England v South Africa, 2nd NatWest T20I, Old Trafford

England seek parity and progress

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan

September 9, 2012

Comments: 79 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

September 10, 2012, Old Trafford
Start time 6.30pm (1730GMT)

Stuart Broad endured a difficult return to the England captaincy, 1st NatWest T20I, Chester-le-Street, September 8, 2012
England captain Stuart Broad has a few issues to ponder © PA Photos

The Big Picture

It is dangerous to read too much into one match, but there did appear to be a significant gulf between England and South Africa during the first Twenty20. In reality though, not a huge amount new was learned: England struggle against spin, lack experience in the batting but have some good quick bowlers while South Africa, after their blip in the London ODIs, look overall a slick machine.

The way that Johan Botha and Robin Peterson tied down the batsmen on a slow turner - remember, this was Chester-le-Street not Colombo - was a concern but England have shown in the past that they can learn from their mistakes. Earlier this year they came from 1-0 down to beat Pakistan in the UAE (although, yes, Kevin Pietersen played a significant hand) while they also bounced back in the one-day series after a hammering in Southampton.

And the bottom line is that, barring injury-related changes, these are the players going to Sri Lanka so it is a rather fruitless exercise considering alternatives. On the whole, too, these are the best T20 cricketers in the country although, of course, there will always be debate about who else could get a go. As often after defeat, the players left out of the XI start to look better and it would be a surprise if Luke Wright, Michael Lumb and Danny Briggs - there are injury worries over Tim Bresnan - do not get a game in this series.

South Africa have fewer areas of concern but, like England, are not entirely convincing at the top of the order. Richard Levi is a fairly unsubtle batsman (it can sometimes be destructive, but often not) and Faf du Plessis is going through a run of form to match Ravi Bopara's nightmares. Significantly, though, their experienced players are in good touch. Jacques Kallis has slotted back in and Dale Steyn is bowling beautifully.

Form guide

(Most recent first, completed matches)

EnglandL WWWL
South Africa WWWWL

Watch out for

Eoin Morgan has the weight of world, or at least England's batting line-up, on his shoulders. He remains cool and calm whenever asked about the pressure, but in the absence of Pietersen he is the one player with both the experience and all-round game to dominate attacks in a variety of conditions. When he dragged on in the opening game an already stuttering innings quickly unravelled.

Johan Botha is an interesting story. After the World Twenty20 he is being released from his Cricket South Africa contract to go and captain South Australia so this next month is his international farewell. He will be key to South Africa's chances in Sri Lanka and bowled with skill and control at Chester-le-Street. His batting, although not needed in the opening game, adds depth to the lower order.

Team news

It is difficult to see how England can keep picking Bopara at the moment. Consistent failures are only dragging him down further. Wright has had a terrific season for Sussex and would ensure Stuart Broad still has an extra bowler if needed. They will be tempted to bring in Briggs, the left-arm spinner, but will not want to weaken the lower order so either Steven Finn or Jade Dernbach would need to miss out.

England (possible) 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Graeme Swann, 9 Stuart Broad (capt), 10 Steven Finn, 11 Danny Briggs

If South Africa are concerned at all about their top order they have a certain Hashim Amla sat on the bench and he has been in some decent form this tour. Elsewhere, the balance looks better than the ODIs with Albie Morkel back in the middle order and the twin frontline spinners.

South Africa (possible) 1 Richard Levi, 2, Jacques Kallis, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Justin Ontong, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Johan Botha, 9 Robin Peterson, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pitch and conditions

Old Trafford has turned this year - considerably so on some occasions, with Lancashire almost docked points in one Championship game - although it does not quite have the bounce of the square before it was rotated. The most recent pitch, for the CB40 semi-final, was described as one of the best of the season while the surface for the England Lions-Australia A game was also well received. The forecast suggests a chance of rain although it could hold off until after the game.

Stats and trivia

  • England have not lost a T20 at Old Trafford although the two against Australia in 2009 were badly affected by the weather.

  • Jade Dernbach took 4 for 22 against India on the ground last year, one of four four-wicket hauls by an England bowler in T20s.

  • Of the two XIs that played in the first match, only Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe do not have strike-rates of over 100 for South Africa but for England just five batsmen pass the three-figure mark.


"I think one thing we have to be very aware of is you win games of Twenty20 cricket with numbers eight, nine, ten and 11 not batting. So we have to take the responsibility of having a batsman there at the end."
Stuart Broad does not want the chance of another career-best innings

"I would have liked not to have lost as many wickets as we did early on. But Jacques came in with his experience and played really well right 'til the end."
AB de Villiers was grateful for the experience of Kallis

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Trone on (September 10, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

SA picked their best side I reckon. Let's hope the rain goes away...

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 10, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

Stuart Broad is right in his quote there, whether he means this or not: if there are any decent bowlers out there in the county circuit that are hard to score of, why not play them regardless of their batting ineptitude? For 20:20 trashy cricket, players 8 to 11 inclusive should be first-choice bowlers only; good fielding is a bonus. One all-rounder can fill in the remaining overs, or if there isn't one, batsmen who can at least tie an end up for a while bowling. Wicket-keeper batsman of course. The remaining batsmen should be first-choice batsmen only; good fielding is a bonus. Enough already with the "Jack of all trades, master of none" players!

Posted by jabrankundi on (September 10, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

KP Fans....Please get over it. KP is not coming back. The last time there was a dispute, the coach was sacked and KP was kept in the team. If the same happens this time and KP is called back, then English cricket will be worse than before.

Posted by dabhand on (September 10, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

WishW - England are looking to move on, the only major support for keeping KP in the team along with all his antics comes from those who cannot seem to understand that an individual who cannot accept being any thing other than the centre of attention is only a (self) destructive force in the long run.

As for KP being the 'one and only' the records don't back that up - morgan's average is equally good in T20s and ODIs,others like cook and bairstow's are his equal in one format or the other.

That's not to say he isn't a good bat and outside his antics an asset, just that his fanboys need to have perspective when suggesting he is head and shoulders above others.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

I beleive that if Bell has a weakness against sub-continental spinners (and there is evidence). I think 20-20 is the format for him to overcome it. He needn't be so afraid of losing his wicket and nobody (except possibly KP) skips down the wicket to attack better that IRB.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Re: Stuart Broad. Did he shed some of his confidence, along with his weight? The moment the idea of asking him to shed the role of "enforcer" flowered in the coach's mind, I guessed, this is going to happen. Moral: We have to let players be what they are. Not trying to mould them into our pre-conceived moulds! Usually, that had been the problem with guys like Buchanan & Greg Chappel. Completely shunning that idea is one of the major ingredients in Gary Kirsten's success.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

Well, Bell?... Well, well, well !... Owais Shah is definitely better for Sri Lankan conditions.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

@Sanjiyan. Refer to your comment, regarding Bopara: "Any other team in the world would have dropped him years ago, assuming he would even make the team in the first place." It is not exactly true. We don't have to go too far; take a look at Rohit Sharma!

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Yes. Owais Shah played very well ,on the spinning/ turning pitches in India. Also took some wonderful catches in the deep. Is he there in the World T-20 team? Ideal guy for SL conditions.

Posted by Marcio on (September 10, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

Actually, this is a good time for England (and SA) to experiment with players, although the core team really should be in order at this late stage, with the T20 WC coming up. It's better to see problems at this stage than during the upcoming tournament - as long as they are addressed.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

my england xi : craig kieswetter,luke wright,kevin pietersen,eoin morgan,jonny bairstow,micheal lumb , stuart broad,greame swann,jade dernbach,steven finn,james anderson captain should be kevin pietersen

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

if they will drop kp the champion of t20 so plz ecb call kp back plz

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

All the best to England as it should show a much better performance against South Africa if it really wants to show why it is the defending champion of T20 cricket.

Posted by EdGreen on (September 10, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

Looks like a draw match starts at 5:30 rain expected around six o'clock, nice to see how well england have shown KP they don't need him by achieving decent totals in every match since they dropped him, doh - sorry they haven't they've been shocking

KP and Bell should be in the side two good fielders one and a bit decent part time bowlers and two cracking batsmen the middle order collapse in the first T20 was appalling and due to shot selection that would get Saturday 5th team players or Sunday 3rders berated.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 10, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Owais Shah would be a good pick. England don't have enough foreign born players

Posted by bumsonseats on (September 10, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

showers expected early afternoon then cloudy then rain.so its a win toss and bowl day then maybe a reduced overs game its OT what do you expect

Posted by Pablo123 on (September 10, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

OWAIS SHAH is the best English batsmen in this format. No brainer, he should be picked

Posted by WishW on (September 10, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

ECB..this is what happens when you drop one of the best batsman in the world over some silly dispute...the faster you guys move on..the better your chances of winning anything...

Posted by Akshita29 on (September 10, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

Lots of people are calling for bell . But unfortunately he might do well at home he is unlikely to do well SL . He has clear weakness against Spinners and his record in the subcontinent in any format of the game is hopeless . Prior should have been given a go at limited over cricket.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

I think at-least one from Bell, Owais shah, trot must be included in the place of Bopara. Especially when there is no KP in the team.

Posted by Hammond on (September 10, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

They can play a whole team filled with Kolpaks for all I care, the format is rubbish. (that said it still is a fun way to watch Australia lose)..

Posted by SamonandTrout on (September 10, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

As a Saffa supporter, I can't believe some of the silly selections, or non selections Eng have made. First in the tests, at various time leaving out Fin and Swan, and then in the T20. Bell is class, he should be playing. He looked like one of the few in the ODI to actually give SA a hard time. Plus he scores fast and has good footwork for spin, which you will see in Slk wc. Strange.

Posted by MAK123 on (September 10, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

why is there no Bell? It is really strange to see such an inexperienced batting line up

Posted by vrn59 on (September 10, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

MY IDEAL ENGLISH T20 XI: Kevin Pietersen, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah, Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad (C), Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach.

Posted by ihaq1 on (September 10, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

i think england should consider bringing in ian bell in place of bopara...while bopara's bowling might be useful england have rarely used that in teh past and one might think that england are a batsman short ie if luke wright knows how to bat...if i remember generally luke has batted well only occasionally and seems somewhat stiff as a bowler...englands top order batting seems very new or inexperienced barring kieswetter who should be shifted to open..methinks that england should have selected a dependable batsman or two in teh top order

Posted by Sanjiyan on (September 10, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

@ Haridas Menon Take a look at Bopara's stats. Hes been in and out of the setup for 5 years now and has nothing of great substance to show for his 'talent'. hes made 3 test centuries vs a weak Windies team back in 2009. 8 of his 10 ODI 50+ scores(no centuries) are between 50 and 60. His T20 record is not even worth mentioning. So please explain why one should not comment on his lack of perfomance? Any other team in the world would have dropped him years ago, assuming he would even make the team in the first place.

Posted by Jazman on (September 10, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

What about Owais Shah? He looked more than a capable batsman when playing for the Cape Cobras over the SA summer. He might be a bit older, but to me he looks a much better prospect for England over the short term than all of the guys in the England squad I have seen thus far. At the very least he would inject some experience into the English middle order.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 10, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

Regardless of results, I do think that both teams need to give their full squads a run. Leaving out someone like Amla is no big deal because he's had plenty of time in the middle and has no issues with form. For those calling for Woakes, he's not in the squad for this series or the WC in SL so we won't be seeing him. Given England's need for all-rounders though, I'm not sure why he hasn't been considered. Maybe too hittable as a bowler and/or not a big hitter with the bat but I'm not sure I agree. I'm sure that part of the reason that England are keen on Bopara is that, without KP, they are rather light-on for experience. If they expect Bopara to play a role in SL then I think that they have to keep playing him here and hope that he finds some form. I'm not sure that #3 is the best place to do that but, in a T20, it doesn't really make too much difference I guess.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

All these who clamor for the blood of Bopara, are going to eat their words if he is picked and scores heavily. I feel too much of such negative comments have been given space for print. They may not be good enough even for country cricket let alone play or talk about international games. Let the selectors pick a team and give chance to all those not batting well recently. Class is permanent and form is temporary. Let Bopara get rid off his poor form and get into good batting form. He has the ability to perform well, just that all these negative comments are getting on to him.

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 10, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

England previously had two reliable enforcers in KP and Morgan. Now, Morgan need to shoulder the wholesale responsibility of it. Bell is making up for it in ODI in a consistent way too. The likes of Kieswetter, Lumb, Hales look too odd to produce consistent magical innings in shorter format. Bairstow need to pull himself above his weight and contribute a bit more to the team. He had a wonderful test and need to build on it. Lesser spoke about Bopara's batting. Having him at 3 is not helping anyone. Why not Bell in T20 games? Even Prior can bat at 3 and still do a better job than most int he team now.

Posted by landl47 on (September 10, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

#Heisenburg: the trouble with your England XI is that unless Wright, who is one of the crappy bits and pieces allrounders you profess to despise, is in the side, you have picked a team which only has four bowlers. 5 is the bare minimum needed and most sides prefer six for safety. If you insist on picking England's team, at least remember the requirements of the format.

Posted by Neuen on (September 10, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

Paul Rone-Clarke are you a Englishman? I would keep my mouth shut talking about IMPORTS if you are....

Posted by Heisenburg on (September 10, 2012, 2:32 GMT)

Obviously a team needs bowlers to win, I meant get rid of some of them, I just looked at the last t20 XI and they only played 4 bowlers, my mistake, however they could do much better with replacing the useless Patel, Bopara and Kiesweter.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 0:25 GMT)

England and India are same. Lions at home, minnows outside

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 10, 2012, 0:05 GMT)

England have been seeking progress for the better part of 150 years. Apart from a few blips on the radar on the back of imports from South Africa, they are still searching.

Posted by Tigg on (September 9, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

I'd bring Wright in for Bopara, but open with him and drop Kieswetter to three. Bresnan in for Patel and Briggs for Dernbach to keep the 4:2 seamer/spinner split without doing much to weaken the batting.

Or better yet, tell the batsmen to man up and play Broad 7, Swann 8 with Finn, Briggs and Dernbach as the tail.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 9, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

Please keep picking Bopara. Only so yorks don't have to face him this week. He's pretty good at county level. Evidence of the weakness of county cricket, Randyoz might say.

Posted by Patchmaster on (September 9, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

Why are ENG sticking with Bopara and Patel. Surely Woakes must have a run now. Patel is the worst feilder, he's out of form with the bat and doesn't take wickets. Bopara is clearly not cut out for this level of cricket. I actually think Broad will get smashed all over the park - he's slower than he used to be, plus his batting is terrible at the moment.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

please let Ravi play for Essex he is no match for int'l level!!! Please play Woakes in place of PAtel!!! I dont understand England affinity with Patel and Bopara!!!

Posted by JG2704 on (September 9, 2012, 21:06 GMT)

@tommytucker on (September 09 2012, 19:55 PM GMT) not arrogant at all. If you look at how each team played against common sides in recent years then England might well have edged it. I'd say Broad - up until his injury in SL - had been bowling as well as well as Morkel and wouldn't Trott and Amla's averages been pretty much the same before this series? Swann has not been performing so well recently but in SL earlier this year he turned it on and has been a match winner in the past and has only just dropped out of the top 10 - are you trying to say that Tahir is better than Swann? I'll say Steyn is better than Jimmy but then again he's better than every bowler out there. Maybe on paper SA looked a much stronger side all along but their results - pre England - told a different story

Posted by JG2704 on (September 9, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

@ Sayantan Bhattacharya on (September 09 2012, 19:25 PM GMT) Broad is our captain so he won't be dropped and do you really think he is a better bowler than Dernbach in this format? I've not seen the stats but I'd be surprised if Jade's are better than Broad's

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

And PROPER South African spin? An imported ex Pakistani under 19 import called Imran Tahir. Yeah they have a wealth of spinning riches NOT!

Posted by Akshita29 on (September 9, 2012, 20:11 GMT)

Tomorrows match would be a wash-out . Weather report doest not look good at all.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

England play spin well...on bouncy tracks. Excellent record against Warne and indeed just about all spinners...IN ENGLAND Playing it on slow low turners they look like schoolkids who have never picked up a bat before. I don't expect them to make the semis this time. They need to work far too hard on technique against this type of bowling to even stand a chance.

Posted by zzboyz on (September 9, 2012, 20:08 GMT)

England will fall down the rankings and won't even make the semi-finals. On the other hand, South Africa is best team in all the formats, hands down. Even when they test out new players, they're still amazing. They have so much pressure on them, because they choke every game. If they won't choke I think South Africa will win, and statistically they're the best, and who's 2nd? England which is doing really bad.

Posted by Cricket_Guru on (September 9, 2012, 20:00 GMT)

@Sayantan Bhattacharya - Drop Broad? ha ha, he's England's captain in the T20 format. Know your cricket before commenting!

Posted by jevans90 on (September 9, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

@Heisenburg - have to disagree with you, you can't go into a LO match without a decent 5th bowler. How I'd select a T20 team: 1) pick my best 4 bowlers (for T20s, Swann, Broad, Finn, Dernbach seems a fair selection to me) 2) Pick a keeper (I'd have Prior, but Kieswetter will do) 3) pick the best 4 batsmen (Morgan picks himself, not 100% sure Hales, Bairstow and Buttler are better than the likes of Bell and Shah you suggest, but it's obvious they've all been picked on batting alone). This leaves two spaces to balance the team. As none of our batsmen so far bowl - leaves us with 4 bowlers. We definitely need 1 more, preferably a spinner. Any of the bowlers good enough to bat at 7? Not really, so we pick the best spinner who is - Patel. I feel you need a 6th bowling option, so pick the best bat who bowls a bit. When on form, this probably is Bopara, but he isn't, so I'd bring in Wright. We don't have a true all-rounder (Kallis, Watson, Shakib) so this is the best way to balance the side.

Posted by tommytucker on (September 9, 2012, 19:55 GMT)

Still can't believe before the series englIsh medIa, skysports punters and so called experts were calling these 2 teams as even in skill and on a par with each other - Anderson as good as Steyn, trott better than alma, Strauss better than SmIth, swann better than tahIr, broad better than morkel - rofl!!!!!.....the pure arrogance is mindblowing. What tree did these guys drop out of?

Posted by abmughal on (September 9, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

cricket atmosphere would be totally different in SL, bowling should be very strong in sub continent, and i suggest that the best bowling side is going to take the worldT20. as we saw in slpl that the stronger bowling side lifted the trophy. sorry to say but i dont find any specialist T20 bowler in england side except swann or somehow derenbach. england isnt going to reach in semis with this team, SA is a strong bowling side but if the wicket goes in the favour of spinners SA may suffer in the worldT20.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

@JG2704 - for a T20 WC in SL, playing 3 pacers is not recommended, unless one of them is a fabulous all rounder (like Kallis). Unfort both Finn and Dernbach are better for the format than Broad. So, either play Broad as an all rounder or drop him. You need at least 2 spinners + a spinner all rounder.

Posted by haseeb on (September 9, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

plz Drop bopara i think owais shah is better T20 player than bopara ..but they can bring Luke wright in has got the expereince ..but for me chances of england are very dull without KP in this coming T20 tournament :)

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

Half of the English batsmen cant play spin. I foresee torture ahead in SL for them in the hands of Ajmal, Narine and Ashwin.

Posted by djdrastic on (September 9, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

@Xylo . Pre-SAF series , the English Journos were comparing Broad to Kallis but that seems to have died down.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

South Africa is now too much stronger than England.I think Colin Ingram in place of Justin ontong might be a best option and Wane parnel in place of Lunabo Tosobe cause Parnel can bat well.

Posted by bumsonseats on (September 9, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

mihir they beat them in the format that this topic is all about T20 get a grip.go check

Posted by ausfor4 on (September 9, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

I think we may see England slide down the T-20 world rankings ladder, much as Australia has done.

Posted by muttydoc on (September 9, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

For subcontinent conditions, you need good pace along with the ability to swing the new ball as well as variation. This makes Dernbach and Finn the two fast bowlers. Swann, Patel and Wright/Bopara (other bowlers). Get Broad out, make swann captain. Get Keiswetter out make bairstow keep. Bring in Bell. Can play Briggs or an extra batsman/allrounder. England may have a chance without KP.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

Drop K'wetter! Both Bairstow and Buttler can keep just as well as he can,and his batting is so one dimensional. Ravi out for Wright is a no-brainer, but the dropping of CK allows space to sure up the batting with another batsman.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 9, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

@Heisenburg (post on September 09 2012, 13:49 PM GMT): also rather confused by your post... No bowlers or all-rounders isn't going to win many games. O.K. so let's be reasonable and assume you mean 'replace the bowlers' rather than simply 'get rid of them': 4 bowlers, allowed 4 overs each = 16 overs; so who's gonna bowl the other 4? No 5th bowler + no all-rounder = a very easy 4 overs for SA to target... Maybe your wicketkeeper will turn his arm over for a few eh?

Posted by xylo on (September 9, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

I am confused if Broad is still considered an all rounder or not.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

You just cant keep running away from the facts... bring KP back

Posted by JG2704 on (September 9, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

I like that team much better than the team for the 1st match. I generally prefer Ravi's bowling to Luke's but in the last game he was mega awful in bowling and batting. Obviously if our 5 main options come off Wright won't need to bowl at all. I also hope that they play Wright at 3. Last time he played I seem to remember him coming in at 7 or 8 and not bowling any overs and thought what's the point? I'd like to see Lumb given a go and see a left/right opening combination , either by dropping CK and giving the gloves to either JB or even dropping Jos and sliding Craig down the order. I also wonder if they might not have gone for another spin option in the T20 squad , being that it's in SC? Tredwell always seems to do a good job.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

@ davidpk,, BTW, when did england defeat india in india??

Posted by JG2704 on (September 9, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

@Heisenburg on (September 09 2012, 13:49 PM GMT) So besides the obvious name which batsman/men should be in there? So before we go any further you'd have 6 batsmen a wicket keeper and 4 bowlers with no all rounders? Or when you say get rid of the bowlers - do you mean replace them all or actually have no bowlers? Maybe give an example of the sort of side you'd go with.

Posted by cricraz on (September 9, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

Just a reminder to David, England barely beat India in India with a certain KP(match winning 50) after everyone struggled. India also fielded their most inexperienced side for that T20! Without their main man( KP), England have no shot at the World T20 competition. England does have decent bowlers but they can be exposed in subcontinental conditions. Swann is not the same bowler in the subcontinent playing against the subcontinental teams. BTW, England were swept in the ODI series during the same tour.!

Posted by landl47 on (September 9, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

Wright has been playing really well, Bopara has been playing really badly. Doesn't seem like a difficult decision to me.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

Not really sure why Lopsy's playing ahead of Morne. Morkel was probably the best fast bowler on display in the IPL. I hope they're just giving him a rest.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

Michael Lumb was tried out in quite a few T-20 matches in India, during IPL. Even in the nets his decent performances were only sporadic, as those who watched the nets will tell you. Wasn't impressive at all! Sri Lankan pitches are quite similar to the pitches in India.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

May consider recruiting Gayle, Afridi & Ryder to boost the batting. Why these three? One: For their talents. Two: Players who throw tantrums and show propensity to get into trouble with their boards seem to do extremely well, if they are given a chance to play for England. KP had proved that, beyond doubt.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

plz remove that tsotsobe..he is just waisting Parnell's chances,he gave away 22 runs in his 2 overs..so plz remove him.bring in Parnell..

Posted by vrn59 on (September 9, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

SA are certainly the favourites for this match, but then again, things can go either way in T20 cricket. On paper, the SA side looks a lot better. The batting looks stronger due to greater skill and experience: Kallis, Amla, du Plessis (did well in IPL 2012), de Villiers, Duminy. The pace bowling is also better: Steyn, M Morkel, A Morkel (good No. 7 batsman too), Tsotsobe, even Parnell and of course, Kallis. England have good fast bowlers like Broad and Finn too. England's spin attack looks better due to Swann's presence, but Botha and Peterson are very capable and experienced T20 campaigners and both look to be in very good form. England's batting is weak with the exception of Morgan... they are missing Pietersen a lot more than they care to admit... otherwise, they're a decent side...

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

South Africa will make englands first defeat look mild in comparrison, We gonna slaughter your england and hang you out to dry, ENJOY

Posted by Heisenburg on (September 9, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

A good batting line up would be 1) Hales 2) Bell 3) Shah 4) Pietersen 5) Morgan 6) Lumb/Buttler/Wright 7) Prior. There you go, a somewhat respectable batting line up, no crappy bits and pieces all rounders, some good strong batsmen, with the current tean England will be lucky to reach the final eight.

Posted by Akshita29 on (September 9, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

One positive from the last match was Broad's pace that was up from the test series .

Posted by fozameer456 on (September 9, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

England are looking sooo rust at the current moment. Bring KP back or else this current side is of no use.world cup is only two weeks away and with this form i dont see any chance of England defending the title.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 9, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

Surely Bopara is wasted at #3, he should move up to open.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

South Africa Rocks and Dale Steyn winner

Posted by Heisenburg on (September 9, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

England have an awful batting line up, get rid of the bowlers and all-rounders and have at least 6 good batsmen and a wicketkeeper.

Posted by bumsonseats on (September 9, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

we also beat india in india pakistan away and the WI this season with i would think better spinners than what the saffars have. i dont think spinners in T20 format have caused us that much trouble that we have to make a song and dance over it. we have been beaten quite easy by SA but as other posters on other forum pages suggest the next game could just as easy go the other way, perhaps win a toss may help.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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England won by 28 runs
England v South Africa at Manchester - Sep 10, 2012
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England v South Africa at Chester-le-Street - Sep 8, 2012
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