what it's worth, I think the 3rd Test will be a draw and the 4th Test an English win.

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Post by Gerry SA Wed 28 Nov 2012, 11:11 pm

Eden Gardens is a fortress for the Indians so I'd expect them to win there, and win pretty well.

Nagpur is a more seam friendly ground. So that would be England's venue.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 08 Dec 2012, 12:14 pm

It all looks a bit better now doesn't it? Yahoo

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Post by gboycottnut Sat 08 Dec 2012, 12:38 pm

England can still lose, if India's last pair extend the lead past 150.
And also let's lot forget the spectacular batting collapses of England's 4th innings V Pakistan in the UAE at the start of this year.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 08 Dec 2012, 1:57 pm

gboycottnut wrote:England can still lose, if India's last pair extend the lead past 150.
And also let's lot forget the spectacular batting collapses of England's 4th innings V Pakistan in the UAE at the start of this year.

India don't have Ajmal in their ranks.

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