August 3, 2011

India in England, 2011

England's cricket secret

Akhila Ranganna

England's victory over India in the first two Tests puts them on the verge of being the best in the world. What can the rest of us learn from their march to the top, asks Jim White in the Daily Telegraph.

But what even Flower would admit is this: none of this, the team ethic, the captaincy, the application of sports science, would have brought England to where they are without the raw material to work with. Above all, Flower has been blessed by happenstance delivering him a generation of talent unavailable to his predecessors, albeit some of it hailing from parts beyond these shores. Obdurate batsmen, swashbuckling all-rounders, a clever spinner, a battery of fast bowlers: he might have made them better, he might have forged them into a formidable unit, but these were some players to start with.

England have the depth and ability to become the No. 1 team in the world – as soon as next week – and keep it that way for a while, writes Simon Hughes in the same newspaper.

Hutton’s England might just be superior to all – they were unbeaten in 14 series between 1951 and 1958. But it will take a quite exceptional group of men to knock Strauss’s team off their perch when they are anointed sometime in the next three weeks.

Stephen Brenkley in the Independent writes that in the wake of another resounding victory, it is natural to pose the question - how good are England?

Rob Smyth in the Guardian looks at how England are piecing together the perfect team in their bid to become the world's No. 1 Test team.

England are on the brink of topping the world rankings, writes David Lloyd in the Independent but there are five goals they must achieve to stay there in the long term.

Back to the Daily Telegraph where Alan Tyers takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what England need to do to become the new Australia.

Andrew Strauss has won a lot of admiration for his leadership, calm determination and fair treatment of team and opponent alike. However, he has a long way to go to match Steve Waugh when it comes to being flinty, taking the team to war memorials and talking about how much he likes his cricket hat.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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