England in India 2012-13

Flower admits selection errors

George Dobell

November 20, 2012

Comments: 76 | Text size: A | A

Stuart Broad got through ten overs but suffered a heel problem, Mumbai A v England XI, 2nd day, Mumbai, November 4, 2012
Andy Flower said Stuart Broad and England's seamers were out-bowled by their Indian counterparts in the first Test © Getty Images
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Andy Flower has admitted that England made a mistake in not selecting Monty Panesar for the first Test of the series against India at Ahmedabad. England lost the Test by nine wickets after conceding a first innings deficit of 330 with Flower, the England team director, also conceding that he misread the pitch.

But Flower declined to confirm that England would alter the balance of their attack for the second Test, which begins in Mumbai on Friday. While he conceded that England's seamers had been out-performed by their Indian counterparts in Ahmedabad, he said the England team management will inspect the pitch before any selection decision is made. As things stand, Flower expects Mumbai to offer more assistance to the seamers and would only confirm that England would bring in a batsman to replace Ian Bell, who is absent on paternity leave.

"With hindsight yes, it was a mistake not to play Panesar in Ahmedabad," Flower said. "I didn't expect that pitch to turn as early as it did. In fact, once we saw it turning early in the game I thought it might deteriorate more and I was surprised on day four and five how well it played. I certainly misjudged that pitch.

"There might be a little more bounce in Mumbai which will help our seamers. Of course we have to bring in a batsman, but on any other changes I'd like to see the pitch first. Then I'll try to make a better judgment than the last one. If it looks as though it will turn a lot, we will contemplate two spinners.

"I don't think our seamers bowled as well as they could have and the skill with reverse swing and finding the right length to hit the pads is a particular skill. I think India did that better than we did. Their seamers out-bowled our seamers, but I also think we gave them a couple of soft dismissals."

England's attempts to square the series in Mumbai have been dealt a severe blow with the news that Steven Finn will not be fit to play in the second Test. Indeed, Finn undergoes a scan on Tuesday that will define whether he had any further part to play on the tour. Stuart Meaker, who was called into the squad when Finn was injured in the first warm-up game, will remain with them rather than joining the England Performance Programme squad.

 
 
"This will not go down as one of his memorable Tests but he's got three more to contribute to winning games for England." Andy Flower sanguine about Kevin Pietersen's form
 

"Finn unfortunately hurt that same area of his thigh and he's having a scan," Flower said. "We don't think there's any structural damage, we need to check. If there is not he will go and join our performance programme. He'll rehab with them and they've got a three-day game starting on the 27th which is the last day of this Test. Hopefully we can get him in that and test him out and if he comes through well he'll be available for the third Test."

Flower conceded there was an air of predictability about England's troubles in India but, despite the side now having lost five out of six Tests in Asian conditions this year, said "he would like to think" there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the team or the team set-up. Instead he felt that the batsmen, in particular, were guilty of simple errors. He did not condemn India's decision to deny them quality spin bowling in the warm-up matches, though he did jokingly suggest that England would be unlikely to respond by providing only spin bowlers for India in their warm-up games on their next tour of England.

"We have to overturn what seems predictable the moment," he said. "There are some very basic things that we haven't done well enough and I hope I'm not making personal excuses here. I don't think it's anything to do with the environment, or team dynamics, or the way we train. I think that we have failed in a number of first innings and if you do that in the subcontinent you pay the price. That's the area where we have failed and I don't think we should over-complicate it. I hope there is no real reason why it should keep happening in the first innings.

"If we'd batted in the first innings like we batted in the second it might have been a different story. Those three wickets hurt us at the end of day two, obviously, and the ball turned quite sharply and quite quickly in that first innings. And there were a few soft dismissals which cost us."

Flower was keen to defend Kevin Pietersen, who, in his first Test since his recall, scored 19 runs in two innings and was twice dismissed by the left-arm spin of Pragyan Ojha, but Flower stressed the excellence of his long-term record.

"Look, Kevin's a very fine cricketer and he has 21 Test centuries," Flower said. "This will not go down as one of his memorable Tests, of course, but he's got three more Tests to contribute to winning games for England.

"In this last Test the left-arm spinner got him out twice and he obviously struggled against him. But, only a few Tests ago against Sri Lanka, he scored a magnificent 150 and they had a reasonable left-arm spinner playing in subcontinent conditions. The method he used there was a very successful one. I'm not just talking about his very attacking method but his defensive one too. He's a very experienced cricketer and I trust he'll bring that experience to bear in the next Test match."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 22, 2012, 22:00 GMT)

@landl47 on (November 21 2012, 12:59 PM GMT) Indeed - very poor from our middle order but having a 500+ score in front of you also creates scoreboard pressure and we're never going to win much if the other side scores 500 1st off

@Rogerunionjack on (November 21 2012, 08:07 AM GMT) Always a fan of 5 bowlers but we're possibly in the situation where we need 5 bowlers to stand much chance of bowling India out twice in enough time to win the game but I sometimes get the impression these days that we'd (Flower/team selectors) would rather the series 1 or 2-0 than risk a hammering in trying to level/win the series. On hindsight it may have been nice to have seen another spinner in the squad and have a 5 man attack with 3 spinners in it.

Posted by jango_moh on (November 21, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

@ Jose Puliampatta.... u make good points esp about the WK thing, the rest i slightly disagree...

1. while cook and prior showed great courage, so did IND bowlers to get wickets on a slow low, do nothing pitch.... so ind were in a situation where previously this would prob hve been a draw, so i think they showed immense mettle too...

2. time for dhoni to get out of tests, i agree

3. ENG not giving excuses?, you need to try to understand how the excuse is given, its not outright like in india, its just much more subtle....

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (November 21, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

@stormy16 I agree with you and see through Andy Flower's hogwash about misreading the pitch. Panesar should have played in the first Test and must play in the second. He is a fine spin bowler, and all this talk of how England are balanced only when Number 11 can also score runs is just clouding the issue. Many of the greatest bowlers in the world were poor batsmen, some poorer than Panesar. Just think of Courtney Walsh, Lance Gibbs and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 21, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

Well, the Mumbai pitch is one that was used recently and is worn. It must raise the prospect of England playing Monty, Swann and Samit. So, if England pick only 2 seamers, who are they going to be???

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 21, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke, totally agree. Broad was clearly not match fit. His decline has been alarming, particularly on the batting side: 2009, 47 wickets @ 28.4, 431 runs @ 25.4; 2010, 26 wicket @ 37.7, 292 runs @ 24.3 (incl. 169 v Pak); 33 wickets @ 22.3, 239 runs @ 39.8; 2012, 40 wickets @ 30.2, 271 runs @ 18.1. On the bowling side he has varied between mediocre and very good. This year has tended too much to mediocre, sulking when things go against him. At his best he is quick, gets bounce and is uncomplicated. He needs to run in hard at the Indian batsmen and push the ball through on a good length, using the bouncer as an occasional variation.

Posted by landl47 on (November 21, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

When nos. 3-6 make 68 runs between them in 8 completed knocks, you're going to lose almost every test you play. Cook and Prior were the top scorers in both innings and their excellent stand in the second innings masked the inadequacy of the other batsmen. I only saw the second innings, but England were caught far too often simply misreading ordinary balls. I'm not sure why Flower is giving KP a pass- that second innings dismissal was appalling.

Posted by applethief on (November 21, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Oddly similar to the Pakistan series in the UAE where they played one spinner in first test and included Monty in the second 2. A case of not learning from mistakes? Monty out-bowled Swann comprehensively in the 2 tests that he played in that series.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

If I was paying someone £100s of thousands per annum, I would expect them to be able to do the job. If they weren't performing consistently well, but I believed they had potential and talent, I would provide training and give them some time to gain experience. If they still didn't produce the goods, then I would be mad not to replace them. This is a reality faced by employers and employees all over the world. Time to see if Bairstow, Root and Morgan can do better than Trott, Bell and Peitersen. There's nothing to lose!! And if the supposed quicks can't adapt to bowl full and fast to a field to match, then time to replace some of them too. Sick and tired of watching highly paid professionals do unintelligent things on and off the field. By the way England, dark glasses don't help you take catches (you would bat in them if they improved vision) and ionic bracelets don't make you anything except a fashion victim wally.

Posted by Boston_Legal on (November 21, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

Andy is honest enough to admit his mistake. But at the same time he was foolish enough to have made it in the fist place, and stubborn enough to suggest that Monty is not an automatic selection for Bombay test.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

There were THREE areas, where England was far superior to India in the Ahmedabad test:

1. Fighting spirit displayed by them in the second innings, especially by Cook, Prior & Compton (After VVS's retirement, I wonder whether we will see that coming from India in the near future. One Pujara alone can NOT do it)

2. The WK-Batsman. Performance of Prior, both before the wicket and behind the wicket (Behind the wicket he also committed a few errors; but far less & less significant errors than Dhoni's)

3. England's attitude of NOT giving any excuses for their poor show..

Posted by Cricketfan08 on (November 21, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

As a Pakistan supporter, I was surprised when I saw the selection on the morning of the first test. England found them in the same situation after losing a test match vs Pakistan in UAE earlier this year and had to bring in Monty for the remaining tests. They still lost the series (whitewash) but the impact Monty had was huge and resulted in close contests. Such a pity they did not learn from their mistakes

Posted by CricketisMyPassion on (November 21, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

@Jon Peters: I like the idea of Prior batting at 5 but horses for the courses is not something teams at top pursue vigorously. Prior has shown both the right technique or application for the Indian pitches and bowling attack. In the absence of decent bounce and the pitch easing out on day 4 and 5 Indian spinners struggled to trouble determined batsmen. England came here with its preconceived prejudices and fears and paid the price. It is a battle of unquestioned assumptions that Flower and Cook should eliminate if they have to win or even put up a good show against an Indian bowling which is still a bunch of ballboys against determined batsmen with a modicum of technique.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 21, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

I dont understand what was there to misread the picth - it would like selecting two spinners for a test in June in Eng - its a no brainer. The only time you would select 3 seamers in India is if miraculously the pitch is totally different and this would be on a rare exception. What was amazing was just how ineffective the Eng seamers were on that track - yes it didnt help them but these guys are unplayable in Eng but pie throwers in the first test.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

Bresnan and Broad have been a waste of time all year. Pace down, movement down, control down. In Broads case his batting and bowling - once almost world class - have dropped a long way in the last couple of years. I see about 10 seamers on the county circuit who would likely do a better job on the sub continent than these two. If Broad is going to bowl 78mph with the keeper stood up...what's his purpose in the team? There are bowlers who do that sort of thing a LOT better than he does. Get rid of him

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 21, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

@Nutcutlet - good call, Monty is steady but I have never been convinced of his cunning either! @chin-music, true, it's no shame to lose in alien conditions which is the same for India and England. @Selassie - almost everyone's 1st test wicket was Sachin, he seems to like giving newbies an ego boost!@Jon Peters, right there with you mate, Prior is one of the most underrated cricketers going, and I can guarantee he won't utter a single word of complaint about being shifted in the order, move him up to 5 and he'll still perform. He's a man for all occasions.

Posted by PanGlupek on (November 21, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

@Jon Peters, That's not a bad idea & by rights, I think Prior is easily good enough to. Personally I wouldn't do it just yet, because his style is very well suited to a test number 7 - counter-attacking & going through the gears quickly in cases where he runs out of partners.

If they were to move him up longer-term, it might mean quite a major shuffle to the rest of the order, which I'd guess, England would consider too risky (although I suppose Morgan or Bairstow could do a job at 7, then it wouldn't mean too much disruption for the others).

Saying that, if he's scoring runs & the rest of the middle order isn't, it would be a bit pointless to keep him so low down & watch him bat well when the game is already lost, so probably it would be worth considering.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 21, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

England do not have a quality pace attack like Australia, so they definitely need to play another sub-standard spinner like Panesar, even though I thought Gilly had ended his career.

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 21, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

Id say bring on Meaker, history suggests that rookies and debutants have always caused headache to Indians..Meaker might just come in and surprise everyone..at least for this Test. and SRT loves gifting his wicket to debutants..remember Udal?

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

The pleasing thing for me about the first test as an England fan and Sussex fan was the performance of Matt Prior. The guy who is supposedly the worst of the top seven stuck it out for two innings and showed that even though he's usually a very fluent offside player, he can and will do anything for the team cause and he did so. But I think he needs to bat above Patel, in which case there is no point in Patel playing. Need to get him in before too many batsmen get out. Here's a thought and I'll be keen to hear other people's opinions. Why not bat Prior in the top five? He's good enough and he's in form. He'll appreciate the harder ball and when he's in, he'll be successful in attacking. Have him at five perhaps because poor Bell is struggling and Bairstow is inexperienced. Just a thought but it might work.

Posted by PanGlupek on (November 21, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

It's refreshing to hear a coach being honest enough to admit that he's made mistakes, but I don't think it would have made much difference anyway. India were just better in every department, really.

England seem to have forgotten how to field, Bresnan & Broad have both looked a bit toothless in tests for quite a while. The middle order was (arguably) the best they could have selected, but still all of them failed. They can't really drop Trott, but he definitely showed technical problems against spin (hard hands pushing way out in front of pad). Not ideal when you have a debutant opener to have a number 3 looking vulnerable.

If they're going to get back into this series, they need the middle order to score runs equally as much, if not more, than they need to pick a genuine second spinner.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 21, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

I'm not sure if any of the Indian fans remember Panesar's first test wicket? Agreed, he's no Shane Warne, no one is saying he is, but he's certainly got much more control than Patel, who let's face it is never going to take many Indian wickets, you need to not be bowling the loose balls, with Patel, the Indians know they'll get a bad ball every over or two so they can just wait to put it away. In answer to the question, it was a certain Sachin Tendulkar... I guess you'll all tell us he can't play spin now?

Posted by vish57 on (November 21, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

England will definitely improve in the next 3 test matches and will not allow India to score 500 plus runs. Indians where ever they play are vulnerable to good length ball, out side the off stump which English seamers should capitalise. 2 fast bowler and 2 wicket taking spinner is ideal combination for England to win matches, 3 pacemen is a luxury in Indian conditions, Anderson and Broad who were looking lethal in England were pedestrian in India.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 21, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

@Jackiethepen, RE: your question at the end of your comment, why don't you ask Ian Bell (with whom you must be in regular contact)? Then you can tell us, please! I'd imagine that IB has much to thank AF for, so he may not care to bite the hand that feeds him & his new family.

Posted by Rastus on (November 21, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Maybe it is time for Flower to go. Everyone who looked at the pitch before the game said two spinners. Only flower thought 1 spinner was a good idea.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

Whether England showed fight back in the second innings or the real reason for England's second innings score, was that the pitch was only flattening as the Test progressed + a bit of umpiring errors is yet to be seen. I strongly think the latter is the case and we will see about that as the series progresses. But Bresnan selection was a no brainer. He was instrumental in England's second Test win against Sri Lanka (I think took some crucial wickets when he got it to reverse). And Flower knows enough cricket to know that Indian batsmen are better than Pakistan in terms of playing Panesar. I don't see anything wrong with that. Let's face it, playing the turning ball is as difficult as playing the moving ball. England do not have experience of playing spinners in India. Simples.

Posted by dhaval_rajyaguru on (November 21, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

Monty should play surely.. Samit patel isnt really a spinner.. he is a slow bowler

Posted by chin-music on (November 21, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

@ Dark_Harlequin : Agree with you. As an India fan, I think England have shown more spunk & grit in a losing cause within 1 game , than the Indian team showed during the entire 4-test series in England. Also I have'nt heard Cook moaning & blaming injuries, weather,pitch etc etc - he's just accepted the obvious that they were outplayed in these conditions & got on with preparing for the next one. Some lessons for Dhoni there.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 21, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

It's as certain as can be that Monty will play in Mumbai, but his record in India, as CriccketingStargazer has pointed out, is far from special. Now, I have an issue with Monty's bowling: he's metronomic. No matter where he plays, he bowls the same - quickish for a spinner & generally a tight line & a reasonable length. Does he think much about what he's doing & adjust his pace & flight accordingly? If someone points it out to him after a wicket-less session or two, perhaps. He is technically good but doesn't venture much by way of variation; he doesn't think like a wicket-taking spinner. Containment is his priority. Ojha, on the other hand, is a master of cunning, using teasing flight & thereby varying his speed of delivery. The batsman never quite knows what's coming next & the rewards are enormous. There's much to be said for the classically slow bowler. It's going to be interesting to see if MP can take a leaf out of Ojha's manual. Will he trust his art & work it out for himself?

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

A few have pointed out that Australia and South Africa played with just ONE spinner. But, both those teams had far better pacers to compensate that; England's pacers performed even WORSE than the Indian pacers (who themselves are no great shakes at the international level). Monty's bowling can NOT be worse than the mediocre show put up by the English pace bowling battery ( battery is the right word, as they easily got battered!) in Ahmedabad.

Posted by jackiethepen on (November 21, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Andy Flower is protecting his own back. He always blames the batsmen as if the bowlers have played no part in the game and his strategy of not including two spinners had no effect on the outcome. Is he kidding? We could hardly take wickets from India except with spin. The prospect of trying to take 20 was out of the question with his selection. We could never have won the first Test only maybe stuck it out for a draw. I hope no one is falling for his smokescreen. Because he made the same error in Dubai and the same poor preparation bedevilled England. Has he never heard of scoreboard pressure? That is what causes batsmen to make mistakes because they are trying to catch up on a very big score if they have any chance at all of staying in the game. It was quite clear our bowling attack had failed. I wonder what advice he gave to the batsmen? Nil by the sound of it. He doesn't seem to appreciate that you can't win games without taking wickets. I wonder what the team think of their coach.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

SA was successful in india because they did not do what they did in their home pitches i.e bowling short of length. Here in sub continent you bowl it fast and full. You dont need extreme pace to be successful in perth or durban or headingley , all you need is to pitch the ball on good length or just short at a reasonable 135kph and let the pitch do rest but in india you have to put in extra effort by bowling fast and full targeting the stumps .

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

@bMike. Panesar should be included, to bowl in tandem with Swann. But, Painsir is no Shame Warne, and India is no minnows, definitely not in India! If wishes were horses, dear bMike, anything is possible! Good luck & Godspeed.

Posted by pka1982 on (November 21, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

A Turning Pitch does not imply Deterioration. Andy Flower and England will never get it. Ahmedabad pitch was good enough for a test match. It turned a bit and had low bounce, but not uneven.

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 21, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

Lastly, Kunal Nanda and Sramesh_74 - spot on with those comments lads!

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 21, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

Also, there seems to be a certain amount on schadenfreude from some of the Indian fans here, show a bit of class gents!! England may have kicked your butts when your team came across here, and yes our fans celebrated it, because England played well not because your boys struggled. There were many who thoroughly enjoyed watching Dravid bat, and even more who were disappointed not to see Tendulkar perform like he used to.

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 21, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Reading some of the comments here I am not entirely sure what people think Flower should have said, something like this perhaps: 'England are terrible players of spin, so much so that they shouldn't even try. I have decided that instead of trying to help develop the batsmen who have been excellent at home to become excellent in all conditions, we are going to put in a load of inexperienced youngsters up against these world-class players like Zak and Sehwag, in the hope that we don't crush their careers before they have even started - that would make for a competitive test series. And if it doesn't then we'll just go home and never come back to the sub-continent'

Posted by SamAsh07 on (November 21, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

England doesn't have a strong batting lineup and Ajmal gave a glimpse of their weakness in January 2012 and now Ojha showed that Ajmal's spells weren't a fluke, Englands batting is super weak against Spin. No need to swap any bowlers for next test, just get your batting right.

Posted by ste13 on (November 21, 2012, 8:15 GMT)

Mumbai pitch better for seamers. So, the dear matey Stuart Broad will play again. Why cannot England select the players showing at least some sort of form - this is beyond my understanding.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 21, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

As I have pointed out, Monty's record in India is incredibly modest (5 Tests, 11 wickets @ 55.9), so to say that he would have made a huge difference is over-egging it. He would have given different options. A factor that people have not pointed out is that despite the 3 practice matches, England's bowlers in the Test had very little preparation. Broad, Swann and Anderson had bowled very little and only Tim Bresnan and Samit Patel had had a decent load (and he, for some reason, was a shadow of himself). Playing Broad when he was not match fit was probably a bigger error than not playing Monty. Playing Stuart Meaker in the final warm-up was not great use of resources unless they really expected him to play the Test: use the match to get someone properly match fit! Incidentally, a large part of England's success in the previous 3 years was because our best bowlers (Bresnan, Broad, Swann) were also competent batsmen: they are selected as bowlers who have added a now lost sting to the tail

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (November 21, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

I'm not a great analyst, but even someone with basic cricket knowledge will know that to get twenty Indian wickets in India, we need five specialist bowlers. So for the second test, Monty to replace Bell as the only change. Advise to Broad - tweet less and concentrate more.

Posted by bMike on (November 21, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

Panaser can be next Shane Warne and India can be new minnows

Posted by VIJAYJKR on (November 21, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

England only can have hope of fight if their BATSMAN do well, BOWLER of any team cant make any difference in INDIA against INDIA, so ENGLAND should rather ask their BATSMAN likes of PIETERSEN, BELL, TROTT, KOOK to step up and perform otherwise " UAE IS NOT FAR FROM INDIA". N thats for sure.

Posted by .Raina on (November 21, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

I doubt there will be any change in the England Team's approach (& the result) even if they win the toss and bat first. The team is too much dependent on Cook with hardly any support from anyone else, including KP. Prior has played well so far, but one cannot expect him to be the rescuer every time. Most of the issues seem to be psychological -- they weren't even playing the seamers well. England needs to sort out their opener + No.3 as a bare minimum. There is a need for some confidence there. The bowlers are capable of doing better and should do better as the series goes on. It is highly unlikely that any other combination will be more effective.

Posted by sukuviju on (November 21, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

Can't understand why everybody is making Monty Panaser to be a Shane Warne. Even the great Warne was trashed all over the ground by the Indian batsmen and the same will happen to Monty. We all saw how the Indian batsmen treated Swann on the 5th day, if Sehwag get going he will make mince meat of both Swann and Monty.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

What use is this Andy's FLOWER talk ? Groaning over the spoilt milk ? He'd do well to avoid THE TOTAL WHITE-WASH OF 4--0 ! The pitches in the Subcontinent, more so in India, are tailor-made to the likes of Pragyan, Ashwin & Bhajji, under Dhoni's diktat !! The England team would do well to summon all the other prominent guys in the UK to bring them over here--a sort of whole-sale re-alignment & revamping. With the present team, they can't win even a single match .. I am quite sure about it !!

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (November 21, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

Three pace bowlers in Tests in the subcontinent is fine if they answer to the names of Roberts, Marshall and Holding,or Wasim, Waqar and Akhthar or Ambrose, Walsh and Bishop but the idea of dropping Panesar and playing these three is hilarious to say the least. U arent going to get many greentops over here Messrs Broad and Bresnan

Posted by trav29 on (November 21, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

i love all the comments saying how misguided it is to only play one spinner in india when south africa drew the series on their last visit with just one spinner and australia came within one wicket of winning the first test last year which would have drawn that series, again with only one spinner

Posted by paps123 on (November 21, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

Always great to hear from Andy Flower, wish him all the luck

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

Practicing is one thing and converting that practice into results is another which England can't seen to to do very well at this moment

Posted by getsetgopk on (November 21, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

He misread the pitch? Come on, how can Eng win in India if they dont even realize that THEY ARE IN INDIA, playing three seamers on any Indian wicket translates simply to 'we dont want to win'. When you are in subcontinent or UAE forget the three seamers mantra. Im very very surprised for a man of Flower's experience to not know in rome do as the romans do. England let themselves down.

Posted by Romenevans on (November 21, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

Where's Stuart Meaker? He can reverse swing big time and he is fast in the air...Bring him on to make this series exciting.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (November 21, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

It seems that Flower is not ready to accept the fact that "English batsmen can't play spin..they do not have the technique required to play against spin"

Posted by MattyP1979 on (November 21, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

Pre-match tactics, poor fielding, the toss were all contributing factors, but selection for me was the easiest to get right. Monty's ommision was plain daft and should be rectified in the next test. Bell's inclusion too, given the fact he was due to head home after was another poor move and Bairstow should of been given an extended run. Would like to see Brenan ahead of Broad who is having an awful year. Bresnan had a dropped chance, was the pick of the quicks last time in the sub and batted better but I feel he will be first to go. Hopeing for a better test next match although I again think the toss will be too unfair an advantage.

Posted by Mahaanama on (November 21, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

I was so impressed to see the fighing spirit of England. India didn't have that spirit when they toured England the last time. England thrashed India like a school team where all the matches were one-sided. Same thing happened to India in Australia as well. I can't understand why India can't even give a fight to oppositions when they tour outside Asia. Inclusion of Panesar and couple of changers in the middle order ( Probably Bairstow/ Bell can be given a chance ) will leave India hopeless for sure.

Posted by prashnottz on (November 21, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

England batted all the way upto no.10 in the last test match, and yet they barely managed to avoid an innings defeat. I am not quite sure playing Panesar could have significantly improved on that.

Posted by sramesh_74 on (November 21, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

Please give Stuart 'the Enforcer' Broad a break...this will help the viewers in a big way. We are tired of watching him sulk and shake his head after being thrashed to the boundary...

Posted by ashlatchem on (November 21, 2012, 3:26 GMT)

I don't think you are allowed to use the phrase "In hindsight" when talking about playing a 2nd spinner in India.. This is something that is so fundamental and crucial that only a complete idiot would play 3 seamers on a track first up in India... Saying in hindsight makes it look like it wasn't a completely suicidical position to put your team in which frankly it was... Onions and Panesar need to play if Eng are to have any chance (Onions gives you that straight line and can reverse) and as much as I hate to say it you gotta drop Bell he has just forgotten how to play and his confidence isn't comin back in India... I also found it strange that Swann was automatic when Monty completly outbowled him in the UAE...

Posted by trav29 on (November 21, 2012, 3:04 GMT)

whether it was a mistake or not it would have made little difference to the result

that was a draw pitch but the inability of the england middle order to score any runs meant england lost the match. when your numbers 3,4,5 and 6 batsmen score less than 70 runs between them across the two innings i think its taking the easy way out to try and make the non selection of panesar the deciding factor

Posted by Meety on (November 21, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

To be fair I suppose, everybody has 20/20 vision in hindsight. Though really it was a surprising non-selection.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 0:58 GMT)

Here is the irony for England - They have the world's best player of spin as their coach, and they still cannot master the art of playing spin.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

Dream on AF! KP gifted his wicket twice, he rarely scores runs when England really need them. The batting line up needs a good shake up. Thankfully Bell has gone, let's hope that his replacement shows some common sense and adapts to the conditions better than Bell ever did, which frankly shouldn't be too difficult. Hopefully said replacement will cement his place in the side, and we will never again have to watch the soul destroying spectacle of Ian Bell squandering his talents and opportunities. As for KP - at present anyone in the Loxwood CC Sunday Social side would serve England better. After all, we play on uncovered pitches that are slow and low most of the season, and know not to play across the line until the eye is well in.

Posted by igorolman on (November 21, 2012, 0:32 GMT)

The XI England will pick: Cook *, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bairstow, Patel, Prior +, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Onions/Panesar (depending on pitch reading). Bressie will be the lone sacrificial lamb from the bowling since he did squat in the 1st Test and YJB will come in for Belly for one test. And unless it's a proper bouncy seamer, we'll lose this one, too. Unless India do what they did in 1981-2 and prepare roads for the next 3 games. Even then we'll probably still miss straight ones from Ojha ...

Posted by crick.nick on (November 21, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

They just gotta go out there and play the game to their own strenth rather worrying about wins/loss or outside criticism. Win or Loss is a part of game, it's difficult to predict. I just want to see them giving a tough challenge to opponents regardless of results.

Posted by GHemrajani on (November 21, 2012, 0:27 GMT)

Impressed with Cook's political ability to bring the decision maker's mistake to the forefront and not take the blame for Flower's error. Time England looked at Flower's judgment and performance.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

Recipe for Mumbai: Shark 'Finn' Soup / 'Onion' Soup & Pain-sir. 'Broadly' bowling around the stumps won't do.

Posted by igorolman on (November 21, 2012, 0:23 GMT)

I'd keep Pietersen. But I'd move him up to 3, because I'd axe the rest of the middle order and bring in Morgan, Bairstow and Root. Yes, they're very inexperienced, but if you don't drop people who keep failing, what's the point in having the reserves? It pains me to drop Trott, because I really rate him, but he's in a bad form slump at the moment and needs a break. Patel so obviously isn't Test class with bat or ball (ODIs are another matter) and while I have advocated 5 bowlers before I don't think with all conscience we can have Swann at 7! My XI for Mumbai (assuming a pitch similar to this): Cook *, Compton, Pietersen, Morgan, Bairstow, Root, Prior +, Swann, Anderson, Onions, Panesar. I would have gone with Finn instead of Onions if he had been fit but I would still so get rid of Bressie lad (not the same since surgery) and Broad (can't bat worth a rusty nail at present and definitely not as good a bowler overseas.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 21, 2012, 0:23 GMT)

It's time for England to stop admitting their mistakes and to start avoiding them. English cricket is historically conservative and, despite not being English by birth or upbringing, Andy Flower seems to have fit right into that. He deserves great credit for getting England to the top but they're losing that ground rapidly and there needs to be some proactive steps taken. Why exactly anyone thought it was a good idea to play with just one spinner when Monty had made such a significant contribution in UAE is a mystery. People talk about the India spinners having no mystery and that certainly applies to Monty as well, but if he's the best we've got then that's the way we need to go. You only need to look at Herath and Ojha to see that you don't need a swag of mystery balls to have success. The Indian batsmen are better players of spin, yes, but Monty would likely offer control at the very least.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (November 21, 2012, 0:22 GMT)

blah blah... it would be much more credible to admit there is a problem vs spin instead of denying the obvious while sitting there like King Canute.... admit it and deal with it. Obviously stupid shots do not help, but denying the obvious is just as ridiculous. The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.... Ring any bells England?

Posted by RICK69 on (November 21, 2012, 0:12 GMT)

Time for Flower to go.He has bloomed & died.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 21, 2012, 0:04 GMT)

I think it is important to remember that at the point of selection a couple of months ago these were deemed the best batting and bowling squads in England. Maybe Taylor might have felt a bit hard done by but really these are the people who have to do the job and it is no good looking longingly at some absentee who suddenly seems to be the new Messiah. I do wish that they would just front up and say Monty will probably play because one be just too cagey. And KP just needs to hit a few of those left arm spinners between mid on and midwicket instead of trying to play inside out. He just ain't Matty Prior.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (November 20, 2012, 23:57 GMT)

Almost all the Indians knew this.

Posted by mush112 on (November 20, 2012, 23:56 GMT)

Mr. Flower please dont drop Broad....he has the X factor....!!! And bring in Morgan for Patel!!! KP can bowl better spin than Patel!!!

Posted by the_blue_android on (November 20, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

Expect the Indian batsmen to go after Swann from game 2, and the pommie pop gun 'attack' bowling 122 kmph dibbly dobblies will have no where to hide. Only Finn was a threat but he's out nursing injuries. Panesar will be taken to cleaners as he's just like hundreds of spinners in the Indian domestic circuit.

Posted by Rahulbose on (November 20, 2012, 23:50 GMT)

I wonder why Panesar is always getting treated like this. Even under Fletcher when they didn't even have Swann. Ashley Giles routinely got picked ahead, with one glaring example during the Ashes. I also don't accept that it was a mistake in "hindsight". It was an obvious mistake with foresight and any other kind of sight there is. Eng need to accept that some of their players (read Bresnan, Anderson, Bell) are simply hopeless in these conditions. They should pick different squads based on the conditions.

Posted by JustIPL on (November 20, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

Flower should be confident that Swann claimed a 5-for and can be even more lethal barring the inclusion of another spinners. So, Patel was considered good enough based on his warmups form off course. Swann will definitely become more and more impactful during the series. After all he was the reason for India's anti-DRS stance. So, the decision of going with Swann was not that bad as Swann would definitely had taken more wickets had England batted first and put on score. He was more decisive then Ashwin whose bag of tricks depleted as the match progressed. Flower should also be confident that he has a team to beat the fifth ranked team.

Posted by JustIPL on (November 20, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

Yes, Mr. Flower, you have plenty of options and resources to win in India and the test series this time.

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