England news August 17, 2011

Hungry England pursue lasting greatness

It may well be too early to suppose that England are on the verge of a dynastic rein, as achieved by the great West Indies and Australia sides, but they've certainly found the formula for continued success
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England have been the world's No. 1 Test side for scarcely a week, and already there's a feeling that this side ought to be capable of ruling the roost for the next decade or more, much as West Indies did in the 1980s and Australia in the 2000s. In part, such a fanciful projection can be dismissed as the natural reaction of England's wildly over-active media, but only up to a point.

The fact is, anyone who has witnessed England train, perform and even celebrate in the past 18 months will recognise the hallmarks of a squad that has found the courage to pursue lasting greatness, while at the same time developing the confidence to treat the extraordinary as commonplace.

"The basis of our success over the last couple of years is centred around a very strong work ethic, playing for each another and putting the team before the individual," said England's captain, Andrew Strauss. "It's about trying to improve yourself individually on a day-to-day basis, and now is very much a time to keep that improvement going. It's not a time to take the foot off the gas and be satisfied with ourselves. We're going to be judged by higher standards now as a result of getting to No.1, and it's going to be harder and harder to stay there."

The speed of England's ascent to the summit has been dizzying, but to judge from the stats alone, there can be no quibbling with their current status, even if success on the subcontinent is a goal that remains to be achieved. Since Andy Flower came on board as England's full-time coach in the spring of 2009, England have won 19 of their 30 Tests, and 11 of those by an innings. As a point of comparison, England in the whole of the 1980s - a decade that included three celebrated Ashes wins - won 20 out of 104. Success begets success, as the great teams of the past made it their business to demonstrate match-in, match-out.

It may well be too early to suppose that England are on the verge of doing likewise, but it can certainly be said that, with an average age of 28, and upwards of 15 players worthy of a place in the first XI, they have a squad with the depth to deal with the unexpected, and the time to build on the clear foundations they have laid. "The point of our set-up is to nudge people in the right direction so that they don't become too comfortable," added Strauss.

Perhaps most crucially, however, England have in Flower and Strauss a pair of leaders who are not ready or willing to let their charges feel satisfied with anything they've achieved to date. Last week at Edgbaston, England surpassed themselves in inflicting the third-heaviest defeat in India's Test history, and now they stand just five days away from completing a remarkable 4-0 whitewash over a side that came into this series as the top-ranked team in the game. Certainly, the intensity of England's preparations were at stark odds with the haphazard nature of India's practice, which - in a throwback to England's own whitewash days in the Caribbean in 1985-86 - was declared "optional" on Tuesday morning.

That's not to say there won't have been a method to that apparent madness from India's management - sometimes, when everything that can go wrong is going wrong, a break from the grind is the ideal solution, as Pakistan demonstrated back in 2001, when their improbable victory at Old Trafford came on the back of a day out at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. However, as England's insatiable batting coach, Graham Gooch, was fond of declaring during his playing days: "If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail."

At times during their own run of world domination, the only vulnerability that Australia ever displayed was their so-called "dead-rubber syndrome" - their peculiar tendency to drop their guard in the final Test of an otherwise crushing campaign. Of England's seven victories over the Aussies between 1993 and 2003, no fewer than six came once the Ashes were beyond salvation - including two at The Oval in 1993 and 1997.

The introduction of the world rankings has made something of a difference in that respect, because there are always points up for grabs even when a series has been done and dusted. However, as England showed at Sydney back in January, when they crushed Australia by an innings and 83 runs in their own dead-rubber contest in the fifth Test, it is their own desire for self-betterment that is their primary source of motivation.

Partly that comes as a consequence of the vast range of experiences that have gone into building this England team. Key players such as Strauss, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell were all a part of the side that failed to build on its epic Ashes success in 2005; those same players plus James Anderson and Alastair Cook know how it feels to be on the receiving end of a marquee series whitewash. The vast majority of the current team were there in Jamaica in February 2009 when West Indies routed them for 51, and then there's the memory of their last defeat against India, when Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar chased a remarkable 387 in Chennai.

"It was bitterly disappointing to lose in those circumstances," Strauss recalled, "because we played a lot of good cricket in that Test and got in a position to win it. But it makes you realise that, certainly away from home, registering Test match victories is very hard and you have to play well for the entire match if you want to do that. It was a timely reminder, and that, followed by the Windies tour, was the start of us regenerating as a side, and improving."

That improvement is an ongoing project, and as Graeme Swann joked on Tuesday, he wouldn't want to be in the same room as Flower in the event that England did let this final fixture slip through their grasp. "He's a hard man to get a smile out of, I'll give you that, but the most important thing with him is he's driving us," said Strauss. "He'll be the last person ever to be satisfied with what we've achieved and he'll be the first person to be disappointed if we did take our foot off the pedal."

On a personal note, this will be Strauss's final England appearance of the year, thanks to a quirk of the calendar that has delayed the winter Test series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka until the New Year. While he denied that it would be an odd feeling to have quite such a long time on the sidelines, it is probably no bad thing that even an England captain with a record of 20 wins in 38 Tests still goes into the game with a point to prove.

"The most important thing is having won last week, I wasn't sat on my sofa thinking 'that's it for me, I've achieved what I wanted to achieve'," said Strauss. "I feel very privileged to be part of this side at the moment and I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to try and drive us forward as well.

"There's so many challenges ahead for us as a side. There's the subcontinent this winter, there's South Africa coming over, and then India in the winter after that followed by the World Test Championship. The challenges never cease from now on. It's important not to look too far ahead because we don't know what's around the corner, but for the time being I'm very motivated to continue in our improvement."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Johnny_129 on August 18, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    I don't know if England will hold the #1 status as long as Aust or WI or even India. Most likely they will hold it longer than SA who were #1 for approximately 1 month! However, what I do know is that the poms will still be talking about this moment (getting to #1) 50yrs from now even if they stay there for 1 month!!! ;)

  • aracer on August 18, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    @chokkashokka - feel free. You might have to wait rather a long time to repost - and given the relative ages of the squads and the squad strengths (see it mentions that up there) it surely isn't India going to be knocking them back down. I'm saving all bitter comments from the India fans to repost when we do in 18 months time when we come and beat you at home.

  • salimarain on August 18, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    India will finish England's hunger when England will visit Sub continent

  • Deuce03 on August 18, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    England only perform in English conditions? Oh come now. I know this is a favourite hobby horse but it's just not true. England won in Australia and New Zealand (in NZ with a much weaker team than now) and drew in South Africa. No reasonable conclusions from the Windies tour can be drawn; England were wiped out in the first Test admittedly, but that was a new captain and coach, and that was the only pitch all series that was capable of producing a result. England have only had one meaningful tour of the subcontinent in the last five years, and that against a Sri Lanka team with much stronger bowlers than today, which they lost merely 1-0.

    Yes, England are still to be truly proven in subcontinental conditions, but surely they've proved beyond doubt in this series and the Ashes that it's foolish to write them off before a major series!

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 18, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    England are the best and its not even our main sport.... accept it!

    Forever in our shadow!

  • Daniel_Smith on August 18, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    It's a bit premature to be talking about ruling the roost for a decade, although given an Englishman's normal pessimism perhaps we can be forgiven for a bit of optimism. Please note that Andrew Miller does temper the suggestion.

    England do have a mixture of players from all backgrounds, some were born overseas, some were born to second or first generation immigrants. This is a true reflection of our country. Those players born overseas have had to wait four years before they can play for their adopted country. Maybe that gives them an edge. You have to be pretty determined to stick at something for four years, qualities that seem to aid our batsmen.

    Finally, as England fans we've spent years watching our team being pathetic so please allow us our moment of glory. It might not last long but we're determined to enjoy it. They don't come along that often.

  • Vnott on August 18, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Too early to even think about lasting greatness and honestly South Africa and England are performing similarly. Cant see England being No:1 beyond a year....

  • bhaloniaz on August 18, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    I like Cook, Bell, Trot, Anderson. I would love to see Tremlett succeed. I donot see England beating SA consistently. I do see AUS coming back strongly. I donot see Broad averaging 4 wickets per test in the long run. To me Hoggard. Jones, Harmison, Flintoff, Spinner were better lineup than Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Swan. Goodluck England. I would not put on my money for England to be number 1 for a long time.

  • on August 18, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    The great WI & Aussie sides were the best at all forms of the game. England may be T20 world champs and No 1 ranked test side - but they have a long way to go in the 50 over format. And, yes, they will have to win in the sub-continent to achieve greatness (and I don't count 2-0 v Bangladesh) - just as India's failure to win against strong opposition outside the sub-continent has demonstrated their lack of greatness. I do think that England will be very hard to beat in test matches for years to come - mainly because of the quality of the players who cannot get into the team. Similarly I can see them improving massively in 50 and 20 over formats as some of the latest generation of county players make it through into the national side. Finally my prediction for the 4th test - a draw as the English weather saves India from a whitewash.

  • sachin_mumbai on August 18, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    The best thing which has happened as England is now the number one test team in the world is that India is no more the weakest side ever to have held the top ranking...I am sure as hell England will not be able to hold this positon for more than a year...and if they do so than that will be as awesome as achievement as Sachin's 100th ton....

  • Johnny_129 on August 18, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    I don't know if England will hold the #1 status as long as Aust or WI or even India. Most likely they will hold it longer than SA who were #1 for approximately 1 month! However, what I do know is that the poms will still be talking about this moment (getting to #1) 50yrs from now even if they stay there for 1 month!!! ;)

  • aracer on August 18, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    @chokkashokka - feel free. You might have to wait rather a long time to repost - and given the relative ages of the squads and the squad strengths (see it mentions that up there) it surely isn't India going to be knocking them back down. I'm saving all bitter comments from the India fans to repost when we do in 18 months time when we come and beat you at home.

  • salimarain on August 18, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    India will finish England's hunger when England will visit Sub continent

  • Deuce03 on August 18, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    England only perform in English conditions? Oh come now. I know this is a favourite hobby horse but it's just not true. England won in Australia and New Zealand (in NZ with a much weaker team than now) and drew in South Africa. No reasonable conclusions from the Windies tour can be drawn; England were wiped out in the first Test admittedly, but that was a new captain and coach, and that was the only pitch all series that was capable of producing a result. England have only had one meaningful tour of the subcontinent in the last five years, and that against a Sri Lanka team with much stronger bowlers than today, which they lost merely 1-0.

    Yes, England are still to be truly proven in subcontinental conditions, but surely they've proved beyond doubt in this series and the Ashes that it's foolish to write them off before a major series!

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 18, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    England are the best and its not even our main sport.... accept it!

    Forever in our shadow!

  • Daniel_Smith on August 18, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    It's a bit premature to be talking about ruling the roost for a decade, although given an Englishman's normal pessimism perhaps we can be forgiven for a bit of optimism. Please note that Andrew Miller does temper the suggestion.

    England do have a mixture of players from all backgrounds, some were born overseas, some were born to second or first generation immigrants. This is a true reflection of our country. Those players born overseas have had to wait four years before they can play for their adopted country. Maybe that gives them an edge. You have to be pretty determined to stick at something for four years, qualities that seem to aid our batsmen.

    Finally, as England fans we've spent years watching our team being pathetic so please allow us our moment of glory. It might not last long but we're determined to enjoy it. They don't come along that often.

  • Vnott on August 18, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Too early to even think about lasting greatness and honestly South Africa and England are performing similarly. Cant see England being No:1 beyond a year....

  • bhaloniaz on August 18, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    I like Cook, Bell, Trot, Anderson. I would love to see Tremlett succeed. I donot see England beating SA consistently. I do see AUS coming back strongly. I donot see Broad averaging 4 wickets per test in the long run. To me Hoggard. Jones, Harmison, Flintoff, Spinner were better lineup than Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Swan. Goodluck England. I would not put on my money for England to be number 1 for a long time.

  • on August 18, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    The great WI & Aussie sides were the best at all forms of the game. England may be T20 world champs and No 1 ranked test side - but they have a long way to go in the 50 over format. And, yes, they will have to win in the sub-continent to achieve greatness (and I don't count 2-0 v Bangladesh) - just as India's failure to win against strong opposition outside the sub-continent has demonstrated their lack of greatness. I do think that England will be very hard to beat in test matches for years to come - mainly because of the quality of the players who cannot get into the team. Similarly I can see them improving massively in 50 and 20 over formats as some of the latest generation of county players make it through into the national side. Finally my prediction for the 4th test - a draw as the English weather saves India from a whitewash.

  • sachin_mumbai on August 18, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    The best thing which has happened as England is now the number one test team in the world is that India is no more the weakest side ever to have held the top ranking...I am sure as hell England will not be able to hold this positon for more than a year...and if they do so than that will be as awesome as achievement as Sachin's 100th ton....

  • on August 18, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    well..Decade is a too long time....Aussies are gonna back soon...SA are there....dont forget SRI and IND are very good teams.... im afraid that England may not enter the Test championship as No.1 Rather it may be Australia...

  • bobbington7 on August 18, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    Surajit,Baskar -Why can't England dominate world cricket for the next decade.They have dethroned the No-1 team in test cricket,a team which boasts of possessing the best batting line up in the world with top two batsmen having crossed over 10.000 test runs.A series win in the sub-continent may be a great achievement.

  • kingcobra85 on August 18, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    lasting greatness is not won on the newspapers let them gain in on the field... ENGLAND are so full of cowardice and want to keep their world ranking that they dont even have one four match test series in Sub continent...In srilanka they are going to play only TWO test matches...but in seamer friendly conditions they will play like there is never tomorrow...often 5 or 4 test match series to boost up that points..

  • on August 18, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    subbass : The English have to win in the SubContinent to truly claim the Number 1 title. Agreed your seam bowling is outstanding but dont forget that they are bowling in helpful conditions!

  • nosebreaker on August 18, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    I agree with tmd1.....its not just about the SA players in the england team but in county cricket itself. I feel it is the single most imprtant reason for English crickets ressurgance.....that and the very good administration of the sport in England. I still think South Africa is a better team than England.....they got very lucky in the last tour there....thanks to onions and some poor umpring decisions. The team that can win at home and in the subcontinent is the one that I will call the best...Engalnd, SA, and Aus still have to prove that.

  • on August 18, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    A decade?? Are you serious?

  • on August 18, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    England has to do well in the subcontinent to stay at #1.

  • SirLen on August 18, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    The Indians may well score some points back in the one day series, but ultimately I couldn't care less. Test cricket is the truest test of a side's ability, and anybody in England, Australia, SA and West Indies will tell you that. It's only the subcontinent where limited overs cricket is revered. Proof of this is the complete lack of national excitement when England won the world T20. Compare that to Ashes fever and the current delight at being #1 test team.

  • heat-seeker on August 18, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Yes, Yes, South Africa, India, Australia, SL will just lay down and surrender over the next decade.

  • geevee97 on August 18, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    this english pace attack is as good a pace bowling attack i've seen if not the best.. but the indian batsmen had all the possible things that could go wrong for them went wrong.. and when a team loses after getting england to 120 odd for eight and after they make 270 for 4, it will definitely lower any team's morale.. its as if going into the match thinking that nothing will go right for them.. harder they try harder it becomes.. the journey has only begun.. dont forget.. lets see next year

  • RandyOZ on August 18, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    Thanks Miller for your stock standard over the top and extremely biased article. You and the English media are kidding themselves. I hope for the fans sake the players have their feet planted firmly on the ground. Australia will be back up to #1 in a couple of years to so enjoy your short stay!

  • subbass on August 18, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    tmd1 your point is just sour grapes. If England were losing no-one would mention the SA born players. KP has an English mother for gods sake ! The same rules apply to all nations. Our SA born players have lived and played over here for years, that is the point. People move, allegiances change, no rules are being broken they are UK citizens, British passports and parentage, and we have every right to pick said players. If you really want to get upset by it, then consider the fact that the core of the team is purely English. Anderson, Swann, Bresnan, Bell, Cook, et al, are all key players and all born over here. It's amusing really and is just indicative of sour grapes. Get ready for 4-0.

  • tmd1 on August 18, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    At least the West Indies and Australia did it with local talent ( i am not including Symonds for Aus & Strauss for England as they were both boys when they went to those countries). England will only remain a power as long as they keep getting players from South Africa to fill their test team,the question i would like answered is when did England last win a test match with 11 English born players in the team.

  • subbass on August 17, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    Why on earth shouldn't England aim to dominate Test cricket for the next ten years ?

    The records speak for themselves, we are constantly hammering sides, numerous innings wins, big runs wins. The age of the side is good, the replacements are excellent if someone is out injured. You have to understand that everything is in place. Be warned, England are a dominant force in THE best format of the game.

    Our seam bowling is outstanding, get ready for 4-0.

  • on August 17, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    It's only South Africa that can challenge England in all conditions... even with the subcontinental sides, the only good Test spinner is Saeed Ajmal and he'll be bowling on the flattest tracks available... if only PAK and the UAE can re-address that issue...

  • on August 17, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    No team will be No. 1 for a decade now. That era is over with the end of LLoyd/Ponting's great team. No.1 will be a musical chair with teams occupying the top spot for a year or stuff like that. Not even Australia can rule for another decade. Regarding the Indian team, the lesser said the better. If we could not dominate the world with the Fab 5 (Ganguly, Kumble, Dravid, Sachin, VVS at the peak of their careers and in the team together for almost a decade), I am sure we can never in the future. Most of runs scored in Dhoni's wins have come from the blades of VVS, Sachin and Dravid. What happens after this trinity is gone is anybody's guess.

  • on August 17, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    England will not reign for a decade. Why? There is too much int'l cricket these days. Gone r the days of the WI & Aussies. Players r finding it increasingly difficult to stand up to the rigour of so much cricket.1. FITNESS. 2. Players r realizing their financial goals much faster these days. So there is no need to be away from yr love ones so long. And remember all it takes is for 2 or 3 players to leave & the team's fortunes can change; WI & Aussies. And don't forget Mr. MONEY IPL. England have a great squad now. Don't know what will happen in 3yrs time.

  • Sanath-aiyya on August 17, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    ************************ AMIDTS STRIFE we all look for ways to console ourselves we all look for some respite. The indian fans have taken tO consoling themselves by saying that they will beat England in the sub continent - time will tell.

    I said at the beginning of this series that England will win 4-0 and my dream is coming closer to being real.

    I hope the indian team will suffer huge losses where ever they go with their spoilt rich child attitude.

  • allblue on August 17, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    There are many reasons to feel good about the England team right now, and one of them is the character and integrity of the captain. Every time he speaks he does so calmly, rationally and with due modesty and respect to the opposition as well as the game as a whole. There's no arrogance, foolish predictions, and definitely no getting ahead of himself. He has matured into a great leader, and his focused, measured approach (mirrored by Andy Flower) runs right through the DNA of the team. It's a pleasure to hear him talk because his integrity and intelligence is so apparent, and if you want to understand where England's current success is coming from just listen to the man setting the tone for the team.

  • Lateralis on August 17, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    @Darshit Nayak I have three main points, assuming you are talking about the WC. Firstly, this article is talking specifically about Test cricket. It is not discussing limited overs cricket so that point is irrelevant. Secondly, in that WC campaign England chased down a huge India total to draw a match they looked destined to lose at one stage and beat South Africa in another thriller. So yeah, England lost to two of the "minnows" but they also played very well against the big guns. Thirdly, and most importantly, the campaign came off the back of a very long summer and winter schedule for England. By the admission of some of the players, England was knackered and some were feeling jaded. Now, if you really want to use those two ODI matches to judge the Test side, then go ahead. But you'd be foolish for doing so.

  • hocus on August 17, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    but when India shows who is the master in one day series, for god sake don't complain that English players were tired..i will totally agree that England batsmen are indeed very good if they can pick ashwin's bowling..I am 200% sure this english line up wont even have a chance against asian teams anywhere other than england..they will simply struggle against spin..

  • Valavan on August 17, 2011, 20:17 GMT

    @Sehwagologist, worry about INDIA. we know and we will worry about our team when we meet SA. Ask your SULTAN of DELHI to score 1 run.

  • Rahulbose on August 17, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    I expect a draw in this test. India will be defensive to avoid further humiliation while Eng will be looking to defend the 3-0 scoreline.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 17, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Unlike some English fans and non-Indians who simply HATE India because of what they had achieved over the past 2 years, I send my hearty wishes to England. Many Indians have graciously accepted England's new status as the best test team. Sadly, can we say the same about the rest of you English supporters and neutrals ? Everything India have achieved has been ridiculed and taunted. India's T20 WC victory was teased and called a 'one off' occasion. The world cup victory just 4 months back was not heralded as it should have been. Some people find new ways to bash India. Criticism is one thing but the Indian team is copping flak unnecessarily. Please stop with this India hatred. The Indian team is still one of the best test teams on this planet and they are the world champions in 50 over cricket. They did not have a good time in England but who knows, in a few months time the tables could be turned.

  • on August 17, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    Forgive me for being cynical, but the England media (like the Indian media) are quick to place unrealistic praise on their teams. To put into perspective, England have demolished an under-prepared Indian that did not have its full armory, and certainly did not have its heart in the contest. IMO the result is a reflection of attitude of the 2 teams. India have achieved all there is to achieve in the last 3 years, including topping the Test rankings, whereas England, who put more emphasis on Test cricket, wanted this series so much more than the Indians, and they played like it and got the deserved result. If India had a full strength team, and actually cared a little more, then I suspect the series would have been a lot closer (and as an England fan,I think its a damn shame that they didn't seem too bothered). We will have to see how England fare in the Subcontinent and against strong teams that will put their best performances in regularly e.g. SL in SL, SA....kudos all the same :).

  • on August 17, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    LOL what am I reading??:-o "already there's a feeling that this side ought to be capable of ruling the roost for the next decade or more"?? "decade" is it so!?? how quickly we forget that England is the same side which was defeated by Ireland and Bangladesh back in subcontinent.

  • bumsonseats on August 17, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    as a watcher of english cricket over 40 years. its funny how i take the current england team. players of yesterday like amiss, cowdrey, boycott gower smith lamb etc, who i thought were good test batsmen. and when they ended playing i would think i will not see the likes again. stats sometimes lie but when i look at the present line up, its then i see we have guys who are there with similar and better stats. i have never seen england with a tail starting at # 11 and but i have seen a tail starting at 8. this batting line up i believe is the best england has ever had and the bowling attack is on par with any english attack going back to the late 60s when i 1st watch test cricket. . dpk

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on August 17, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Wow. Look who is getting over-ambitious! Domination for decade..really? With bowlers who can only perform in English conditions? I know some of you would like to remind that me that England did win down under the last time but that is just one off event. One swallow does name make it a summer.

  • chokkashokka on August 17, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    this is hilarious - building castles in the air is a lot of fun - for kids. I'm saving all these articles and can't wait to repost come October and November and December and on and on. If this is amusing now - imagine what it would be like then. Can't wait.

  • Sanath-aiyya on August 17, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    Lets go England - please make this 4-0.

    Sri lankans / Bangladeshis / Pakistanis / South Africans / Kiwis and even the Aussies want the Indians to lose.

    We are behind you England. Lets make this a white wash

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on August 17, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    SA is the only team which can beat Eng in all conditions they have the best opening pair in bowling in the world steyn-morkel and put in imran tahir who has lots of county experience see his WC stats all eng batters except cook and morgan are 31 and above and guess what if swann misses a test series due to injury in SL or IND these broad,bresnan,ander who cannot match steyn morkel for their pace how varied bowling performance sa and eng had in WC in india SL PLUNDERED ENG QUICKS IN QF SO DID INDIANS

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 17, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Lets hope that the skillful, entertaining and world-beating cricket we've all seen from England in this series will not get afflicted by 'Dead Rubber Syndrome'.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 17, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Lets hope that the skillful, entertaining and world-beating cricket we've all seen from England in this series will not get afflicted by 'Dead Rubber Syndrome'.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on August 17, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    SA is the only team which can beat Eng in all conditions they have the best opening pair in bowling in the world steyn-morkel and put in imran tahir who has lots of county experience see his WC stats all eng batters except cook and morgan are 31 and above and guess what if swann misses a test series due to injury in SL or IND these broad,bresnan,ander who cannot match steyn morkel for their pace how varied bowling performance sa and eng had in WC in india SL PLUNDERED ENG QUICKS IN QF SO DID INDIANS

  • Sanath-aiyya on August 17, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    Lets go England - please make this 4-0.

    Sri lankans / Bangladeshis / Pakistanis / South Africans / Kiwis and even the Aussies want the Indians to lose.

    We are behind you England. Lets make this a white wash

  • chokkashokka on August 17, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    this is hilarious - building castles in the air is a lot of fun - for kids. I'm saving all these articles and can't wait to repost come October and November and December and on and on. If this is amusing now - imagine what it would be like then. Can't wait.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on August 17, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Wow. Look who is getting over-ambitious! Domination for decade..really? With bowlers who can only perform in English conditions? I know some of you would like to remind that me that England did win down under the last time but that is just one off event. One swallow does name make it a summer.

  • bumsonseats on August 17, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    as a watcher of english cricket over 40 years. its funny how i take the current england team. players of yesterday like amiss, cowdrey, boycott gower smith lamb etc, who i thought were good test batsmen. and when they ended playing i would think i will not see the likes again. stats sometimes lie but when i look at the present line up, its then i see we have guys who are there with similar and better stats. i have never seen england with a tail starting at # 11 and but i have seen a tail starting at 8. this batting line up i believe is the best england has ever had and the bowling attack is on par with any english attack going back to the late 60s when i 1st watch test cricket. . dpk

  • on August 17, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    LOL what am I reading??:-o "already there's a feeling that this side ought to be capable of ruling the roost for the next decade or more"?? "decade" is it so!?? how quickly we forget that England is the same side which was defeated by Ireland and Bangladesh back in subcontinent.

  • on August 17, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    Forgive me for being cynical, but the England media (like the Indian media) are quick to place unrealistic praise on their teams. To put into perspective, England have demolished an under-prepared Indian that did not have its full armory, and certainly did not have its heart in the contest. IMO the result is a reflection of attitude of the 2 teams. India have achieved all there is to achieve in the last 3 years, including topping the Test rankings, whereas England, who put more emphasis on Test cricket, wanted this series so much more than the Indians, and they played like it and got the deserved result. If India had a full strength team, and actually cared a little more, then I suspect the series would have been a lot closer (and as an England fan,I think its a damn shame that they didn't seem too bothered). We will have to see how England fare in the Subcontinent and against strong teams that will put their best performances in regularly e.g. SL in SL, SA....kudos all the same :).

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 17, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Unlike some English fans and non-Indians who simply HATE India because of what they had achieved over the past 2 years, I send my hearty wishes to England. Many Indians have graciously accepted England's new status as the best test team. Sadly, can we say the same about the rest of you English supporters and neutrals ? Everything India have achieved has been ridiculed and taunted. India's T20 WC victory was teased and called a 'one off' occasion. The world cup victory just 4 months back was not heralded as it should have been. Some people find new ways to bash India. Criticism is one thing but the Indian team is copping flak unnecessarily. Please stop with this India hatred. The Indian team is still one of the best test teams on this planet and they are the world champions in 50 over cricket. They did not have a good time in England but who knows, in a few months time the tables could be turned.

  • Rahulbose on August 17, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    I expect a draw in this test. India will be defensive to avoid further humiliation while Eng will be looking to defend the 3-0 scoreline.