England v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, The Oval June 28, 2011

Old guard takes charge to herald new era

England's performance bore no resemblance to the fatigued 10-wicket loss in the World Cup quarter-final three months ago
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The thunderstorm which held up play for three hours at The Oval wouldn't have looked out of place in Colombo, but England's performance bore no resemblance to the fatigued 10-wicket loss in the World Cup quarter-final three months ago. It was vibrant, energetic, confident and aggressive. Yet this isn't actually a new era of one-day cricket for England because there are a few too many familiar faces on show for that to be true.

Even though only five of this side played in Colombo in March, there haven't been wholesale changes by the selectors. James Anderson, reigniting his one-day career with 4 for 18 which were his best figures since November 2009 against South Africa, and Jade Dernbach were both in the squad, while Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen would have played except for injury. Really, the only significant changes have been at the top of the order with Craig Kieswetter back and Alastair Cook as the new captain along with Samit Patel's recall. He was tellingly pushed aside by Tim Bresnan who had been back in squad for a single day.

Adding further weight to the theory that, rather than this being a new-look team, it's more the older version with a bit of touching-up was the performance of Anderson. It's a well-known story that, moments after England secured the Ashes in Sydney back in January, he curled up in the dressing room and fell into a deep sleep. Despite a three-week break at home he was never the same during the rest of the winter and cut a forlorn figure in the closing days of the World Cup. Although his Test place was never in danger there was talk that it may have brought down the curtain on his one-day career.

He couldn't have asked for a better haul of wickets as he removed Sri Lanka's senior trio, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. They were ideal conditions for Anderson with a heavy atmosphere conducive to swing but he made them count. "For two days it was lovely sunshine, then today it rained again," Dilshan said wryly. "It was helpful for the bowlers."

"It was a frustrating winter in the one-day form for the team and me personally," Anderson admitted. "I felt like I didn't perform to the standards I set myself. I was very disappointed and just glad to keep my place in the squad and get a place in the XI. Happily the wickets came for me but I thought we bowled brilliantly as a unit. Whatever it was during the winter I put it behind me at start of the season with Lancashire and then in the Test series. I've worked really hard, there are a lot of improvements I have to make on my one-day game and I've started on those things."

Anderson, though, didn't quite get everything he wished for. "He fully deserves his four wickets and was begging me for one more over to get his fifth," Cook said. "It was an outstanding performance up front but especially from Jimmy. To get their dangermen out early got us well ahead of the game."

Cook's satisfaction will come from the victory rather than his personal achievement. All that can be said about his 5 off three balls was that strike-rate wasn't an issue. Being caught down the leg side - even though bowlers will disagree - was unlucky. "That's the game, I shouldn't have edged it so fine," he said.

However, Cook will be very keen for this series not to be dominated by whether he makes runs or not, and for that to be the case he needs England to win. "It doesn't get much better than that, to win by such a big margin in a shorter game like that was a fantastic effort from the lads," he said. "But let's not get too carried with how the team did or how I did. It's just a good start. We've got to keep our feet on the floor."

There was a hint of irony that at 32-overs per side the contest was actually closer to the Twenty20 version that England made such a hash of on Saturday (there were even six Powerplay overs left) than the full one-day international they were due to play. When play resumed at 5pm after the thunderstorms England were left with 25 overs to build a total and the way they did it was far more encouraging than what was on display in Bristol.

A pitch with more pace enabled Kieswetter to hit through the line, Pietersen was sparky before pulling a long hop to midwicket and Eoin Morgan added the gloss as he so often does. Then, just as it appeared another England one-day innings would fizzle out, the fit-again Bresnan hit 23 off 14 balls as 210 turned into 230.

In his second coming as an international cricketer Kieswetter has promised a tighter technique and more selectiveness, but without losing any of the natural flair that attracted the selectors. An innings of 61 off 56 balls suggests he has found a good balance.

"He can hit the ball really hard and showed it here, that's why he's in the side and it's great for him to get back to scoring runs straight away," Cook said. "He's worked really hard, let's not get carried away with one innings but good things come when you put the hours in. That's why you do it."

That praise of Kieswetter was the second time Cook mentioned not getting carried away. He isn't the first England one-day captain to start, or resume, the job with victory. Paul Collingwood did it in 2007, Kevin Pietersen in 2008 and Andrew Strauss in 2009. None of those reigns ended happily. Cook knows he will have his fair share of tough days in the job and far tougher questions to answer.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | July 1, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    @subbass, same here,love reading your historical records..your records way below 15 yrs back,but for the last 15 yrs u havnt won a series against India in home and away as well..oh I forgot India won the first t20 world cup..it means u sure need to catch up in cricket rather than asking others to do..oh historically west indies and Australia are always better than England..

  • POSTED BY subbass on | June 30, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    mathewjohn2176 - say what you like facts are facts. Historically England are far better than india, and we have won a t20 world cup or don't they count ? Plus getting to several finals of the 50 over format. I'm not even gonna bother checking our overall record v Sri Lanka, suffice to say it is far better also. You guys still have a long way to go to be better pverall at cricket, the records don't lie, they tell the truth. You contradict yourself right away by saying don't live in the past then mention the last 15 years right away ! haha Keep going it's good fun reading you.

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | June 30, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    @subbass, England started the game cricket and in the beginning of course they were good as per your records.But u can't live in past ..England never beated India for last 15 years( it can change anytime)..By the way you say India need to catch you up as cricketing nation? Funny huh,u never won any single odi world cup where as India won 2 ,they ranked no1 in test as well where England team yet to reach that place.oh population don't matter as we in srilanka ,we have very less population but we already won a world cup. Hmm I don't know why half the England team are from south Africa,I guess they all play football.sure u need to catch up in cricket..

  • POSTED BY Hells_XI on | June 30, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    @5wombats : India too will have zaheer khan,sehwag gambhir n tendulkar

  • POSTED BY subbass on | June 30, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    @ khiladisher you can go on about India been dominant over England all you like, and in recent times yes, you have done well, but the current records show that out of 99 tests England has won 34, India 19 and 46 have been draws. You have some way to go to catch us up as a cricket nation ! And you have over a billion people to choose from and it's the only sport you actually play, we have a populaltion of around 50 million and Football is by far the most played sport.

    With the greatest of respect of course !

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | June 29, 2011, 21:29 GMT

    @landl47; You beast! Now why did you have to go and dredge up the subject of India's "mighty batting line-up" - Oh! sorry, it was @khiladisher; Careful guy England's bowling at home is better than West Indies bowling at home! and big words, even written in capitals count for zip. Australians have an expression for this; it's called "Tall Poppy Syndrome" , we English know this as "the bigger they come, the harder they fall". The problem for you @Hells_XI is that as a matter of fact England DO have Anderson, Trott and Cook!

  • POSTED BY Sarlana on | June 29, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    khaildosar@ The ratings does not mean if Bangladesh won against india then Bangladesh should be No.1 for they lost next.....

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | June 29, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    THIA IS FOR ALL MY ENGLISH FRIENDS ,WHO THINK THAT BEATING A WEAK AUSSSIE TEAM IN THE ASHES MAKES THEM #1 IN THE WORLD-GUYS U ARE SADLY MISTAKEN-ICC CRICKET RATING SAYS THAT THE GREAT INDIAN TEAM IS ON 128 POINTS AND THE ENGLISHMEN ARE FAR BEHIND ON ONLY 117 POINTS- THE ENGLISH TEAM HAS NOT WON AGAINST THE WORLD CHAMPIONS IN TEST MATCH SERIES SINCE 1984 IN INDIA,THATS 27 YEARS-ITS A LONG TIME GUYS.COMING TO YOUR HOME CONDITIONS WE RULE THERE TOO-ENGLAND HAS NOT WON A SERIES AGAINST INDIA IN ENGLAND FOR LAST 15 YEARS.SO TO ASSUME THAT THAT ENGLAND WILL WIN THIS SERIES IS A BIG JOKE- PREDICT ENGLAND TO LOOSE 2-0 OR 3-0.IN CASE I FORGET TO MENTION THAT INDIANS ARE 2 TIME WORLD CHAMPIONS IN ODI AND 1 TIME WC IN 20-20 AND ALSO HAVE WON THE ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY 1 TIME,NOT TO FORGET THE BENSON AND HEDGES MINI WORLD CUP IN 1985- IF MY MEMORY SERVES RIGHT I DO NOT RECOLLECT ENGLAND WINNING ANYTHING AT ALL SINCE 1877.SO ALL THESEH FACTS SUGGEST THAT INDIA WILL WIN EASY THIS TIME .

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    @CricSL :lolz BCCI selectors are just befooling outside ppl lyk u..the real bench strength of India has not got chance to play yet...Vat I see is tht these r the real bech strength of India in test cricket : Pujara,Rahane,Badrinath,Manish Pandey,Rohit etc...Pujara and Rahane have been our best India A's overseas players and lyk Badri who is the highest scorer in Ranji cricket they have been scoring heavily in domestic cricket too...Pujara is injured and Rahane has not been picked so far by our selectors...Badrinath isnt given a chance by his CSK captain Dhoni to play this series vs WI so far.Rohit and Manish Pandey r also scoring heavily in Domestic cricket n all these players have good technique...@neil99 : cricket is a team game..vats the fun in being top 10 ratings ven u cant win your country the game other than creating personal records..@landl47 : getting out below 250 n still domination of test match by weak indian bowling lineup...so where's the problem 2 u to lame about???

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | June 29, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    It was certainly Anderson's day at the Oval........bowled & fielded superbly & very deservedly won the MOM award !!!! Well Played !!

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | July 1, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    @subbass, same here,love reading your historical records..your records way below 15 yrs back,but for the last 15 yrs u havnt won a series against India in home and away as well..oh I forgot India won the first t20 world cup..it means u sure need to catch up in cricket rather than asking others to do..oh historically west indies and Australia are always better than England..

  • POSTED BY subbass on | June 30, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    mathewjohn2176 - say what you like facts are facts. Historically England are far better than india, and we have won a t20 world cup or don't they count ? Plus getting to several finals of the 50 over format. I'm not even gonna bother checking our overall record v Sri Lanka, suffice to say it is far better also. You guys still have a long way to go to be better pverall at cricket, the records don't lie, they tell the truth. You contradict yourself right away by saying don't live in the past then mention the last 15 years right away ! haha Keep going it's good fun reading you.

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | June 30, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    @subbass, England started the game cricket and in the beginning of course they were good as per your records.But u can't live in past ..England never beated India for last 15 years( it can change anytime)..By the way you say India need to catch you up as cricketing nation? Funny huh,u never won any single odi world cup where as India won 2 ,they ranked no1 in test as well where England team yet to reach that place.oh population don't matter as we in srilanka ,we have very less population but we already won a world cup. Hmm I don't know why half the England team are from south Africa,I guess they all play football.sure u need to catch up in cricket..

  • POSTED BY Hells_XI on | June 30, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    @5wombats : India too will have zaheer khan,sehwag gambhir n tendulkar

  • POSTED BY subbass on | June 30, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    @ khiladisher you can go on about India been dominant over England all you like, and in recent times yes, you have done well, but the current records show that out of 99 tests England has won 34, India 19 and 46 have been draws. You have some way to go to catch us up as a cricket nation ! And you have over a billion people to choose from and it's the only sport you actually play, we have a populaltion of around 50 million and Football is by far the most played sport.

    With the greatest of respect of course !

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | June 29, 2011, 21:29 GMT

    @landl47; You beast! Now why did you have to go and dredge up the subject of India's "mighty batting line-up" - Oh! sorry, it was @khiladisher; Careful guy England's bowling at home is better than West Indies bowling at home! and big words, even written in capitals count for zip. Australians have an expression for this; it's called "Tall Poppy Syndrome" , we English know this as "the bigger they come, the harder they fall". The problem for you @Hells_XI is that as a matter of fact England DO have Anderson, Trott and Cook!

  • POSTED BY Sarlana on | June 29, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    khaildosar@ The ratings does not mean if Bangladesh won against india then Bangladesh should be No.1 for they lost next.....

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | June 29, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    THIA IS FOR ALL MY ENGLISH FRIENDS ,WHO THINK THAT BEATING A WEAK AUSSSIE TEAM IN THE ASHES MAKES THEM #1 IN THE WORLD-GUYS U ARE SADLY MISTAKEN-ICC CRICKET RATING SAYS THAT THE GREAT INDIAN TEAM IS ON 128 POINTS AND THE ENGLISHMEN ARE FAR BEHIND ON ONLY 117 POINTS- THE ENGLISH TEAM HAS NOT WON AGAINST THE WORLD CHAMPIONS IN TEST MATCH SERIES SINCE 1984 IN INDIA,THATS 27 YEARS-ITS A LONG TIME GUYS.COMING TO YOUR HOME CONDITIONS WE RULE THERE TOO-ENGLAND HAS NOT WON A SERIES AGAINST INDIA IN ENGLAND FOR LAST 15 YEARS.SO TO ASSUME THAT THAT ENGLAND WILL WIN THIS SERIES IS A BIG JOKE- PREDICT ENGLAND TO LOOSE 2-0 OR 3-0.IN CASE I FORGET TO MENTION THAT INDIANS ARE 2 TIME WORLD CHAMPIONS IN ODI AND 1 TIME WC IN 20-20 AND ALSO HAVE WON THE ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY 1 TIME,NOT TO FORGET THE BENSON AND HEDGES MINI WORLD CUP IN 1985- IF MY MEMORY SERVES RIGHT I DO NOT RECOLLECT ENGLAND WINNING ANYTHING AT ALL SINCE 1877.SO ALL THESEH FACTS SUGGEST THAT INDIA WILL WIN EASY THIS TIME .

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    @CricSL :lolz BCCI selectors are just befooling outside ppl lyk u..the real bench strength of India has not got chance to play yet...Vat I see is tht these r the real bech strength of India in test cricket : Pujara,Rahane,Badrinath,Manish Pandey,Rohit etc...Pujara and Rahane have been our best India A's overseas players and lyk Badri who is the highest scorer in Ranji cricket they have been scoring heavily in domestic cricket too...Pujara is injured and Rahane has not been picked so far by our selectors...Badrinath isnt given a chance by his CSK captain Dhoni to play this series vs WI so far.Rohit and Manish Pandey r also scoring heavily in Domestic cricket n all these players have good technique...@neil99 : cricket is a team game..vats the fun in being top 10 ratings ven u cant win your country the game other than creating personal records..@landl47 : getting out below 250 n still domination of test match by weak indian bowling lineup...so where's the problem 2 u to lame about???

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | June 29, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    It was certainly Anderson's day at the Oval........bowled & fielded superbly & very deservedly won the MOM award !!!! Well Played !!

  • POSTED BY Hells_XI on | June 29, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    All you england fans must first remember that you guys will end up being nothing in the test arena if u miss services of anderson n even one batsman out of cook or trott. The whole world could see that the team was not capable of takin 20 wickets without anderson in 2nd and 3rd test match so u guys have no rites to talk abt who ar playin without their frontline seamers n 3 frontline batsmen !! Also conditions are way tougher in the carribean than England !

  • POSTED BY Kunal-Talgeri on | June 29, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    C'mon people, let's just enjoy some quick/swing bowlers having a field day. Rampaul was superb last night, and Anderson--I love his run-up and action--should be terrific this English summer *TOUCH WOOD*. We should simply enjoy the conTESTs coming up between Jimmy and the famed Indian line-up, rather than be partisan. It doesn't get better than this. Eight innings of real contest between the middle-order and Anderson-Bresnan-Broad/Tremlett-Swann. Hope Roach also livens the Rampaul-Edwards-Sammy line-up. This is good, good stuff!

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Re mighty line-ups, every dog has its day but it's only when a team transcends the individuals making it great to remain great, such as the 1970s to 90s West Indies or 1990s to 00s Australians. The current contenders India, South Africa and England have to prove their worth in this respect before we can say it's the team and not a handful of great players whose carreers happened to coincide. Before this happens, please curb the jingoism. Thank you!

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | June 29, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    @landl47, The indian team playing in west indies currently is not mighty. As they are missing five first choice players like tendulkar,sehwag,gambhir zaheer khan.But i guess they will be back in england tour.now many debutant in This series .After all u cant expect them to perform at high level on debut.i would' like to know if england misses trot and cook together in a series ? By the way the not só mighty west indies team bowled england out for 51 just 2 yrs back.west indies always have very good bowlers.Average 250 is good in those west indies wickets.Expect to ser a very good test match between england and índia( oh i am not an indian).

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    khiladisher - Well the fairly mediocre WI bowling line-up just got rid of Dravid, Laxman, Raina, Dhoni, and the so called "future" Mukund Kohli and Vijay... Can't be too hard can it!

  • POSTED BY CRICSL on | June 29, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    @khiladisher- Mighty Indian Batting line up "Funny Enough". After all why only predictions of series result when you are so sure about your mighty batting line up? The hidden fact is you also have doubts right? There are numerous occasions your mighty Indian batting line up collapsed like a minnow. Having said that, batting collapse can happen to any world class outfit any day. I'm sure you know what's happening to your great batting line up in West Indies right now. They collapsed again below 250 for the third time in the series. You all know the fact when your old horses gone in a year time your great batting line up no different to depleted West Indies line up. And do you have youngster who can fill their shoes? Are they able to play on bouncy wickets? Many are been tried in the on going West Indies Series sorry to say nothing but "FAILURES". The ENG side is in a great form and I'm sure they are clear Favorites to win the ENG vs IND series.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | June 29, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    @khiladisher: I see the mighty Indian batting line-up was bowled out again for under 250 by the not-so-mighty West Indies. That's three times in a row now. The young guns don't seem to be much good, do they?

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | June 29, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    "The mighty Indian batting line-up" ??? So India are set to play 8 batsmen ??? Hmmm. And just how many of those players are in the current Reliance ratings top 10???? Just look how India is struggling against the West Indies.

    On current form England have the stronger batting line up, a much stronger bowling unit and greater strength in depth. Add home advantage and English conditions and India have little chance - they will struggle to even salvage draws. Their only hope is the rain.

  • POSTED BY subbass on | June 28, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    Yes, nice to see Anderson leading the attack again, the conditions were ideal and he sure made the most of them, getting the big three like he did was very valuable to the victory. So, more of the same please Jimmy !

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | June 28, 2011, 22:32 GMT

    ANDERSON IS A VERY GOOD SWING BOWLER,BUT CAN HE DELIVER AGAINST THE MIGHTY INDIAN BATTING LINE UP-SACHIN,DRAVID,LAXMAN,SEHWAG,GAMBIR,RAINA,DHONI,YUVRAJ.I VERY MUCH DOUBT-PREDICTION FOR SERIES IND-2 ENGLAND-0.

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  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | June 28, 2011, 22:32 GMT

    ANDERSON IS A VERY GOOD SWING BOWLER,BUT CAN HE DELIVER AGAINST THE MIGHTY INDIAN BATTING LINE UP-SACHIN,DRAVID,LAXMAN,SEHWAG,GAMBIR,RAINA,DHONI,YUVRAJ.I VERY MUCH DOUBT-PREDICTION FOR SERIES IND-2 ENGLAND-0.

  • POSTED BY subbass on | June 28, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    Yes, nice to see Anderson leading the attack again, the conditions were ideal and he sure made the most of them, getting the big three like he did was very valuable to the victory. So, more of the same please Jimmy !

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | June 29, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    "The mighty Indian batting line-up" ??? So India are set to play 8 batsmen ??? Hmmm. And just how many of those players are in the current Reliance ratings top 10???? Just look how India is struggling against the West Indies.

    On current form England have the stronger batting line up, a much stronger bowling unit and greater strength in depth. Add home advantage and English conditions and India have little chance - they will struggle to even salvage draws. Their only hope is the rain.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | June 29, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    @khiladisher: I see the mighty Indian batting line-up was bowled out again for under 250 by the not-so-mighty West Indies. That's three times in a row now. The young guns don't seem to be much good, do they?

  • POSTED BY CRICSL on | June 29, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    @khiladisher- Mighty Indian Batting line up "Funny Enough". After all why only predictions of series result when you are so sure about your mighty batting line up? The hidden fact is you also have doubts right? There are numerous occasions your mighty Indian batting line up collapsed like a minnow. Having said that, batting collapse can happen to any world class outfit any day. I'm sure you know what's happening to your great batting line up in West Indies right now. They collapsed again below 250 for the third time in the series. You all know the fact when your old horses gone in a year time your great batting line up no different to depleted West Indies line up. And do you have youngster who can fill their shoes? Are they able to play on bouncy wickets? Many are been tried in the on going West Indies Series sorry to say nothing but "FAILURES". The ENG side is in a great form and I'm sure they are clear Favorites to win the ENG vs IND series.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    khiladisher - Well the fairly mediocre WI bowling line-up just got rid of Dravid, Laxman, Raina, Dhoni, and the so called "future" Mukund Kohli and Vijay... Can't be too hard can it!

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | June 29, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    @landl47, The indian team playing in west indies currently is not mighty. As they are missing five first choice players like tendulkar,sehwag,gambhir zaheer khan.But i guess they will be back in england tour.now many debutant in This series .After all u cant expect them to perform at high level on debut.i would' like to know if england misses trot and cook together in a series ? By the way the not só mighty west indies team bowled england out for 51 just 2 yrs back.west indies always have very good bowlers.Average 250 is good in those west indies wickets.Expect to ser a very good test match between england and índia( oh i am not an indian).

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Re mighty line-ups, every dog has its day but it's only when a team transcends the individuals making it great to remain great, such as the 1970s to 90s West Indies or 1990s to 00s Australians. The current contenders India, South Africa and England have to prove their worth in this respect before we can say it's the team and not a handful of great players whose carreers happened to coincide. Before this happens, please curb the jingoism. Thank you!

  • POSTED BY Kunal-Talgeri on | June 29, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    C'mon people, let's just enjoy some quick/swing bowlers having a field day. Rampaul was superb last night, and Anderson--I love his run-up and action--should be terrific this English summer *TOUCH WOOD*. We should simply enjoy the conTESTs coming up between Jimmy and the famed Indian line-up, rather than be partisan. It doesn't get better than this. Eight innings of real contest between the middle-order and Anderson-Bresnan-Broad/Tremlett-Swann. Hope Roach also livens the Rampaul-Edwards-Sammy line-up. This is good, good stuff!

  • POSTED BY Hells_XI on | June 29, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    All you england fans must first remember that you guys will end up being nothing in the test arena if u miss services of anderson n even one batsman out of cook or trott. The whole world could see that the team was not capable of takin 20 wickets without anderson in 2nd and 3rd test match so u guys have no rites to talk abt who ar playin without their frontline seamers n 3 frontline batsmen !! Also conditions are way tougher in the carribean than England !