England in India 2012-13

Flower proud of England's revival

George Dobell

December 17, 2012

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook went on to make his 23rd Test century - the most for England, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 2nd day, December 6, 2012
Andy Flower heaped praise on Alastair Cook after his monumental series © BCCI
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An ability to "learn and adapt" has been identified by Andy Flower as the key to England's series success victory in India. By drawing the final Test in Nagpur, England secured their first series win in India since 1984-85 and inflicted a first home series defeat upon India since 2004.

It was a far cry from the events in the UAE a few months earlier. At that time, as England succumbed to a 3-0 series defeat against Pakistan, England's batsmen had no answer to the spin threat of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.

But Flower, the England team director, took particular satisfaction from the way his team had accepted their failings in the UAE and worked to improve. He also admitted that an element of complacency may have crept into the squad after they had reached the No.1 Test ranking at the end of 2011.

"I don't know if lost focus is quite the right phrase to use," Flower said, "but if there are degrees of hunger and desire perhaps we dropped off a couple after getting to No 1.

"We had a tough time in the UAE against Pakistan at the start of the year, and one of the most satisfying things at the minute - certainly for me, and I'm sure for the players - is that they've shown they can score runs. We've come out here and very importantly shown that this bunch of cricketers can learn and adapt.

"They have proved they have learned a lot. For some of the older players, guys that have been around and have excellent Test career achievement, that is testament to their humility and their maturity to continue their learning into this phase of their careers. They have still adapted their game and shown their game can improve. It's taken a lot of hard work, a lot of thought and a lot of skill out there in the middle. They should be very proud of themselves.

"We certainly refocused on this challenge in India. We knew we would have to display that we have learned certain things about the game of cricket in these conditions if we were to prevail so it's nice to see that has happened. I certainly wouldn't describe it as a year of decline."

Flower credited Alastair Cook as a key figure in England's success. Cook, the England captain, led from the front with a defiant century in defeat in Ahmedabad that showed his team what could be achieved with patience and composure. While Cook also made centuries in Mumbai and Kolkata, an increasing number of his team-mates contributed decisive performances as the series progressed.

"That innings at Ahmedabad was vitally important as a lead," Flower said. "It provided evidence that runs could be scored if you use your brain, if you've got a reasonable method, if you show courage and discipline. He did that and for the captain to do that was especially important. He has been very influential in the series. We are very lucky to follow a quality bloke like Andrew Strauss with a quality bloke like Alastair Cook as leaders of the England side.

England's testing year

  • v Pakistan, Dubai Lost by 10 wickets
  • v Pakistan, Abu Dhabi Lost by 72 runs
  • v Pakistan, Dubai Lost by 72 runs
  • v Sri Lanka, Galle Lost by 75 runs

  • v Sri Lanka, Colombo Won by eight wickets
  • v West Indies, Lord's Won by five wickets

  • v West Indies, Trent Bridge Won by nine wickets
  • v West Indies, Edgbaston Drawn
  • v South Africa, The Oval Lost by an innings and 12 runs

  • v South Africa, Headingley Drawn
  • v South Africa, Lord's Lost by 51 runs
  • v India, Ahmedabad Lost by nine wickets

  • v India, Mumbai Won by 10 wickets
  • v India, Kolkata Won by seven wickets
  • v India, Nagpur Match Drawn

"I said to him I thought tactically he has been excellent - and you can't always say that about English sides in the sub-continent. I think he's been a good observer of the opposition, and what works for them, and he's used some of that to our advantage."

There was also praise for Kevin Pietersen who returned to the squad for this series having been dropped following revelations about his poor relationship with his England team-mates. Pietersen started nervously, but made a brilliant century at Mumbai which helped alter the direction of the series.

"He has been excellent since he has been back with the England side," Flower said. "The guys have enjoyed having him around and he has fitted in really easily and everyone has made an effort to make it work. It has worked.

"He has played superbly. I thought his innings in Mumbai on a difficult, turning track was one of the better innings I have seen played against spinners in those type of conditions. It was a very, very skilful innings; even more skilful after he had struggled in the first Test because that piled a certain amount of pressure on him. So for him to handle that pressure, turn it round and then dominate the opposition as he did was great testament to him holding his nerve."

While the victory provided a happy ending to a difficult year, Flower was keen to stress that there had been other positive achievements among the disappointments.

"We've had up-and-down results," he said. "We didn't play that well against the spin in the UAE, but we've also done some superb things.

"We became number one in one-day international cricket; we drew an important Test series in Sri Lanka, and won one against the West Indies. And then we lost to a very good South African side in England. I don't think there is any embarrassment in that. That happens in international sport."

Flower is now taking a break. While England return to T20 action on Thursday, Flower will be back in the UK with his family having relinquished his day-to-day involvement with England's limited-overs squads. Ashley Giles starts in the role of England's limited-overs coach in the New Year.

But it would be incorrect to conclude that Flower is not still the man in charge in all formats of the game. The idea is that Giles will bring new energy to the limited-overs teams, allowing Flower to remain fresh and to spend more time with his family. Certainly he is still planning for challenges ahead in all formats, with the Champions Trophy, to be played in England in 2013, a particular target.

"I do have a young family and they have supported me amazingly well over my playing and coaching career and it is time for me to make sure that I can give a little more time to them," Flower said. "The purpose of the move is to make us a more efficient organisation and to use our resources as wisely as possible so certainly that will assist me to remain involved with the English side.

"Ashley Giles is a smart cricket coach with very good experience of both coaching and playing and I think he can do a very good job with the limited-overs sides. We hope he can take the limited-overs teams forward. We don't know if the system is going to work ideally, just like we didn't when we introduced three different captains for the three different facets of cricket that we play. But our job is to make it work.

"It is going to be a busy year. We've got the Champions Trophy - one of our priorities - happening in England and we'll have a chance there. Then there's the two Ashes series in the second half of the year. That's going to be some tough, sustained cricket. But we've shown out here that we can play that type of cricket, and that we learn to survive in different conditions."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (December 20, 2012, 21:23 GMT)

@ jonesy2 on (December 18 2012, 12:10 PM GMT) Ha ha ha... you always bring a smile to my face. The rain is here is east Africa but I am smiling. Thank you @jonesy2.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 20, 2012, 19:14 GMT)

What a shocking month for England's critics - Anderson confirmed as the best flat-deck/green-top bowler in the world, No doubt about Cook being best Test Opener (Yippee!) and Swann's twenty wickets whilst turning the ball more than anyone else in the world slams his critics into silence. Whose that seamer the Aussies have who pretends to be a spinner? Such a hilarious comparison when you think about it, too funny for words. :)

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 19, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

@Heart_of_Oak Most of us would have liked to see Stuart Meaker play in the 2nd and 4th Tests. I defended picking Bresnan for the 4th Test after it was made clear that Meaker would not be considered, as it was Bresnan or Onions (there was no one else available) and I thought that Bresnan was more likely to get help as a reverse swing specialist; morever, Onions had been poor in his limited opportunities in the UAE and in the warm-ups in India. My impression was that Bresnan did not bowl badly in the 4th Test and he was getting close to 90mph with his fastest deliveries. Picking Broad for the 2nd Test was though almost indefensible and, even for the 1st Test I was deeply unhappy as he had, unlike Bresnan, done almost no bowling in the warm-ups and I expected him to be far short of match fitness.

Posted by Heart_of_Oak on (December 19, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Shan156 and Chris Ward are absolutely right. We (England) are carrying "passengers" because of past reputation rather than current form and our selection needs to be based on form, fitness and suitability for conditions. I've questioned Bresnan's selection a couple of times on this Indian tour. I just don't think he's suited to Indian conditions. But in England, he has performed extremely well, contributing late order runs and taking key wickets. Patel played too many games when others around him were showing themselves to be more effective than he. Let's take nothing away from a great achievement by the lads. However, selection policy needs to be looked at. I hope Flower does not become another Martin Johnson.

Posted by Hash_Tag on (December 19, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Well done England. You have shown how it should be done; work ethic, team spirit, application far from home. Bravo. India needs to learn many lessons from this performance.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

While England were excellent I think that India, particularly their bowling attack, was poor. While the series against Pakistan could easily have been just 1-2 or even 2-1 England, Pakistan are a far better side than India in terms of bowling (and their batting is growing in strength). England's greatest asset is that they continue to learn and don't offer excuses like India continually do. The back to back Ashes series should be absolutely amazing - Australia are getting better and England are confident again. I fully expect us to smash New Zealand with the likes of Anderson and Cook having a field day but Australia, particularly away, will be far harder and could prove to be one of the best series ever as the teams are fairly evenly matched this time around. I for one can't wait.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 19, 2012, 3:26 GMT)

@Nazir Bakhshi on (December 18 2012, 12:52 PM GMT), that's a ridiculous comment and it's exactly that sort of attitude that will hold Indian cricket back from improving. India did not lose the series because England didn't chase a win on that terrible Nagpur pitch. It was India who needed to do all the running and, if anyone "got sissy", it was them. Did you see that first hour on day 4? They poked and prodded and Ashwin turned down runs and then when they actually scored a few off one over Dhoni declares. Trott scored at a significantly faster rate in the second innings than Dhoni or Kohli had in the first and Bell also scored faster than Kohli. If the India team choose to take that same perspective on this game then they will continue to get pounded the world over.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 19, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

@landl47 on (December 18 2012, 06:29 AM GMT), amen. Bresnan and Broad have done poorly this year. Broad, despite taking a lot of wickets this year, has gone amiss when he was needed. And his batting is poor. Bresnan is worse. Bell will now keep his place for the foreseeable future considering that he made a ton in the 2nd innings in a lifeless pitch in Nagpur. If England want to improve, they need to be ruthless and drop some passengers.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 19, 2012, 1:36 GMT)

@Seamer_Singh, what about Swann then? If finishing the series as the highest wicket taker (20@24.75 and as an added bonus a batting average of 32.66) is below average, then your standards are way too high, I am afraid. This is a country where even Warne and Murali have struggled and they are way superior to any England spinner including Swann. Still Swann used whatever talent he has to the maximum and got the rewards. And, what about Prior who played crucial innings and finished the series with a batting average of 51.6 and also did a good job behind the stumps. Trott didn't start well but worked hard at his game and made good contributions in the last 2 tests. India are not a bad side, England simply made them look mediocre. Same with Anderson. He didn't have the best of 2 tests where spinners dominated but came into his own in the last 2. Finn and Root impressed in the one test they played. And, England's fielding and fitness were way superior to India's.

Posted by jb633 on (December 18, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge- come on mate ease up a little. India are going through a transitional phase in world cricket and are undeniably finding it difficult to replace the likes of Dravid, VVS and Sachin (of old). I am delighted with our performance in this series but the key is now for our guys to keep their head down and continue to work hard. I am still worried about our seam attack as I have not seen it dominate since the India tour to England. I think Bres/Broad are too slow for test cricket and I hope that Tremlett will be fit soon. I think in many ways the NZ series may be difficult as a lack of motivation may kick in and we could come unstuck. I have a feeling we will win the Ashes comfortably but am still not convinced about what our best line up is. As for India some of their fans deserve this defeat for trolling any English forum in 2012 to express their desire for revenge and to expect a 4-0 whitewash and so on. However many Indian fans have been congratulatory and learned.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 18, 2012, 21:55 GMT)

@electric_loco_WAP4, Just exchange every 'Australia' with every 'England' you wrote in your comment and you would have yourself an accurate portrayal of the last few years. Check out the DVD boxset of the last one thousand Ashes, it shows some team called England thrashing Australia in every one. Including innings after innings defeat in your own back yard.

Oh and another thing, how is the Australian spin department going these days? Any idea how the world's great 'Spin Twins' compare against a seamer pretending to be a spinner, Lyon, especially considering on a day 5 spinners paradise he wasnt able to take a single wicket? lol till the cows come home. Can't wait for this one.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 18, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

@landl I was intrigued to read the comments after the series loss to South Africa. The average Australian fan compared Australia's performance with England's in India and anticipated a tough tour and likely defeat next year. The struggle to finish off a Sri Lankan side that has never won a Test in Australia suggests that their old problems of not being able to finish off opponents are still right there. This series is a step in the right direction for England, but no more. Too many defeats this year, at least four of which were by the sort of margin that a side with more self-confidence would have turned into wins. As Ashes peparation England have five Tests v New Zealand, in at least one of which New Zealand may have to field a 2nd XI and Australia have soft home series against Sri Lanka and West Indies, so it's going to be tough for them to assess their own progress, but they will be able to boast a big winning record over the winter despite the loss to South Africa.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2012, 20:09 GMT)

Comical responses from Australian fans...

When you've played 10 test matches against England and lost 5 - three by an innings - home and away and when you can't bowl a side out in 4 sessions chasing 600...you would be pretty embittered.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 18, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

Mushi did it. He has big part in this victory.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 18, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

So many Yes's for England this tour - England can now play spin. And they thrashed India. In India. And were on the rotten side of the absence of DRS. And look how the critics have left these message boards as a result! :) And a big grin is stuck to the face of every England supporter this Christmas. One has only to glance at the Ultimate Battle of the Minnows, dubbed the 'Chrisitmas Minnow Big Bash' to see the gulf between the two sides that hold the oldest rivalry in cricket. The party started for England long ago, now it's continuing with sheer intensity.

Posted by rafaelrey on (December 18, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

I know intelligence isn't a strong point in Australians, but you are going to beat us in the Ashes!! Laughable we didn't beat you in Australia we destroyed you playing in half empty stadiums as your home support collapsed poor winners and worse losers. You have a few good seamers no spinner, a captain that nicks off against swing bowling ( and is so tough he cries when someone retires), a weak middle order a rubbish keeper. We are not the finished article but are light years ahead of you lot.

Posted by Seamer_Singh on (December 18, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

I wouldn't call it revival, just a rubbish opposition. Monty, Cook and KP were good the rest were below average. England still don't look comfortable playing spin. If they were playing against half decent bowlers they would have got whooped as they did against PAK and the Saffers.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 18, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

ENG team is doing very well. And ENG should keep the momentum on. Thrashing IND must not be taken as a mile marker, as IND has always been a mediocre team and will remain the same. Look at IND record for 80 years, most white washed team in cricket history with worst WIN to LOSS ratio in every format of game. IND test status must be revoked since they have not proven their worth. ENG should be playing with teams like SA, PAK, WI, AUS. Should'nt be wasting time with mediocre team like IND.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 18, 2012, 17:13 GMT)

@whofriggincares on (December 18 2012, 09:36 AM GMT) RE whofriggincares - You obviously do otherwise you wouldn't comment

@ electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 18 2012, 09:11 AM GMT)

Re "England showing their true 'worth'. No wonder the long list of heavy defeats in this year only is set to add one more..... Won't be too long .....just another 2 days and the mediocre Eng will add 1 more to their 'kitty'....." That was your comment during the last test so your comms are hardly the benchmark for accuracy are they?

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 18, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

The ability to learn and adapt-hardly rocket science. It was always going to be that. Spin is not that hard once you stop treating it like a grenade. Cook was very easy to watch playing spin-no frill or antics,just a whole load of common sense,and KP just went into the zone. I have a theory that left armers as a whole do not worry him, but only the fill ins who quite frankly do not do very much like Jadeja. Trott was always going to recover form and really his technique will always serve him in the end. The win was great but I would have loved a win in Nagpur to. There is always more to be done.

Posted by mikey76 on (December 18, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

Hilarious comments from the usual suspects. Dull series?? The first 3 tests were all excellent cricket matches played on good cricket wickets. The sparse crowds are just par for the course in India where ODI cricket is king, I thought everybody knew that. Regarding the ashes, its hard to see where all the confidence is coming from. Your top 4 absolutely stink, probably the worst top 4 outside of NZ/Bangladesh. Your wicketkeeper is a joke and prob won't be around much longer. Your lead spinner has twice failed to cash in on fifth day wickets....do you honestly think after the spin diet England have faced for the last 2 years that Lyon is going to pose any problems? And now your pace bowlers are breaking down every other match. Who knows who will be holding the red ball come the first test. Eng have a solid top 6, world class keeper, world class spinner, world class swing bowler and a genuine quick in Finn. Lets see how your guys get on in India.

Posted by wibblewibble on (December 18, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

@electric_loco_WAP4: Lets see what Australia do in India next year.

Lets put it another way, you've got one decent spinner in Lyons, he isn't even as good as Ashwin. Your fast bowlers can't even make it through a single Test, let alone back to back tests, your top batsman has a chronic back complaint, Warner will struggle to do anything on a slow and low pitch, Watson will keep accumulating 50 and outs and his bowling will be beyond useless in India.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

So basically England is propelled by "FLOWER POWER"!

Posted by   on (December 18, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

@electric_loco_WAP4 - so you own the Ashes huh? Recent history suggests not as you've lost 3 of the last 4 embarrassingly so last time out, perhaps you've forgotten that Warne, McGrath, Ponting, Gilchrist and Hayden don't play any more. I think next year will be close with both teams having good batting lineups on paper but do occasionally fail and both have good pace attacks with bowlers who break down. The team with the fittest seam attack could well come out on top.

in the meantime, credit to a good England fightback and fine leadership from Cook.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 18, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

A well deserved victory for a thoroughly planned tour. The Indians offered England little to no respect & suffered for it. Well done Flower & the team, winning in India has always been a challenge for all teams. The cricket was entrhalling to watch too, real test cricket.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

all I can think was that electric-loco has gone loco. I assume you weren't this series then? The pitches weren't flat, 3 raging bunsens and a dead 1. And you honestly think Oz are any good? You dont know what your best bowling attack is, or they're all injured. You dont know your best batting line up, and rely too heavily on Clarke and Hussey, one is now injured the other not far from retirement. You dont have any good spiinners. I'd be worried if I was and Aussie.

Posted by Bramblefly on (December 18, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

whofriggincares, electric_loco and whoever else from down under with a bad attitude; I imagine you didn't see a ball of the whole series. I love the smell of Ocker fear.

Posted by livinlovinnrockin on (December 18, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

The aussies are a joke. They have short memories. When was the last time they won the ashes? Their team is pathetic. Just wait till they play India. They won't stand a chance. India may well be a team in transition but you cant beat them without any good spinners. Lyon is no better than Hauritz...

I find it laughable that we are on an India v England article and we repeatadly find Aussie fans saying the same old rubbish.

No-one is saying England are the best team in the world. But they are definately better than Austrailia. Come back when you've got the ashes. At the moment they belong to England!

Posted by 64blip on (December 18, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

Wow, one victory at home against the 6th placed test side and the Aussies are full of themselves again. We were supposed to be slipping down the rankings with this series. Didn't quite turn out that way, did it? BTW, how did that home series against the 8th placed test nation go? And don't be writing India off, they have some good young batsmen and Siddle and Lyons do not equal Anderson, Swann and Panesar. After the UAE and KP debacles this could have been a disasterous year, but instead we have a revitalised team under a new captain. I'm particularly pleased with the new faces in the batting line up, Compton, Bairstow and Root, because now there's real competition for places, as there has been for bowling for a while now. It's been a shake up, not a break up. And kudos to Prior, a bit of an unsung hero of this tour.

Posted by Heart_of_Oak on (December 18, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

landl47 - the implication of your comment is spot on. We were heavily defeated in the UAE and beaten comfortably at home by SA. So there is alot of improvement and we must not be complacent. The ultimate aim for an English cricketer - no disrespect to India - is to defeat the Aussies. If we're complacent following this series win, we will be hammered in Australia.

I also agree 100% with your view about selection. It was a big mistake to leave Monty out from the 1st test. I also feel the selection of Bresnan when Finn was ruled out and when Bresnan wasn't performing well was not a good move. Meaker on the other hand performed fantastically well in India. From the 2nd test onwards, we were confident of scoring runs and if anything needed bolstering, it was the seam bowling. The opportunity for Meaker to step up could have been taken with confidence that we'd have sufficient runs. We were not so desperate or concerned that any extra runs Bresnan would contribute justified his selection.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

India gives a very sportive challenge for a decision in the test but England got sissy and went for the draw so that they can win the series, and yet they are so proud of it.

Posted by vichan on (December 18, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

@ electric_loco_WAP4 "Aussies own the holy Ashes": Certainly news to me and everyone else. Last time I checked England hold the Ashes. "Counting down to b2b Ashes whitewashes waiting for the Poms next year": You're sounding very much like an Indian fan before this last series! Given that England have won 3 out of the last 4 series, I'd be a little mor circumspect in making such bold assertions...

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 18, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

revival? they only just beat the worlds worst test playing nation and only thanks to some runs from cook at the top of the order when it was easiest to bat. they better hope they improve dramatically or new zealand will enjoy a nice series in england

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 18, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

we forget that flowers although Zimbabwe is basically a saffa that been so they have a penchant to be set in their ways and not alway open to change its just in their DNA. we are lucky that we got him soon enough so the brit in him will come though not sure about the saffa down under, he has his work cut out.

Posted by Selassie-I on (December 18, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

@ Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 18 2012, 09:11 AM GMT) Excellent comments there from someone who clearly didn't read the article, clearly didn't watch the series, and clearly hasn't been watching the 'mighty' Aussies recently... at least we don't have to ball tamper to beat SL in our home conditions. Oh yeah... isn't Clarke injured too? hope he really did in that hammy, if he's out for a year you only have 1 test quality batsman in your team, the LOLs are on you my friend! Also what's the likleyhood that your new bunch of crocked seamer will end all their careers bowling on Indian pitches? or that your groundsman/spinner will outplay the Indian spinners? Bring on the Ashes, you've no chance mate!!!

Posted by   on (December 18, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

Congrats england, they are a very good side.But we dont how good until they play australia who are still trying to rebuild their batting and bowling. England have the better spinners but australia should have a suite of fast bowlers to choose from.These ashes series will be great, far better than the short forms of the game, obviously.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

what on earth makes test cricket to survive? most boring format on the planet. no need to have skill to play test cricket just stay on pitch for ages to get runs.High time to cancel this boring test format to increase the popularity of this great game.

Posted by jb633 on (December 18, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

@elecric_loco- read the article before making nonsensical comments. Where in any of the article does Flower suggest England are the greatest team ever. At the end of the day it has been a poor year for England and we were outclassed by the SA side. We are not the best side in world cricket and I think most of our fans will happily acknowledge that fact. However we have just beaten India in their own backyard. That just does not happen very often. When everyone starts to win there people can start to diminish the achievement. Before then show some common sense and congratulate a fine achievement. I can't wait for the ashes series to start now. It is such a shame that Aus were so depleted in the third test as they would have come over full of confidence if they had beaten the Saffas. In test cricket anyone can beat anyone that is why every series is interesting.

Posted by whofriggincares on (December 18, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

@hammond , sorry I forgot you were the worlds leading cricket historian. How long have the rankings been around? Perhaps I should have said throughout the rankings history. I have been watching test cricket for long enough to have seen Sir Viv launch DK over my head into the second tier of the G when I was a boy. I guess I have joined your long list of trolls who post on here. The english posters on here have had alot of fun trashing us over the last few years , just thought I would give a bit back . Sorry if I dissapointed you oh holy one.

Posted by bouncedout on (December 18, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Brilliant from England

sour grapes from Aus supporters as usual... They'll soon slink off once England go 1-0 in the Ashes. All talk no action from the has beens of world cricket.

Posted by Hammond on (December 18, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

@whofriggincares- educate yourself about English cricket buddy. Test cricket was around prior to 1987.

Posted by whofriggincares on (December 18, 2012, 9:36 GMT)

5 wins , three draws and 7 losses . Fantastic year of test cricket ,at least when compared with 1993 (8 losses from 10 matches)LOL. Sliding down the rankings is the only thing the red and white army has to look forward to in the future.Back down where they have spent so much time throughout history.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 18, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

I'm sure the England camp aren't getting ahead of themselves but, while they have undoubtedly improved since the UAE series against Pakistan, it's hard to say exactly how much. India is certainly not at their best and didn't provide the same level of opposition as Pakistan did, particularly in the form of Ajmal. If India could have swapped out one of their spinners for someone of equivalent ability then things may have been different. Perhaps not too different though because the England batsman mostly looked all at sea in the first innings in Ahmedabad and it looked then like it might be more of the same. They came back well though and, most importantly, played more positively against spin. If they could play Pakistan again right now then the result might be different. That's all academic though. As I and others have said, it's a shame that they now have such a long break before playing in these conditions again, as they may be starting over again to a degree when it comes around.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 18, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

So beating a struggling team in a dull series on dull flat pitches in empty stadiums and the Eng team is suddenly the greatest that ever was!!!...... Well after the bashing Eng got from everyone in the past year they are one heck of a great team...LOL!! Wait for the mother of all thrashings awaiting the Poms when you come across the mighty Aussies and again get owned like the Aussies own the holy Ashes.... counting down to b2b Ashes whitewashes waiting for the Poms next year... you thought that things can't get any worse...??...just wait!!..

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (December 18, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

I think we can forgive Flower for the mistake he made in the 1st test. They made their decision based on their last match in SL which they won by going with 3 seamers and Swann playing being lone spinner and playing Samit Patel at #6 as a part timer. It worked then and they thought it might work in India too. As long as they are willing to learn and change am fine with that. Look, most of us did not expect him to drop Broad or change a winning side for the 4th test and bring in Root. Maybe the KP fiasco has pushed the management to make those hard decision that none likes to make instead of sitting there and be happy with the status quo.

Posted by landl47 on (December 18, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

I wonder what grade Flower would give himself for this series and for this year? He has already admitted that omitting Monty Panesar was a mistake in the first test here. I think he might acknowledge that England has tended to err on the side of keeping players in the side too long when they have been out of form, although he'd probably retort that class will always win out in the end. On the plus side, this England team plays hard and he has made it clear that hard work is a condition of making the team.

Flower's legacy will be a good one. Just how good the next 2 years will decide.

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