England v WI, World T20 2012, Super Eights, Pallekele

West Indies target England spin problem

David Hopps in Pallekele

September 26, 2012

Comments: 97 | Text size: A | A

England will face another examination against spin in their first World Twenty20 Super Eights tie against West Indies in Pallakele on Thursday. Destroyed by India's Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla at the group stage, they must now combat West Indies' Sunil Narine and a potential unknown accomplice, Samuel Badree.

Narine is West Indies' "trump card" according to their captain, Darren Sammy, but perhaps it is possible to exaggerate the likely extent of the ordeal after England's batting horrors against India. The most danger to England is more likely to emanate from the usual place: West Indies' long list of destructive batsmen.

Narine had a bowling average of 199 in England last summer in all competitions - his only wicket came when he dismissed Jonathan Trott in an ODI at the Rose Bowl and Trott is not even here. After his success in the IPL, England played Narine rather well. If he is to prove a trump card, it will have needed a change of suit since the sides last met.

As for Badree, he is a 31-year-old legspinner from Trinidad whose international exposure amounts to two T20I matches against New Zealand in the United States. He claimed Tim Southee as his only wicket and is the only international player who can fairly claim to be bigger in Florida than the rest of the cricketing world. There again, he is an unknown quantity and, in England's current state, that is a good thing to be.

Andy Flower addresses a group of players during batting practice, Pallekele, September 26, 2012
Stuart Broad believes England's batsmen must "learn from mistakes but don't dwell on them" © AFP

It is not that the Pallakele pitch is expected to favour the spinners, not this early in the tournament anyway, just that West Indies have unsurprisingly taken a view. It was hard not to after the way England capitulated to India, bowled out for 80, their lowest Twenty20 score.

But even if you add in the offspin of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who are both most notable for the expenditure of a minimal number of calories in delivery, England will be telling themselves that their fallibility against spin is in danger of being overplayed.

England's T20I captain, Stuart Broad, is doing his best to shrug it off. "We are ready for that," he said. "It is not as if we have found out yesterday that people are going to bowl spin at us. Coming to Sri Lanka, we sort of knew that because those are the conditions we will face. It is important as individuals we try to counteract it."

Broad refuses to accept that England have technical issues against spin bowling. Even if he harbours doubts, it is far too late to do much about it now. The only option is to try to restore self-belief and trust that England somehow brazen it through.

"The challenge is all mental," he claimed. "It is all about getting yourself back into a positive frame of mind and reminding the guys in the team that they are good players. They have performed well to get into this England team and we have match-winners in this side.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy at a training session, Pallekele, September 26, 2012
Darren Sammy has suggested that West Indies will target England's perceived weakness against spin © Associated Press

"We just talked about our strengths. Learn from the mistakes you make but don't dwell on them. We have players who have played spin well. We have talked about how we've done that."

But Sammy looked particularly perky as he presented Narine as a potential matchwinner. "We will definitely look to bowl spin against them," he said. "I think everyone who comes on to bowl has a big part to play but Sunil is our trump card. He has done well for us in international matches and hopefully he'll have a big impact on the English batting line-up.

"England are the defending world champions. I don't think they will allow the last game India to play on their minds. We have our plans and just have to go out and execute them."

Sammy excused Narine's poor show in England on the grounds of miserable weather, which did not make the pitches conducive to spin and pointed out, accurately enough, that England's senior spin bowler, Graeme Swann, also survived on meagre returns.

Broad is not the first person to extol the attractions of Pallakele. Contrast that with Sri Lanka's unveiling of the jerry-built, and unfinished, Dambulla Stadium to unsuspecting England tourists about a decade ago and it is a huge stride forward.

"It's my first time to the ground, it looks fantastic," Broad said. "It reminds me a bit of Caribbean grounds actually."

Another reason, perhaps, why Sammy was feeling so content.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: David Hopps

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TheGunWarriors on (September 27, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

@JG2704 - My mistake. Its "jackthelad". Search for him using Ctrl + F and you will see him making the statement that I just quoted.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 27, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

@TheGunWarriors on (September 27 2012, 12:13 PM GMT) Not sure. I saw one post by the person you mentioned on this thread but no mention of Narine.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 27, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

@Meety on (September 27 2012, 11:41 AM GMT) I'm disappointed to have lost the toss and have already said I think batting second does not suit England at all. Not sure what the weather forecast is. I'd say 150 is a benchmark and anything over that I fancy WI. Also - and I'll be delighted to be proven wrong - I think Finn and Dernbach = a lot of runs conceded. Maybe the pitch is better for pace? But I'd like to have seen Briggs in there.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 27, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

@Rogerunionjack on (September 27 2012, 09:18 AM GMT) Narine is probably decent but maybe not AS good as some make him out to be but better than he showed in England

Posted by TheGunWarriors on (September 27, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

@yorkshirematt - I agree with you, mate. A good bowler should take wickets in all surfaces. But let's cut him some slack. Flying to England after 2 months of hot indian conditions is tough. I am NOT justifying Narine's failure there, all I am saying is that its a bit too harsh to judge him based on England's performance alone. I know a lot of people (outside India) don't follow IPL and performances there are not a good yardstick to judge a player, but let me tell that on a good pitch Narine is ABSOLUTELY terrifying. Its NOT just about his mystery, his accuracy is amazing too. He can take wickets even when people are trying to defend him.

Posted by Hammond on (September 27, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

I like to see the West Indies resurgent however I hope it isn't at Englands expense! That said won't be watching, this format bores me to tears.

Posted by TheGunWarriors on (September 27, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

@JG2704 - Ok I think I may have gotten a little bit carried away. But here's a comment made by jackiethepen here (England know Narine and, despite his phenomenal early stage, he's nothing special - certainly not compared to the Indian and Pakistan spinners). On top of that, the tone of this article got to me. As an Indian fan, I can assure that compared to Narine, both Harbhajan and Chawla are a joke. I heard Samuel Badree is extremely good too. But again, it ALL depends on the pitch. If its a neutral one, Narine will play a huge role. If its a belter, then may be NOT.

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

I personally feel that if England today can even manage to play Gayle ,s spin , they would have done wonders , forget playing Narine,s bowling which is bigger challange for england here . I think it will be a easy win for WI as long as they win the TOSS and bat first .

Posted by Meety on (September 27, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

@JG2704 on (September 27 2012, 07:21 AM GMT) - in ODIs/T20s, I think Oz bowlers got too fixated on bowling low full tosses wide off stump. They should of (as you have said with England) been trying yorkers. re: coind toss - I imagine every game is going to have the threat of rain, so I would be batting 2nd, but for England, batting first with a young line up is probably prudent. I watched a bit of Oz v WIndies in the WIndies a few months back & was amazed at how good the WIndies lower order hit & sort of felt on a decent pitch they can chase anything. Anyways - hopefully it's a good game - the WIndies may be a bit short of a gallop in the field having barely bowled 20 overs.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

its more a worry for england to play spin then for india and other subcontinental giants of countering seam as potential tourist to thheir respective contries .

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 27, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

@TheGunWarriors Fair point no one is denying Narine is a talent. But performances in the IPL are not the be all and end all.Take another IPL favourite, a certain Mr Pietersen, as another example. Consistent in the IPL but not always so convincing at international level. If you get him on a good day he is formidable in internationsl cricket, but that isn't always the case. Same can be said for Narine. Also another point about Narine. The sign of a really good spin bowler is that he can take wickets on any surface, whether it is spinning or not. I didn't get that impression of Narine in England earlier this "summer".

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (September 27, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

Today if Eng got early wicket of Gayle they can change game...if not then Gayle gona change .....But Eng will be back strongly....there no Spin prob for them ,,..game will be cool.

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (September 27, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

@ JG2704 on (September 27 2012, 07:20 AM GMT) Narine is good, but not unplayable. After our match with India, I'm sure Flower & Gooch would have talked sense into some of our guys. It's not rocket science, play out his first two overs - even if he conceeds fewer runs. It's as much psycological as physical. If Narine can't strike in his first two overs, WI could get jittery. Attack the other end, they don't have anybody else of the same calibre.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (September 27, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

@rednwhitebaby so you do not care who beats you.

Posted by kunalx on (September 27, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

If gayle gets out within 3-4 overs then it will be easy picking for England. WI bowling looks loose. Narine is not in good form. That will be a worry for WI.

Posted by paps1889 on (September 27, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

England will definitely favourite in this match..They have to play Narine carefully. ..England also have lots of player who can be a matchwinner.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

I think sammy is overconfident...coz england is now a big side...they always learn from there mistakes...i think it will be good contest between these two.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 27, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

@Meety ctd - Re Narine , I've always said he's a better bowler than what he showed in England. Re the toss - as I've said before - unless there are definite favourable conditions for the bowler 1st up or maybe definitely a DL match I'd bat 1st with this side. I'd also say not to aim for a big score. I'd also say to be a bit more aggressive in the first 5 overs - esp if chasing - because if we get behind the game with Narine etc to come on then we're in trouble. I'd also say Sammy is more wily than most give him credit for. Most slate him so I guess that's not hard. If we bat first and scored 170 I'd be happy with that , even if it is a fast scoring pitch. As I've said before I'd be more confident in us defending a more moderate total than chasing a bigger total. In the warm up matched we won both defending totals. Vs Pakistan that was below moderate.Vs Aus , I wouldn't have fancied us chasing the 160+ Aus made had we batted 2nd.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 27, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

@Meety on (September 26 2012, 23:48 PM GMT) TBH re Gayle , you are taking a risk in whatever you bowl to him but if they can get their radar right then maybe the short ball is a good ball. I'm disappointed we cant/chose not to bowl the Yorker. If you bowl a Yorker outside off stump then it is hard to do much with , without severe risk and premeditation which then gives the bowler a chance to change his delivery. The bouncers - however well directed - just need to get an edge and they can easily go for a 4 or even a 6. With a well directed Yorker even if the lengths are slightly astray it still limits what the batsmen can do , a very low full toss on the right line can be hard to get away provided the field is well set.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 27, 2012, 7:20 GMT)

@TheGunWarriors on (September 27 2012, 05:59 AM GMT) I think there are 76 posts so far and not one has even hinted at belittling Narine. He had a hard time in England but I said at the time that on more suitable wickets esp in the shorter forms of the game he'll be dangerous. There probably were derogatory posts re him in England but then there were many more saying what would happen to England when Gayle,Narine,Pollard,Bravo etc arrive so surely those posts in response were fair enough

Posted by getsetgopk on (September 27, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

Pellekele is a batting strip, spinners wont have a big say on this surface, team winning the toss should bat first in my opinion. I'll be rooting for England to bounce back, WI have good players but there seems to be that mercenary attitude of play for cash, not a great team though.

Posted by VijayaBhaskarDK on (September 27, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

In T20  Chris Gayle hits SiX in every 11.8 balls and boundary in every 4.7 balls.who has bat like a lightsaber intent on carnage. He can alone win this match. The mystery spinner Sunil narine along with Yorker spinner Chris Gayle can demolish the England who are known to collapse against spin.

Windies has more powerful talents like Pollard, Samuels, Bravo, Charles,Sammy & russels to  take the scoreboard beyond 225+

All the best windies, every viewers are waiting for the big treat from you.

Posted by Akshita29 on (September 27, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

Despite the potential west indies tends to underachieve . WI batting is awesome but bowling looks weak . Hope the young English batsmen can pull off a good show tonight ..

Posted by TheGunWarriors on (September 27, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

All those English fans who say Narine is NOTHING special just don't know who Narine is. Yes, he DIDN'T bowl well in English conditions. Yes he DIDN'T make an impact against Australia in the recent T20 match. But let's not forget that those pitches were not conducive for spin even a tiny bit. All Indian fans would know what happened in the IPL final when the pitch was an absolute belter. Ashwin was effortlessly tonked by Bisla. That doesn't mean he's a bad bowler. Conditions matter. Maybe Pallekele supports pace bowling a lot (I don't know). But if its a nuetral pitch with good returns for both pacers and spinners, then you are going to see who Narine is. Even Hussey once mentioned that the Australians were happy to know that they don't have to face Narine when he went to play for IPL instead of the test series. By the way, Sammy could tone down some of the Narine hype. It doesn't sound good.

Posted by Jack_Tka on (September 27, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

WI is my favourite for Eng vs WI. Reason, Eng batsmen are very short on confidence right now. When the mind has surrendered, the body can do only so much. Four overs from a world class spinner : Naraine could turn out to be decisive. If Eng plays him defensively, there are some part-times (like Gayle) after whom they have to go against for scoring runs. So may be the wkts will be taken by some other bowler from WI rather than Naraine, only because of the pressure created by him. As for Swann vs Gayle, that would be interesting but there is no clear winner here.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

Broad is facing some difficult times so early in his career. I hope England successfully counter the spin factor of WI and we get a good match.

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 27, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

Get in Badree and Narine. Drop Edwards and give Badree the new ball. Bring Narine in third over and get the sloggers in Baristow and co to come in by 6/7th overs. That will do the job. England doesn't have a "I will be the anchor" player in their 11 and if they can get the top 3 within the first power play, England will find it all tough to get a move.

Posted by WishW on (September 27, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

the more Broad and his english team live in denial..the better it is for the opposition...that is for the opposition spin attack..

Posted by   on (September 27, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

i will say its WI for first game Narine will be the trump card his 4 overs would be crucial for english batsman and other hand WI batting is horrible starts with Gyle, Bravo, Pollard, Smith if one of these click in time sorry to english man.

Posted by solankibhavesh on (September 27, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

ya its ok Windis have narine and badree but english team have Swan and patel they can also creat a problem for wendis player in match so both team have problem to tackel the spine blowling at pitches like in Srilanka so we can wait who will do better to defend the spin

Posted by PACERONE on (September 27, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

Darren Bravo should be the wicketkeeper and give Ramdin a rest.W.I could play another batsman.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 27, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

I don't question Flower's and Gooch's credentials as coaches but I really do wonder what they are telling the team regarding spin in these conditions. Are they giving the batsmen bad advice or are the batsmen just ignoring their good advice or is it somewhere in between? England obviously looked terrible in the Tests in UAE but were much more successful in the shorter forms. They also started terribly in the Tests in SL but gradually improved. To my eye, the improvement in SL came with a change in their approach. They were gradually more positive and the results improved. They looked to have gone back to their old negative ways against India the other day. They play spin much more positively in England and I think that they need to approach it the same way here. I'd much rather see a few dismissals like Kieswetter's, i.e. edges off the front foot, than lots of sweeps and back foot play as in UAE. Get to the pitch of the ball and hit in front of the wicket! It's not rocket science.

Posted by Meety on (September 26, 2012, 23:48 GMT)

@JG2704 on (September 26 2012, 20:07 PM GMT) - re: Gayle, short ball at the body works, but in short forms - you run the risk of legside wides. If it is short with any width - it's gone! I suspect that Narine will be a far different proposition in SL conditions then in unfamiliar English conditions. I think the WIndies made a huge error in not selecting Roach, that could of been there one/two punch. I will imagine the toss will be important, with everyone wanting to bat 2nd. I think the WIndies will chase anything under 170, so there will be a lot of pressure for England (if batting first), to get close to 200. Then again, Wright could get a 5for & its all academic!

Posted by Dark.Matter on (September 26, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

Also suppose if new leg break bowler play then again experience does matter . chawala was successful because he has some experience in his bag. so my money on england .

Posted by Dark.Matter on (September 26, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

In my opinion, England have fair chance of winning because (A) they play fast bowling very well and medium pacers of WI are just icing on the cake for them (B) they just have to contain one spinner sunil narain who was not up to the mark against Watson and warner who are pathetic against spin (C) england fast bowlers are not bad especially jade dernback and finn and swann. they can give hard time to WI. England struggle against India because they had to face 2 spinners of different nature and we all know they are not good against spin. but again one spinner is not enough to control the flow of run. so IMO england can post a good healthy total and we all know WI are inconsistant.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 26, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

Broad is a joke, and only England's opponents are laughing.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (September 26, 2012, 22:55 GMT)

I wish we could play australia instead

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

Go get them WI . Let's knock England flat on their backs . Lets hope no RAIN ....... fe-real .

Posted by disco_bob on (September 26, 2012, 22:28 GMT)

"Broad refuses to accept that England have technical issues against spin bowling. " Ironically, denial might very well be England's best plan against spin. I'll be breaking out the bowl of popcorn tonight.

Posted by TRAM on (September 26, 2012, 22:04 GMT)

Dont forget Eng lost the first two wkts to Irfan Pathan. They were 18 for 2 in 2.4 overs. Is spin their only problem?? I think what is happening is, most teams thrive because of 2 to 3 players ONLY (batting and bowling put together). It should be easy to figure who those 2-3 players are in each team. If those 2-3 players fail that team loses the match.

Posted by subbass on (September 26, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

Strongly fancy the Windies here, but defo not to win the whole thing. Just to beat us, which on the whole is very easy in this part of the world. Sammy is dead right to go spin crazy. I just hope the pitch offers something to the pace bowlers, t'is our only chance! Mind you, we must play two specialist spin bowlers and drop the usually hopeless Dernbach for Briggs. But yes, be surprised if we even won one game in the super 8 stage, so go on England, surprise me !

Posted by AnotherCricketFan on (September 26, 2012, 21:06 GMT)

The problem with Narine - in ODI you can play the patient game of watching him for 3-4 overs and then going after him or milking the singles. In 20/20 the 4 overs matter. You can not give him maidens or < 5 runs per over average. The moment you try to take him on, against any quality spinner, you lose - you may get one clean hit but a mishit, a top-edge is always in the mix. That is the beauty of Narine - especially when you can't read him or try to read him off the pitch. If one noticed, England played a lot of balls late against India. Almost all were cut-shots when the ball hurries off the pitch. Against Pak, NZ perished like that.

Narine is going to make England pay. Especially with the lack of experience in the team.

Posted by cjscanada on (September 26, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

Everyone seems to be pounding the English team. Though I am not a fan of the English, please do not look into one performance and dismiss a team. A lot of bashing was done of the Indian team and with just one game they have gone on to be a great team? Beats me! Though I wish they were. I also wish to defer before calling Harbhajan a comeback man or thinking we have a great bowling line up. The batting is what is carrying them. The confidence of the English players maybe on a low. It takes one good performance and things will change. Especially in a T20 format, you cannot discount anyone. This English team is a good one but how they recoup and get their confidence back is essential, as skills will be of no use if your nerves do not hold. I back the young English guns to go further in the tournament. This edition I believe West Indies or New Zealand will win the cup. Many will disagree but my reasoning is they have the most destructive batting sides backed with good enough bowling.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 20:46 GMT)

Re: England played him rather well - do your homework David, it was almost all Pietersen, Bell and Trott that played him well. None of those 3 being in the T20 squad. So not relevant, England's second rate batsmen will likely struggle.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

I would like Broad to let WI bat first so that we can see a T20 match. I really don`t want to see a T10 match

Posted by intcamd on (September 26, 2012, 20:08 GMT)

AM I missing something or is this a setup designed to reward the losers, who get a group of their own and 2 slots for themselves while the winners have to duke it out just for 2 slots also?

Posted by JG2704 on (September 26, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

@Randy Bridgeman on (September 26 2012, 16:35 PM GMT) Sammy gets a rough deal from WI fans but this is stretching it a bit.

Posted by mhb1 on (September 26, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

stupid WI they lost teribly to india by giving away their wickets to bowlers like harbajan & chwala because they dont want to be part of group containing teams like PAK, SA & AUS wait how england will play against narine & company totally diferent !

Posted by JG2704 on (September 26, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

I'm not sure what will happen tomorrow. I don't have much faith in our (English) batsmen chasing anything biggish down tomorrow so unless it is a pitch which definitely favours the side bowling first I hope if we win the toss we bat first. I have more faith in our bowlers being able to defend a moderate total than our batsmen being able to chase a decent total. I wonder what they'll do re the make up of the side. This track is supposed to be better for pace so I'm not sure. We definitely need a 2nd spin option and personally I'd like to see Briggs given a go. I hope we have a better bowling plan. Ironically though I think the short ball might be the way to go against Gayle.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 26, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

@mngc on (September 26 2012, 14:19 PM GMT) Not every team is going flat out from the 1st ball. England certainly haven't. Even against Afghanistan where we scored 190 after 4 or 5 overs we had a very moderate score. Gayle often seems to have a good look and then at some point go berserk. It's whatever works best for you.

Posted by Shan156 on (September 26, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

@CaptArungopal Dave, most of us England fans value the team more highly than individuals. You may well be right and we may well be knocked out in the Super 8s but that's fine, it is just a game. Hopefully, the KP issue will be resolved again. I, for one, am hoping that KP returns but it is doubtful. It appears that even the England dressing room has polarized opinions on KPs return with the majority not in favor of his return.

Posted by Shan156 on (September 26, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

@DesiBoyz810, it takes different skills to play swing/spin. Neither is easy. What confounds me is your logic that playing spin is easier than swing because it is slower. Even that may not be true - I remember people saying that Kumble was faster than Prasad and the likes:-) England were stuffed by India. No excuses. India were the better team on the day. However, England made some tactical mistakes - winning the toss and batting second was one of them. The decision to play Dernbach ahead of Patel/Briggs is another. Of course, we may still have been walloped, considering that our batting against spin on that day must have been the worst ever for any team, but I believe the margin may have been less.

Posted by jackthelad on (September 26, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

England know Narine and, despite his phenomenal early stage, he's nothing special - certainly not compared to the Indian and Pakistan spinners. England's real problem is that they have lost their way in all the recent kerfuffle; they have once again become a team that starts at the shadow of gnats, and that will only be overcome with time. There is no magic medicine.

Posted by rockinrogers on (September 26, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

@Randy Bridgeman on (September 26 2012, 16:35 PM GMT If you look at the shadows at the back of Sammy's neck, you will see that the hat was actually been functional by protecting the back of his head and is neck from the sun. This is very practical to me, I do you think?

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

@Manoj1234: Players need to rest, and there should be a distinction between the stages, you can't compare this to IPL, its just a domestic league, Im sorry I don't agree when you say a mere domestic league is more entertaining than an International Tournament

Posted by krik8crazy on (September 26, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

I think too much is being made of England's batting collapse against India. It is just one bad match. If they fail against the WI spinners too, then we can start worrying. Just be positive and don't turn the weakness against spin into a self fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by landsite on (September 26, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

That article appears to say that England will play Narine better than anyone who has played him so far,may I remind the writer that England didn't play him all that well although he didn't get the returns that was expected.Narine played in proper Wintry rainy conditions and not condusive to spin bowling,having said that they all were groping at times and still beaten by turn and flight.Lets see how good they play in cricket conditions against Narine and Badree...the unknown.Remamber they didn't have to bat against Ashwin and succumbed like"lamb to the slaughter",lets see Kieswetter do the job for you,yet another Saffie to the rescue.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (September 26, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Expect to see England spinners get some credit after this game. Hopefully England will play 3 of them and leave Bresnan (AKA Gayle fodder) carrying the drinks. Of course Stuart Broad's not going to say " we have a huge problem with spin and out batters just can't figure it all out"..... the truth though lies somewhere between his words and this notion? This is a chance for the 'new order' to show their character or have their lack of character exposed? Either way it could well be a huge turning point in English cricket. It's going to be fascinating and much depends on how many Gayle does or doesn't get! Good luck to both teams.... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by Nehans on (September 26, 2012, 17:27 GMT)

England must look out for Gayle , samuels, bravo and polard rather than Narine ...Palakelle pitch is more batsman friendly and west indies batsman will be real threat to England bowlers

Posted by jackiethepen on (September 26, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

West Indies might be thinking of their own T20I victory against England in 2011 when they beat them with spin. England all out 88. As for England doing so well against Narine that was the England Test and ODI side, none of the England t20 batsmen are in the Test side and only Kieswetter and Morgan in the ODI team. So the point hardly applies.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Somebody please tell Mr. Sammy to wear his cap in the manner for which it was made. One would never see Frank Worrell, Clive LLoyd, Viv Richards and the like wear a cap backwards a la Mr. Sammy. He's now captain of the team and should carry himself with great dignity even when working out. Yes, I know, many athletes do it and it's not a big deal in terms of his performances on the field. But sometimes perception carries more weight than reality, if you know what I mean.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

England has committed a gr8 & arrogant mistake by banishing their best player Pietersen, without whom they can't progress in this w/cup..... They'll b swept out by West Indies, particularly, by Chris Gayle & NARINE..... They should pack up their bags to go back to LONDON....

Posted by .virk on (September 26, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

in pallekele there will be no spin dear :) .. PAK & BD spinners were not threat on Pallekele pitch..so I don't think this will be too much issue for Eng in pallekele

Posted by Surajdon9 on (September 26, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

all the best broaddy.................

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

West Indies MUST play Badree ! That will be their real trump cards !

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (September 26, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

A bit of a non story really, did they expect WI to do the honourable thing and not play any spin bowlers (tongue in side of mouth). Lets just see what happens tomorrow, funny thing happen in the shorter forms of the game, one massive win and the horror of Sunday will be a distant memory :/

Posted by ZAB2121 on (September 26, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

WI will be a piece of cake for England.

Posted by Manoj1234 on (September 26, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

can't imagine that there is a day wthout any matches in the middle of the tournament. Unbelievable. No wonder IPL is so entertaining!

Posted by Stouffer on (September 26, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Against Gayle I would open bowling with Swann and Finn. Please no long hops from Dernbach!!!!

Posted by Munafis810 on (September 26, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

England cant play slow spin at 90kph and then have the audacity to make fun of people fail against swing. The slower of the two is spin so that should be easier to play

Posted by kwaish on (September 26, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

England will win against NZ and lose the remaining games. Lousy captain in Broad and dropping their best T-20 player... Broad's only fame - getting hit for 36 runs in one over.. Oh. i forgot being someone's son as well.

Posted by bobmartin on (September 26, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

@Haleos... It's got very little to do with actually being in Sri Lanka... It has much more to do with the preparation of the wicket.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

It's fair to say that Narine's time in England wasn't great, but considering that he made his name playing T20 cricket in the sub-continent of the IPL in comparison to making a test match debut in the conditions of England, couldn't have a more contrasting experience. I guess it's no secret that the Windies will play both Narine and Badree against the English, after their poor showing with India. But i think that the Windies should be playing two fulltime spinners in this tournament anyway. The frontline seamers can't be trusted and i'm not convinced that this bowling attack can defend a competitive total against any of the established countries. So for the Windies to have any chance of progressing in this competition, they'll have to stick to their strengths and bat second, by backing themselves to chase down whatever target is presented to them. Their batting line-up as a collective is potentially one of the most destructive in this format.

Posted by gsingh7 on (September 26, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

england will score o points in group phase , may book early discounted tickets

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 26, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

I think the biggest threat to England, is England themselves. There are times when they've coped against spin O.K. It's quite predictable that the other teams are using the abysmal performance against India recently to hype up their games against England. The truth is, especially in such a volatile format like T20, if the England batsmen just turn up and perform well then they can silence a few cheerleaders... maybe!

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (September 26, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

It's a new day, a fresh start and all teams are at zero. Eng and WI will qualify from this group, not because they are good, but because the other two - SL & NZ are worse. Suspect that the two finalists would come from the other group though.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

There are no true experts in this form of cricket. It is so short, that it comes down to who captures the moment. The best players can be made to look bad by the daring efforts of an opponent, and the converse applies for a mediocre player. There are very few mind-boggling surprises at the outcome of these games

Posted by fairfan on (September 26, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

David, it seems like most in the English media you choose to ignore the IPL. Sunil Narain was instrumental in KKR's maiden success in this year's edition of the IPL. If the pitch tomorrow has a bit of turn in it he will be devastating as most batsmen found out in IPL 2012; and I am sure most of these guys who played for different IPL franchises were much better players of spin bowling than the present English squad in Sri Lanka.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (September 26, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

Lol... England have to score atleast 160 runs to win against WI.. But against this quality spin from narine, pathetic England may score 100 runs..

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (September 26, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

'Destroyed by India's Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla' is hugely misleading. the bowling was accurate without being really threatening and the spinners hardly bowled a wicket taking delivery between them. it was more a case of poor shot selection and that was more mental than technical as broad said. poor shot selection may down to fact that they are not comfortable playing spin and that may be down to the fact generally england's batters don't have the technique as against ajmal in the uae. they were also tested in the odi series against india last year. the indian spinners may expose weaknesses if they get rank turners for the tests later this year but i haven't seen anything from harbajan to suggest that his form has improved since before he was dropped.

Posted by Arinaya on (September 26, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

I pick WI and SL to go thru to the semis from this group. The other group is too close to call

Posted by true.trini on (September 26, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

i think WI has got enough depth in batting to seriously consider including S.Badree for the game against england, i would play him in place of J.charles and let young bravo open. WI should also consider using Andre Rusell at no.3 depending on the situation. my playing xi would be gayle, dm.bravo, rusell, samuels, pollard, sammy, ramdin, rampaul, narine, badree, edwards. could even consider playing dwayne bravo, if fit, for one of the fast bowlers.

Posted by perl57 on (September 26, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

Too much has been written here about England and Spin. Fact is, fluke champions cannot proceed further. Hopps here might effectively say England has no problems against Narine but that was in England where pitches are doctored like in Oz to make it more swing and bounce. Here playing Gayle would be like playing Lance Gibbs or Shane Warne. So expect another trashing to come your way. Broad for all his back stabbing and treachery done to remove KP will soon realize he has made a blunder to play cricket.

Posted by vijju_ruby on (September 26, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

hope narine(my fantasy team prime bowler) picks 6for against england as mendis did against zim in the opening game...

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

Please West Indies play Samuel Badree

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

i think england will win this because pallekele doesnt asisst spinners as much as premadasa .

Posted by greenshahad on (September 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

bangladesh should be in top 8, instead of england. like the way they smashed gul, tanvir, ajmal

Posted by PACERONE on (September 26, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

If W.I was ever thinking about using spin to win games why do they keep leaving Benn in the wilderness.India brought back Harbajan and with great results.W.I will rue their selection process.Shillingford,Benn and Narine would combine well.

Posted by Hammond on (September 26, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

Good thing for cricket this pre-eminence of spinners in T20. Still doesn't mean much more than a techno pop DJ's concert, however spinners are always entertaining.

Posted by Flat_Track_bullies on (September 26, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

dont think the second bowler is needed. Narine will be enough...

Posted by mngc on (September 26, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

WI earned the pre-tournament favourites title by assembling possibly the most destructive top 6 ever in Gayle, Pollard, Russell, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo and Sammy. They continue to confound me by inserting other players to dilute their effect. Playing out the first 6 overs is old time and ODI thinking.At 10 overs the score should be around 80. All of the teams are going flat out from the first over. Except WI.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

the game is played out there in the middle and on the pitch. it will not amount to a hill of beans if the west indies batsmen do not make runs.

Posted by TopPlot on (September 26, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

Although England may win some matches, it is almost certain that they are not even among the favrts to win the title so forget abt defending the title. I am just wondering too see how good they will perform against Indian in tests...Everyone knows why and ENG management only pretend that it is not the case. Ta ta, bye bye England (Mid way thru or knock out)...i am settled.

Posted by Umar.Raza on (September 26, 2012, 13:49 GMT)


Posted by Haleos on (September 26, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

Narine in SL would be a completely different bowler to what he was in Eng. So his average in Eng does not matter.

Posted by t20-2007 on (September 26, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

England will improve....will atleast get 100.....:P

Posted by Narbavi on (September 26, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

Sure, teams can now definitely do it with england in this super 8 stage, infact i would suggest Srilanka to bring back murali and Sanath out of retirement to beat england with spin

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
Tournament Results
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 7, 2012
West Indies won by 36 runs
Australia v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 5, 2012
West Indies won by 74 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 4, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 16 runs
India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
India won by 1 run
Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
Pakistan won by 32 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days