England in India 2012-13 October 24, 2012

Cook ready for India challenge

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In early days of England's 1992-93 tour of India, the pair of Mike Atherton and Phil Tufnell wandered around the streets of Kolkata, admiring and swallowing at once the beauty, chaos and stench of the City of Joy. The pair were bunking as room-mates on their first trip to India and Atherton recounts an interesting story in his autobiography Opening Up.

As they ambled along the streets, the duo ended up sitting "cross-legged" in front of a fortune teller, who had lured the Englishmen in with the offer that for a small fee he would have his caged parrot pick the Tarot cards which would reveal their immediate future. Superstitious, both men acquiesced. The pair's fate, the fortune teller warned, was "bleak" for the next couple of months, but would pick up from February 24 - the day before the England tour ended. Needless to say, England lost the series 3-0.

Security concerns will not allow England's newly installed Test captain, Alastair Cook, to find himself squatting in the promenade by the Gateway of India, a happy hunting ground for fortune tellers. Then again, Cook does not need a stranger to tell him what lays in store when he lands in India.

The reintegration process of Kevin Pietersen back into the England dressing room; how to conquer spin, England's Achilles heel for the many debacles over many decades; installing a suitable and long-term opener to replace Cook's predecessor, Andrew Strauss, with whom he had a prolific partnership; and, importantly, rediscovering the team's winning ways are the main hurdles for Cook and England's team director, Andy Flower, on the India trip.

The rights and wrongs of the Pietersen issue have all the makings of a bestseller but if England want to stand up on Indian soil confidently, they need their best player of spin and they need to embrace him despite his faults. Some have argued that England won the 2009 Ashes largely without Pietersen but then playing India in India on turning tracks is a different proposition to Australia at home. Among current England batsmen, Pietersen has the best scoring rate against Indian spinners in India of 3.57. Of the touring squad, only Cook and Pietersen have made centuries in India, with the pair both passing 1000 runs on the subcontinent since Cook's 2006 debut.

On Thursday, before England departed to India via the UAE - where the squad train over the weekend - Cook said several times that Pietersen was "desperate and keen to pull his England shirt on", because with the three lions on his chest Pietersen has shown the ability to bring down the opposition single-handedly. Pietersen, who is currently in South Africa with Delhi Daredevils, will join up with England after his involvement in the Champions League T20.

Cook acknowledged the bitterness of the past two months, when Pietersen was dropped immediately after his heroics at Headingley in the second Test against South Africa. Earlier this week Strauss himself said that it would not be an easy healing process. Cook recognised the difficulty but indicated strongly that he wanted to move forward.

"It has been a difficult two months for us as an England side but for me as a captain the best possible outcome has happened," Cook said. "We have got a world-class player back in our team. It has been a tough couple of months for Kevin but he seems very contrite. He is desperate to be back playing, doing what he does best - scoring runs for England. As a captain that is what all I want. I want him to come back into the side as he was to score match-winning runs like he did in Colombo, like he did at Headingley. I am sure he will be desperately keen to do that. As a captain I wanted our best players in the team because that is how we know we can get the best results."

Asked if it would be easy for the team management and his team-mates to give Pietersen respect and expect the same in return, Cook agreed that it would take time for the reconciliation but said the first positive steps had been taken. According to Cook the key was to develop the same team ethos that had seen England climb to top of the Test rankings last year with consistent performances.

"Clearly we know how important team spirit and team harmony is because that is where all our strength has been in the last couple of years and it shows in the results," Cook said. "We know how hard we have to work at that to make sure we continue on that front. We will be working as hard as we can in the coming months to put the team in that spirit that we know makes us perform well."

Keeping his house in order is bound to keep Cook occupied, but he is more keen to focus on England's biggest challenge: countering the menace of spin. Last year, England were blanked 5-0 in the ODI series in India. The 3-0 whitewash by Pakistan in the UAE is not even twelve months old and the subsequent struggle in Sri Lanka only re-emphasised their continuing agony against the slow bowlers.

"We know how important playing spin is," Cook said. "We did struggle in UAE, but the amount of work we did towards the latter part of the tour and then in Sri Lanka, we need to get as close to that point as soon as we can and build from there. Because we know how important playing spin is and how important first-innings runs are."

Cook was also not that concerned that the absence of any specialist spinner in the first warm-up game against India A was a smart trick by the Indians to protect their trump card. "What happened in UAE against Pakistan highlighted exactly where were at: we did struggle there. But I thought the improvements were made in Colombo and Galle. To draw a Test series out there was a really good achievement. It is important how we train against spin and how we start."

England last won a series in India in 1985. The last time they won a Test match was when then-captain, Andrew Flintoff, played the role of DJ-cum-captain in Mumbai. Cook did not play that match. He will be desperate to play a leading role this time around; importantly he will need all hands on the deck.

"We have a real, tough challenge ahead of us as a side," Cook said. "It has been almost 30 years since we won in India so that shows the challenge ahead but I am very confident in this squad that we can go out there and do something special."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY BHARATLIFE on | October 27, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    @calcu i am not sure where you are getting that statistic from

    England won in 1987 World cup Semi Final, 2002 the won 3 ODI..

    These are the ones i know so 4... or mo

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | October 27, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    @Valavan: Agreed that SL was a minnow in 1993 so that defeat should not matter much. What about the 1-4 thrashing SL had just a few months back? If you say that that was about tests and this was about ODIs then at least it proves that just like SL was a minnow in 1993 in tests they are still minnows in 2012 when it comes to 2012. Happy now?

  • POSTED BY dicky_boy on | October 26, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    rohan kappor well said well said man respect, that ought to set them right

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    @ali-abbas-Your 4th class team couldnt even win in lanka and were whitewashed in dubai by poor england team in odi's.And were humiliated by INDIA in t20 world cup.So, first go through these facts....India will thrash england.cricinfo plz publish..

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | October 26, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    @muneeb2012..>>but still our record in last two years good...what about ind??>> as i said india is not doing good lately but the last 5years except the last one year has been great infact far better than any subcontinent teams as far as tests r concerned,they won test series in eng(2007),drew in SA,SL,won in NZ,WI,lost a closely contested series in aus by 1-2...so i too can say india did well,even in ODI's india did well by winning the WC2011,and just before that they won the asia cup...all in the last one year has been worst when they lost 8-0 in eng & aus,lost asia cup,and CB series..dont care so much about T20I though...my point is why making so much noise about india's performance when ur team has'nt done anything great while touring away from subcontinent in aus,Eng,SA ??

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | October 26, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    @ muneeb2012..facing any bowler in T20 league wont make any batsman better whether they face morkel or steyn bcoz the bowler's attitude,line and length,field setting r very different from that in a first class matches..a players can only improve after playing in first class league and thats the reason indian players r selected based on their performance in Ranji Trophy or Counties,in a hit and miss cricket like T20 a players cant be judged nor their knock has any substance...IPL has all the indians players from ranji not the other way around and same is the case with all other leagues around the world

  • POSTED BY AMAZINGFAN on | October 26, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    @VALAVAN,LOL FORGET ABT 1993 SL IS STILL A MINNOW.....

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 26, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    @rsrinath its unfortunate in a sense that in all those games few indian players managed to raise the standard of their games..likes of ajay jadeja sachin pathan kohli etc....and we admire their efforts...By why do you forget 80s and 90s?...and pak won few games in eng...how many you ppl won??in aus you had the advantage to play against a third nation(sl) and get back to winning ways

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 26, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    @spiritwithin watched duleep trophy final yesterday?? You think that those batsmen would learn something against bowlers of THAT quality...there s got to be a differenece between facing morne morkel and say vinay kumar

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 26, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    @spiritwithin yes our recent record against good teams is not encouraging...but its not disappointing too...put any team in sort of situations we found ourselves in last 5 years and you would lose thet team surely...but still we were amongst best four of all icc tournaments in last 5 years...that is d unpredictibility you normally associate with pak...but still our record in last two years good...what about ind??

  • POSTED BY BHARATLIFE on | October 27, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    @calcu i am not sure where you are getting that statistic from

    England won in 1987 World cup Semi Final, 2002 the won 3 ODI..

    These are the ones i know so 4... or mo

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | October 27, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    @Valavan: Agreed that SL was a minnow in 1993 so that defeat should not matter much. What about the 1-4 thrashing SL had just a few months back? If you say that that was about tests and this was about ODIs then at least it proves that just like SL was a minnow in 1993 in tests they are still minnows in 2012 when it comes to 2012. Happy now?

  • POSTED BY dicky_boy on | October 26, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    rohan kappor well said well said man respect, that ought to set them right

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    @ali-abbas-Your 4th class team couldnt even win in lanka and were whitewashed in dubai by poor england team in odi's.And were humiliated by INDIA in t20 world cup.So, first go through these facts....India will thrash england.cricinfo plz publish..

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | October 26, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    @muneeb2012..>>but still our record in last two years good...what about ind??>> as i said india is not doing good lately but the last 5years except the last one year has been great infact far better than any subcontinent teams as far as tests r concerned,they won test series in eng(2007),drew in SA,SL,won in NZ,WI,lost a closely contested series in aus by 1-2...so i too can say india did well,even in ODI's india did well by winning the WC2011,and just before that they won the asia cup...all in the last one year has been worst when they lost 8-0 in eng & aus,lost asia cup,and CB series..dont care so much about T20I though...my point is why making so much noise about india's performance when ur team has'nt done anything great while touring away from subcontinent in aus,Eng,SA ??

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | October 26, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    @ muneeb2012..facing any bowler in T20 league wont make any batsman better whether they face morkel or steyn bcoz the bowler's attitude,line and length,field setting r very different from that in a first class matches..a players can only improve after playing in first class league and thats the reason indian players r selected based on their performance in Ranji Trophy or Counties,in a hit and miss cricket like T20 a players cant be judged nor their knock has any substance...IPL has all the indians players from ranji not the other way around and same is the case with all other leagues around the world

  • POSTED BY AMAZINGFAN on | October 26, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    @VALAVAN,LOL FORGET ABT 1993 SL IS STILL A MINNOW.....

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 26, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    @rsrinath its unfortunate in a sense that in all those games few indian players managed to raise the standard of their games..likes of ajay jadeja sachin pathan kohli etc....and we admire their efforts...By why do you forget 80s and 90s?...and pak won few games in eng...how many you ppl won??in aus you had the advantage to play against a third nation(sl) and get back to winning ways

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 26, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    @spiritwithin watched duleep trophy final yesterday?? You think that those batsmen would learn something against bowlers of THAT quality...there s got to be a differenece between facing morne morkel and say vinay kumar

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 26, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    @spiritwithin yes our recent record against good teams is not encouraging...but its not disappointing too...put any team in sort of situations we found ourselves in last 5 years and you would lose thet team surely...but still we were amongst best four of all icc tournaments in last 5 years...that is d unpredictibility you normally associate with pak...but still our record in last two years good...what about ind??

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | October 26, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    I see we (England) are involved in another tri nations series here. Seriously , welcome Pak fans - if the stats/hissy fits are flying at you there's less to fly at us

  • POSTED BY S-A-M-1994 on | October 26, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Can 3rd class team with mediocre Bowling attack beat Eng? Nah, i really Doubt lolz

  • POSTED BY Great_Chucker on | October 26, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    @GeraldLK and Sinhaya ..why is that ur team not playing any tests in 1year...pity that Malinga is not playing any tests else Kohli would have shown how mediocre ur players are

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | October 26, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    You cannot expect Ind to be as same as Pak in UAE demolition. But they are good enough to take 20 wickets.

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | October 26, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    @muneeb2012,players starts getting better after playing first class game like Ranji trophy,counties,Shefield Shield etc not IPL which is not a real cricket...fast bowlers emerge from domestic first class leagues and its in these league where players plays with a test match temperament and its here they need international players or foreign coaches for better exposure,its funny how u and others equate india's domestic league with IPL which runs only for 1month...again test match or ODI players r not selected from IPL..when indian players needs to improve their skills they plays in counties and ranji..and lastly their r many T20 leagues popping up in many countries nowadays be it SLPL,BPL etc apart from older ones which were there much before IPL like BigBash etc so all r getting exposure,even pak is getting a new T20 league..so dont just try to find reason just to bash india

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | October 26, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    i see pak fans talking too much about india's 8-0 forgetting the fact that they r 0-12 from 12 matches in aus since 1999,also 0-3 & 1-3 in eng apart from losing to india 16times out of 22 matches in the last 5five years across all formats..not that india r doing anything great at present but ur pak team has'nt done anything of substance while touring any nation be it india,SL,aus,Eng or even WI..so how about concentrate on ur own team instead of bad mouthing against indian team here?i dont pak doing anything great outside UAE so y so much fuss????

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | October 26, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    @Rajesh_india_1990, your stats is pretty OK. Did you forget in 1993 SL was still a minnow. They were not champion team and they only manage a win or 2 only at home during the period on or before June 1995. Btw you simply troll here with your unnecessary agenda and all pak supporters are playing in your nerves. Its Pak supporters who are winning by whining you. haha. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY rsrinath on | October 26, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    @muneeb2012 there are no if's and but's in cricket. the fact is that pakistan have not beaten us in any world cup game till date and in the last 2 years both the teams have met 4 times and India have vanquished your side on all four occasions, and dont open up those 0-8 whitewashes just for the sake of defence bcos the whole cricketing world knows what your 'heroes' achieved in england and australia....

  • POSTED BY S-A-M-1994 on | October 26, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    ENG ill win Easily. 4 - 0

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 25, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    @samincolombia its unfortunate realy...bcoz our ovrall record against india is very good...and dont talk about 0-8 mate....strange things come in my mind..lol

  • POSTED BY samincolumbia on | October 25, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @Pakistan_victorious - India leads Pakistan 8-0 in all World Cup matches in all formats to date!! Pray that Pakistan won't meet India in the next WC othrewise they will choke yet again.

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 25, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    rajesh-ind...how many matches pak played at home in last 5 years?u think your team could emerge from situations pak found themselves in?can u afford the loss of your 2 premium players say kohli n ashwin?we are not getting intl cricket and that has arrested the development of our young players...and isnt it ridiculous that india with all that money,with all those coaches,with all the opportunities for their young players to play with top intl players in ipl cant even produce a fast bowler of any substance

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    this could be the eng best chance to win series in india openrs out of form for 2+ years;new brand middle order;aging sachin,zaheer;clueless ishanth and dhoni

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | October 25, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    @Pakistan_ victorious ok lets about india from 2007..apart from two whitewashes india won test series in England(2007),newzland,westindies(even beat your team in your home lastly) and drew series in srilanka(1-1),southafrica(1-1 almost won the third test)..lost against australia in 2008(2-1) with the help of bucknor......i not even mention about our home series where we thrashed every team other than draw with southafrica...can you please tell what pakiston won in last 5 years?..and in between pakistan never won a t20match against india...

  • POSTED BY WickyRoy.paklover on | October 25, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    @counterstrike 1.6,wel let ur team whitewash the poms n we will then be in a beter position to talk about ur team,btw what z meant by ctrl v?lolz@dickyboy,my dear! Evrybdy knows how greatly ur team have benifited 4rm bcci's treasures,AGREED THEY HAVE BECOME A WORLD BEATR IN ALL VERSIONS BY NOW,LOLZ

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 25, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    @mikey76: It's an open series. But, it all comes down to how England play spin bowling. So the series is England's to lose IMO. India have a new look team too with a brand new middle order, and bowling attack. An Indian victory wouldn't change anything. It would be more according to expectation. However, an English victory would mean they have learned to cope with the frailties of Indian conditions. Something I simply cannot see them do.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 25, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    India could win 3-0, or 2-1, or 2-0, or even 1-0. It could also be a drawn series at 1-1. Can't see England winning even with India's inexperienced middle order and bowling. England are mediocre in Asia. They will be juiced. A draw will be considered as a major victory by this England team. Given their problems in handling pressure, the Indian conditions and inability to play spin, that would be a major boost ahead of the NZ and Ashes series. Also, it's funny to see many non-Indians jump on the England bandwagon. I guess they forgot that England have their own fans.

  • POSTED BY Yousufahmedl on | October 25, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    @Imsrk, Pakistan won a test match in England in 2010, in contrast to India getting whitewashed. Look at how many tests Pakistan have won against England in England. We are streets ahead of India in tests.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | October 25, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Absolute lack of class on BCCI's part for excluding spinners in the India A side. It's like England not selecting any fast bowlers when India played an England A side. If they lose in spite of these negative tactics, they will have no place to hide from embarrassment. Give rank turners and Indian batsmen are going to struggle against Swann a lot.

  • POSTED BY Yousufahmedl on | October 25, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    @dicky_boy, Pakistan loses everytime to India?? Haha that is why Pakistan overall has beaten India more times in tests and ODIs. What a joke!

  • POSTED BY Yousufahmedl on | October 25, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    @g.narsimha, do you know that Pakistan won a test match against South Africa in South Africa in 1998 and in 2007? We have a good test record in SA. Indians are pure flat track kings.

  • POSTED BY khan14mkn on | October 25, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    well england are up for yet a miserable tour whoever they include.this series is of india and india are going to win this atleast 3-0.england couldnt defeat wi neither SA in their own home so they have no chance against india.if england starts playing in subcontinental pitches for 2-3 years then they would be at the bottom of the icc rankings

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | October 25, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    Really looking forward to this, will be a great win for England, India are faves but I think they are making a mistake by not using the DRS in this instance. Prior for VC def, cookie seems to play very well when skippering and KP has a point to prove!

  • POSTED BY AMAZINGFAN on | October 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    @ROGERUNIONJACK,IF UR BATSMEN CAN'T PLAY EVEN 50 OVERS THEN HOW CAN U EXPECT THEM TO BAT THROUGH TEST MATCHES.... UR ENG TEAM GOT BOWLED OUT 3 TIMES IN THAT ODI SERIES AND THEY STRUGGLED EVEN AGAINST JADEJA WHO IS NOT EVEN A FRONTLINE SPINNER......ABOUT SWANN WELL IND BATSMEN PLAYED MURALI AND WARNE BRILLIANTLY ON TURNING PITCHES....JUST LOOK AT MURALI'S AND WARNE'S RECORD IN INDIA...DO U EXPECT OVER-RATED SWANN AND CLUB LEVEL SPINNER MONTY TROUBLING IND BATSMEN?

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | October 25, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    Very open series, England have regressed from 18 months ago while it's safe to say India won't be as bad as they were in England and Australia. If England can get early wickets and get Kholi to the crease early then we stand a good chance. If Sehwag and Gambhir fire then it could be a long winter. The form of Swann which has been patchy this last year or so is also a major factor. Needless to say we need to start taking our catches.

  • POSTED BY calcu on | October 25, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    since 1985, england has played 18 ODI against india in india. Out of dat india has won 16, england has won 1 and 1 has been tied LOL

  • POSTED BY warneneverchuck on | October 25, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @getsetgopak. I think India can never achieve wht u guys achieve in yor last ENG tour

  • POSTED BY S-A-M-1994 on | October 25, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    ENG ill win Easily...3rd Class team and Their Bowling isn't Good enuf to Beat ENG.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | October 25, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Tired of wickyroy.paklover...i was eagerly waited for him in the comment section during pakistan's humiliation from the hands of india this t20wc..but as usual he hide somewhere and came only after india's one run victory over SA...

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | October 25, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    i guess i would have trott as vice captain

  • POSTED BY GerrardLK on | October 25, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    After this tournament INDIA will emerge as the new MINNOW team in test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    @GerrardLK >>You don't need to get ready to play India. Just sit where you are & play normal cricket. Still India would lose by an innings. India is that so poor when comes to real cricket.>> i think i need to remind u about ur 0-3 in UAE and even more embarrasing 0-2 at home recently,cant win at home,struggles away from home and u r talking about real cricket lol

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    @Gerarrd: ohh as if England are the world champions and awesome players of spin. Mind you..watch out for INDIAN spinners trolling ur UK batsmen.. mark my words..

  • POSTED BY g.narsimha on | October 25, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    GET SET GO PAK -JUST ARROGANCE , no ifs & buts in cricket OUR below par bowlers won us series VRS WI in home & away , can u enlighten me what is u r score line in WI last time u r team visited there, till date no series win in that contry ,even cant win in our immidiat niegthbour SL in familiar conditions we all seen how u r so called great bowlers fared if u r s is that a great attack why u r teaqm could not win in WI, SL ,now its proved u r team can win only in u r fortier UAE one more thing dont whine too much on u r great spinners we all seen what happened to them in AUS, AVE-111 , TOTAL WHITE WASH , NOW ITS IN SA, against whom u rs is worse performance both at home & away.

  • POSTED BY India_boy on | October 25, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    A LITTLE OFF TOPIC.....but please care to explain why are they playing an ODI in Dharamshala during the peak winter month of January? Upper reaches of Dharamshala receives snowfall and temp. in the lower areas can go to as low as 1-2 deg.C (35 F) in January and definitely maximum of 6 C (41 F) and is extremely windy(the cricket stadium is the highest in the world). In January, it is difficult to play in Delhi even though it is usually a hot city, Dharamshala is a goddamn hill station. In short, they are creating England like conditions against England...Bravo!

  • POSTED BY dicky_boy on | October 25, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Wickyroy pak lover , please use some cricketing sense and talk , ur team loses at every single opportunity to us, yet you go on and on ,come on dude give it a break , we are the world champs and our board is powerful deal with it or go home

  • POSTED BY Akshita29 on | October 25, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    I have a conspiracy theory . BCCI is not allowing DRS and they are not allowing sky commentators to come and now not playing spinners in the warm up. This could set up a dangerous precedent as all the nations would follow suit and soon warm ups might be totally abolished because warm ups would be useless . It could be helpful for IPL players would be available for Ipl for little more time and help BCCI make more money. Anyways it's just a theory and All Bcci wants is a whitewash of poms at any cost . If India loses or even draws the series it would be a great achievement for poms and bit of humiliation for India.

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    KP inclusion gives England a slight chance ,or else its Indias series to lose .

  • POSTED BY GerrardLK on | October 25, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    You don't need to get ready to play India. Just sit where you are & play normal cricket. Still India would lose by an innings. India is that so poor when comes to real cricket.

  • POSTED BY g.narsimha on | October 25, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    WICKYRAYPAKLOVER- WOW - stop reminding us of the only white wases in recent past , u r team was also white washed i AUS, infact nothing to show out side UAE , even cant win in SL, WI few wins on spinning tracke in UAE , NOTHING ELSE NOW U R TEAM WILL HAVE TO PLAY OUT SIDE UAE , so instead of dreaming IND defeats , rather u concentrat on u r team for SA against whom urs is worse in performance compare to o u r team i dont remember when did u r team won a series against a front line team out side UAE , YAA I THINK ITS ZIM u won a series last time out side u r frontier .cant win even in SL , FINN was part of the ODI team which our youngesters white washed 5-0 in IND so in u r dreams FINN alone can account for SAHWAAG, SACHIN entire batting line up , cric in fo pl pubklish.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot_lunge on | October 25, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Cook needs to install Peitersen as vice-captain. If he doesn't take measures to break the soviet style 'establishment' that has marked our downward turn in performances, then we'll be back to sitting just above Bangladesh like we were a few years back. Rewarding your best player with VC duties, marks him as a player t respect and shows support for performance over 'towing the party line'. It will give KP the freedom to establish himeslf once again as a player of note, and an individual rather than the player the ECB/Flower/Broad/Swann/Strauss/Anderson think he should be to fit with their soviet style gang mentality.

  • POSTED BY Flat_Track_bullies on | October 25, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    willl be 2-1 to india..english media will call that as 'good performance' :)

  • POSTED BY Rogerunionjack on | October 25, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    @ sobersfan on (October 25 2012, 09:52 AM GMT) that was an ODI series which India won last winter, these are test matches. Your ODI team is way superior to your test team. It's one thing for part timers to get in ten overs in an ODI, but for tests you need genuine wicket taking bowlers. Swann may go for runs in ODIs, but it's different in tests where Monty & he will be a handfull. Bottom line - your batsman need to get back in form fast, don't expect Kohli to bail the team out each time.

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Eng are not better players of spin compared to WI or NZ. They strugge a lot on turning tracks in IND. Even Yuvi can take 5 wkts in an innings if he bowls 20-25 overs

  • POSTED BY nilesh91 on | October 25, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    @ Shareef Sehuribas: Are you sure people are not talking about SRT ? Wake up, Sachin is always in news whether he is playing good cricket or not. Not sure what Indian News Channel and critics will do after his retirement.

  • POSTED BY Porky_PigTheToon on | October 25, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    @ SudharsanVM - Not really bro ! If Kohli and party can thrash Ajmal (World's No. 1 Spinner) then playing Swann and Monty shouldn't be a tough job. *Fingers Crossed* lets hope for the Best !

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | October 25, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    It is refreshing to see many Indian comments who give a balanced view. To England fans saying 4-0 come on get real. I personally can't see us winning a series in Asia until we create batsmen who are accustomed to using their feet well, forward and back. England will most probably lose this series but Indian fans should not gloat. This Indian side is a shadow of the terffic side in the 2000-2010 decade and resting on home advantages will only get you so far. Look at how we built ourselves up only to be shot down the minute the ball starting spinning in the UAE. I do not envisage this series being totally one sided as England do have a good bowling attack (despite the Oval test vs SA). I think we need to play Finn though as he can genuinley blast through high class batsmen. From India's point of view the key men are Koli and Sehwag. If Sehwag gets off to a flier it is night night England.

  • POSTED BY Porky_PigTheToon on | October 25, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    WickyRoy.paklover - We know if Ind lose, you will obviously bash them like anything . But even if Ind win, you will still say "Ind were @ home" "Tracks were Flat" "Flat-track Bulleis" "They can't play overseas" "Can win only at home" lol . Please next time come out with something new :P, we r fed up of reading ur (CtrlC, Ctrl V) comments again n again ..coz Ind is gonna beat ENG for sure :) ..And about Finn..yeah he is a damn good bowler on Fast and Bouncy tracks (hey! can I call him Fast Track Bully ? :P) but this is sub-continent dude..where pitches turn at will :) ..even your SHOAIB AKHTAR couldn't stop Ind from beating u at ur home, what will Finn do then ?

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | October 25, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    @zenboomerang - Tried to respond to your comms against KP opening on another thread. Of course with this matter there are reasons for and against this happening. You gave your reasons against which I respect. My reasons for are that it would - if it works - get England off to a faster start and also show attacking intent. I feel our defensive approach since becoming number 1 had much to do with the rot setting in. Maybe KP opening is extreme and could backfire dramatically. However it means we have 2 experienced players opening and 1 with firepower. Another example of a person where it has worked well is your own Shane Watson. To me he was an average-good middle order player but when he started opening he started performing better. Not sure if the stats back up how I read things there.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | October 25, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    @nilesh91 on (October 25 2012, 09:26 AM GMT) I see just one person has even mentioned Swann and that in response to what some of the Indian fans say.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | October 25, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    @ravikb on (October 25 2012, 06:58 AM GMT) Wow - very honest appraisal there. You may have to go into hiding though from some of your fellow fans

  • POSTED BY 200ondebut on | October 25, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    The one thing about Engalnd is that they learn from their mistakes - and so the defeat against Pakistan last winter may be a blessing in disguise. England will have worked out a game plan and they will be prepared. The Indian spinners are not as good as Pakistans - but they will still be a test. At the end of the day it does matter which way a ball turns if it is not flighted and pitched properly. England will be confident because that is how modern athletes are. The series will though be down to how many runs Sehwag and Tendulkar get - if they score well India will prevail, if they don't then they will struggle.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 25, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    I have faith Cookie. Do it for the fans and the inevitable deafening silence from all the detractors (apart from the occasional banger going on about South Africans) C'MON ANGULAND!!!!

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | October 25, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    @valavan india won test series in srilanka in 1993 unlike srilanka which never won a single test in india...get your facts right or else dont comment..please publish

  • POSTED BY TheRisingTeam on | October 25, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    Talk is cheap you have to prove it on the big stage so common India lets beat them 4-0 this time around. I think Cook is forgetting that he and his team mates were confident of beating Pakistan only to lose miserably :)"

  • POSTED BY AMAZINGFAN on | October 25, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    @ROGERUNIONJACK,LOL WE SAW HOW SWANN STRUGGLED AGAINST IND BATSMEN LAST YEAR IN INDIA.......IND BATSMEN PLAYED BRILLIANTLY AGAINST MURALI,WARNE,AJMAL WHO R BETTER SPINNERS THAN SWANN AND MONTY....I'M SURE IND WILL WIN EASILY ON DUSTBOWLS AS ENG BATSMEN CAN'T PLAY TURNING BALL.......

  • POSTED BY nilesh91 on | October 25, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    what the fuss about KP! KP is great player of spin? have you seen UAE series! Agreed Ajmal is class act, cant say this about Rehman and Hafeez. I think Sehwag's off spin and Sachin's leg break is enough to take 20 wickets against England! people are fast notice that aswin and Ojha has success only against WI, NZ. but that good for me because England is not better than WI n NZ while playing spin. Again I think this series will be interesting, probably not a whitewash but 2-0 in favor of India

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | October 25, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Well of course Cook is ready for the India challenge... He wouldn't be captain otherwise - would he?... It'll be more interested in how he sets his fields & uses his bowlers in this 1st series as captain... As far as the VC; I'd like Prior to fill that role as he doesn't need to be the next captain in line (Cook can easily play cricket for the next 8 years), & well respected inside & outside the team... The next captain likely hasn't played for Eng yet...

  • POSTED BY WickyRoy.paklover on | October 25, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    If finn gets to play ,i think he would provide a great support to swan n co.HE Z GOOD ENUF TO DISMANTLE SACHIN,GAMBHIR,SEHWAG,N LOWER ORDR OF INDIAN BATNG In almost evry ining he z going to bowl.IT would b a draw in my view simply bcoz ind z at home othrwise it would have been a walk in the park 4 poms.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | October 25, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    @JG2704 on (October 25 2012, 07:56 AM GMT), you may be right, with the umpires having seen in series that did use DRS that decisions that they would previously have been loathe to give were actually out. That said, I'm thinking more about the fact that the England batsmen might be a bit emboldened by the lack of DRS and try to use their feet a bit more. Close decisions are far less likely to be given that way and positivity is really what they have been lacking.

  • POSTED BY nilesh91 on | October 25, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Eng fans, please stop praising Swann for his own sake, will you? Who knows he will start writing new book in-between series as the main actor is back! We all saw what he did in his last 5 matches in sub-continent (only one 5-for, Monty doing better than him) and do you want me to remind his performance in first Test against SA with stats? for your info Shane Warne and Murali were here!

  • POSTED BY SudharsanVM on | October 25, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Preparing rank turners will fire back on India. Swann and Monty are real good spinners. Eng might struggle against our spinners, But their bowling is still good. Indian batting is weaker link with mostly out of form batsmen batting on reputations. It can't be a cakewalk for our Team. Eng are not NZ/WI

  • POSTED BY Pane on | October 25, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Dec 17,2012 India WhiteWashed for the third time in a row.The Indians r loving it.LOL

  • POSTED BY SudharsanVM on | October 25, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    The pressure is on India, they dont have good openers. They have terribly out of Form No4. No6 Spot is yet to be filled. Cant say anything about Dhoni, he is highely unpredictable. Zak struggles for Fitness. Cant really comment on umesh/Ishant. Only Aswin&ojha, Kohli& pujara can be trusted.

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | October 25, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Of course its always nice to pay back with a nice whitewash but lets not be day dreamers here. Indian spinners are Saeed Ajmal wanabes, they are no way near the class of Ajmal, Rehman and yeah Hafeez, the best in the world, Ian chappel found it out the hard way though, must have been hard on that old fella! The only advantage India has are the slow dull pitches with knee high bounce where bowling can sometime look like 'Bolwing' LOL With KP, Trott and Cook should be a walk in the park for England considering IND nearly lost of a below par WI last year on home soil. Make it 0-12, Go ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY Rogerunionjack on | October 25, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    Glad to see maturity in a few Indian fans, they are realistic to accept that with out of form batsmen - except Kohli - and struggling bowlers, India has it's task cut out. It could well be four dust bowls, but we have Swann & Monty too. Wish you luck my Indian friends, may the best team win.

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    RAHULCRICKET007: Well written comments. What is in my mind you expressed it. I am not worrying about England's series win but worried bout the 3rd whitewash in 2 years and the first in home turf.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | October 25, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @vinay24, i came to answer you, ofcourse England have won in SL in 2001 and in PAK in 2001 and in SA in 2005, so when did India win a test series in SL and did they ever win any test series in SA. Check cricinfo stats, btw Prior considers chanllenge in India will be a stern test, so get your facts rights else take a walk. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY warnerbasher on | October 25, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    At last the real cricket is back with test contests in Australia and India. I'm tipping 2-1 to the Saffers and 2-1 to the Poms(despite the dustbpwls that will be served up). Can't wait for the first morning in Brisbane. BRING IT ON!!!!!

  • POSTED BY nilesh91 on | October 25, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    With all due respect to Dravid and VVS, I don't think INDIA is as weak as some of here are suggesting. For your reminder Dravid was under performing since last 4 years Except his England tour. His average was used to be near 56 before he was given captaincy, he retired with ~51-52. Same goes with Laxman, Our failure in England was due to SRT and VVS not performing to their reputation, and in Aus it was RD and VVS. So I think replacing these two with Pujara and Kohali should be better result than combine SRT,RD and VVS in Eng and Aus. If Rahane succeed to replace one opener and Yuvi/Badri/Rohit(yes he is good long format player and should not be given chances in short form of the game) replaces Raina, we can win the series at least by 2-0.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | October 25, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    @Sinhayajmcilhinney / I'm not 100% sure DRS will favour the batsmen as the umpires maybe so used to giving braver decisions with DRS that they'll continue to do so without it

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | October 25, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    all those indian fans who r saying that india will win easily should look at our indian team first . our opening batsmen are terribly out of form & what 's more disgusting is that they are not accepting their mistakes . one of them says " WE STILL AVERAGES 53 ". our most experinced bastmen is gettng bwoled again & again . our captain is too defensive . EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THERE IS RIFT BETWEEN DHONI & SEHWAG . the whole team is divded into two groups with dhoni , kohli , raina , ashwin , umesh , ojha at one side & sehwag , zaheer , sachin , gambhir at the other . i think england should win or drew this series because a home series loss will definitely put pressure on indian selectors to make tough decisions .: A DISAPPOINTED INDIAN FAN .

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    will sachin leave us to look forword

  • POSTED BY ravikb on | October 25, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    Dear England, this is your best chance to win a series in India. Our selectors will select the same openers who have been woeful for the past couple of years. Your bowlers are guaranteed to get 2 wickets for nothing. Then you have Pujara and Kohli, who I think will be under extreme pressure because they are relatively new to Test Cricket. Best India can score is 300. So, start playing spinners better than you did against Pakistan in the UAE, you will be on your way to win test series in India after 28 years. Good luck. Even though I'm an Indian, I will support your team to create history this time. Our players are full of arrongance. They just don't accept the responsibility. Mainly because they know they will earn lot of money with IPL even if they don't perform for their country. Take an example of Harbhajan, he is not even trying to come back to Indian team. If it was before the existence of IPL he would have roared back to the team. Now, that's not the case.

  • POSTED BY warneneverchuck on | October 25, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    ENG can't win in BD forget india

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    India will definitely miss the DRS in this series. It played a massive role during the UAE series against Pakistan!

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | October 25, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    "Difficult", do me a favour. When will they stop beating up the 'reintegration' process, to outsiders the entire saga was a tempest in a thimble. KP can really enjoy himself here by posting phenomenal scores while the rest of the squad crumbles to a whitewash. That would certainly make a statement.

  • POSTED BY S-A-M-1994 on | October 25, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Too Easy for England.Eng Gonna whitewash India

  • POSTED BY alikhan224 on | October 25, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Its so simple guys...Eng winning the series by 2-1...winning mumbai and kanpur tests...Ind winning the kolkata test...and ahmedabad a boring high scoring draw...MARK MY WORDSSSSSSSSSSS.

  • POSTED BY Pappu_bhai on | October 25, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    So when the humiliation start?We will be onlive watching the humiliation.ha ha Waiting for it...

  • POSTED BY vinay24 on | October 25, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    Well well, all the poms are talking as usual .. Matt prior has said india is the final frontier, well mr.prior wat is the meaning of final frontier. Have england won in Southafrica, pakistan, srilanka.....? Have england been won in S.A, PAK, S.L then one can accept that india is the final frontier.

    The great aus team won everywhere and test series in india was missing in their cupboard rightly steve waugh labelled india as final frontier and later india was conquered by ricky ponting and gilchrist...

    Mr. prior stop giving fancy statements and get prepared for dustbowls.....

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | October 25, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    this england side is not up the sheffield shield standard. cook is not up to being a test captain. i cant see england taking more than maybe 1 wicket per test. this would be an ideal time for india to debut the young batsmen like rohit sharma

  • POSTED BY Rogerunionjack on | October 25, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Cook doesn't need a fortune teller to know that it will be a repeat 4-0 thrashing. India have shot themselves in the foot by rejecting DRS. Ajmal got 50% of his LBW dismissals in the UAE AFTER referring them via DRS. Cook/Trott/Bell/KP & co. are wiser now. This myth about India being invincible at home is going to be put to rest once and for all this winter.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | October 25, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    I think Indian fans will want to set their sights on a series win than a whitewash. I would be very surprised if India can up the ante on what pakistan did in the UAE & gain a perfect 4nil revenge. I think Cook is the key wicket for India to get, he will go a long way to providing a platform for the rest of the line up, & then of course there is KP, who can take a game away from India. I think India will attack early with the new ball, then sit back & be defensive waiting for England to make a mistake. Sounds simple for England to counter, but they will cop about 400 balls a day of spin, any weakness will be exploited even if India's spinners are not of the same calibre of Ajmal & Rehman. I think England have the ability to run thru the Indian bating line up at some stage during the series. I think 2-1 India, but would not be overly surprised by a drawn series by England. I think India are at their weakest point in the 21st century. Will keenly observe for Oz's tour!

  • POSTED BY freo75 on | October 25, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    Looking forward to this series, should be a good contest but I think a resurgent England should have far too much for what looks to be a fairly weak India side now that their stars are on the wane.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | October 25, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    I have to agree that the absence of DRS will make the England batsmen more confident playing spin in India. There really was far too much back foot play in UAE and the first innings in SL. It was only when they started playing more aggressively in the second innings in Columbo that they started looking a chance and it all came together in the second Test in SL. Spinners will still take wickets but, if they can play positively, the England batsmen will make more runs in the mean time. If they can perform reasonably well then hopefully that will give them more confidence to play similarly against other teams with DRS in place.

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Checkout the 3rd and 4th innings averages...

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;continent=2;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;home_or_away=3;innings_number=3;innings_number=4;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=4;qualval1=innings;spanmin1=01+Jan+2006;spanval1=span;team=1;template=results;type=batting

  • POSTED BY solankibhavesh on | October 25, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    Get ready for the revenge of india againts English team this time India must be win this seris by 4-0. So we what will cook cook against india in india and this the festival time in india so English team will enjoy great sweet while playing cricket so best of luck eng

  • POSTED BY davidatlas999 on | October 25, 2012, 2:46 GMT

    M sure india will be missing DRS.

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    This side is not weak with KP in it. They may not win every test. It will be a great achievement if they can avoid the whitewash. India was whitewashed by both the England and Australia recently.It will be a good series to watch. Watch the battle between Virat and KP?

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | October 25, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    England are really not that bad. Look at their tour of UAE. England bowling was fine. Just that Ajmal and Rehman were too good. The 2nd test in Abu Dhabi, England may have won cos they had all the time in the world to chase 145. They just went for rash shots. Also, England made the mistake of padding at spinners with DRS being there. I guess in India with no DRS, coming down the pitch and padding whilst offering a shot may mean umpires wont give LBW. In Sri Lanka, it was Mahela who made the difference in the Galle test. If England took the 2 chances MJ gave, they may have won, who knows! England won a test match in Mumbai in 2006, so we can look forward to a good test series. But umpiring errors will be high due to no DRS, sad indeed!

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    No Cook, you're not ready

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 0:09 GMT

    Dear ECB, please explain to us what KP did wrong and please justify his punishment afterward, concerned fans, cheers.

  • POSTED BY Dilectus on | October 24, 2012, 23:19 GMT

    I think this English side is not that weak. 3-0 was just because they had to face far superior spinners in UAE than they will have to face in India. India don't have that quality but they may try to compensate it with absolute square turners, where even KP will turn square :)

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | October 24, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    It is the start of an exciting time for England, now they have their house back in order. I think Cook will surprise a few who think he will be Strauss Mk2 and this view is backed up by his ODI captaincy where I find him quite adventurous at times. I hope to see fearless cricket from England and I hope they set out to enjoy the experience first and foremost and soak up the general ambience of this briliant and colourful land. I believe they should start with a two spinner attack and alter later if necessary. Compton should be given first go at opening and Bairstow start a 6- I hate dropping someone who has had success in his last test,as it is totally illogical to the player's mind. I suspect they will start with Anderson and Broad as seamers, and either Bell or Prior could deputise for Cook if need be.It should a great series.

  • POSTED BY DomP on | October 24, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    Still unconvinced that KP did anything wrong.

  • POSTED BY Patchmaster on | October 24, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Surely Broad won't be Cooks assistant ? Broad captained the T20 terribly, and had terrible results, plus he was heavily involved with the Kp thing, and his form of recent times means he's not a definite pick in the side. Surely it has to be Prior or Bell ?

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 24, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    perhaps d biggest advantage in favour of england is d absence of udrs...i can remember so many dismisals of bell prior and morgan in which they were playing full length deliveries on back foot in fear of getting out lbw...now they would have no fear of udrs....i think time has come for bcci to regret for what it has done with d.r.s

  • POSTED BY Dr.wolfenstein on | October 24, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    Happy to see Kevin Pietersen back in my team. He seems to be the only player who can completely dominate the Indian attack. Cant wait to see him in action

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Dr.wolfenstein on | October 24, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    Happy to see Kevin Pietersen back in my team. He seems to be the only player who can completely dominate the Indian attack. Cant wait to see him in action

  • POSTED BY muneeb2012 on | October 24, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    perhaps d biggest advantage in favour of england is d absence of udrs...i can remember so many dismisals of bell prior and morgan in which they were playing full length deliveries on back foot in fear of getting out lbw...now they would have no fear of udrs....i think time has come for bcci to regret for what it has done with d.r.s

  • POSTED BY Patchmaster on | October 24, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Surely Broad won't be Cooks assistant ? Broad captained the T20 terribly, and had terrible results, plus he was heavily involved with the Kp thing, and his form of recent times means he's not a definite pick in the side. Surely it has to be Prior or Bell ?

  • POSTED BY DomP on | October 24, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    Still unconvinced that KP did anything wrong.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | October 24, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    It is the start of an exciting time for England, now they have their house back in order. I think Cook will surprise a few who think he will be Strauss Mk2 and this view is backed up by his ODI captaincy where I find him quite adventurous at times. I hope to see fearless cricket from England and I hope they set out to enjoy the experience first and foremost and soak up the general ambience of this briliant and colourful land. I believe they should start with a two spinner attack and alter later if necessary. Compton should be given first go at opening and Bairstow start a 6- I hate dropping someone who has had success in his last test,as it is totally illogical to the player's mind. I suspect they will start with Anderson and Broad as seamers, and either Bell or Prior could deputise for Cook if need be.It should a great series.

  • POSTED BY Dilectus on | October 24, 2012, 23:19 GMT

    I think this English side is not that weak. 3-0 was just because they had to face far superior spinners in UAE than they will have to face in India. India don't have that quality but they may try to compensate it with absolute square turners, where even KP will turn square :)

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 0:09 GMT

    Dear ECB, please explain to us what KP did wrong and please justify his punishment afterward, concerned fans, cheers.

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    No Cook, you're not ready

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | October 25, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    England are really not that bad. Look at their tour of UAE. England bowling was fine. Just that Ajmal and Rehman were too good. The 2nd test in Abu Dhabi, England may have won cos they had all the time in the world to chase 145. They just went for rash shots. Also, England made the mistake of padding at spinners with DRS being there. I guess in India with no DRS, coming down the pitch and padding whilst offering a shot may mean umpires wont give LBW. In Sri Lanka, it was Mahela who made the difference in the Galle test. If England took the 2 chances MJ gave, they may have won, who knows! England won a test match in Mumbai in 2006, so we can look forward to a good test series. But umpiring errors will be high due to no DRS, sad indeed!

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    This side is not weak with KP in it. They may not win every test. It will be a great achievement if they can avoid the whitewash. India was whitewashed by both the England and Australia recently.It will be a good series to watch. Watch the battle between Virat and KP?