England v India, 3rd Test, Edgbaston August 4, 2011

England better than in 2005 - Flintoff

ESPNcricinfo staff
140

Andrew Flintoff, the man whose greatest years as a Test cricketer coincided with England's last sustained run of excellence in five-day cricket, believes the team of 2011 is a better outfit than the 2005 side that won six series in a row and regained the Ashes for the first time in 18 years.

England's current run of form has carried them to a 2-0 series lead against the current No. 1 Test team in the world, India, and if they maintain or improve that two-match margin in the remaining two Tests of the series at Edgbaston and The Oval, they will themselves climb to the top of the world rankings.

In Flintoff's estimation, however, that handover has already been achieved. "England are the best team in the world already," he said. "Not just in ranking, but also in strength. They have got everything. I don't see why they can't dominate for a long time. They have strong enough players to do it. Australia and West Indies did it and England should be able to do it for the next few years."

The key difference between 2005 and 2011 is the breadth of the squad that England are able to call upon. Six years ago, England's first XI was formidable, with players such as Flintoff and Simon Jones peaking at precisely the right moment in their careers. However, they lacked the reserves to maintain their rise towards the top. Jones went lame with one Ashes match remaining and never played again, while the subsequent losses of Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan and Flintoff himself for long periods led to a long slide back towards mediocrity.

"This is a better side than the one we had in 2005," said Flintoff. "The strength of it and the depth is incredible. In 2005 we had 11 players who had a memorable few weeks and played at their best for a period, but we never played together again."

In the past 12 months, England have demonstrated a formidable pack mentality, particularly when it comes to their fast bowlers. When Stuart Broad was injured during the Ashes, he was replaced superbly by Chris Tremlett, who had himself risen to become the leader of the attack by the end of the recent Sri Lanka series. Then, when he suffered a back spasm on the eve of the Trent Bridge Test, Tim Bresnan - another Ashes reserve - stepped in to seal the match with a career-best 5 for 48.

"This side have a squad and they are so strong in and out of the side," said Flintoff. "We've seen them replace players without blinking and it has made no difference to the performance and that has been happening for a while now.

"There are no weak links. They are playing with a confidence and a swagger that goes with being the best. They've got every department covered and if someone gets injured then another one comes in and does a job."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 7, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    no its our compassion upon u

  • 5wombats on August 7, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    @Nivantha Tennakoon; - "So its good that all the Top teams stay closer rather than one side.. No more one sided matches"... You are joking of course!!! So England beating Australia by an Innings THREE times and England Thrashing India by 315 runs - these are not one-sided matches??? I'd like to see a one-sided match in that case - perhap one like England V Sri Lanka at Cardiff???

  • britInBerkeley on August 7, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    Yes, Eng. better than in 2005, because the old-fashioned batting collapse has gone away. This started with Eng's escape at Cardiff in 2009. But look at their resilience in SA, and at the Gabba in Aus. That's intangibles like leadership and mental strength. And today Eng is in better shape than it was then.

    But, the 2005 Ashes was an all-time great series, which came right down to the last day of the last game! If Warne (a great slip as well as a great cricket brain) hadn't dropped KP, would Eng have won the series?

  • Legster on August 7, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    A note to Sid - one cannot prepare "swinging" pitches, swing happens due to the atmosphere and has nothing to do with the pitch, if you are going to whinge then do so on the basis of facts, please. A seaming pitch, on the other hand is possible, but what happened at Lord's and Trent Bridge wasn't really seam, it was swing.

  • 5wombats on August 6, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    @blackjesuz; "England looked toothless without anderson against lanka". Not a smart comment mate - England without Anderson destroyed Sri Lanka at Cardiff in the second Innings. Maybe you didn't notice? I was there, I noticed. Tremlett toothless! a ha ha ha!

  • 5wombats on August 6, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    The thing is - that was a VERY GOOD (actually an Amazing) Australia side! For them losing was such a distant memory that it almost didn't exist. Certainly none of them had experienced series defeats against England. Those Aussies were some of the greatest ever players of this great game; Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist. I mean, phew! Then there were the players who were otherwise outstanding in their generation like Langer, Hayden, Lee. That's half the team that were just wonderful players! But look - England beat them! England 2005 were also a VERY GOOD side, and also they had a psychological disadvantage = none of that England side had ever experienced a series win against Australia. Sure, Vaughan knew he could score runs off them - but the whole team had to find a way to beat a GREAT Australia side. They found a way. As Freddie points out, England 2011 are a better all round team - but 2005 England won The Ashes and came from behind to do it. A superb series! The greatest ever?

  • Sid273 on August 6, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    England are lions at home, just like India were termed to be in the past decade, but at that time India was never called the best team bcoz of their lack of winning ways overseas. When India prepared spinning tracks to play to their strengths, they were criticized, but when England prepare swinging tracks they are hailed Come on its their strength, they are playing on their home grounds, they are expected to be a strong team. Ok, they retained the Ashes, but against a very weak Australian side, whihc has been losing to everyone since some days, We saw how ineffective Swann was on tracks not suited to him. And you shouldnt be calling beating sub-continent teams in subcontinet a "zzzzz" , why? Isnt sub-continent an overseas thing for ENgland, let them prove themselves "overseas". Then we will decide, if this England team is really the ebst in business.

  • Sid273 on August 6, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    England are lions at home, just like India were termed to be in the past decade, but at that time India was never called the best team bcoz of their lack of winning ways overseas. When India prepared spinning tracks to play to their strengths, they were criticized, but when England prepare swinging tracks they are hailed Come on its their strength, they are playing on their home grounds, they are expected to be a strong team. Ok, they retained the Ashes, but against a very weak Australian side, whihc has been losing to everyone since some days, We saw how ineffective Swann was on tracks not suited to him. And you shouldnt be calling beating sub-continent teams in subcontinet a "zzzzz" , why? Isnt sub-continent an overseas thing for ENgland, let them prove themselves "overseas". Then we will decide, if this England team is really the ebst in business.

  • 5wombats on August 6, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster; "Also, the English bowlers rely too much on overcast conditions for the ball to swing", how do you reckon that then? It was hot and sunny at Lords and Trent Bridge and india got bowled out for under 300 every time, 150ish even. Don't try and make out that England only win at home because of their swing bowlers - otherwise how did Bell score 150+ at Trent Bridge, KP 200+ at Lords, how did Cook & Trott score so many runs in Australia and how did Swann bowl out the Aussies at Adelaide and how did England manage to win a Test match in South Africa last year? Evidence is important here and the evidence doesn't support what you are saying. I am really looking forward to watching England in india when we can finally nail some of these myths once and for all.

  • thewayitwass on August 6, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    England looked toothless without anderson against lanka..thats not exactly depth is it? you want to talk about depth? who is there to replace swann? australia had macgill for warne.. who is there as a replacement opener? aus had hayden slater langer blewit to choose from.. who is there as a replacement for the middle order? australia has martyn lehmann, love etc fighting for positions..THAT was depth, england are just very strong when close to full strength

  • on August 7, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    no its our compassion upon u

  • 5wombats on August 7, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    @Nivantha Tennakoon; - "So its good that all the Top teams stay closer rather than one side.. No more one sided matches"... You are joking of course!!! So England beating Australia by an Innings THREE times and England Thrashing India by 315 runs - these are not one-sided matches??? I'd like to see a one-sided match in that case - perhap one like England V Sri Lanka at Cardiff???

  • britInBerkeley on August 7, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    Yes, Eng. better than in 2005, because the old-fashioned batting collapse has gone away. This started with Eng's escape at Cardiff in 2009. But look at their resilience in SA, and at the Gabba in Aus. That's intangibles like leadership and mental strength. And today Eng is in better shape than it was then.

    But, the 2005 Ashes was an all-time great series, which came right down to the last day of the last game! If Warne (a great slip as well as a great cricket brain) hadn't dropped KP, would Eng have won the series?

  • Legster on August 7, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    A note to Sid - one cannot prepare "swinging" pitches, swing happens due to the atmosphere and has nothing to do with the pitch, if you are going to whinge then do so on the basis of facts, please. A seaming pitch, on the other hand is possible, but what happened at Lord's and Trent Bridge wasn't really seam, it was swing.

  • 5wombats on August 6, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    @blackjesuz; "England looked toothless without anderson against lanka". Not a smart comment mate - England without Anderson destroyed Sri Lanka at Cardiff in the second Innings. Maybe you didn't notice? I was there, I noticed. Tremlett toothless! a ha ha ha!

  • 5wombats on August 6, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    The thing is - that was a VERY GOOD (actually an Amazing) Australia side! For them losing was such a distant memory that it almost didn't exist. Certainly none of them had experienced series defeats against England. Those Aussies were some of the greatest ever players of this great game; Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist. I mean, phew! Then there were the players who were otherwise outstanding in their generation like Langer, Hayden, Lee. That's half the team that were just wonderful players! But look - England beat them! England 2005 were also a VERY GOOD side, and also they had a psychological disadvantage = none of that England side had ever experienced a series win against Australia. Sure, Vaughan knew he could score runs off them - but the whole team had to find a way to beat a GREAT Australia side. They found a way. As Freddie points out, England 2011 are a better all round team - but 2005 England won The Ashes and came from behind to do it. A superb series! The greatest ever?

  • Sid273 on August 6, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    England are lions at home, just like India were termed to be in the past decade, but at that time India was never called the best team bcoz of their lack of winning ways overseas. When India prepared spinning tracks to play to their strengths, they were criticized, but when England prepare swinging tracks they are hailed Come on its their strength, they are playing on their home grounds, they are expected to be a strong team. Ok, they retained the Ashes, but against a very weak Australian side, whihc has been losing to everyone since some days, We saw how ineffective Swann was on tracks not suited to him. And you shouldnt be calling beating sub-continent teams in subcontinet a "zzzzz" , why? Isnt sub-continent an overseas thing for ENgland, let them prove themselves "overseas". Then we will decide, if this England team is really the ebst in business.

  • Sid273 on August 6, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    England are lions at home, just like India were termed to be in the past decade, but at that time India was never called the best team bcoz of their lack of winning ways overseas. When India prepared spinning tracks to play to their strengths, they were criticized, but when England prepare swinging tracks they are hailed Come on its their strength, they are playing on their home grounds, they are expected to be a strong team. Ok, they retained the Ashes, but against a very weak Australian side, whihc has been losing to everyone since some days, We saw how ineffective Swann was on tracks not suited to him. And you shouldnt be calling beating sub-continent teams in subcontinet a "zzzzz" , why? Isnt sub-continent an overseas thing for ENgland, let them prove themselves "overseas". Then we will decide, if this England team is really the ebst in business.

  • 5wombats on August 6, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster; "Also, the English bowlers rely too much on overcast conditions for the ball to swing", how do you reckon that then? It was hot and sunny at Lords and Trent Bridge and india got bowled out for under 300 every time, 150ish even. Don't try and make out that England only win at home because of their swing bowlers - otherwise how did Bell score 150+ at Trent Bridge, KP 200+ at Lords, how did Cook & Trott score so many runs in Australia and how did Swann bowl out the Aussies at Adelaide and how did England manage to win a Test match in South Africa last year? Evidence is important here and the evidence doesn't support what you are saying. I am really looking forward to watching England in india when we can finally nail some of these myths once and for all.

  • thewayitwass on August 6, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    England looked toothless without anderson against lanka..thats not exactly depth is it? you want to talk about depth? who is there to replace swann? australia had macgill for warne.. who is there as a replacement opener? aus had hayden slater langer blewit to choose from.. who is there as a replacement for the middle order? australia has martyn lehmann, love etc fighting for positions..THAT was depth, england are just very strong when close to full strength

  • Mervo on August 6, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Pity they have so many South Africans. Oh, that is the 'depth' ...

  • simer553 on August 6, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    One thing not mentioned in the hugely complex and convoluted arguments below about "who is best (as long as you beat India in India zzzzz)" is that England are reaping the benefit now of nearly 15 years of youth development. Look into it guys - Bresnan and Cook for example (I remember these two as I watched them play in the U19 world cup at headingley against WI) played together in the England setup from the age of 13!! This type of planning and team creation goes far beyond relying on two or three 'stars' (SRT, VVS, Ghambir, Sehwag etc) to turn up and have a good day. England have a huge reserve of talent and can confidently bring in young players who have benefitted from exactly the type of development stated above. This is why England is wiping the floor with what used to be considered an invincible batting line up. Get real all you India fans - we know your great players are exactly that - GREAT! But at the mo - they're not winning tests!

  • on August 6, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Now there are more better teams and more competition is always expected. So its good that all the Top teams stay closer rather than one side.. No more one sided matches...

  • Joby_George on August 6, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    This england side is good but cant say that they will dominate test cricket like west indies or Australia did before. I am sure england cannot win a single test match in india,srilanka, or in pakistan.

  • thefountain on August 6, 2011, 3:04 GMT

    I think the 2005 side was better. That side was a great side. A great attack. Harmison, Jones, Flintoff, Hoggard, Giles. It really stuck it to a fantastic Australian side. Yet the 2011 side does have more depth.

  • Tom-T on August 6, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    I think what's pretty telling - regardless of India's form, or lack of it - is that a world Test 11 made of CURRENT players would have a higher proportion of English players than we've seen for a long time. And probably the fewest Aussies since I don't know when. It might be that that's a reflection of the standard of Test cricket worldwide in 2011, but you can only play against the team you're presented with. England haven't had a 'great' player since.. dunno, Gooch? Stewart? A long time ago anyway. The greats of the modern day are all ageing fast, and I'm honestly not sure who will replace Dravid, Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis, Jayawardene etc. Maybe only Steyn from the current mid-career players looks to be heading for greatness. So people like Cook and Broad and Bell need to stiffen their resolve and perform in every type of condition and every match situation - maybe then we can look back on this as a golden era of English cricket.

  • bumsonseats on August 5, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    im not sure how we got from the better english team, to best of all time between aussies and the west indies in their respective years the question was 2005 or 2011 english team, which was the better. i think this team is as good as 2005 and i expect 2011 will be the better team. as they have more on the bench better replacements. if the question was australia or west indies. i was lucky to see both many times live. the west indies would have blown away the aussies with their attack. pace will aways do it. dpk

  • on August 5, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    All is not lost for India yet... wait and watch the rest of the two matches....

  • on August 5, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    England have to win in the sub continent and improve their ODI forrm to be considered genuine number one. The West Indies & Aussie sides of the past were considered Great coz they were undisputed kings across all formats of the game. Ppl may mock India's reign but they have been Test no 1 & World ODI Champions at the same time. England are still a million miles from being a decent ODI side & until they improve in that area, it will undermine people's belief to consider them as number one side in the world

  • sidsway14 on August 5, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    @Rajesh Jillella.. i do agree its not correct to compare this team with the great Australian and West Indian sides.. but they actually won in australia. and drew in south africa.. so.. guess its a better side than wat india is at the moment..

  • PutMarshyOn on August 5, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    Hard to argue.Certainly better than 2005 - better spinner, more runs from tail, pace attack similar quality, marginally stronger top order. Even for a baggy green supporter they are an exciting team to watch (except for top 3 - but you can't have everything). They aren't as good as the 80's windies or turn of millenium Aussies but that doesn't stop them being #1 for now. Sure they'll have to work hard on sub-continent - but they won't get clobbered the way India have been in UK.

  • on August 5, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    this is ridiculous ...all their wins have been at home recently and people are already comparing them to Australia and West Indies ? ....pathetic ..... please win a series in SA, Ind, SL, Australia and then talk about being no. 1 ...same thing applies to India as well ! ...I see there is a lot of similarity in the way English and Indian media create hype !! ... both teams do not deserve to be no. 1 ..they can never dominate like Aus or WI did !!

  • Tyn6 on August 5, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    @davidallan - "ECBs recruiting agency in SA"? It's such a tired old argument and so factually incorrect - Strauss was born in SA to English parents who moved back to the UK aged 6; Prior has an English father and moved to England aged 11; even Kieswetter went to school in Somerset and has played virtually all of his first class cricket in England. And Morgan is from a non-test playing nation across the Irish sea from England and has played at an English county for his entire career.... Which test team should these players play for in your opinion? And I like the fact that you considered Hick to be more English... If you are going to post the oft-repeated boring rhetoric, at least get your facts straight. Cricketers have often worn the colours of other countries, within the rules. I suggest you get over it and concentrate on the cricket. The fact about the cricket is that this England team is very very good. I for one have no qualms supporting them, in fact I'm loving it...

  • likeintcricket on August 5, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    England is no doubt the best side among the rest nowadays but are they comparable to invincible Australians or mighty Windies? They recently achieved some positive results but unless they conquer subcontinent forts they just cannot declare New World Order.

  • on August 5, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    the t-20 worl champs and the 50 overs world champs very fittingly fighting for the top spot i test..and who ever gets teh no.1 in tests will offcourse be the ebst allround team of current era.... India's chances seem very thin tbh of even saving their face in the rest 2 matches :)

  • Proteas123 on August 5, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    England are playing better than India and I would agree that they seem to be a better team overall but currently there is definitely not a clear number one team. If England get the ranking they will be like India have been in last two years, a number one on paper. Englands only strength over SA would be their bench strength in fast bowling and lower order alrounders. Full strength SA team could definitely beat them though.

  • Andy.rockz on August 5, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Everybody should know the fact that there is one Southafrican and No irish and most importantly one Fletcher in the tour of 2005 :) as simple as that

  • davidallan on August 5, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    No doubt ENG is the best team these days,Thay deserved to be number one.thanks to ECB's recruiting agency in SA.KP,Strauss,TROT,Prior,Kieswetter can never get the chance to play for SA. ENG are good team these days,I remember when Nassir,Stewart,Ghough,Thorpe,Hick,Artheton and many more english palyers use to play for England in mid to late ninetees,they almost lost the test status then.AU,PK,SL,NZ,WI,IND,SA,BAN are all better team than England,although they have there own pool of telent.In 2007 Morgan is playing for IRL,all of sudden ECB found he playing well have him in team and sack ED LOYCE to the other way,Remember when GAVIN HAMILTON played well for Scotland in CWC 1999 and he is in England team next summer,I always salute the talent in Bowling from PAKISTAN and Batting from INDIA,All other nation got better players than ENG,Just forget last 5 years and see ENGLISH team.English can never be no one in cricket but England can.Comon England bring home grown talent and face the world

  • Percy_Fender on August 5, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    The one common factor between the West Indies teams of the 80s and 90s, the Australian teams of the 90s and early 2000s the England team of 2005 and the one that is slated to be No1 in 2011 is their great bowling attacks. Made up very tall fast bowlers and a good spinner. England have started reaping the benefits of this policy now and considering their bench strength, could rule the world in cricket for some time to come. A look into history will show that the only fast bowlers who were below 6 ft, to have become legendary were Malcolm Marshall and Dale Steyn and Waqar younis. (I am talking only after the 80s). The rest were all tall, who had decent control and variations whether it was Garner,Holding,Roberts,Croft,Ambrose,Walsh,Magrath,Gillespie,Imran,Wasim,Richard Hadlee or Morkel. Though Waqar,Steyn and Marshall were less than 6 ft in hieght, they had great skills and more importantly, great support bowlers.Such pace bowlers are definitely match winners.

  • mosin007 on August 5, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    atleast we should praise the patriotism of indian fans , they still think india is no 1 LOLZ

  • ssm2407 on August 5, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    To me the side this England team closet resembles is Hansie Cronje's SA team of late 1990s early 2000s - and not merely because of the strong south african bias in the England side! Like that side the batting is functional (eg for Kirsten=Cook), occassionally spectacular (Gibbs=Pietersen) but overall nothing brilliant. The SA side I refer to had a clear advantage in fast bowling stakes because of Donald but to a degree this is countered by England having a better spinner in Swann. Where there is a strong similarity and advantage over most sides is in the lower order all rounders - Boucher=Prior, Klusener=Bresnan, Pollock=Broad. The SA side never made it to number one simply coz there was a stronger force in Australia...it remains to be seen if this England side can maintain an aura over a period of time.

  • Smahuta on August 5, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    If you think Eng are going to Dominate like Aus or the WI before them you are clearly deluded. Maybe they get to number one, but it wont be for long. Just long enough for South Africa to start playing again after a 7 month break. Eng will prob get hammered in Sri Lanka and go back down to number 3 or 4, where they belong :)

  • on August 5, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Without doubt, this is the best England side in years. They hqve qll-round ability; their batting, bowling qnd fielding are of highest standards and as happens with top teams, when top order fails the lower order comes into their own to do the rescue act. Reminds one of old WI or recent Aussie teams

  • Kartheesurya on August 5, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    Andrew Flintoff is right. Current team is the best England have ever seen. Players like Cook,Pietersen, Bell, Morgan , Broad, Bresnan and Anderson can win matches on their own. It is unbelievable that England have many match winners at the same time. No doubt England are going to dominate the cricket world for the next ten years.

  • janreddy on August 5, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    HI TO EVERY ONE WHO COMMENTED ON INDIAN NO 1 RANKING OR ENGLAND'S FUTURE RANKING... INDIA IS CURRENT NO 1 TEAM IN THE WORLD WHICH IS NOT GIFTED BY OTHERS , THEY ACHIVED IT AFTER A STRONG FOUNDATION IN THE OPENING STAND AND WITH THEIR ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER LOST THE 1ST MATCH OF A SERIES RECENTLY IN SRILANKA AND SOUTH AFRICA TWICE(HOME AND AWAY) AND EVEN IN AUSTRALIA AFTER 2 -0 DOWN TO 2-1 (IN WHICH STEVE BUCKER 'S DECISIONS AFFECTED INDIA) RIGHT....LET US SEE HOW ENGLAND WILL DO IN INDIA , SRILANKA AND SOUTHAFRICA AWAY SERIES COMING IN NEAR FUTURE...IF THEY BEAT INDIA IN INDIA THEN U CAN SAY THEY DESERVED TO BE NO1 IN THE RANKING...UNTIL KEEP QUIET THEY ARE NOT EVEN NO 1 RIGHT NOW ISN'T...

  • janreddy on August 5, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    HI TO EVERY ONE WHO COMMENTED ON INDIAN NO 1 RANKING OR ENGLAND'S FUTURE RANKING... INDIA IS CURRENT NO 1 TEAM IN THE WORLD WHICH IS NOT GIFTED BY OTHERS , THEY ACHIVED IT AFTER A STRONG FOUNDATION IN THE OPENING STAND AND WITH THEIR ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER LOST THE 1ST MATCH OF A SERIES RECENTLY IN SRILANKA AND SOUTH AFRICA TWICE(HOME AND AWAY) AND EVEN IN AUSTRALIA AFTER 2 -0 DOWN TO 2-1 (IN WHICH STEVE BUCKER 'S DECISIONS AFFECTED INDIA) RIGHT....LET US SEE HOW ENGLAND WILL DO IN INDIA , SRILANKA AND SOUTHAFRICA AWAY SERIES COMING IN NEAR FUTURE...IF THEY BEAT INDIA IN INDIA THEN U CAN SAY THEY DESERVED TO BE NO1 IN THE RANKING...UNTIL KEEP QUIET THEY ARE NOT EVEN NO1 RIGHT NOW ISN'T...

  • jockoz on August 5, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Pravis Panda......what are you on about??? India hasn't beaten Australia in Australia nor SA in SA....... so how do you figure they deserve the No1 title using that rationale?

  • on August 5, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    I agree with flintoff. Current English bowlers know how to reverse swing the ball and would be quite a handfull even in sub continent conditions.

  • gpsridhar on August 5, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    I think everyone in England are overly obsessed with this Rankings, but they do forget the fact that England have never won any series in the past three years outside England(Barring Ashes and Bangladesh). Winning always hides the real truth. This great which everyone thinks is going to dominate the world will be brought down to their feet(just like how England have done it for India) by none other than India. Mind you, England are going to play an true Away series after a long long time. Lets say then if this is the Best team.

  • gpsridhar on August 5, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    I think everyone in England are overly obsessed with this Rankings, but they do forget the fact that England have never won any series in the past three years outside England(Barring Ashes and Bangladesh). Winning always hides the real truth. This great which everyone thinks is going to dominate the world will be brought down to their feet(just like how England have done it for India) by none other than India. Mind you, England are going to play an true Away series after a long long time. Lets say then if this is the Best team.

  • Herath-UK on August 5, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    I would agree with Andrew that England is better than 2005 though that team had a better captain and a star player and a real hero the kids looked upto in the form of Andrew Flintoff.Now it is more of a collective team effort. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • tjsimonsen on August 5, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    @zico123: So what? Life isn't fair. Besides, as others have already pointed out, England have been without THEIR best bowler Tremlett (judged on form leading into the series) since he was injured during the Lords test too. And they were deprived of the service of two key players (Trott and Swann) during the Trent Bridge test. AND their best bastman going into the series (again judged on form), Cook, hasn't exactly performed either. But unlike the Indians, others have stod up and performed, and replacements called into the side have performed. So, yes IF England win the series by two tests (which of course they haven't done yet), it will be fair that they take over the #1 ranking. Besides, I can't help wondering what the rankings would have looked like if India had taken a full-strength side to the Windies and won 3-0 instead of believing (arrogance and disrespect for Windies fans) that a half-strength side could do the trick?

  • on August 5, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    WELL MR PARI MOHAN MAY BE YOU FORGOT THAT ENGLAND BEAT AUSTRALIA IN THERE HOME SOILS.. AND IF U TALKING ABOUT UR INDIA THEN REMEMBER THEY ONLY WIN SERIES IN INDIA WHICH IS THEIR HOME SOILS AND DRAWING SERIES OUTSIDE INDIA.... AND THOUGH I AM PAKISTANI BUT ALL HAVE TOO ACCEPT THAT THE CURRENT NO 1 TEAM IN WORLD IS ENGLAND AND THEY DESERVE THAT AFTER BEATING TEAMS ON HOME AND AWAY BASES INSTEAD OF BEATING THEM IN THERE HOME SOILS.

  • tjsimonsen on August 5, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    @Ekkanath: Let's not bring Body Line into the discussion, right. It happened in the days of uncovered pitched when the batsman's only protection was gloves, pads and a cup. Not like today's batsmen who play in something that amounts to a full body armour. What we have seen in this series is not more hostile than the bowling practiced by the Windies' various pace attacks over two decades fram the mid 70s to the mid 90s; or by the likes of Lillie, Thompson and Willis; or in more recent times by Donald, Waqar and Wasim. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that ANY of the Indian batsmen would prefer to face this England attack under the conditions present in the current series, than facing the likes of Roberts, Holding, Garner, Lillie, Thompson and Willis on the pitches of the 70s and 80s with the protection available then. Furthermore, the body line bowlers Larwood and Voce were faster than any of the current England fast-medium bowlers.

  • gloves71 on August 5, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Of course it is, why are we even debating this?

  • on August 5, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Hey all,

    India is still number one....They were defeated by England in the last two tests. The series is still not over yet.So England is staying there only where it was before this series right now. India is going to bounce back as a number one team in the world in the next two test matches. They just need to play with 5 batsmen, 5 bowlers and one wicket keeper (Dhoni). Mind you nobody gifted India the number one rank, but they just achieved that. Agreed that they have not played well. Just wait and watch. They are going to come back.

  • rahulcricindia on August 5, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    well England team may become no.1 after this series but for the time being as in some time they have to come to India for the test ...and they better be prepared for our conditions and pitches otherwise this ranking may quickly go other way round...that will be more embarrassing for England for holding it for just few months...that is why i always fell to be complete no1 team in the world you have to beat each country in their home turf..if India is not undisputed no.1 team of the world England too does not deserve this title until and unless they beat us in our home turf ..in few months time..which is still more than tough enjoy till then!!!!!!

  • on August 5, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    I guess everyone is being one-dimensional in assessing the greatness of this English team. No doubt their bowling attack and it's reserve is strong, however same can't be said about their batting. Trott, Cook, Bell were in form of their life in Ashes and Strauss, Pieterson also seem to be in great form but what about bench strength there. I don't see any of them being replaced reasonably. No difference between their batting line-up and Indian batting line which as soon as looses any one of it's pillar and it's bound to fail.

  • on August 5, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Flintoff is right . England is now playing unbelievable cricket.In test Cricket I think ,They will dominate for the next few years because they have strong enough players to do it. and Every side England's team performing Outstanding!!!

  • on August 5, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    See,... whichever country is playing on home advantage they have always an edge .. that too playesr are in good form.. So nothing special in that.. suppose if they are playing in neutral venues... England cant compete with INDIA. Bcoz.. India is FAR FAR better side always while playing in neutral venues against ENgland.....

  • ujan.s on August 5, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    freddie is spot on! England certainly are the best team already...even before the start of the current series against india! india narrowly escaped humiliation against a second string WI team...this bears testimony to their actual current position! Looks lyk the no.1 tag is finally gonna be achieved by the deserving lads.

  • likeintcricket on August 5, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    England lost the 3rd test against Pakistan last year than Asif-Amir controversy happened. They won one Test against Sri Lanka after a sudden collapse of srilankan batting on the final day of the test. I agree that England is #1 right now but I don't think they can beat subcontinent sides in their homeland.

  • on August 5, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    ENGLAND just outclassed India. India had full strength team with most players firmly in form. However, they couldnt play classy english bowlers on bouncy tracks. At the same time .indian bowlers dont have the pace and accuracy to taunt english batsmen

  • on August 5, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    hi, cricket lovers, i agree England the best than India & there are multiple question raises what will be after Sachin, Rahul, VVS & Zk, every question has answer like yester years, they ask the same question whhen Sunul , Kapil, Amarnath &Venser was aged but the laters are the answers, as alike India will produce the Show bizz, dont forget the past, after long long years only England are emerging the champains!!!!!! you should wait & watch how can they maintain their records as longer as No:1, as a cricket fan always i love this sport

  • on August 5, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    This england squad is the best in world at the moment, so much depth in the squad. Sorry India, you have hardly any depth for your test squad. Once Dravid, Laxman and Tendulka have retired. You will drop dramatically in the test rankings.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 5, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    I agree with some of the things Freddie mentioned in the article although I DON'T think this England team can beat Indian IN INDIA. They simply don't have the kind of bowlers that can intimidate on dry and flat subcontinental pitches. Also, the English bowlers rely too much on overcast conditions for the ball to swing. The subcontinent doesn't have such conditions and the Indian batsmen are excellent players at home. Even if they become the world no.1, this English team will NEVER beat India in India or Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Unless the English team achieves these two objectives they cannot call themselves world no.1 just like India who still haven't beaten Australia in Australia, SA in SA.

  • on August 5, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    ENG is the best team out of the two ..thats it ..full stop Ind fans always had issues in accepting the truth.. ind always had benefit from not having the DRS and at endless times gt away and hence managed to win and draw the games..nz and sa series the recent examples

    abt time talent has won over luck as it should.. they should prepare themselves for more lossess nw

  • Alexk400 on August 5, 2011, 2:56 GMT

    For me this england team can win in Inda also. They need to play 4 fast bowlers and a spinner in India. Because their bowlers can bat eon morgan niot needed. That way tremlett can purchase out of indian dead pitches and Bresnan can be smart bowler who cna hold an end. Broad will be killed in india though. We all know what happend great bowler like steyn in flat chennai pitch. But we all know england has bowling with their quest for tall fast bowlers for a decade. But suddnly trott anchoring and bell in his form of his life , all rosy for england. they have to find trott backup though. Bell is not number 3. He is great at present in his spot. he can play his shots in old ball. England can win in Australia. Toughest fight is against SA. SA bowling has better variety.

  • on August 5, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    west indies should have beaten india , could have beaten india and would have beaten india and pakistan too if the selectors had picked the strongest team

  • azhar6677669 on August 5, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    please give that "unfair" to injured indians stuff a rest. There is nothing hew here - people saying that this series should have been played in india so that india could win it are being silly and missing the point, which is that india are playing it in England and are losing. Stop dressing it up, stop making excuses, stop trying to justify your heroes who basically haven't been allowed to perform by a better team

  • on August 5, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    Sooory indian fanz but u all are making lame excuses.....!! indeed this english test side is best i have ever seen in my 20 yearz of lyf....!!! and same fredie is sayiing that english side has a good bench strength as well....! they have a replacement for every player from top to bottom xcept swaan but that don't matter enough in english conditionz!!!

    no doubt at that indian side has a good playing 11 but what about bench strength????? no replacment for veeru, ZK , and even mediocre ghambiir.....! and this playing 11 can't play more than a year together....! dravid, little master and VVs in there late 30's going to retire soon....! u have any replacment??? ZK career almost over u have any replacment ????

  • on August 5, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    This is just silly over-hype by the English media... 2005 England beat the best Test team in the world (could have been 2-2 though if not for Edgbaston)... prior to that they had won a slew of Test matches and even a series in South Africa... does anyone remember what happened a year ago when this same English squad was in South Africa? They almost got 3-1ed by a two man attack! If Imran Tahir settles into the Proteas Test Team, they'll give England a run for their money... Steyn-Morkel with an attacking leggy...? not even the Aussies had that in their hayday

  • on August 4, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    I disagree...Simon jones and flintoff reverse swing in 2005 was great

  • on August 4, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    England played well..We have to wait and watch how they are going to perform in other conditions

  • xylo on August 4, 2011, 23:13 GMT

    Well said. England have the depth to be No.1. They might have to test themselves out in Sri Lanka/India to confirm it. India, like England's 2005 squad, have an impressive XI. And if one of the XI is not fit, they turn jittery.

  • Alexk400 on August 4, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    India lacks all rounders, without that india rely on spinners to hold one end. When that spinner fail , team look pathetic club level team. Sachin , dravid , VVS are good with old ball. They can not win the game on their own. Then need someone to bat and make ball old. Otherwise they all procession starters. Sachin is most overhyped batsman in history of the game. England side is better especially with their bowling all rounders. They bat upto number 10. They can be number 1 as long as they play in SA , AUS and in England. They may not able make purchase with their fast bowlers in dead indian pitches.

  • on August 4, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    I don't think there is any no. 1 team right now. There are 3 or 4 teams who are at the same level

  • knowledge_eater on August 4, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    Of course they are. More SAfricans in there... and are in form. I still have doubts on England's batting in long run. Time will tell. Sooner than later it will be, mark my words. Btw. series is not over yet, England better hope that they win 3rd test or it will be massively embarrassing, the way media has been hailing them. I would have done that after series was over. Too late now. Hahahaha I will be the first person to be laughing on Media not on players, mind you, when they go down. Amazing bowling by Jimmy and sad to say but yes, Broad too. But CT is my favorite, deserves more wicket than it shows on scorecard.

  • allblue on August 4, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    @ArviDivi Yes but you're being very selective with your time-frame. At the time of that Windies defeat England were in a state of turmoil - coach and captain sacked on the same day remember - and no-one would argue that at that time India were a much better team than England. But that was 2009, it's now 2011 and the evidence of the current series suggests the balance has changed in the last two years. As I said earlier, it's too early to make comparisons with the 2005 side, because that was the culmination of several years peaking in the Ashes series. They'd won 10 successive home Tests, won in SA and were ranked no.2 behind that great Aussie side. Unfortunately, their finest hour was also the end for them, when Simon Jones limped off in the 4th Test that team was done for good. Now, Strauss is 35, Swann 32 but in Test terms it's a young side, still plenty of time for them to develop (Tremlett and Bresnan only came in last winter). This time next year is the time to make comparisons.

  • rnair13 on August 4, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    This is funny.... England won two tests against a injury prone half strength India. All the medias and cmmentators praising this team like anything. This is the same story of their football team as well.Wait and see for the next two tests where Sewag Gambhir and Sahir bak. If you want to say England number one team , go and win one test in India. That is what india done in 2007. This is a picth that specially designed for the English bowlers just like in India the pitch suits them.

  • on August 4, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    The reality is nobody is no. 1 in current teams... That is there is no team that is unbeatable like the australians were .... England would have lost the test series if they would have played in India...... We all know what a bad bowler anderson is in indian conditions.

  • 5wombats on August 4, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    @sircha; So, England losing the first test to the Aussies at Lords in 2005 and bouncing back to win the series, getting crushed at Headingly in 2009 by the Aussies and bouncing back to win the series, or crushed by the Aussies at Perth in 2010 and bouncing back to win the series - does any of that count as "bouncing back", or are you not paying attention to our Bulldog spirit? :-) @deep123, @zico123 - please give that "unfair" to injured indians stuff a rest. There is nothing hew here - people saying that this series should have been played in india so that india could win it are being silly and missing the point, which is that india are playing it in England and are losing. Stop dressing it up, stop making excuses, stop trying to justify your heroes who basically haven't been allowed to perform by a better team. Freddie is stating the obvious, in fact, dare I say it, even a fit on form Andrew Flintoff might struggle to get into this current England side? Discuss....

  • landl47 on August 4, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    I agree with Flintoff that this is a better England squad and a side without any weak links. The England side of 2005 had Geraint Jones as W/K, Ashley Giles as the only spinner and the then 23-year old Bell, who was nowhere near the batsmen he is today. Strauss and Pietersen were both in the side, so honors even there. Trott is a very consistent batsman and Swann is a better spinner than Giles. Prior is both a better bat and a better W/K than Jones. Not much between Anderson, Broad and Tremlett/Bresnan and Harmison, Hoggard and Jones. 2005 did have Trescothick who could take the game away from the opposition and Flintoff, who was a good enough bat (400 runs in the series) and bowler (24 wickets) to play as both, so the side had 5 bowlers without losing a batsman. On the other hand, 2011's 8.9 and 10 are much better than 2005's. Both very good sides, but England now have much better reserve strength with many good young cricketers coming through. Look out India in 2012!

  • on August 4, 2011, 21:29 GMT

    Perhaps the only way that England don't have depth is with their spinners - I can't really see anyone being able to replace Swann except for Panesar, who is mediocre at best...

  • WestIndies1987 on August 4, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    I miss Freddie. It's a real shame he had to cut his career short. I admire allrounders more than any other position in cricket.

  • rahulcricket007 on August 4, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    i need to ask why so many indian fans are criticzing indian players . ok they lost 2 tests in a row but that is not the end of world for them .keep faith in our team . i m sure they will comeback hard & save the no. 1 ranking.

  • ArviDivi on August 4, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    Well. In the last 3 years, India have played.. 6 home series with 5 wins and 1 draw. And 5 away series with 3 wins and 1 draw. In the same time period, England have played 5 home series with 5 wins and 5 away series with 2 wins and 1 draw and 2 defeats. You think England is way off? England lost to substandard west indies by innings margin in 2009. You think it is a better team than India?

  • sher-e-slc on August 4, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Yeah, there is no doubt that the current England are best TEST team around the world today and they can rightfully claim (brag) they are NO.1. The present Indian team has done well to covet the No.1 ranking, but it may be time for a change. Even though I hate to say this being an Indian ofcourse.. I like the current England team (length & breadth of talent), we can cannot surrender the coveted No.1 Ranking on a platter to the POMS. It seems only Dravid has the hunger and the spirit, but alas he is the WALL (he can stop anything).. but we attackers. Hope Sehwag, Sachin & Laxman steps up for the next two games.

  • rahulcricket007 on August 4, 2011, 20:42 GMT

    3 days before andrew miller was talking that the england team is going to dominate the world for a long time .now freddie is saying the same .ok england team has been playying good cricket since 2009. but to say that they will dominate like aussies & mighty west indies . it will be early to say this .in the previous 2 years they have not played a single series in the subcontinent .i dont think england will stay at no .1 any longer . they will certainly lose the no.1 ranking when they came to subcontinent & sa .

  • allblue on August 4, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    Ex-players are told by their agents to make such big headline-grabbing statements at strategic times, it helps to promote their brand, and whatever TV show or advertisement they're about to appear on. It's cynical, but that's how it is these days. We're in a new era of cricket, where instead of one team being better than the rest, we now have three teams at the top who are all very close to each other. England are looking good, an importantly still improving, but it's far too early to call them 'great'. India, with their aged stars, are past their peak but South Africa look good to me. A good as Jimmy or Zaheer may be (and they are both very good), Steyn is out on his own as the world's best bowler. Morkel is coming along nicely, and a middle order of Amla, Kallis and de Villiers is as good as any. The time to judge where England are in the big scheme of things is after this winter's tours to Dubal (Pakistan) and SL, and next summers crackerjack series against those powerful Saffers.

  • phoenixsteve on August 4, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    @Ekkanath... have you heard about the drowning man clutching at straws? Whining about fairness is hardly appropriate and does your countries supporters no favours either! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • _Oracle_ on August 4, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    @Niel: Yuvraj a club cricketer?? You wish. He was MoS for world-cup, you remember?? Didn't England play in that same world-cup? How come non of your 11 (who are supposed to be better than club cricket) had even an impact?? Anderson who is roaring like lion now, wasn't even accounting for anything.. It all has to do with conditions my friend. So take it easy, when England travels to India, it will England on receiving end.

  • _Oracle_ on August 4, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    Last time I checked India was still WORLD CHAMPION!!! And you know what? England hasn't won a single one.. So who cares what Freddy thinks??

    @Jonathan: So yes, England has been without Trescothick for years. I guess, next argument is that England has been without Botham for years as well?? Move on from people who are gone.. Sehwag and Zaheer are in the test squad. Trescothick isn't..

    @All England fans: Come to India and we will show you who is the king. Every dog acts like a tiger in their den.

  • Engerland on August 4, 2011, 20:14 GMT

    Strauss and Prior, English parentage, left SA before 10 years old, played all their cricket in England. Pietersen, English mother, left SA as an average off-spinner, learnt his batting on the county circuit. Trott, English heritage, left SA as an average batsman, developed on the county circuit over the last 9 years. All have English heritage (ie none qualify under residency rules) and have developed their International class abilities in England. Imran Tahir for SA and Usman Khawaja for Australia qualified purely on residence, no heritage whatsoever. The fact is England have links all over the commonwealth and it is a very desirable country to live in, so people often return here. This is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Incredibly diverse and incredibly tolerant. With such a large Indian population having made their lives here I would have thought there more understanding of this fact, and less of these broken record comments.

  • on August 4, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    I agree with flintoff about the fact that present english side have the qualities of 2005 ashes winning england team.But in 2005 ashes the bowlers freddie himself and hoggard,simon jones n harmison were in fearsome and ruthless form.Their combined synergy decimated n trounced the arguably undefeatable numero uno australian side at that time. The batting strength in present england team have more power and quality in the form of cook,trott and prior n also alrounders like broad n bresnan.The real test for this side arise when they come to subcontinent.The 2005 ashes winning team also suffered a huge defeat when they played against pakistan after the ashes.The current english team had the character but they aren't really tested yet.It is interesting to see how they perform against the reenergised indian side in the 3rd test at edgbaston.

  • on August 4, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    Unfortunately for India, the sign of a World No.1 team is not just its ability with bat and ball but its ability to keep fit also. Zaheer Kahn looked frankly overweight and un fit, no wonder he is injured, although he did bowl well. yuvraj has a broken hand because he plays bouncers like a club cricket tail ender. These are not flukes, read it with sanjay manjrekar, fitness and conditioning are the key too world domination just as much as run scoring and wicket taking.

  • johnathonjosephs on August 4, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Is this a joke? Obviously England are better than 2005! They beat Australians then purely from the form of Flintoff and Pieterson and with the sheer determination to beat the Australians. Imagine Pakistan and India or when India tours Pakistan, no matter what horrible form the Pakistanis/Indians are in, they always give up a huge fight. This team is best England team I have seen in my life (from early 90's to now). Best Indian team I have seen in my life was when India toured Sri Lanka and succumbed to Mendis (Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Yuvraj, Karthik, Kumble, Zaheer, Ishant, Harbhajan

  • on August 4, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    zico123 you are talking nonscence. England lost Tremlett for the last game and had Trott and Swann injured too. Good sides get on with it. Might as well claim its unfair that Freddie is injured and Trescothic has his issues. With them England would be better.

    When England brought in a replacement he made 90 and took a 5fer. Thats the hallmark of a good side. India rely on too few superstars whilst this England team know any one of the picked 11 is good enough to win MOM.

  • vikram1705 on August 4, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    So what if a few players were born in South Africa. Now they are all citizens of England and their loyalities lie with the team. Stop this nonsense train and accept the fact that India was decimated in the first two test matches. I hope Sehwag's edges stay away or do not find a grip in english fielders sloppy hands. I am sure if they had hanged on to their catches, Indian players would be in hidding right now. Dhoni should be a non playing captain and should only doing interviews making excuses for everything. Any good team should not be affected by the absence of a couple of players. What it shows is that very soon india will be another Bangladesh when Zaheer/Sachin/Dravid and Laxman retire. Where are the bench players? A half century here and there is no proof of being test ready. FLAT TRACK BULLIES indeed! On indian wickets if you draft a high school player in to national team, even he will score more runs than Raina and Dhoni.

  • on August 4, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    1st of all i feel that eng side was better than this 2011 side..then they used to play with 9english players in starting 11 and now they are playing with 6englishmen..and come on still 2 more matches remaining so just wait n watch now its real game starts with real indian line up..india lost 2 tests becoz 1.injuries to main openers 2.weak middle order 3.injury to zak 4.most players playing on different order becoz of injury n few tryng to cement their placed hence not playing their natural game..now sehwag n gambhir 2 quality openers back n dravid at 3 n laxman playing in lower order will make the difference..india is more than capable of making it 2-2 unless eng get scared n make flat pitches..

  • Ekkanath on August 4, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Englland team has become far too aggressive and their bowlers are threatening the batsmen with too many short-pitched balls. This is not in the spirit of the game and some times I feel their bowlers target batsmen to cause injuries.. Dilshan in the England Vs Srilanka series and Yuvraj in the present India Vs England springs to mind. Have we forgotten 'bodylin' and umpires must take due note.

    Moreover, why do England team use players who are not in their team for fielding? This is unethical.

    Thirdly, how did Cook manage to get his clothes so red, so shortly in the second innings? I did not find any answers to this puzzle..

  • Jonathan_E on August 4, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    India have been without Sehwag for weeks... England have been without Trescothick for years and he's still the best batsman in England based on county form.

    India are without Zaheer... England didn't have Bresnan in the first test (because he couldn't get in the side but was better than any bowler the Indians had except for Zaheer) and didn't have Tremlett in the second.

    India lost Harbhajan to injury and loss of form... Swann also got injured and failed to take a wicket.

    Now which side is missing whom more?

  • sl_udaya on August 4, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    I think England got the best team within last two decades.But they need to win matches in subcontinent grounds. Ausies and West Indies dominated, because they won wherever they went. So England need to show their colours India and Sri Lanka.

  • on August 4, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    I agree with flintoff about the fact that present english side have the qualities of 2005 ashes winning england team.But in 2005 ashes the bowlers freddy himself and hoggard,simon jones n harmison were in more fearsome and ruthless form.Their combined synergy decimated n trounced the arguably undefeatable numero uno australian side at that time. The batting strength in present england team have more power and quality in the form of cook,trott and prior n also alrounders like broad n bresnan.The real test for this side arise when they come to subcontinent.The 2005 ashes winning team also suffered a huge defeat when they played against pakistan after the ashes.The current english team had the character but they aren't really tested yet.It is interesting to see how they perform against the reenergised indian side in the 3rd test at edgbaston.

  • kancnaic on August 4, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    WAIT...WAIT...Let the England team to come to the sub continent and face the likes of Harbajan,Ajma, Mendis and Abdul Razzak.Flintoff tries to make hay while the sun shines

  • on August 4, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Guys this argument about nationality is crazy. The national team actually represents what England is..a melting point of several culltures. I hope some one will not raise an argument that Graeme Smith had an English great great grand dad...

  • kancnaic on August 4, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    If Dhoni had put India into bat after winning the toss in both matches there would be no need for us to hear these kinds of comments.Because Dhoni gave them a license to play their natural game.The Indians had to play the defensive game Which was not their natural one.Evenif India restricted them to a low total they would chase atleast 200 runs in the last innings.To a team which was afraid of chasing 80plus runs with 7 wickets in hand in recent West Indies tour it would be difficult to chase even 200 runs.Dhone missed a Golden oppurtunity by his wrong decisions and faces the criticism from all corners.Otherwise the England team is not better than India.

  • phoenixsteve on August 4, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    Further to my earlier comments.....Sorry Monty... I've just learned that you are indeed English born!

  • golax on August 4, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    It is sad to see comments about the origins of the English cricketers. We need to be judging a team on the basis of its sporting performance and not non-sporting reasons such as origins. Hell, for all you know someone might trace Murali's ancestors to India and the roots of Indian and Pakistani players might cross the border too. Let such inane discussions be put to rest. Now, coming to whether England is as dominant as the Caribbean and Australian dynasties, that still remains to be seen. Let us not forget that they recently had to fight really hard to secure draws against South Africa and that they haven't toured the subcontinent yet. Akin to India's record, England too has performed well mostly at home barring the recent Ashes. If the same rules of evaluation are to be applied, as they were to India, people need to hold on to their horses before heralding this moment as the beginning of a new cricketing dynasty.

  • on August 4, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    i guess flintoff is right, this team is the best because it has brutally trashed India and we all know that even with the return of Sehwag this is not gonna change easily, the result of the series would be england gaining no 1 test position in the world.

  • ss_ton on August 4, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    @phoenixsteve - Completely agree with you! Where a player was born is completely irrelevant in today's day and age. I'm disappointed at my fellow Indian fans for throwing this out repeatedly. The fact is that India has been outclassed by an England outfit that has the potential to an all-time great team. Instead of taking it on the chin and saying "well played" we are dishing out petty excuses and irrelevant assertions... Congratulations to all England fans - you may finally have the team that you've been waiting for! As an Indian fan, however, I will be hoping that India comes hard in the next couple of tests...

  • Stark62 on August 4, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    Also, how can people already consider this team "great"?

    They haven't played in the sub-continent yet and the last time they went (WC), they got trashed by SL plus, Swann was decimated by both Ind and SL! LOL

    Great teams like the Winidies and the Aussies performed well in Asia (not so much the Aussies).

  • on August 4, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    Guys Don't be Jealous on England Team. They are playing fantastic cricket at the moment. Just look at how BROAD brought them back in to the game with a Hattrick when India were 260/4 in 2nd Test Ist Innings. Thats is the defining moment...they won the game in those 10 min of killer play. Just Situp, notice and appreciate this wonderful wonderful English squad...

  • Stark62 on August 4, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    It's funny how Eng started to get better as soon as the SA players were starting to be included in the team.

    There may have been one or two saf's playing earlier but never in a cluster.

  • da_man_ on August 4, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    To the Indian contingent: Strauss in your opinion is South African, he hasn't done much this series. Trott, hasn't done much this series, KP played one good innings, Morgan played a 70 when the game was all but over. You chief tormentors have been Broad (English), Bell (English), Prior (moved to England aged 11), Bresnan (English), Tremlett in the first test (English)... so to say you guys are losing to the South Africans is purely sour grapes. Like your captain, have some class, admit that England have been better prepared, better at creating and executing plans and shown more energy and discipline in every aspect of the game. This Indian team is very good and likely to win series ONLY in the subcontinent, and ONLY when all eleven first team players are fit and in form (i.e. no bench strength)

  • on August 4, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    People keep complaining that this is a weakened India etc. That is true and a shame, but if there is nothing in reserve do they deserve number one status? England have a great squad, if they win the series they deserve to be number one. I could go on about Marcus Trescothick, Simon Jones, Flintoff, Harmison all players who aren't that old they wouldnt be playing now who have been injured, mentally and physically. Imagine how strong this squad would be then! I agree that they are unproven in the subcontient as of yet, but hopefully time will prove they are strong enough to come good. Just like they did in the ashes when everyone said we couldn't play on flat pitches ;)

  • woodhaven on August 4, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    @zico123----sure it would be unfair. but can u imagine india played against WI without gayle, powell, sarwan, taylor and against aussie they played when aussie were missing almost 22 players. they played their 2nd XI and still india lost series. india never deserve to be number 1. There should be two tier in test: group A should be top 5 and group B should be bottom 5. top 2 from group B should jump up to group 1 and bottom 2 from group A should move to group B. plus every country should have similar number of test matches. not like india will play 100 matches and pakistan and other country will play 20 matches. its not fair

  • bumsonseats on August 4, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    its abit different these days we have an irish man were we had a welshman in 2005 to go with the south africa born englishmen. but kiran as they say the old 1s are still the best. do u not get fed up with this line of comment, i know i do. reading urs and similar messages. we just seem to get the batters the guys that will make england # 1 are all british fast bowlers with a good british spinner. dpk

  • Iddo555 on August 4, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    @Kiran England's bowlers are all English born and it is that attack that is winning the games. Bowling wins games, batting saves games. You can't win games without taking 20 wickets so it's thanks to the English born players they are where they are, number 1

  • riyaz28 on August 4, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    Maybe, but I think India is playing very bad, thats why all r thinking that England is better than 2005...now India is playing with full thr strength in the next test, so if England beat in that test also, then its correct that England is better than 2005 squad....so just wait and watch.....

  • donda on August 4, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Awesome comment by Kiran. England is improved because they have large number of SA players playing for them now. Aussies and SA and WI players by nature are stronger and fitter. That is a gift which england is utilizing now properly.

    One more thing is surprising , still england is not #1 team but flintoff is saying that they can stay at the top for long time. Is he day dreaming.

    First england has to maintain #1 spot for first year and then talk about years and years to come.

    I think england is over rated team and rise of both India and england is because of Aussies down fall.

    If eng and india can stay on top for more than 3 years then they can talk about aussies and WI, before that it's a disrespect to those legend teams.

  • zico123 on August 4, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    it is unfair that India is losing their no. 1 ranking in a series where they are without their best bowler Zaheer and 2 best batsman Sehwag and Gambhir, it is unfair to judge a depleted Indian side against a full strength England side. i am sure the result would have been other way round if India was at full strength and England was without Peterson, Bell and Anderson. so bottom line it would have been true contest if India at full strengh was playing against a full strength England team.

  • on August 4, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    @Kiran: We should accept the fact that its SAF's loss and England's gain. They dint ditch their country and play for England, but they chose England for the lack of opportunity in their national side. So, its better to move on.. Even India can take players from other Countries and ask them to play after giving Indian Citizenship.. No one objects that..Its not the country you are born that defines the talent and ability of a player., my friend.

  • leftarmtweaker on August 4, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    Problem is - Freddie - the team isn't actually even English.

  • phoenixsteve on August 4, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    @KKK.... not the South African chestnut again! How jealous people must be of the England success? There are only 2 true South Africans in the side anyhow (Pietersen and Trott) as the other were educated & taught their cricket in the UK. Sure they might have been born in South Africa - but it doesn't make them South African anymore then my Singapore born sister (Dad was in the RAF) is Singaporean! For that matter my friend used to have a goat - born in racing stables - but he's never had a jockey on his back! Why do South Africans want to come & play for England anyhow? It's not just because they want to be the part of the best team in the world... is it? Get over the origins of English cricketers .... Britain is a multi-cultural society and the Greigs, Panesars, Hussains & Cowdreys may not be English born but are proud to play for this great nation! Indeed I believe it true that the great Gordon Greenidge could have & would have played for England if the WI hadn't grabbed him first!

  • Mcgrath-Dravid-Flintoff on August 4, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    Just imagine England 2011 with flintoff. Would trash our team 4-0

  • on August 4, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    Overconfidence...leads to arrogance...hence leads to downfall. No doubt England is best in the world...but it should try to improve its performance...bcoz there are probably 4 very good test sides aiming to be the best in the world...complacency can lead to disaster....ask Australia or WI.Their real test will be winning abroad in Subcontinent...man to man 2005 side was better but this side is gr8 as an unit.

  • on August 4, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    The Best England team of Alltime

  • subbass on August 4, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    There English not South African. Get over it, people move and the qualification rules are fair and correct. Anyone who mentions this it's just sour grapes, quite amusing really.

  • on August 4, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    @ Kiran. Yawn! Players who never had a look in with SA decided to qualify for england. If they hadn't i don't think either (trott/KP) would have played for SA. Trott especially, was picked out of left field from the Councty Championship, no one, especially those in SA had any idea he would go on and do what he has. Both players also spent there formative years learning the game is England... so no, SA does not prduce the best players.

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Freddie may be right. England do look better side than india in this series....but can england maintain their good run throughout other series...India was no. 1 side..they were unbeatean in their reign as no 1.but this came in sub continent except for southafrica n newzealand series...I have similar doubt in England..Yes, england are stronger side now in home but what when they go sub continent?? can they show same spirit in them...I doubt this...And no team is going to be dominant at present..look at every team india,england,australia,southafrica,srilanka these all are best in their home...so no permanent no. 1 ranking as english are saying...Moreover freddie 2 tests are remaining and there is every chance india fight back...and i dont see england becoming no.1 this series....

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    They are South African born but have English blood and subsequently play English county cricket, that is why they are eligible to play for England. I think you'll find Graeme Smith once said that Jonathan Trott would not have made the South African team, nor Kevin Pieterson. Wonder if he still thinks that.

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    Listen - foreign players playiing for England is nothing new - Allan Lamb, Robin Smith. Those players have given their allegiance to England, and are therefor England players.

    For someone like Shane Warne to say we on a level with the great teams he played in says it all. For Fred to then say we are better now than we were in 2005, it just leaves no doubt. We (England) are arguably the best 5 day team in World Cricket at the present time.

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    I agree with Flintoff to some extent.....But the bowling attack at that time was more superior i guess...it had Flintoff,Simon Jones and Harmison reversing the ball like anything at 90 miles.I feel this is one area the current fast bowling department lacks.

  • deep123 on August 4, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    Ohh...hold on Eng people. You are celebrating too early. Come to Asia then you will know the truth which team is best. Of course India is struggling in this series but that doesn't mean that Eng is best team. India is suffering from injuries. Lets see how it goes in the next two tests. There will be turnaround...

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    I don't know that it's a case of England "taking" South African players (like you could make the case of England "taking" Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce, I think it was, from Ireland). The South African-born contingent are precisely that: South African-born. I highly doubt they had a great deal of influence over which country they would be born in. If you're itching to scapegoat someone or something for India's dismal performances in the first two Tests, blame the players for making what might well have been a logical and natural choice to represent England over South Africa.

  • sircha on August 4, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    I certainly agree with Flintoff. But I haven't yet seen the English dropping a test and bouncing back in any series like the Indians often do. They still need to show that kind of bull-dog spirit to become world no. 1.

  • Legster on August 4, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    Players who qualify to play for England are English, get over it already.

  • voma on August 4, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    Its funny , England have had South African players in the team for the past 30 years . Lamb , R smith oh and G hick ( zimbabwe ) . When England was being beaten regulary nobody minded . But now we are the best test team in the world nearly , everyone harps on about it . I guess people just dont like winners

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Not sure how you get that Kiran. KP+Trott are here because of family ties (parents are English). Strauss and Prior have been here for more than a decade each (both came over as kids). So no, they're not South African. Pipe down.

  • punj33 on August 4, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    I don't know why people don't digest the face that England team are the best team now. Mere mention of immigrant players doesn't diminish their standard and the level of cricket they are playing. And cricket is not about individuals but they playing together.

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    COME ON KIRAN though players were born in SOUTH AFRICA they played the game in ENGLAND just can't try to be so rude just because they beat INDIA they hav got all the resources to be worlds best TEAM at persent look the bowling attack likes of Anderson,Broad, bresnan, Tremlett, Finn,Woakes, Dernbach and SWANN batting has Cook , Trott, Pieterson, strauss bell morgan and lots of others waitin in the bench if the things go on well for them they can be winides of 70's 80's and aussies of 90's and 2000's .... one of the best all round unit i ve seen in long time fielding batting bowling and not to forget the contribution of PRIOR

  • CSreekumar on August 4, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    More than England is better, India is poor form and badly affected by Injuries. Don't Conclude till end of this series Freddie....

  • TaylorSwift on August 4, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    I'll have to agree with Freddie. There are no weak links in the current squad and the strength of their bench make them a formidable group. They possess all the components to dominate Test cricket for the next 5 years. However, they will have to win consistently away from home if they want to be considered a true #1 Test team. India failed to win away from and hence, they never deserved the #1 ranking.

  • shakkw on August 4, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    I agree with Flintoff. I can see England dominating for next 2-3 years. Also, kind of cricket played by England is very similar to great Australian side of late 90's till 2005. No doubt English have brought Indians down to earth.

  • PiyushD on August 4, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    It`s not about the best team, its about form, on any day Indian batsmen have greater class than English, its just English players are in wonderful form and playing at home and India is badly out of form, in WI also it some how managed to win, I do not see this English Team dominating anywher, even if it climbs to No. 1, India or SA will soon bring them down. England is winning bcoz India is weak, forget about playing in India, even in England I would love to see English response if Indian batting clicks.

  • SDHM on August 4, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    Well done Freddie - just repeating everything everyone else has been saying for the last few days. We still haven't claimed the number one spot, so let's save the celebrations and champagne for if and when we do. Being English, we should know all too well that we can cock it up. I genuinely might not be able to watch the Edgbaston test I'm that nervous!

  • drtrinileggie on August 4, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    Unfortunately, england are on top of a bunch of average cricket nations. When wi was no1 india pakistan and australia were very competative.

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Indeed ! England on the march to no.1 spot

  • on August 4, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    the fact that england has taken so many south african players does that mean south africa is better at creating player than anyone. south are better because you take player the stronger nation.

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  • on August 4, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    the fact that england has taken so many south african players does that mean south africa is better at creating player than anyone. south are better because you take player the stronger nation.

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Indeed ! England on the march to no.1 spot

  • drtrinileggie on August 4, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    Unfortunately, england are on top of a bunch of average cricket nations. When wi was no1 india pakistan and australia were very competative.

  • SDHM on August 4, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    Well done Freddie - just repeating everything everyone else has been saying for the last few days. We still haven't claimed the number one spot, so let's save the celebrations and champagne for if and when we do. Being English, we should know all too well that we can cock it up. I genuinely might not be able to watch the Edgbaston test I'm that nervous!

  • PiyushD on August 4, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    It`s not about the best team, its about form, on any day Indian batsmen have greater class than English, its just English players are in wonderful form and playing at home and India is badly out of form, in WI also it some how managed to win, I do not see this English Team dominating anywher, even if it climbs to No. 1, India or SA will soon bring them down. England is winning bcoz India is weak, forget about playing in India, even in England I would love to see English response if Indian batting clicks.

  • shakkw on August 4, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    I agree with Flintoff. I can see England dominating for next 2-3 years. Also, kind of cricket played by England is very similar to great Australian side of late 90's till 2005. No doubt English have brought Indians down to earth.

  • TaylorSwift on August 4, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    I'll have to agree with Freddie. There are no weak links in the current squad and the strength of their bench make them a formidable group. They possess all the components to dominate Test cricket for the next 5 years. However, they will have to win consistently away from home if they want to be considered a true #1 Test team. India failed to win away from and hence, they never deserved the #1 ranking.

  • CSreekumar on August 4, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    More than England is better, India is poor form and badly affected by Injuries. Don't Conclude till end of this series Freddie....

  • on August 4, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    COME ON KIRAN though players were born in SOUTH AFRICA they played the game in ENGLAND just can't try to be so rude just because they beat INDIA they hav got all the resources to be worlds best TEAM at persent look the bowling attack likes of Anderson,Broad, bresnan, Tremlett, Finn,Woakes, Dernbach and SWANN batting has Cook , Trott, Pieterson, strauss bell morgan and lots of others waitin in the bench if the things go on well for them they can be winides of 70's 80's and aussies of 90's and 2000's .... one of the best all round unit i ve seen in long time fielding batting bowling and not to forget the contribution of PRIOR

  • punj33 on August 4, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    I don't know why people don't digest the face that England team are the best team now. Mere mention of immigrant players doesn't diminish their standard and the level of cricket they are playing. And cricket is not about individuals but they playing together.