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Anderson winning fitness race

Andrew Miller at The Oval

August 17, 2011

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James Anderson leaps for joy after dismissing VVS Laxman, England v India, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 4th day, August 13, 2011
James Anderson was instrumental in England's victory at Edgbaston, but suffered tightness in his quadriceps after the match © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: Durham | England

James Anderson appears to winning his battle for fitness ahead of the fourth and final Test against India at The Oval on Thursday, after taking a significant part in Wednesday's practice session. England's captain, Andrew Strauss, said he was "very optimistic" that Anderson would be available for selection, but said that a final decision on his right quadriceps strain would be taken on the morning of the game.

Anderson, who tore through India's top order with each of the first four wickets to fall in their second innings at Edgbaston, has 18 wickets in the series to date and has risen to No. 2 in the world rankings. However, he complained of stiffness in his thigh after the Edgbaston match, and the Durham paceman, Graham Onions, was called into the squad as cover.

Given how valuable Anderson has become as their attack leader, England have already demonstrated a desire to treat him cautiously this summer. He missed the second Test against Sri Lanka earlier in the season as a precaution, having sustained a side strain midway through the opening Test of the summer at Cardiff.

This time, however, Strauss seems happier that his star bowler is ready for action. "We are very optimistic he's fit to play," he said. "He had a good bowl today, but like all these things we have to check how he comes up tomorrow morning. It just seems nothing more than a little niggle at this stage.

"We've set a precedent of resting players in the past and I think it's sensible at times to be able to do that, because of the hectic nature of the international schedule and you don't want bowlers breaking down for important series," he added. "But we will only be resting players if we're absolutely sure they need a rest."

Anderson's team-mate, Graeme Swann, took a similarly optimistic view when the squad reconvened for practice on Tuesday morning. "I honestly didn't know he was injured until he told me this morning that he's not going to play," said Swann. "I'm sure once he gets running around, he'll want to play because I know how well he's bowling at the minute. I know Jimmy. When he's doing well, he's hungry for the ball and he just wants to keep going. It's when he's not doing so well, he's more than happy for a week off."

If Anderson is not passed fit, England will have to choose between Onions and Steven Finn, after Chris Tremlett was once again ruled out by the back injury he sustained prior to the second Test at Trent Bridge. It was notable that England's bowlers were below-par in the one match that Anderson missed, against Sri Lanka at Lord's, and Strauss admitted that, even with their current fast-bowling resources, he is one player they would rather not do without.

"He's been very much the leader of our attack for the last couple of years and he's been outstanding in that role," said Strauss. "But we've had to deal with Stuart Broad being injured, Chris Tremlett being injured and people have come in and done well and that's always the challenge for you as a side - to make sure you've got the strength in depth to be able to mitigate against any sort of injury. If and when we have to deal with that, we'll deal with it.

"He's very important, not just for the tone he sets but for his relationship with the other bowlers," Strauss added. "But you can't rely on one person. That's one of the things that we've been good at: we've not relied on one or two people to win us a Test match. We've had performances from all 11 and when we're missing a player it's important the guy coming in can fill that role."

"I think [Jimmy] would be a huge loss, like any of the seamers, but we thought that with Tremlett when he couldn't play at Trent Bridge," said Swann. "Up stepped Bressie [Tim Bresnan] and he's been unbelievable in the two games he's played. We have got vast stocks of fast bowlers at the minute. I'm not sure where they've all come from, but it's nice for us they have all arrived at the same time, because you can never have enough big fast bowlers."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SudharsanVM on (August 18, 2011, 9:08 GMT)

Swann is the spoke's person of the team. His wickets column didn't speak at all in this series. ENG pacemen hunted India before he came to bowl. But what about his econmy?, Taking a mountain tour! So there is a big silence all over who have said that SWANN as no.1 spinner in the world. May be bhajji doesn't deserve the place.

Posted by pom_don on (August 18, 2011, 8:32 GMT)

Well if Anderson is not fit England could bowl Mr Blobby as third seamer unless India inject some will to win into the game!

Posted by Notredam on (August 18, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

we have lost complete hope..downhill seems much faster for india than uphill ride..

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (August 18, 2011, 8:00 GMT)

I hope Andersson plays. He has been fantastic for England for some considerable time now. Having said that I dont think it really matters anymore now that the series has been won unless England want to rub it in They have all the right to!) and white wash the Indians. Dont think India will/can offer much more...They are a demoralised side but one never knows in cricket, beautiful cricket....

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (August 18, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

@Yabba: What do you mean England was a different team when they toured India last time? We cannot say India is a different team today and so they lost. Loss is a loss and be it India of today or yesterday, it is India which has lost. The same goes with England, they simply lost last time when they toured India.

@Will Murray: Arrogance? You can take a call on who is arrogant when you call others arrogant. My statement was a general statement. There will be exceptions and one such exception is when India toured England last time. India Beat England? Didn't they? In fact, even within the sub-continent, it is very difficult to beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka even if the opponent is India.

Posted by heat-seeker on (August 18, 2011, 4:59 GMT)

Let's hope both Anderson and Praveen regain fitness, and the Indian batting finally shows the much-needed fight.

Posted by cricmypassion on (August 18, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

I fail to understand why people can't see what so plain to see - England deserve the No1 ranking now because their results prove it. India deserved its No.1 status till before this series, because they had the results to show for it. Its only the blind who say India were on top based on results at home, they did win in NZ, WI and draw in SA. And they won the last series in England as well. Aus and SL is the only place they didnt wiin. Yes, this is not as impressive as the dominant aussie team, but to say they were not truly No.1 does a great disservice to what they achieved. By the same token, England hasn't won anything in the subcontinent and as impressive as their team looks right now, they still need to go and do it. I still think they are No.1 now in the world though. A little bit of fairness in observation will help most of my fellow posters to see through plain glasses instead of the obviously colored ones.

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 17, 2011, 22:34 GMT)

@TheKingofSpain, it's great to see a pom with his feet on the ground. Like my English mates you are confident (rightly so) without turning into a bumbling idiot. Good luck within the next year, it certainly will be very interesting. The English bowling depth will hold them in good stead.

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 17, 2011, 22:30 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding, those grapes nice and sour??? Bet if you'd have won 3 world cups in a row your tune would be very different!

Posted by FitzroyMarsupial on (August 17, 2011, 16:07 GMT)

There seems a running theme here "To be a 'true' no. 1 you need to win away from home". Seems strange given India have basically never managed to win series in Aus or SA yet I didn't notice many Indian fans handing back the no. 1 mantle then. It sometimes hard to be an India fan when there is so much wilful ignorance on show.

The rankings are based over a long-ish period - which means that all freak results (like the fact that England lost their last series in the West Indies for example) get evened out. India were no. 1 for almost two years - well done them. They have been rightly and deservedly deposed by England - we should all have enough grace to congratulate them too. This hasn't been a close run thing - England have now given Australia and India a good-old fashioned beating.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (August 17, 2011, 15:45 GMT)

Well said giridhar28, India have got a lot they need to pray for. Only England becoming afflicted by 'Dead Rubber Syndrome' will save India.

Posted by kitten on (August 17, 2011, 15:29 GMT)

Zico123,' 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'. I would add, and if this series was held in India, I am sure the tables would have been turned. It is not easy to play in someone's 'backyard', with all conditions in the home team's favour, and without your main strike bowler/bastman(Zaheer/Sehwag). I know Sehwag was a complete failure, but let us all not forget that he was returning after surgery, and the whole world has seen what a fit Sehwag can do to the opposition, and England have had a glimpse of it in Chennai. Let us all enjoy the game, and there is no doubt that England played against what was offered to them, and won very handsomely like any good team should. But, I'm sure I speak for millions of people all around the world, when I say we would all enjoy a more competitive competition between two teams. It makes for better viewing. Hope the fourth test provides it.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 15:24 GMT)

Clever people - The England Team Management!! They'll play Anderson in the last test match against us and push very aggressively for a 4-0 win, and then they'll rest him for the T20 & ODI series to follow, and the short tour to India....they're managing their players extremely well. Anderson will get 2-3 months off, and he'll be fresh and ready for the big tours of Sri Lanka & Pakistan to follow!!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (August 17, 2011, 15:10 GMT)

All England fans will hope that Jimmy plays, but if he's not 100%, then Finn get another go. There's no mystery about this. He's the next cab with a tuned engine ticking over. If that's the way it goes, and Finn shows that he's up to standard (as I'm sure he is!), then England has a headache. What to do with Anderson, Broad, Tremlett, Bresnan and Finn, not to mention Onions, who'd walk into any other international side at the moment? I dare to suggest that a rotation policy needs to be considered. At least no one needs to play guessing games for the winter tours' test squad! Ah, what days these are!

Posted by Arjun_CB on (August 17, 2011, 14:50 GMT)

@Rage46 ---> are you in which island?? "Indian team was already poor in test and ODIs. However they can win t20 easily. " India are the World Champions, What happnd to Eng bowlers and Batsmen in World cup or ODI's ?? Poor in Test?? ha ha ha looking at the 3 test loss?? you made this verdict?? Then pls check Eng Perfomance in india for the last 30 years..... dont u feel its " Poor " ???

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 13:58 GMT)

INDIA WIN THE FOURTH TEST AND ODI & T20

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 13:51 GMT)

@mirz THis ENGLISH side can beat /humiliate INDIA all around the world , on any pitch. However, INDIA might (not can ) be able to beat ENGLAND only in INDIA ..provided the pitches are made just for spinners

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 13:51 GMT)

I wouldn't risk Anderson unless we're gonna play 5 bowlers (which I doubt). Let him take a break and lets have another look at Onions; even with no Anderson in the team I expect us to win at a canter.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 13:48 GMT)

@venkat It will be more like 4-0 in test 1-0 in t20 and 4-0 in ODI. INDIA doesnt have the power to fight ENGLIAND. Like i said stop living in wonderland . It is not as if INDIA are playing badly and getting beaten . INDIA are playing their level best which isnt enough to fight this ENGLISH side

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 13:38 GMT)

@spinning KK - if u think that Anderson is not a super bowler, then u must be a fan of Munaf Patel or Sreesanth who in ur viewpoint must be super bowler. And, if u would have seen Ashes, u would have understood that Anderson can take wickets also when their is not too much swing. So,get ur views right about Anderson and as for Broad, he has shown in this series itself that he is a bowler to be feared so it's better if u are scared of him. As for Jimmy, go and ask Sachin himself, he knows how good Jimmy is.lol

Posted by CricketPissek on (August 17, 2011, 13:05 GMT)

England needs to prove themselves in the subcontinent of course. They will get their chance next year in Sri Lanka (and in the UAE against Pakistan before that). But to say they've only won at home is a bit silly. You just need to do a simple search to see England's performances in South Africa and Australia (as well as Bangladesh) in varying conditions. If England can find a high class spinner to support Swann, they can be the next cricketing superpower. India can bounce back if the following players are nurtured: Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Virat Kholi, Uttappa, and Ashwin. They can then complement Dhoni, Ghambir, Sehwag, and Yuvraj. I have become a massive Praveen Kumar fan from the England series, he's a 'heart and soul' bowler who needs to be backed up by a consistent Sharma.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 13:00 GMT)

Now the time starts for India..India is always rock..England definitely suffer now on wards..

Posted by giridhar28 on (August 17, 2011, 12:32 GMT)

Mr. Anderson you pls take rest. Atleast lets india draw the next match. Already you ppl have reached No.1 spot. So no worries and you take rest. England needs your service in ODI and T20 as well:-p

Posted by Herath-UK on (August 17, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

Looking at the feeble Indian batting and bowling show I think there is a very good chance for the England to win the series 4-0.Sanga gave an excellent innings to save the third Test so either Dravid or Luxman should come out with a quality innings as Shewag cannot be dependent upon as he does not seem match ready yet.Tendulkar of course can make his coveted hundred irrespective of Indian loss. Ranil Herath -Kent

Posted by Yabba on (August 17, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

Thyagu5432 - the England team that lost in India last time was a very different team - before the Flower/Strauss regime took over. Indian fans keep going on about England's bowlers not being able to play on Indian wickets - reminds me of how the Australians were banging on last year that the English attack wouldn't be able to take 20 wickets with the Kookaburra ball in Australia. England won 3-1 with all their test wins all being by an innings and plenty. They achieved that through thorough preparation - just like they will thoroughly prepare to play India in India in 2012...

Posted by mirzhaywire on (August 17, 2011, 12:15 GMT)

england cannot beat even an India A team in India guaranteed!!!

Posted by Rage468 on (August 17, 2011, 12:08 GMT)

after seeing test series, india should quit from here and go to kenya.They can very well thrash kenyan bowlers. it isnt the pitch which cost india the series. Indian team was already poor in test and ODIs. However they can win t20 easily.

Posted by vsuria on (August 17, 2011, 11:55 GMT)

IPL is needed for the growth of India's economy. It is not the BCCI's fault that Australians and other players want to play in IPL. BCCI didn't force any player into playing. It was the choice of the players.

BCCI is however bad in scheduling matches etc. IPL can stay, but make it in a shorter format. That's all the BCCI have to do. Some more practice matches should be there to make use of the extra time which will be there.

Posted by Arjun_CB on (August 17, 2011, 11:38 GMT)

All those who are talking against India's No#1 spot in the test ranking. (Especially Eng/Aus/SL/SA guys), Eng wil be No#1 after this series, but Do remember this is the same point table make India No#1.. now i would like to ask a question to Eng supporters.. If Eng is No#1 test side, then why They can't win a series in india for the last 30 years??? Why they can't bat in subcontinental pitches??

All team will have hom advantages.. mind you... then if you dare, come to india and play a 4 test match .... and win all 4 test matches....

Posted by ashish514 on (August 17, 2011, 11:22 GMT)

@ Dinker Rkn- T-20 was pioneered by England bcoz of the dwindling crowds, so it wasn't Indian cricket viewer alone who suffer the T-20-is-all-we-watch syndrome. Given the cricket frenzy in India, cricket could survive here even without T-20. But not in England. Sure India overdid this with IPL, but that's just due to the large cricket fan base already present in India which England strived to create with T-20. Not only in India, but at any place you would find more fans for ODI's and T-20's then test cricket. It, as they say, is a purists's format. It cannot survive alone. Limited overs cricket, however low it crouches(with all the cheerleaders and loud music), is required to bring in money........Well about India's performance, no words. Annoying,disgusting,frustrating and even sometimes pitiful. I blame it on IPL.

Posted by VenkatBaggu on (August 17, 2011, 11:18 GMT)

Who were there India Can easily win this Match Time For India Now Test 3-1 T20 0-1 ODIs 1-4

Posted by rongun on (August 17, 2011, 11:02 GMT)

Er... Thyagu5432, are you forgetting that England have just thrashed Australia, er... in Australia?

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 10:38 GMT)

@Thyagu5432 you have to be kidding. England just beat australia in australia, learn to lose! india are terrible when you consider the amount of people they have to choose from. 1 billion people and 0 decent bowlers. they are rubbish,england would destroy them in any country in the world at the moment. stop being so arrogant. Indian fans so arrogant. Not to mention the BCCI

Posted by vsuria on (August 17, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

Right..I agree with all England fans that India were thoroughly outplayed in this series. England prepared much better than our team did. But the England team needs to win in away series as well as home series if they want to be truly regarded as the no. 1 team. I doubt they would perform like this in Indian pitches.

BUT ALL OF US INDIAN FANS AGREE THAT ENGLAND ARE BETTER THAN INDIA IN ENGLAND. Congrats England :I

Posted by spinkingKK on (August 17, 2011, 10:33 GMT)

I hope England able to play their best team and then lose. Because, otherwise, they will say they have lost in the absence of Anderson and will talk as if Anderson was some kind of super bowler. Anderson is a decent swing bowler. There is nothing more to it. It's jus that Indians played terrible. If this same England team was to face Australia under Steve Waugh, it would have been Australia by, at least, 2 tests. I have heard Nasser Hussain suggesting that many experts beleive this was the best England attack they have ever seen. In that case, England never really had a fearsome attack ever. Ganguly was quick to point out that the 2005 Ashes winning attack consisting Flintof,Harmison,Hoggard,Jones were far better when compared to this lot. I couldn't beleive someone like Broad can, even, be considered as fearsome. The guy gave 6 x 6's in an over not long ago. The fact is, cricket depends a lot on the psyche. If a bowler or a team is getting results, everybody struggles against them.

Posted by TheKingofSpain on (August 17, 2011, 10:02 GMT)

@RandyOZ - you're totally right of course that we have slightly overboard, as most of us English fans have witnessed some abject playing from our side over the years so maybe the highs seem that much better. Most of us however are realistic enough to know that the big tests come in the next year. I don't expect us to stay number one, but for once in my life I do expect us not to embarrass ourselves...(he says, hopefully). I expect this last test to be a drawer to be honest, whoever we put out.

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (August 17, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

England just outplayed India in this series. But it is funny to see that people make comments about how India cannot perform outside of the sub-continent and they are just champions in their backyard. England win in England, which is England's backyard. When England toured India last time, they lost. Any team is difficult to beat in their own backyard. They all become vulnerable when they go out.

Posted by BennieLovesCricket on (August 17, 2011, 9:35 GMT)

A tad conspiracy-theorist but it wouldn't surprise me hugely if the BCCI had decided to accelerate the death of test cricket due to it not making enough money. Presumably Indian test matches make little revenue or even run at a loss. Given what we know about the avarice inherent within the BCCI I can quite well imagine them plotting to gradually let it's test team fade away and so eventually they wouldn't have to stage these non-lucrative 5-day affairs called test matches. Just a thought. I'm probably wrong. But as an England fan my pleasure at becoming number 1 has been marred by the simplicity of it all. Like taking candy from a baby. Surely a board that cared about test cricket would have done more.

Posted by ponnu_KKR on (August 17, 2011, 9:11 GMT)

Dont write off INDIA!!! they can be dangerous in any pitch and country.

Posted by JawadSyed on (August 17, 2011, 9:06 GMT)

Is Swann the captain or the coach? Or is he just the Uncle of the team? Nice way to be in the news.

Posted by joanne_s on (August 17, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

@Rajendran Kamaraj: do you actually know the difference between Test cricket and ODIs? What on earth do England's losses in the World Cup have to do with this Test series?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 17, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

I've been watching England cricket for over 20 years, and I always get the feeling that they are more switched on for Test cricket than they are in ODI's, which they seem to take as being more of a bit of hit and giggle. I for one dont enjoy ODI's and have said for a number of years that it instills bad batting skills.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

@Rajendran Kamaraj yes this england team lost to ireland and bangladesh in the worldcup but didnt lost to india ... hence its proved that right now india by performnace is much worst team then ireland and bangladesh :)

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 8:11 GMT)

I am a huge fan of Indian Cricket and will always remain so. The fact of the matter is that the English team has played far better cricket this series than the Indians. For the last 2 years this Indian team had played very well both home and abroad. Even in much tougher conditions. I have high regards for the Indian players, but watching the test matches gave a feeling that something was wrong with the mental state of them. They looked as if someone had forced them to play these games, so they turned up and went back. None of the batsmen showed the willingness to either occupy the crease or attempt to play attacking cricket. This particular team is known for its attacking ability, but here it looked a pale shadow of that. The bowlers lacked planning and just seemed to go through the motions. All said and done, I will always support this team in high and low and am sure they will bounce back strongly. Well played ENGLAND and Congrats on being No.1. Best wishes INDIA.

Posted by amit.80s on (August 17, 2011, 7:35 GMT)

60% to 80% fit jimmy will do coz they only have to bowl abiut 50-60 overs to bowl india out so he can bowl about 10-12 overs and can have another 5for and the rest of the bowlers can finish the job.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 7:22 GMT)

@ashes61 you are right..the mickey mouse stuff ie T20 is the format people mainly watch and enjoy in India.(earlier it was the ODIs).No i am not one of those posting excuses.I am just stating a fact.and that is the reason why test matches have poor attendance as you have rightly stated.You wont believe it but at least 50% of the "religious" followers will tune in to watch the ODI series proceeding the test series totally unaware of what had happened earlier in the summer.And judging my India's form and performance till now it could be another 5-0.I am sure most Britons wont give much importance to the ODI series (quite rightly).@landl47 there are some people who are eternally optimistic (good) but there are others who support under prepared and under performers just because they wear the national cap(fanatics). i am afraid Zeco belongs to the latter....the best India can hope for at the Oval is a draw by the way this post is from India...

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (August 17, 2011, 6:05 GMT)

wow so many fans are saying that india are weakest team in the planet . even zimbabwe can beat them . now i m sure that all people will see an indian team which is very hungry for a win .come on india show them that one bad series doesn't affect you .

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 17, 2011, 5:29 GMT)

Finn for Anderson, no question about it. This has been the most utterly one sided series in recent memory, absolutely no fight from the Indians bar an odd innings by Dravid. @ Indiaworldnumber2, you obviously missed the headlines when he got spanked around the subcontinent during the World Cup! It's fascinating how the English have found their voice all of a sudden for the first time in 20odd years. I suppose we'll let you have your time in the sun, just like English weather you won't be in it for very long!

Posted by pinhead9810 on (August 17, 2011, 5:21 GMT)

I for one hope Anderson is fit to play the last test game, but England will win without him, if he's not fit to play. I don't think England should risk playing Anderson, the opponents are not worth the risk. India have struggled to score runs against the other bowlers, except Swann. I would like to see Onions and Finn play the last game, replace them for Anderson (not fit) and Bopara, no need for Bopara when Broad and Bresnan are scoring runs.

Posted by assam.beckons on (August 17, 2011, 4:51 GMT)

All right, all right, England deserves the No 1 status at this moment, but to say India didnt, is just plain foolish. Congratulations to the English team, but they will have to sustain this in all conditions and against all opponents. So lets wait and see. And if you ENGLISHMEN are believing that this is the end of Indian cricket ruling the world, well, think again.

Posted by cool2cool on (August 17, 2011, 4:37 GMT)

I know test and ODI are differenet things, but how was Anderson's and England's performance in the world cup overall and during ODIs with Australia? You can't judge a team by just one series, but I have to say England totally outplayed India in tests and hope India show better performance in the last test and during ODIs..

Posted by cool2cool on (August 17, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

I think if India don't have match-winning players, they should start selecting SA/NZ/Aus players in their national team like England.

Posted by Romenevans on (August 17, 2011, 4:24 GMT)

Suggest to BBCI (i Know they won't listen but still) - When you prepare for tours like England, SA and Australia, where the conditions are overcast, pitches are made for pacers with green grass. Then why not create a stadium and similar conditions in northern part of India, where conditions are similar throughout the whole year. For example, Dharamshala cricket stadium and condition are similar to English conditions there. So why not prepare same pitches there and send the team 2-3 week before there, to prepare themselves for similar conditions? It can be easily done, if the intentions are there to play for the nation. But it won't happen because they are running around for money and rubbish IPL. The intent and hunger is missing.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2011, 4:07 GMT)

this england team lost to ireland and bangladesh in the worldcup they are not invincibles

Posted by harshalb on (August 17, 2011, 4:05 GMT)

My England line up would be: Strauss, Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Trott, Morgan, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swan, Onions. I could even replace Morgan with Finn and have a 5 bowler attack. India is not capable of taking 10 wickets at the moment and England must aim to make it 4-0 score line. For India I would line up: Sehweg, Gambeer, Dravitz, Saccin, Lexmann, Sresanth, Dhony, RP Sing, Praveen, Ishant, Misra. India have to go with 5 bowlers if they were to have a shot at winning the next match, draw is not a possible option for them. They must hope that quantity will suffice for lack of quality.

Posted by silent_death on (August 17, 2011, 2:56 GMT)

England should not risk Jimmy or any other player with any niggling injury. Their opponents are are not worth it. At present Zimbabwee might even beat India.The indian players aretotally shock with the licks they are getting. This have to be a record for margins of victory by a team playing the so call number one team in test cricket.

Posted by HatsforBats on (August 17, 2011, 0:08 GMT)

With India playing this bad there is no reason for Eng to risk playing Anderson. They can slot in Onions (who I rate highly), Finn, Shazad etc. @ Indiaworldnumber2: Anderson hasn't confirmed his ability to bowl in all conditions, at various times he has been ordinary on a flat lifeless non-swinging pitch in Brisbane, Adelaide, Cardiff and he was ordinary at the world cup. Good name by the way, you might have to change it soon though.

Posted by Immypower on (August 16, 2011, 23:59 GMT)

India are an average test team relying on fading (and faded) stars who can no longer hack the demands of test cricket. With age, a batsman's judgement, stamina and the ability to play the hook/pull diminish and we have seen that with dravid, tendulkar and laxman respectively. India's bowling hasn't been impressive (zaheer apart) and I would rather have KP as a tweaker in my team over harbajhan. They are one of the most unfit, lazy and workshy (and not to mention overweight) teams i have seen in recent memory and to blame a few injuries on the overall result of this series is a gross injustice to the way we have played....we have been far better in every single aspect of every single session of every single game.

Posted by Toon-Harmy on (August 16, 2011, 23:14 GMT)

I'm not sure what has been more enjoyable this summer. The sight of England deservedly claiming the mantle of number one Test side in the world while handing out the thrashing such an ill-prepared Indian side has demanded ... or the continued, arrogant, deluded posturing of some Indian supporters on this site. Frankly, I'm bored with this wearisome, ungracious, straw-clutching 'argument' they continue to trot out about how this England side with such a gifted, deep and balanced squad has no chance of winning on the sub-continent. Any sensible observer can see England now has all the attributes required to prosper, home or abroad. Then again, perhaps they think now we're No1 we'll just casually turn up unprepared for future tours thinking we've a divine right to win - recognise this complacent approach anyone? Remember the meticulous planning the astute Flower/Strauss leadership put into retaining the Ashes down under? You can be sure it will be replicated this winter and beyond.

Posted by ashes61 on (August 16, 2011, 22:54 GMT)

Zico, have you checked back and looked at all India's Test matches over the last 2 or 3 years to see if their opponents were ever short of a player or two? And if they were - as, of course, most Test teams are missing at least one first-string player whenever they take the field - did you complain about the unfairness then, whenever India scraped a win over weakened opposition? Zico, India has more people than the rest of the cricket world combined. Presumably they are all eligible to learn, practice and play the game at whatever level they can? India also has more money to throw at their set-up than any other country. It is by far India's most important sport (a religion, we're told, with SRT a God) and yet the same old players appear, year after year after year. Where are all the urgently needed replacements? Are they not ready? Why? And if it is so popular in India, why does no-one go to watch? (Apart from all that mickey mouse stuff, which is killing Indian cricket fast).

Posted by landl47 on (August 16, 2011, 21:30 GMT)

Trouble is, Zico, in the last test England were without Trott and Tremlett and they still thrashed India by an innings and 242 runs. Sorry you can't find good replacements for your top players, but that's not unfair. I doubt that England will risk Anderson now that the rubber is over, so unless he's 100% fit he won't play. If that's the case England will be without their top two bowlers and their second-best batsman from the Ashes series, so India, by Zico's logic, should win easily. Let's see if they do.

Posted by allblue on (August 16, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

It was a good day for cricket when Swann missed that England media training day. Keep 'em coming Swanny! A joint press conference with Sehwag would be fun!

Posted by heat-seeker on (August 16, 2011, 20:28 GMT)

Flower won't take a risk with Anderson if he's not 100%. Onions vs Finn will be an interesting choice. Reckon Finn might just edge ahead.

Posted by the_Srikanth on (August 16, 2011, 19:31 GMT)

I would play both Finn and Onion in the absence of Anderson. Bopara can be left out as every single one of the top 8 English batsmen (Cook, Strauss, Bell, KP, Morgan, Prior, Broad, Bressie) are in top form. Bopara is staying true to his Indian roots as far as batting form is concerned. Anderson is a critical second innings bowler and England might find it hard to get the early breakthroughs with just 3 quicks and no Anderson/Tremlett.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (August 16, 2011, 19:12 GMT)

zico I'm afraid you're talking nonsense: The last Ashes tour Anderson made headlines with his confirmed ability to perform in any conditions. Poor excuses about the loss of one player cannot detract from the fact that India won the toss in the first two games had the best of conditions and have been thoroughly beaten in all facets of the game throughout the entire series. Why did your batsmen fail? Why did India's bowler's likewise prove to be so rubbish? England are just the better team, try to appreciate good cricket.

Posted by BoonBoom on (August 16, 2011, 19:00 GMT)

It doesn't matter if Jimmy is playing or not because Finn and Onions are more than enough to get this highly over-rated batting lineup out twice inside two days. Indian primarily play for money and records rather than for pride or glory of their nation.

Posted by Romansoul23 on (August 16, 2011, 18:52 GMT)

@ zico123: I would just like to say "A bad workman always quarrels with his tools" Now "Grapes are sour for you" Even if you provide full strength Indian side (so called best batting line up) with a seaming and swinging conditions, the result will be the same 10 out of 10 times. Take my words.

Posted by 200ondebut on (August 16, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

zico123 - are you trying to be ironic or are you just one of those delusional fans who can't accept the truth? India were thrashed man! Get over it! LMHO!

Posted by Fifthman on (August 16, 2011, 18:35 GMT)

No Zico, it's not unfair; it's bad planning and lack of bench strength on India's part. Are you trying to tell me that in a nation of 1.2 billion people you can't find a decent replacement opener or fast bowler? If your stars hadn't been more interested in hoovering up the IPL cash they might have been fit for the England v. India Test series.

And England will do just fine when they visit the sub-continent, thank you. What will you do for excuses when we beat you on your own turf?

Posted by   on (August 16, 2011, 18:27 GMT)

Too much is being said about England team like they deserve to be no. 1, their bowling attack and bench strength on the basis of Bresnan's heroics but let's see how they do in next two years. We can't argue how England would have performed with number of problems India faced but let's not downgrade India as much as being done on the basis of results of this series and speculations as India have also performed as well in the last two years as England (margins of victories might varying).

Posted by Valavan on (August 16, 2011, 17:44 GMT)

England can try - Cook,Strauss,KP,Bell,Morgan,Prior,Bresnan,Broad,Swann,Finn and Onions. Even if they draw it, they can check their bench strength. Andy is required for ODIs.

Posted by zico123 on (August 16, 2011, 17:16 GMT)

it is unfair that India lost their no. 1 ranking in a series where they are without their best bowler Zaheer and 2 best batsman Sehwag and Gambhir for the most part, 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. England's bowling is not good enough to win in sub-continent, so their stint at top will be shorter than that of India

Posted by bumsonseats on (August 16, 2011, 15:20 GMT)

better be safe than sorry. this is a problem were we pick a 4 man attack. you just cannot go into a test if he has a niggle. get onions in like for like, nearly. dpk

Posted by Yabba on (August 16, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

If Jimmy is not 100% why take the risk? Both Finn and Onions are chomping at the bit to get another chance - not as if either of them has ever failed...

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Andrew MillerClose
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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England v India at Cardiff - Sep 16, 2011
England won by 6 wickets (with 10 balls remaining) (D/L method)
England v India at Lord's - Sep 11, 2011
Match tied (D/L method)
England v India at The Oval - Sep 9, 2011
England won by 3 wickets (with 7 balls remaining) (D/L method)
England v India at Southampton - Sep 6, 2011
England won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
England v India at Chester-le-Street - Sep 3, 2011
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