England v India, 4th npower Test, The Oval, 1st day August 18, 2011

England offer India a blueprint for revival

India's opposition has given them all possible indicators as to how turnarounds, while difficult, are neither impossible nor complicated
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On a tour when much has rained down on India - bad planning, injuries, woeful form - the English summer skies finally opened up too. Play was washed out after lunch, probably in protest against the visitors' poor first session on the opening day of the Oval Test. It brought a halt to the one-sided proceedings after England's openers had motored along to 75 for no loss and set in motion more questions about where the Indian team was headed.

At the moment, in real terms, down the hatch. If this series has brought anything for Indian cricket, it would have to be the awareness that their golden age is slipping away faster than they imagined it would. To be in England when this is happening is fortuitous: India's opposition has given them indicators as to how turnarounds, while difficult, are neither impossible nor complicated. They may just take a while.

Ask Peter Moores, who coached England at their most tumultuous four years ago. Taking over from Duncan Fletcher, he headed straight into a commotion that looked like it belonged to an airport novel. Moores is widely regarded as the man who re-established the link between the first-class game and the England team, re-opening doors for James Anderson and Graeme Swann, introducing Ryan Sidebottom into the elite set-up and also hiring key members of his support staff: Andy Flower as batting coach, Ottis Gibson as bowling coach and Richard Halsall as fielding coach. Of the three, Gibson has left England to coach West Indies but Flower is now the alpha male of the support staff, with Halsall one of his deputies.

On the outside, however, Moores' 18 months with England looked like one dramatic turn of events after another: in the summer of 2007, India won their first series in England after 21 years, Michael Vaughan quit as captain in the middle of a series a year later and a theatrical bust-up with new captain Kevin Pietersen followed at the end of 2008 which resulted in both Moores and Pietersen being removed from their jobs.

Moores today coaches Lancashire, who are currently heading the County Championship table and are in line to win their first title since 1950 (when it was shared with Surrey), and he watches the England team with great satisfaction. He believes the links between the first-class game and the England set-up have played their own part in the rise to the No. 1 position.

"We see players come in from first-class cricket and do well straight away. Matthew Prior is one person who came up, we've seen Jonathan Trott come through, Eoin Morgan... I think you see many more players come into the England side and be successful. That's quite a big credit to county cricket."

The high standard was best reflected, he believed, in the opinion of the overseas pros in county cricket, "We've asked them [the overseas players] what they think of the standard and they say, it's strong, it's competitive. I think you need strong links between the two because the players at first-class level need to know what's expected of them if they go up to international cricket. I think those links have got stronger, and I think they need to stay stronger if England are going to remain the force in world cricket."

Along with the first-class feeder line he said elite teams needed good structures around them, "I don't think it's come by a fluke, there's been a lot of hard work behind the scenes and of course Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss have done a fantastic job to manage the side. In order to become successful, you need a good support structure and a lot of good support staff around you. You need good players and you need depth. What England have got now is not just good players within the team but they have also got depth outside."

From this position, England, he believes, wants to "leave a legacy and become one of the teams of this era. We've seen the West Indies do that, we've seen Australia do that, we've seen India dominate over the past couple of years. I think we'll see that England want to try and do that, to stay at No. 1. To do that, that needs a lot of hard work. The only way it will ever happen is if there's a drive and hunger within the set-up to do it. And it sounds like it is."

India's challenges, Moores says, lie not in any shortage of talent but in how it is identified and handled. India's big question was finding replacements for its high-quality Test batsmen. "Which batsmen are going to replace the quality of the likes of Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid and their maturity as Test match players?" Moores says, "No one has done it yet, come from being a good one-day player into a good Test match player. So can the likes of Raina, or someone like that, fill the boots of some of those obviously outstanding Test match players? That is going to be the challenge for India over the coming time. India are always going to have a big pool to select from - they have got to make sure they select the right players."

The one England batsman Moores believes can become the best 'crossover' player from ODI to the Test format is Eoin Morgan. "Morgan is one person who has made his mark in ODI cricket, and has now established himself as a Test match player. If he comes through and ends up being a very good Test match player, he'd be the one who actually does it. The normal route is to become a good first-class player and then you adapt that game to the one-day game."

The lure of the shorter formats, Moores said, was powerful and "for every nation that wants to be strong in both formats, you have to try and make sure you create good opportunities for people to be successful for both formats. And that the incentives for Test match cricket remain strong enough for people to want to do the work to become a very good Test match player."

It is where India must look ahead, not merely four months down the road when they tour Australia but perhaps four years down the line, when they return to England.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | August 19, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    The IPL has been blamed for the ills of Indian cricket.But if you look at the positive side of it, it probably helps players who are otherwise diffident and timid. By rubbing shoulders with the big names,their confidence level is definitely pushed up.I remember watching Ishant coming back into his own by bowling alongside Dale Steyn.The much talked about wrist position returned to how it was in Australia when Ponting found him a handful.The negatives on the other hand stem from the money. It is a fact that in the 50s and 60s cricketers were poorly paid.They used to even travel by trains. With the BCCI becoming cash rich things started improving. But the IPL turned out to be the other extreme.Some of the very talented players lost their motivation- which should really be the ultimate-to play for their country because they had already made a fortune from the game. That is a big negative of IPL even I do not see the IPL affect the Pietersens and the De Villiers.It is the mindset I think.

  • POSTED BY Er-.S.R.shankar on | August 19, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    Shardaji, what are you driving at? After one series defeat you want us to pick up coaching lessons from Moores ? Is there no system in India for youngsters?Ranji,deodhar,Duleep,Challengerand A tours are not part of proper system? Sparing the odd one what is wrong with the selection of Indian team for past 3 years If you feel IPL is a deterrent England palyers also play plenty of 20-20 & 40 overs OD Having observed cricket for many decades I could assert that standard of County cricket is much below our Ranji standard. Which counties did the likes of SEwag , Gambir etc play? Nil England always had a strong legacy of fast bowlers We are in the process of building with the likes of Kapil,SRinath,Zaheer etc Our pitches need to be better Not doubt this England tour is a poor show against top class swing bowlingLet us give them some rope in view of their outstanding earlier.peformances But asking us to take lessons from Moores,Morgan[?] Cook[just one out of 6 innings] is outrageous

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | August 19, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    When England won the Ashes in 2005 and when they won superbly in West Indies, Duncan Fletcher was seen as a messiah from heaven. Today with India's sorry show, there are people wanting to blame the loss to a regime change after Kirsten. Fletcher is a wonderful coach and there should be no doubt about that. I am sure he will establish his credentials gradually with India.The thing that is crucial is that the domestic system will become more watchable and important if the big names are all there. When Dravid played for Karnataka or when Tendulkar played for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy, it added value to the tournament and the players who played around them. This is where the BCCI has to spend some of its time. In planning the tours by adopting the policy of horses for courses. So if Virat Kohli.or Ajinkya Rahaneor the Tiwaris have done well in Australia and South Africa, there is no point taking Raina there.This is the vision that is needed but is sadly lacking in our selectors.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | August 19, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    When Peter Moores had that rift with Pietersen, and both of them were removed, he was not seen as a cricket visionary. It is just that things have panned out well for England underAndy Flower in Tests alone.England were thrashed by Australia in the ODIs soon after the Ashes victory and virtually limped out of the World Cup 2011 with the Ireland loss being the very lowest point. If today England has an enviable bench strength it is not because Moores contributed very much to the system in England which in any case has ben sound historically. It is because the players with a promising future were identified correctly. I remember Greg Chappell when he was coach of India had said among other things that Suresh Raina was one of the best back foot players he had seen.Now that assessment was way off the mark as we have now seen.That is why the selectors have to identify batsmen for each format after watching the the way they play. The strokes they are comfortable with their footwork etc.

  • POSTED BY ak2207 on | August 19, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Spuddinho - On the last tour of England India dominated the final test at the oval and were just a couple of wickets away from victory as well - so I would say that the 2007 Test series victory was well deserved. They were close to a series victory in SA last time and competed very well - look at England last time in SA - they drew 1-1 but were destroyed in three of the tests. Close to a series victory in Aus in 2004 as well. So while they haven't dominated they have performed better than any other team going from subcontinent --> other conditions or even vice versa.

  • POSTED BY BarmyIan on | August 19, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Waffle on about winning the 50 over World Cup. ODIs mean nothing to England. Test cricket is the absolute pinnacle, its all we care about. I'll take No. 1 in Test Matches over 10 ODI World Cup wins.

  • POSTED BY BarmyIan on | August 19, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    I'm getting rather bored of people belittling England's recent record. Over the last 2 years we've won every series apart from 1 (a draw in South Africa). Having won more Test Matches than India in that time, and beaten Australia, at Home and Away (very convincingly Away as well)

    The Wisden Trophy (West Indies in England) 2009 England 2-0 (2) The Ashes (Australia in England) 2009 England 2-1 (5) Basil D'Oliveira Trophy (England in South Africa) 2009/10 drawn 1-1 (4) England in Bangladesh Test Series 2009/10 England 2-0 (2) Bangladesh in England Test Series 2010 England 2-0 (2) Pakistan in England Test Series 2010 England 3-1 (4) The Ashes (England in Australia) 2010/11 England 3-1 (5) Sri Lanka in England Test Series 2011 England 1-0 (3)

  • POSTED BY on | August 19, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    let eng ehjoy the moment..but as already told dont cry foul when u come to the subcontinent...

  • POSTED BY Spuddinho on | August 19, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Just reading the comments from Indian fans about England having to prove themselves overseas before they can be considered the world's best team. Surely that rationale should have applied to India too? Apart from beating two of the weaker Test teams (NZ & WI), India haven't been too special on their travels either and haven't had a recent series win in AUS or SA. Yes, they had a very fortunate 1-0 win on their last tour to ENG, but even that was very much down to rain washing out the last session at Lords with England needing one wicket for victory. And you can discount India's away wins on the sub-continent too as they were all achieved in conditions too similar to those found at home. All of which kind of proves my point - India have held the no.1 spot for the last two years only by default.

  • POSTED BY prath19 on | August 19, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    I congratulate England on achieving the top spot. I did not understand 2 things here. 1. England played in England against sub-continent teams and gathered all the points, everybody appreciates but if sub-continent teams do the same, they become flat track bullies. None of the teams Eng, Aus or SA can boast of mastering those conditions till date. England looked helpless in india not so long ago. 2. India were top for 2 years, one day champions--and now with one series loss everybody thinks that it is end of Indian cricket. The british commentators are amazingly one sided.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | August 19, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    The IPL has been blamed for the ills of Indian cricket.But if you look at the positive side of it, it probably helps players who are otherwise diffident and timid. By rubbing shoulders with the big names,their confidence level is definitely pushed up.I remember watching Ishant coming back into his own by bowling alongside Dale Steyn.The much talked about wrist position returned to how it was in Australia when Ponting found him a handful.The negatives on the other hand stem from the money. It is a fact that in the 50s and 60s cricketers were poorly paid.They used to even travel by trains. With the BCCI becoming cash rich things started improving. But the IPL turned out to be the other extreme.Some of the very talented players lost their motivation- which should really be the ultimate-to play for their country because they had already made a fortune from the game. That is a big negative of IPL even I do not see the IPL affect the Pietersens and the De Villiers.It is the mindset I think.

  • POSTED BY Er-.S.R.shankar on | August 19, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    Shardaji, what are you driving at? After one series defeat you want us to pick up coaching lessons from Moores ? Is there no system in India for youngsters?Ranji,deodhar,Duleep,Challengerand A tours are not part of proper system? Sparing the odd one what is wrong with the selection of Indian team for past 3 years If you feel IPL is a deterrent England palyers also play plenty of 20-20 & 40 overs OD Having observed cricket for many decades I could assert that standard of County cricket is much below our Ranji standard. Which counties did the likes of SEwag , Gambir etc play? Nil England always had a strong legacy of fast bowlers We are in the process of building with the likes of Kapil,SRinath,Zaheer etc Our pitches need to be better Not doubt this England tour is a poor show against top class swing bowlingLet us give them some rope in view of their outstanding earlier.peformances But asking us to take lessons from Moores,Morgan[?] Cook[just one out of 6 innings] is outrageous

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | August 19, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    When England won the Ashes in 2005 and when they won superbly in West Indies, Duncan Fletcher was seen as a messiah from heaven. Today with India's sorry show, there are people wanting to blame the loss to a regime change after Kirsten. Fletcher is a wonderful coach and there should be no doubt about that. I am sure he will establish his credentials gradually with India.The thing that is crucial is that the domestic system will become more watchable and important if the big names are all there. When Dravid played for Karnataka or when Tendulkar played for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy, it added value to the tournament and the players who played around them. This is where the BCCI has to spend some of its time. In planning the tours by adopting the policy of horses for courses. So if Virat Kohli.or Ajinkya Rahaneor the Tiwaris have done well in Australia and South Africa, there is no point taking Raina there.This is the vision that is needed but is sadly lacking in our selectors.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | August 19, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    When Peter Moores had that rift with Pietersen, and both of them were removed, he was not seen as a cricket visionary. It is just that things have panned out well for England underAndy Flower in Tests alone.England were thrashed by Australia in the ODIs soon after the Ashes victory and virtually limped out of the World Cup 2011 with the Ireland loss being the very lowest point. If today England has an enviable bench strength it is not because Moores contributed very much to the system in England which in any case has ben sound historically. It is because the players with a promising future were identified correctly. I remember Greg Chappell when he was coach of India had said among other things that Suresh Raina was one of the best back foot players he had seen.Now that assessment was way off the mark as we have now seen.That is why the selectors have to identify batsmen for each format after watching the the way they play. The strokes they are comfortable with their footwork etc.

  • POSTED BY ak2207 on | August 19, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Spuddinho - On the last tour of England India dominated the final test at the oval and were just a couple of wickets away from victory as well - so I would say that the 2007 Test series victory was well deserved. They were close to a series victory in SA last time and competed very well - look at England last time in SA - they drew 1-1 but were destroyed in three of the tests. Close to a series victory in Aus in 2004 as well. So while they haven't dominated they have performed better than any other team going from subcontinent --> other conditions or even vice versa.

  • POSTED BY BarmyIan on | August 19, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Waffle on about winning the 50 over World Cup. ODIs mean nothing to England. Test cricket is the absolute pinnacle, its all we care about. I'll take No. 1 in Test Matches over 10 ODI World Cup wins.

  • POSTED BY BarmyIan on | August 19, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    I'm getting rather bored of people belittling England's recent record. Over the last 2 years we've won every series apart from 1 (a draw in South Africa). Having won more Test Matches than India in that time, and beaten Australia, at Home and Away (very convincingly Away as well)

    The Wisden Trophy (West Indies in England) 2009 England 2-0 (2) The Ashes (Australia in England) 2009 England 2-1 (5) Basil D'Oliveira Trophy (England in South Africa) 2009/10 drawn 1-1 (4) England in Bangladesh Test Series 2009/10 England 2-0 (2) Bangladesh in England Test Series 2010 England 2-0 (2) Pakistan in England Test Series 2010 England 3-1 (4) The Ashes (England in Australia) 2010/11 England 3-1 (5) Sri Lanka in England Test Series 2011 England 1-0 (3)

  • POSTED BY on | August 19, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    let eng ehjoy the moment..but as already told dont cry foul when u come to the subcontinent...

  • POSTED BY Spuddinho on | August 19, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Just reading the comments from Indian fans about England having to prove themselves overseas before they can be considered the world's best team. Surely that rationale should have applied to India too? Apart from beating two of the weaker Test teams (NZ & WI), India haven't been too special on their travels either and haven't had a recent series win in AUS or SA. Yes, they had a very fortunate 1-0 win on their last tour to ENG, but even that was very much down to rain washing out the last session at Lords with England needing one wicket for victory. And you can discount India's away wins on the sub-continent too as they were all achieved in conditions too similar to those found at home. All of which kind of proves my point - India have held the no.1 spot for the last two years only by default.

  • POSTED BY prath19 on | August 19, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    I congratulate England on achieving the top spot. I did not understand 2 things here. 1. England played in England against sub-continent teams and gathered all the points, everybody appreciates but if sub-continent teams do the same, they become flat track bullies. None of the teams Eng, Aus or SA can boast of mastering those conditions till date. England looked helpless in india not so long ago. 2. India were top for 2 years, one day champions--and now with one series loss everybody thinks that it is end of Indian cricket. The british commentators are amazingly one sided.

  • POSTED BY demon_bowler on | August 19, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Anyone with eyes to see can tell that India are heading for the bottom in test cricket (in some respects, like fielding, they are already there). But they shouldn't worry -- nothing will stop their fans' boasting.

  • POSTED BY on | August 19, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    I mean its a pity that when some team achieves a feat, u start to praise and dissect the process which was assigned to it. Now there were two different processes used by England and India to move up the order. For India it was innovative cricket from their opening pair, a great middle order, quality in spin and guile in the form of Zaheer. Their bowling clicked in Australia, West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and also in England in the last 2007 series, so did the batting. England on the other hand have been poor travelers, as they lack quality bowling in unfriendly conditions. No off-spinner other than Murali and Harbhajan have been successful in the subcontinent. So the order looks tall for the likes of Swann and Panesar if they do travel. Also New ball swing wont get u Sehwag or Dilshan everytime. Rather it may only extrapolate ur leather hunt. So England's real test lies in the subcontinent. India was last defeated at home by the Aussies in 2004. Nobody has come close eversince

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | August 19, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Nothing will change with India, BCCI won't care if the bucks are coming in.They don't care about test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | August 19, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    @spiritwithin england won't last 3 days in those dustbowls :-)

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | August 19, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    @Chris_P,u said that england even in its bad old days couldn't repeat this disaster but i remember not very old days but very recent one,the 5-0 mauling of eng in aus in 2006..and if india got no.1 only by default than the same applies to eng as well,Eng only won two away series in aus & nz but lost in india,SL,Pak,even in WI,got most of their points in home series just like india did at home but india also won in eng last time,drew in SL,drew in SA,won in WI,in NZ....similar cases for both india & eng...try to win series in subcontinent,in SA,against SA at home,till then india's default case applies to england as well,one more thing just like india got swinging pitches next time when eng comes to india dont cry foul of dust bowls when the matches gets over inside 4days,then we will question eng team...good luck

  • POSTED BY Balaji_4fun on | August 19, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    @likeintcricket - U cud ve seen in the worldcup Anderson was struggling to find a place in the XI and only Bresnan looked like getting wickets.. Swann is a good spinner and u better the records of even great spinners like Warne and Murali... At the sametime looking at the Indian bowlers, it is difficult to get 10 wickets and we have to prepare spinning tracks like Kanpur and we do have to play to our strengths rite...

  • POSTED BY In_the_Face on | August 19, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    For once in their lifetimes' the English have something to cheer about. Congratulations for a strong English team! Agreed a tired & clueless Indian team lost it's way but that doesn't entitle the English fans to adjudicate the Indian team/cricketers as mediocre and average, which in every sense was their team's birth right till now. Let us see how long the English team defies itself and stays at the top.

  • POSTED BY vjkrthk on | August 19, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Alexk400: its a bad time for us... so you have a good time criticising... its not too far, the day wen the tables would get reversed... but you need not worry abt Indian cricket... there are well over a billion ppl here to worry abt it... this is just one bad series.. we are not gonna give up on our heros... they will surely shut you up, jus like how they did on Apr2 2011... a day which england team and their fans can only dream abt...

  • POSTED BY vjkrthk on | August 19, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    Shrada, Why all ur articles are filled with hundreds of useless oneliners and less of information...

  • POSTED BY on | August 19, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Lets see how this english team do when touring sub continent, if they can win 1 series in sub-continent the things what you have written will be accepted.

  • POSTED BY ashish514 on | August 19, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    When I see the youngsters not showing the calibre to play on foreign pitches like Dravid,Sachin and Ganguly did when they were young, I can see only two reasons- 1. Selections through IPL 2. Youngsters not playing county cricket Sure BCCI will not send Indian players to counties in retaliation to English players not being allowed to play in IPL. But that's hurting us when we play on foreign soil. None of the youngsters looks like playing the swinging ball. Some would say even the seniors failed but Dravid made 2 centuries and Sachin didn't look as uncomfortable as some of the others, he got some good starts. Laxman's technique suits more to bouncy pitches than swinging ones, I never hoped him to play a big part here. Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly have been successful in England due to their county experience.

  • POSTED BY on | August 19, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    I read almost all comments. World is still confused about India's future... They did not need batsmen to replace big three.... They need two or three G E N U I N E F A S T B O W L E R S

  • POSTED BY mohsin9975 on | August 19, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    Selectors mistakenly picked rp thinking it was a t20 game as they did when selecting jr. srikanth for 4-day matches

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | August 19, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    @anuradha_d, I think you and your fellow followers are forgetting the margin of defeats. These haven't been losses, they have been THRASHINGS! Your bowlers are incapable of taking 10 wickets on HELPFUL pitches and cunditions. And the nuch vaunted batting lineup has failed too reach 300 runs in SIX innings. Already to date, you have suffered the 3rd worst defeat in your history & the biggest losing margin after leading on the first innings in the HISTORY of test cricket. DDI & T20 sure isn't going to solve these issues. England,even in its bad old days couldn't repeat repeat this disaster, and they have a talented, young team with their priorities on test cricket. BTW, India was #1 for 18 months and only got there by default, they didn't win a series to get there (like England), Sth Africa dropped points to allow India past

  • POSTED BY cricket_lover1 on | August 19, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    Very Good Comments anuradha_d...I completely agree with you!

  • POSTED BY SpartaArmy on | August 19, 2011, 0:55 GMT

    Aunty! have u ever played cricket. Your aritcles are SO to the point

  • POSTED BY likeintcricket on | August 19, 2011, 0:55 GMT

    Indian fans often talks about beating England in India but how can they bowl England out twice in India when they cannot take 10 wickets in a single innings on green top and bouncy wickets. Remember England bats all the way down to 10 and even on under prepared wickets they can manage a good total. On the other hand they have genuine quick bowlers who can exploit any condition and best spinner in Swann.

  • POSTED BY shakkw on | August 18, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    Indian team has really disappointed everyone except Millions Indian fans who are hell bent to defend their team of mercenaries. There is saying "form is temporary but class is permanent" but Indian team hasn't shown us even a bit of class on this tour. They should have gone down fighting, at-least in 2 test matches but what we are seeing here is nothing short of a disaster. Cricket fans were waiting for this series for long time but we got is utter disappointment. Thanks to lethargic effort from bunch of overpaid stars.

  • POSTED BY Deuce03 on | August 18, 2011, 23:58 GMT

    Moores probably did set some things in motion behind the scenes, but from a supporter's perspective he was a bit of a disaster. He saw England throw away their excellent home record while Vaughan was still captain, alienated one excellent captain (Vaughan) and one who never really got a chance even if he was wrong for the job (Pietersen) and came within a whisker of ending the career of Strauss. Of the current players, most emerged under Fletcher and had periods in the wilderness under Moores. A couple (Swann) have been brought on entirely under Flower. Bell has only begun to achieve his full potential since being dropped by the Flower-Strauss regime and fighting to regain his place. Moores's main achievement in team building was probably keeping faith with Cook, but there weren't exactly other openers beating down the door.

    The mantra under Moores always seemed to be "when Flintoff's fit it'll be alright" when it was obvious he never would be, and it wouldn't be even if he were.

  • POSTED BY on_the_level on | August 18, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    Here's the problem for India - the BCCI is essentially a group of businessmen. To them, the team is a product which they flog to their customers to make the best financial returns possible. Hence, the vulgar number of matches that India plays, the lack of acclimatization and warm-up games - which are not televised, and therefore earn the BCCI no income. The first step in India's recovery is for the BCCI's present coterie to be disbanded, and for fresh elections to be held. A CEO with a strong cricketing background should be appointed to run the cricketing side of things, in consultation with the coach and captain. This person should then lay out clearly defined goals, and be held accountable for his results.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | August 18, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    Sharda, Everyone knows that India got #1 test rankiing due to their batting. While Moore's suggestions are valid and very common sensical. the politics behind decision making is the biggest factor. England team as a whole had serious drinking problem under the captaincy of Flintoff. They have shed that attitude and are focussing more on Cricket.Secondly, each county team in England has at least 4 good seamers. So there is keen competition for test spots. Conclusions are self evident. India needs to develop at least 6 good fast bowlers who can bowl in the English conditions by playing in the English county league. The same applies to the Indian batsmen like Raina, Kohli, Sharma, Pujara. Mukund, etc. They are V.talented but no english experience. The current Indian team would have been too strong for England to handle had they played a dozen county games before the test series.BCCI failed in their duties to recognize that English conditions are 100% different from Indian.Thats the Key.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | August 18, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Seems Indian fans eats lot of sour grapes. England will concentrate and achieve it. The very same Indian fans who spit their jealousy and swear words on SL and PAK, now testify English talents. England has won in SL and Pak in 2001 when SL had Vaas,Murali,Sanath and Aravinda, also Pak with Wasim,Waqar. England shattered india to dust, even SL respected the opposition and got some respect.. India.. Listen to geoffrey boycott.

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | August 18, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    indian seem whenever anyone says disparging things about them the old chestnet comes out about them winning the WC50 overs comp . i have to mind them england are the WC 20/20 overs comp. and although early days we went abit over the top, thats has cooled. i would put the #1 position above that, mind ( winning the ashes every time would surpass being #1). you maybe cannot see the wood for the trees but india could be on hard times for the next decade if drastic actions are not found and acted on. dpk

  • POSTED BY karl43 on | August 18, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    All this talk of england having to prove themselves abroad is rubbish, england have been winning home and away for the last 2½ years and having nothing to prove, the fact that england have now won 9 out of the last 10 test series and drawn the other, speaks for itself..south africa, their closest rivals, haven't won a series at home for the last 3 years!

  • POSTED BY tv_rulez on | August 18, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    Useless Article which points out the obvious challenge ahead for Indian team with not much depth in the reference to English team's revival. Author is a bit confused!

  • POSTED BY kancnaic on | August 18, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    England NO1 position is just because of the matches played by them in their own country.They beat Pak,Srilanka and now India in England itself.Evenif India had played England in India England would lost the series.Let them come out of England and face these countries.Then we will know their true colour.

  • POSTED BY VickGower on | August 18, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    There's very few people who bat aggressively and bat long. Raina has neither the temperament nor technique to replace Dravid/Tendulkar/Laxman. He only has a shot at the 6th slot. I would look to the likes of Rahane/Pujara/Mukund, that is players who have shown staying power in domestic cricket, to fill the "hunger" slots. Most of them will struggle with the transition but 3-4 might survive. The depressing thing of course is, how do you replace Tendulkar. You will have to do so as a team which means number of good players.

  • POSTED BY GeorgeWBush on | August 18, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    Peter Moores' role with England was a bit of a disaster in the end but he rightly deserves credit for spotting the talent of Anderson, Broad and Prior and bringing them into the England setup to build for the future. I get the impression that he was too much of a dictator for the likes of KP and others to tolerate but he clearly had an eye for talent, both in cricketers and back-up staff, so for that England fans still owe him our gratitude. Having said that the players have clearly responded to the more open working environment introduced by Andy Flower where they can be honest with opinions or both themselves and each other.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | August 18, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    India won't do anything extraordinary. Even india was number 1 because of dhoni's lucky aura. India has truckload of average batsman. But they also have below average fastbowlers not even single fast bowler in last 60 years. So india will be fine if they can find 2 fast bowlers. India may have to live with average batsman but they can work on finding the real fast bowlers to offset the batsman lack of quality. Even though india lost badly , teams are close in that india need one bowler who can remove tails with yorkers. For indian bowlers even tail batsman looks like top class batsman. India really needs to find two separate selectors for bowling and batting so selectors are made to be responsible for their selection.

  • POSTED BY anuradha_d on | August 18, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    hello sharda, you are going overboard.

    Eng has barely got where India has been for a good 2 years.

    don't discount those 2 years at top of test ladder

    don't discount that w'cup that a billion people covoted and won...tht's also a part of being at top.

    don't discount the IPL....it entertains a billion people.

    cricket is NOT JUST TEST CRICKET......just because england has been at top for a week.

    cricket also includes winning the REAL w'cup and entertaining people and at the same time staying on top of test ladder....all of which is "Been there, done it" for India.

    Eng has to prove that they can show the same intensity even in hom friendly conditions when a top-side awake and full switched on turns up.

    Eng has to prove that they can win in and against SL when they go there this winter....and that the likes of Anderson can swing it even by an inch in the deserts of Emirates when they play the mercurial Pak. Do not throw water over last 2 yrs of India achievement

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  • POSTED BY anuradha_d on | August 18, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    hello sharda, you are going overboard.

    Eng has barely got where India has been for a good 2 years.

    don't discount those 2 years at top of test ladder

    don't discount that w'cup that a billion people covoted and won...tht's also a part of being at top.

    don't discount the IPL....it entertains a billion people.

    cricket is NOT JUST TEST CRICKET......just because england has been at top for a week.

    cricket also includes winning the REAL w'cup and entertaining people and at the same time staying on top of test ladder....all of which is "Been there, done it" for India.

    Eng has to prove that they can show the same intensity even in hom friendly conditions when a top-side awake and full switched on turns up.

    Eng has to prove that they can win in and against SL when they go there this winter....and that the likes of Anderson can swing it even by an inch in the deserts of Emirates when they play the mercurial Pak. Do not throw water over last 2 yrs of India achievement

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | August 18, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    India won't do anything extraordinary. Even india was number 1 because of dhoni's lucky aura. India has truckload of average batsman. But they also have below average fastbowlers not even single fast bowler in last 60 years. So india will be fine if they can find 2 fast bowlers. India may have to live with average batsman but they can work on finding the real fast bowlers to offset the batsman lack of quality. Even though india lost badly , teams are close in that india need one bowler who can remove tails with yorkers. For indian bowlers even tail batsman looks like top class batsman. India really needs to find two separate selectors for bowling and batting so selectors are made to be responsible for their selection.

  • POSTED BY GeorgeWBush on | August 18, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    Peter Moores' role with England was a bit of a disaster in the end but he rightly deserves credit for spotting the talent of Anderson, Broad and Prior and bringing them into the England setup to build for the future. I get the impression that he was too much of a dictator for the likes of KP and others to tolerate but he clearly had an eye for talent, both in cricketers and back-up staff, so for that England fans still owe him our gratitude. Having said that the players have clearly responded to the more open working environment introduced by Andy Flower where they can be honest with opinions or both themselves and each other.

  • POSTED BY VickGower on | August 18, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    There's very few people who bat aggressively and bat long. Raina has neither the temperament nor technique to replace Dravid/Tendulkar/Laxman. He only has a shot at the 6th slot. I would look to the likes of Rahane/Pujara/Mukund, that is players who have shown staying power in domestic cricket, to fill the "hunger" slots. Most of them will struggle with the transition but 3-4 might survive. The depressing thing of course is, how do you replace Tendulkar. You will have to do so as a team which means number of good players.

  • POSTED BY kancnaic on | August 18, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    England NO1 position is just because of the matches played by them in their own country.They beat Pak,Srilanka and now India in England itself.Evenif India had played England in India England would lost the series.Let them come out of England and face these countries.Then we will know their true colour.

  • POSTED BY tv_rulez on | August 18, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    Useless Article which points out the obvious challenge ahead for Indian team with not much depth in the reference to English team's revival. Author is a bit confused!

  • POSTED BY karl43 on | August 18, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    All this talk of england having to prove themselves abroad is rubbish, england have been winning home and away for the last 2½ years and having nothing to prove, the fact that england have now won 9 out of the last 10 test series and drawn the other, speaks for itself..south africa, their closest rivals, haven't won a series at home for the last 3 years!

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | August 18, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    indian seem whenever anyone says disparging things about them the old chestnet comes out about them winning the WC50 overs comp . i have to mind them england are the WC 20/20 overs comp. and although early days we went abit over the top, thats has cooled. i would put the #1 position above that, mind ( winning the ashes every time would surpass being #1). you maybe cannot see the wood for the trees but india could be on hard times for the next decade if drastic actions are not found and acted on. dpk

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | August 18, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Seems Indian fans eats lot of sour grapes. England will concentrate and achieve it. The very same Indian fans who spit their jealousy and swear words on SL and PAK, now testify English talents. England has won in SL and Pak in 2001 when SL had Vaas,Murali,Sanath and Aravinda, also Pak with Wasim,Waqar. England shattered india to dust, even SL respected the opposition and got some respect.. India.. Listen to geoffrey boycott.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | August 18, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    Sharda, Everyone knows that India got #1 test rankiing due to their batting. While Moore's suggestions are valid and very common sensical. the politics behind decision making is the biggest factor. England team as a whole had serious drinking problem under the captaincy of Flintoff. They have shed that attitude and are focussing more on Cricket.Secondly, each county team in England has at least 4 good seamers. So there is keen competition for test spots. Conclusions are self evident. India needs to develop at least 6 good fast bowlers who can bowl in the English conditions by playing in the English county league. The same applies to the Indian batsmen like Raina, Kohli, Sharma, Pujara. Mukund, etc. They are V.talented but no english experience. The current Indian team would have been too strong for England to handle had they played a dozen county games before the test series.BCCI failed in their duties to recognize that English conditions are 100% different from Indian.Thats the Key.