England in India 2012-13 November 13, 2012

England spirit never better - Prior

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They may not have enjoyed the preparation they hoped for against spin bowling and they may be without their only genuine fast bowler, but England go into the first Test of the series against India confident, composed and, most of all, united. It might have seemed barely possible a few weeks ago but, at this stage, Kevin Pietersen appears to have returned to the squad seamlessly.

It is true that the real test of England's team spirit is yet to come. That will come on hot afternoons when things do not go their way; when disappointment or frustration tests patience to the limit.

But, going into the first Test in Ahmedabad on Thursday, England can feel satisfied with the progress they have made. As recently as September, the divisions within the squad appeared so deep that some predicted that Pietersen would never appear in international cricket again. And, whatever the rights and wrongs of the Pietersen affair - and most reasonable observers would accept that there was fault on both sides - the fact is that England are a stronger side for his inclusion.

Indeed, such has been the success of Pietersen's "reintegration" that Matt Prior, the England wicketkeeper, has said that the spirit within the squad has never been better. While Prior and his colleagues know that the next few weeks offer one of the sternest challenges to any cricketer, they at least go into their series feeling confident in their preparation and their unity.

"We go into this Test match feeling fully prepared that we've covered every base," Prior said. "We've had a very good and long preparation phase this time around. We have been able to hit a lot of balls and play a lot of cricket on these types of wickets. We have given ourselves the best chance. We have prepared as well as we can. It's now down to performing on the pitch.

"There are certain things that we do now in our net sessions and in our training and our thought processes that are very different to other England teams I've toured with. If you keep doing what you always did, you keep getting what you've always got. I think the records speak for themselves: how long it's been since England last won out here.

"So to come out here and win in that environment would be even better. All these little challenges lead to something that, if we could pull it off, would be a fantastic honour to be part of."

It may be tempting to dismiss Prior's words as pre-series spin but they have a ring of truth. It has been noticeable that Pietersen has been more involved in on-field laughter and, off the pitch, that he has been working with other batsmen in the nets. His local knowledge and contacts have been utilised, too, by a squad of whom 10 have never toured India before. It is not a different Pietersen - a chastened, cowering Pietersen - but the same confident man as before; just one who now fully understands his role within the squad.

"Winning the Ashes in Australia was a tough challenge but it felt even better at the end of it because it was tough. If it was easy it's not as much fun if you come out on top."
Matt Prior on England's task in India

"We wouldn't want KP to change too much because it is how he is that makes him special as a player," Prior said. "If Kev suddenly came as this shy, introverted character I would be more worried. I want him to go out and express himself. I'm glad he's come back the same KP as he was. The important thing is this group all pulling together in the right direction and Kev, the character that he is, pulling with us makes us a far stronger team and that is happening right now.

"Kevin is in our team and in our squad. It is as good as it has been since I've been in this England side."

Prior is one of the few to emerge from the Pietersen debacle with his reputation enhanced. It was Prior who attempted to break the deadlock by phoning Pietersen and initiating a frank but constructive conversation and, over recent months, he has grown into the role of a key leadership figure in the England set-up.

"I like that role," Prior said. "I genuinely believe that it's the team in big situations that win you games and get you out of holes. It's about 11 blokes pulling in the same direction rather than one or two or three individuals. Obviously individual performances always help. But it's the group that is stronger than anything. That is why I feel so strongly about the team pulling together."

The loss of Steven Finn is substantial. He is developing into a hostile and skilful fast bowler and, in practise on Sunday, bowled with such pace that Richard Halsall, the England assistant coach who was keeping wicket, described the experience as "genuinely quite scary". But, reasoning that it would be unwise to go into a Test with two bowlers under something of an injury cloud, England have decided to go with Stuart Broad.

"It's a setback," Prior said. "I'm sure the coach and captain would want to choose from every player who's out here but we have lot of strength in depth in the squad. It's one thing that's made our squad so strong over the last couple of years."

The key to the series may well prove to be how England deal with the Indian spinners. And, perhaps, how they deal with the scars of the series against Pakistan in the UAE when all their

"That series is always in the back of your mind," Prior admitted. "But, as an international sportsman, you have to be pretty thick skinned and able to move on. I hope we learn from our experiences and mistakes and take them forward into these Test matches.

"I think it's going to be tough. But out of those tough challenges come your great rewards. Winning the Ashes in Australia was a tough challenge but it felt even better at the end of it because it was tough. If it was easy it's not as much fun if you come out on top."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY geminianrahul on | November 15, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 14 2012, 14:24 PM GMT) : "Pretending to be England fans" .. LOL... No sensible person supports a sportsman and their team (Trott) who play against the spirit of the game... Gimme a break , will u? Get ready to eat ur words..not far away...just 4 tests...

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | November 15, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge Anderson proved in subcontinent? Sorry can you enlighten me when he has proved. I dont recall any?

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | November 14, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    @clarke501 - Its true that some Indians hate Nasser but Nasser likes India and Indians a lot (heard in an interview)... KP loves SA but South African fans boo KP when he goes to play there. Know why?

  • POSTED BY screamingeagle on | November 14, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Well, team unity will be really tested if they fail to perform. That is when the fun starts.

  • POSTED BY gnanzcupid on | November 14, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    amazing to see certain english fans act as if their team is no-1 team in the world even after knowing they know to play only on green tops

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | November 14, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    England the proven superior team, but how will they handle the rank turners that the Indian groundsmen are certain to produce? Zaheer Vs Anderson?: Anderson is the better bowler by a country mile and has proved himself in these conditions, famously turning his career around in Sub-Continent conditions a long time ago. His variations and accuracy are well known to all experienced cricket-watchers. If England win or draw the first test, India will self-implode, with issues regarding Dhoni's captaincy, a proven failure since last year's English whitewash, and Tendulkar's retirement. Most Indian fans on here are, I'm afraid to say, so incredibly bitter about England's famous whitewash off them last series, some even going to lengths as pretending to be English fans and leaving nefarious comments - so funny! Most of don't have the time (work, family) to engage in such comedy, but do keep up the good work guys and prepare for 2-0 to England!

  • POSTED BY Long-Leg on | November 14, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    @CricketFanIndUS: Thank you for your extended reply. I am with you in thinking that test cricket is the highest and best form of the game. I couldn't believe that test matches were not arranged when England toured India a year ago and I have been really looking forward to this series ever since. Let us hope for full stadia and a great contest. @alwaysindia: We will have to agree to differ on on the question of which cricket has the greatest prestige. I am old enough to regard the WC as a comparatively recent innovation which has yet to prove itself. I am also a traditionalist who would say that any major test series is more important. ;-)

  • POSTED BY csr11 on | November 14, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    Matt Prior is probably the best test wicket keeper in the world today, he also seems to be a level-headed character.. I am with some of the English fans who wonder why he is not vc instead of broad

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 14, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @Nampally on (November 13 2012, 20:07 PM GMT) RE "It is amazing that there was a split in the England team at all & least of all between Strauss & KP - both born in S.Africa!" - Amazing post here. A - Because you're bringing the SA connection about , B - Because you are intimating that because these guys were both born in SA (and I doubt Srauss could even spell cricket let alone play it when he left SA) and therefore there is a lesser chance that they would fall out because they were both born in SA and the reasons why KP fell out with those he fell out with was because they were born in England? Honestly the mind boggles. PS read your follow up. Sorry experiences were bad for you but there are plenty of happy immigrants and no one forces anyone to stay.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | November 14, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    @CricketFanIndUS on (November 14 2012, 04:34 AM GMT), I think that one thing that we, the rest of the world, forget is how many people there are in India. There could be many more people in India who do prefer T20 to Test cricket than there are in all of Australia or even England and Australia combined and that would still be a minority of Indian cricket fans. That said, I think that it's more about the apparent attitude of the BCCI than Indian cricket fans. There's really been no sign lately that the BCCI considers Test cricket to be even as important, never mind more important, than the shorter formats.

  • POSTED BY geminianrahul on | November 15, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 14 2012, 14:24 PM GMT) : "Pretending to be England fans" .. LOL... No sensible person supports a sportsman and their team (Trott) who play against the spirit of the game... Gimme a break , will u? Get ready to eat ur words..not far away...just 4 tests...

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | November 15, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge Anderson proved in subcontinent? Sorry can you enlighten me when he has proved. I dont recall any?

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | November 14, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    @clarke501 - Its true that some Indians hate Nasser but Nasser likes India and Indians a lot (heard in an interview)... KP loves SA but South African fans boo KP when he goes to play there. Know why?

  • POSTED BY screamingeagle on | November 14, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Well, team unity will be really tested if they fail to perform. That is when the fun starts.

  • POSTED BY gnanzcupid on | November 14, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    amazing to see certain english fans act as if their team is no-1 team in the world even after knowing they know to play only on green tops

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | November 14, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    England the proven superior team, but how will they handle the rank turners that the Indian groundsmen are certain to produce? Zaheer Vs Anderson?: Anderson is the better bowler by a country mile and has proved himself in these conditions, famously turning his career around in Sub-Continent conditions a long time ago. His variations and accuracy are well known to all experienced cricket-watchers. If England win or draw the first test, India will self-implode, with issues regarding Dhoni's captaincy, a proven failure since last year's English whitewash, and Tendulkar's retirement. Most Indian fans on here are, I'm afraid to say, so incredibly bitter about England's famous whitewash off them last series, some even going to lengths as pretending to be English fans and leaving nefarious comments - so funny! Most of don't have the time (work, family) to engage in such comedy, but do keep up the good work guys and prepare for 2-0 to England!

  • POSTED BY Long-Leg on | November 14, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    @CricketFanIndUS: Thank you for your extended reply. I am with you in thinking that test cricket is the highest and best form of the game. I couldn't believe that test matches were not arranged when England toured India a year ago and I have been really looking forward to this series ever since. Let us hope for full stadia and a great contest. @alwaysindia: We will have to agree to differ on on the question of which cricket has the greatest prestige. I am old enough to regard the WC as a comparatively recent innovation which has yet to prove itself. I am also a traditionalist who would say that any major test series is more important. ;-)

  • POSTED BY csr11 on | November 14, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    Matt Prior is probably the best test wicket keeper in the world today, he also seems to be a level-headed character.. I am with some of the English fans who wonder why he is not vc instead of broad

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 14, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @Nampally on (November 13 2012, 20:07 PM GMT) RE "It is amazing that there was a split in the England team at all & least of all between Strauss & KP - both born in S.Africa!" - Amazing post here. A - Because you're bringing the SA connection about , B - Because you are intimating that because these guys were both born in SA (and I doubt Srauss could even spell cricket let alone play it when he left SA) and therefore there is a lesser chance that they would fall out because they were both born in SA and the reasons why KP fell out with those he fell out with was because they were born in England? Honestly the mind boggles. PS read your follow up. Sorry experiences were bad for you but there are plenty of happy immigrants and no one forces anyone to stay.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | November 14, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    @CricketFanIndUS on (November 14 2012, 04:34 AM GMT), I think that one thing that we, the rest of the world, forget is how many people there are in India. There could be many more people in India who do prefer T20 to Test cricket than there are in all of Australia or even England and Australia combined and that would still be a minority of Indian cricket fans. That said, I think that it's more about the apparent attitude of the BCCI than Indian cricket fans. There's really been no sign lately that the BCCI considers Test cricket to be even as important, never mind more important, than the shorter formats.

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | November 14, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @Nampally - Since Strauss is not an 'immigrant in another country', your original comment remains meaningless. Some Indians have indeed taken against Nasser Hussain. You only have to read these columns and listen to Mr Shastri. Love the fact that you feign ignorance. The fact that you and many others have not is praiseworthy but at the same time indicates the absurdity of stereotyping people on the grounds of nationality.

  • POSTED BY alwaysindia on | November 14, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    @ gerrard lk you are a very bad gamer. do you get all out for 80 while playing a video game or have you one only 1 odi out of 16

  • POSTED BY alwaysindia on | November 14, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @ Long-Leg wc is important because it is the most prestigious tournament in cricket. eng haven't one any . (please correct me if I am wrong

  • POSTED BY alwaysindia on | November 14, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    well miss prior , does united means getting all out for 80.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | November 14, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    Eng's batters are in good nick & the batting looks soild, the only worry is the injury hit bowling attack for them........ if Eng get a huge 1st inning score then they can certainly apply some pressure on Ind !!!!

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | November 14, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Hopefully,India will receive the turning pitches they ask for.England will really not enjoy those pitches.England prefer pitches that Hashim Amla can score a triple hundred on.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | November 14, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    Go Eng !! though i am an Aussie fan ( if not an Aussie ) , I would love to see you thrashing the indians ( though less likely ) . Please do it !!!

  • POSTED BY CricketFanIndUS on | November 14, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    -continued- It is very easy for the working class to take a half day off to see a T20I live. My guess is most cricket fans in the country watch highlights or parts of a test match on TV. The percentage of fans watching test cricket on TV to the population in India is very good, given the relative dominance of cricket. Coming to the team in 2011 in the England series, there had been too much cricket and India plays essentially the same team in all 3 formats and that resulted in a very flat team. Also as England played very well and with some key injuries, it became very difficult.

  • POSTED BY CricketFanIndUS on | November 14, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    @Long-Leg, I am a big fan of test cricket, more than I am of ODI and T20I. It is the most important format for me and a true and comprehensive test of a team's cricketing skills. I know a lot of my Indian friends feel similar to what I do. I feel the myth that India does not care for test cricket is created by the media, especially foreign media. The ICC world cup is a different matter as it involves all the test status nations and crowns a world champion once every four years and is considered the most important of all tournaments/series. For me, the next in importance is a test series with England or Australia and then the rest of the countries. IPL is a lot of fun as we get a lot of the premier players in the world playing with the established and upcoming Indian stars. I am not sure why the crowds are dwindling in the stadiums for test cricket. For a lot of people 5 days at the stadium is a lot of commitment, especially for the middle-class and given the hot weather. - continued -

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | November 14, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    waiting to see how the new indian boys will do against a pretty decent bowling line up... also, i feel zaheer and umesh will do better than expected!!!! hoping for a good series....

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | November 14, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    I've said from the get go that it will be an achievement for England to win this series. I think that they have the talent to do it and I'm not sure that India are at their strongest at the moment, but it's never easy to beat India in India. If England come away from this tour with a drawn series and having played relatively well then I'll be happy. Certainly there are some mental hurdles to overcome but, if lessons have been learned and decisions made based on the UAE Test series and the whole Pietersen affair, it may all end up having been for the best in the long run. The main things that I'm hoping to see from England are a cohesive team unit, improved catching and a more positive approach to playing spin. I fully expect a large number of wickets to fall to spin but I want to see runs scored off spinners with good footwork too. I'm also hopeful of seeing Broad and Bresnan come back to their best after fully recovering from their past injuries.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 14, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    I'm an aussie, so naturally I'm absolutely loving all of this. Keep it rolling fella's, it's great fun. .. as a cricket fan though, I'm glad it seems to be resolved. KP is the kind of player that brings spectators to the ground and a chill to the opposition. I love watching him bat, even when he's murdering our blokes. He's an excitement machine and to lose him from the game over a silly side issue would have been a tragedy.... The series between Ind & Eng. is a very interesting one to follow as a neutral. India are taking their first few steps along the "post greats" road and it will be fascinating to see how the new guys go. They have a lot to live up to and that could create its own pressure on top of anything the England bowlers can apply. I hope Yadav has a good series. I like him as a bowler. He's quite quick, a bit "in your face" and can move the ball around a bit. He also seems to have a big heart, so there's a lot to like about him. .. I think India will win, but only just.

  • POSTED BY bluefunk on | November 14, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    prior is the right stuff, as is cook, who's all class. it might just be a coincidence that most of the english players with positive, goal-driven professional attitudes (prior, strauss, trott) happen to have RSA roots, or it might be another pointer to the excellent and ethos shaping south african school cricket system. it's evident that anderson, swann, et al. are just projecting their insecurities, and have found a leader of sorts in broad, who hasn't quite grown out of his schoolyard bully pretensions.

  • POSTED BY ARad on | November 14, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    The most played song on the mp3 players of English journalists this season: "Smells like (no) team spirit".

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 14, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    @clarke501: If you were an immigrant in a different country, you will not ask me that question. I am talking from experience. You must have heard of a proverb "Birds of the same feather flock together". That is very true in life especially when one emigrates & finds people from his own culture. Does Nasir Hussain still have his Indian culture in him being of mixed parentage? Also I didn't know of Indians disliking him either - its your version. I am a great fan of Nasir Hussain & admire him greatly for being the first Indian born to lead England in Tests.

  • POSTED BY ghost_of_len_hutton on | November 13, 2012, 23:57 GMT

    On paper, the sides are not evenly matched. India's batting is highly fallible, as they've shown in their away series against Australia and England over the last eighteen months. Surely then, without Dravid and Laxman, they'll be even poorer. And on paper their bowling is threadbare - Zaheer is the only proven test bowler in the lineup, and he's chronically injury prone. I admire Ashwin as a wholehearted cricketer, but a bunch of wickets against New Zealand and the West Indies doesn't prove much. He was unimpressive in Australia. Having said that, cricket is played largely in the mind, and England bear deep scars from their recent trips to the sub-continent. The home advantage for India is also huge. This will be a fascinating series.

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    Like previous England sides, this England side is already whingeing and whining about everything under the sun.

    This knocks the fun out from watching the England versus India cricket matches.

    The crowds will stay away from the matches.

    Play the game England !.

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | November 13, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    @Nampally - the only amazing thing is that you believe that Strauss, who left SA at the age of 6, should automatically have some affinity with every South African solely because he happened to have been born there. Nasser Hussain was born in Chennai - how come some Indians dislike him?

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | November 13, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    For all those expecting a very one-sided series, it is worth remembering that, despite India's home advantage, of the last 6 India v England series (i.e. in India), only one (1992-93) has been decided by more than a single Test margin (here I don't include the one-off Test in 1980). In fact, apart from 1993/93, in none of those six series has India won more than a single Test. The lesson? Whichever side first wins a match is likely to win the series, although England came back from 1-0 down in 1984/85 and 2005/06. Rahul Dravid is predicting 3-1, which would be a remarkable result given the large proportion of draws since 1980.

  • POSTED BY pritpalpabla on | November 13, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    I want to see Pujara and Kohli getting some big runs from this series as both are India's valuable assets for test team.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | November 13, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    The word 'UNITED' has become a nasty cliché on the part of England. They are over using it. It's hilarious how the ECB allowed the whole KP affair to stretch on and on and on. Now they talk about being 'united' and 'composed'; give me a break. England got themselves into this position. Coming to the matters of this series, I think England will have major problems. They will struggle against spin bowling, no doubt. Having said that, what they will also look to do is to put pressure on the young Indian middle order. If India score consistently over 400, England are doomed. On the other hand, keeping India to modest scores and piling on big scores themselves should set England on the way to good results. It's a 4 test series but let me tell you, the team that wins the first test could dictate the terms here.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 13, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    It is amazing that there was a split in the England team at all & least of all between Strauss & KP - both born in S.Africa!.In fact this England squad has at least 5 players born in S.Africa - KP, Prior, Trott, Compton & Meaker. This alone makes it that much easier to have lot of support for KP. The guys who appeared to be at odds with KP were rumoured in the media to be Broad, Swann & Strauss. Cook did a great job in getting the team unity by being so conciliatory. Without KP, this team's batting was very vulnerable. KP brings lot of credibility to the batting line up which must be brimming with confidence. The problem will not be the team unity but possible repercussions if KP fails.India is also in a similar position with unknown form of Senior players. There is lot resting on the shoulders of Ashwin, Ojha & Yadev in bowling and on Kohli, Pujara & Yuvraj in batting. Indian performance will be dictated by these 6 players unless by surprise SRT, GG& Sehwag bat well & ZAK bowls well!.

  • POSTED BY sonicattack on | November 13, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    Sensible stuff from Matt Prior, I think that he has really matured over the last couple of years - from what I have read - and I'm sure that he sits well in the 'Senior Pro' role. Just don't ask his advice on DRS!! (luckily won't happen in this series). very much looking forward to the cricket starting....

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | November 13, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    Matt Prior brings something more than his much-improved keeping & positive batting to the England cause; he brings common-sense (and as everyone almost always comments: that ain't so common) & an ability to empathise (that's not as common as it should be either). Thus, from what we can read here, he has been pivotal in the informal counselling & reassurance offered & accepted that has brought KP back into the fold. In a team in which there are some sizeable egos, MP doesn't display one, beyond a quiet pride in his own performances when he has measured up to his own high expectations. I give you what every team needs plenty of: a team man, par excellence! Honorary HR manager: Mr Matt Prior. Bravo, Matt! (Small voice off: why isn't he vice captain?)

  • POSTED BY GerrardLK on | November 13, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    Just relax guys. Playing against India is like a playing a video game. You can just hit at them when ever you want.

  • POSTED BY gnanzcupid on | November 13, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Dont even imagine that u can defeat INDIA at home.Try your best to draw every match if u can.

  • POSTED BY Long-Leg on | November 13, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    At last some real cricket to look forward to. I think England will fight hard and I will be extremely disappointed if India rip through England's batting. I would be interested to hear from some Indian supporters. How much do you care about this series and will the test venues be full? This is a genuine question because (how can I put this politely) I got the impression 15 months ago in England that neither the Indian players nor fans cared much that India were losing. The players in particular (with only one or two exceptions) gave the impression that the world cup was the highlight of their season and that the tour to England was nothing more than a distraction. So I wonder how important this test series is to India?

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | November 13, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    KP is like Lara a sheer match winner. The only match winner in Indian team is Sehwag & Kohli. Sachin tries to win but he also favours a draw.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | November 13, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    I read this article and I just think we have gone through one of the most tedious episodes in English cricket over a storm in a teacup to satisfy who...? Who did it even remotely benefit? The players? Not a chance. it need never have happened and various players are now popping up and saying they never wanted KP to change and regarded the swagger as part of his game. Possibly some bowlers with anger issues- and they're not even saying they wanted KP to change. Flower? well probably as he seems to like exercising authority for the sake of it and showing who's boss. I am beginning to agree with Warne in thinking that coaches are for driving. In any case Flower has far to much power. The ECB? Yes definitely but what do they know about very much anyway except being totally out of touch and enjoying counting money. The press? Yes.Loads of stories.The fans? Not on your nelly for the normal with red blood in their veins though a few vociferous mavericks seemed to want to prove a silly point

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | November 13, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    We don't know do we whether the amity will last? KP became unhappy because he wanted a full season in the IPL - that is still ahead next year. He didn't want to play ODIs anymore - ditto. Test cricket in India must be very appealing to him. Less so Test cricket in New Zealand. I would be delighted if KP devoted himself to England. But we are missing Strauss prematurely and that is one of the consequences of the awful summer. Presumably if you are reasonable by Dobell's standards then you can think Strauss was somehow to blame for KP's texts. Bell, Cook, Trott and Prior weren't involved in the dressing room stand off anyway but all will miss Strauss's sensible advice. It was a big deal. Move on yes, but don't belittle it.

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  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | November 13, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    We don't know do we whether the amity will last? KP became unhappy because he wanted a full season in the IPL - that is still ahead next year. He didn't want to play ODIs anymore - ditto. Test cricket in India must be very appealing to him. Less so Test cricket in New Zealand. I would be delighted if KP devoted himself to England. But we are missing Strauss prematurely and that is one of the consequences of the awful summer. Presumably if you are reasonable by Dobell's standards then you can think Strauss was somehow to blame for KP's texts. Bell, Cook, Trott and Prior weren't involved in the dressing room stand off anyway but all will miss Strauss's sensible advice. It was a big deal. Move on yes, but don't belittle it.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | November 13, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    I read this article and I just think we have gone through one of the most tedious episodes in English cricket over a storm in a teacup to satisfy who...? Who did it even remotely benefit? The players? Not a chance. it need never have happened and various players are now popping up and saying they never wanted KP to change and regarded the swagger as part of his game. Possibly some bowlers with anger issues- and they're not even saying they wanted KP to change. Flower? well probably as he seems to like exercising authority for the sake of it and showing who's boss. I am beginning to agree with Warne in thinking that coaches are for driving. In any case Flower has far to much power. The ECB? Yes definitely but what do they know about very much anyway except being totally out of touch and enjoying counting money. The press? Yes.Loads of stories.The fans? Not on your nelly for the normal with red blood in their veins though a few vociferous mavericks seemed to want to prove a silly point

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | November 13, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    KP is like Lara a sheer match winner. The only match winner in Indian team is Sehwag & Kohli. Sachin tries to win but he also favours a draw.

  • POSTED BY Long-Leg on | November 13, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    At last some real cricket to look forward to. I think England will fight hard and I will be extremely disappointed if India rip through England's batting. I would be interested to hear from some Indian supporters. How much do you care about this series and will the test venues be full? This is a genuine question because (how can I put this politely) I got the impression 15 months ago in England that neither the Indian players nor fans cared much that India were losing. The players in particular (with only one or two exceptions) gave the impression that the world cup was the highlight of their season and that the tour to England was nothing more than a distraction. So I wonder how important this test series is to India?

  • POSTED BY gnanzcupid on | November 13, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Dont even imagine that u can defeat INDIA at home.Try your best to draw every match if u can.

  • POSTED BY GerrardLK on | November 13, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    Just relax guys. Playing against India is like a playing a video game. You can just hit at them when ever you want.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | November 13, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    Matt Prior brings something more than his much-improved keeping & positive batting to the England cause; he brings common-sense (and as everyone almost always comments: that ain't so common) & an ability to empathise (that's not as common as it should be either). Thus, from what we can read here, he has been pivotal in the informal counselling & reassurance offered & accepted that has brought KP back into the fold. In a team in which there are some sizeable egos, MP doesn't display one, beyond a quiet pride in his own performances when he has measured up to his own high expectations. I give you what every team needs plenty of: a team man, par excellence! Honorary HR manager: Mr Matt Prior. Bravo, Matt! (Small voice off: why isn't he vice captain?)

  • POSTED BY sonicattack on | November 13, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    Sensible stuff from Matt Prior, I think that he has really matured over the last couple of years - from what I have read - and I'm sure that he sits well in the 'Senior Pro' role. Just don't ask his advice on DRS!! (luckily won't happen in this series). very much looking forward to the cricket starting....

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | November 13, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    It is amazing that there was a split in the England team at all & least of all between Strauss & KP - both born in S.Africa!.In fact this England squad has at least 5 players born in S.Africa - KP, Prior, Trott, Compton & Meaker. This alone makes it that much easier to have lot of support for KP. The guys who appeared to be at odds with KP were rumoured in the media to be Broad, Swann & Strauss. Cook did a great job in getting the team unity by being so conciliatory. Without KP, this team's batting was very vulnerable. KP brings lot of credibility to the batting line up which must be brimming with confidence. The problem will not be the team unity but possible repercussions if KP fails.India is also in a similar position with unknown form of Senior players. There is lot resting on the shoulders of Ashwin, Ojha & Yadev in bowling and on Kohli, Pujara & Yuvraj in batting. Indian performance will be dictated by these 6 players unless by surprise SRT, GG& Sehwag bat well & ZAK bowls well!.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | November 13, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    The word 'UNITED' has become a nasty cliché on the part of England. They are over using it. It's hilarious how the ECB allowed the whole KP affair to stretch on and on and on. Now they talk about being 'united' and 'composed'; give me a break. England got themselves into this position. Coming to the matters of this series, I think England will have major problems. They will struggle against spin bowling, no doubt. Having said that, what they will also look to do is to put pressure on the young Indian middle order. If India score consistently over 400, England are doomed. On the other hand, keeping India to modest scores and piling on big scores themselves should set England on the way to good results. It's a 4 test series but let me tell you, the team that wins the first test could dictate the terms here.