England in India 2012-13 January 5, 2013

England not lulled by India's woes


As England continue preparations for the one-day series against India, with their opening warm-up fixture against the A side in Delhi on Sunday, in a nearby part of the city the chastened national side will be attempting to regain some pride in the final one-day international against Pakistan.

Rather than the series against Pakistan, crammed between England's two visits, being an opportunity to rebuild confidence after the Test series loss before Christmas, it has laid bare the major issues within the India team. This time, returning to coloured clothes has not given them anywhere to hide.

England, though, at least publicly, are not about to start any gloating at their opponent's expense. Despite an impressive 2012 in one-day cricket, where they rose to No. 1 in the world, their recent record in India does not give them any grounds for presumption ahead of this series. In 2005-06 they lost 6-1, and in both 2008 and 2011 it was 5-0. India may look ripe for the taking this time, but England are playing up the home team's strength.

"I don't think it is a good time to play India. I don't think it is ever a good time to play India," Eoin Morgan said. "We know how successful they have been in the past and they are the World Cup champions at the moment.

"They might be going through a bad patch but they are very, very dangerous cricketers and they have guys who can turn the game on its head in a matter of minutes."

Morgan knows all about turning a game around in an instant. It was his straight six off Ashok Dinda which gave England a last-ball victory in the second Twenty20 in Mumbai that earned them a share of the series.

It was yet another example of Morgan's coolness in the heat of battle and he will have a vital role to play in the upcoming series. After a difficult time at the start of 2012, on a forgettable tour of the UAE facing Pakistan, the home summer reaffirmed his status as a premier middle-order batsman for England in the limited-overs game with 298 runs at 74.50 in 11 matches against West Indies, Australia and South Africa.

The one-day batting line-up he will be part of looks very different to the Twenty20 unit on display a couple of weeks ago. Kevin Pietersen is back after reversing his one-day retirement of last June and is likely to bat at No. 3 behind the opening pair of captain Alastair Cook and Ian Bell who forged a successful combination during the English season. Joe Root and Jos Buttler could be competing for one middle-order spot.

England only arrived back in India two days ago and there are just a couple of warm-up matches for them to prepare, but Morgan is confident that the players will be ready with all the squad, except for Chris Woakes, having spent time in India late last year.

"The majority of our preparation has already been done pre-Christmas," he said. "Many of us have been here since the October 24 or 25 and some of the guys who weren't spent three weeks here before Christmas too. Over the next few days we'll just be doing top-ups in different areas of our games. We are prepared."

The match against India A will also be the first chance for Ashley Giles, England's new one-day coach, to assess the bowling options at his disposal in the absence of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann. Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan are the most experienced figures, supported by Woakes, Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker with James Tredwell and Danny Briggs as the frontline spinners.

It remains uncertain, though, how much play they will be able to get in. The cold mornings have left Delhi shrouded in fog while the light fades early and there are no floodlights at the Palam Cricket Ground.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • QingdaoXI on January 8, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    India can only Beat Sri lanka, England, New Zealand and West Indies in ODis. As they are more poor than Indian team. England should Play with this team: Cook, Bell, Root, Pietersen, Morgan, Buttler, Patel, Bresnan, Tredwell, Finn and Dernbach, than they have chance dont put all good batsmen at top 4 positon if England loose 2 quick wickets it will put pressure on middle order and another exp batsmen can fall in the presure situation, and than it will open the gate for Indian Spinners to kill young middle order as well as tail enders.

  • jmcilhinney on January 7, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @jonesy2 on (January 06 2013, 13:01 PM GMT), while I'm not sure that any England player is going to lose any sleep over the fact that you don't know who they are, Tredwell is the guy who stepped in for the rested Swann and took 2 wickets with an economy rate of 3.28 in Australia's fourth straight loss to England in their most recent ODI series. I think it's safe to say that David Warner and Matthew Wade know who he is.

  • dummy4fb on January 6, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    hey u vacant_slip....u have talked just about the positives of england against india,,,,talk about the t20 drubbing in the wc...by 90 runs...talk about 5-0 whitewash in october 2011...no doubt u outwitted us in the test...a deserving win...but in limited overs...u have to give a lot of effort...english team has the potential..lets see....all the best

  • sachin_vvsfan on January 6, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    @jmcilhinney Not sure about spin bowlers but it appears that there wont be rank turners or flat decks. (The highest score in pak series was 250). Its going to be 3 fast bowlers at least in the main side.

  • jonesy2 on January 6, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    brusselslion -- mate seriously look at this england side. dernbach, bresnan, tredwell (whoever he is), kieswetter, finn, patel, look at these players records, they are woeful, not up to most domestic leagues standard let alone international standard.

  • GeoffreysMother on January 6, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    @jonesy2 Whilst world rankings are not the be all and end all, the fact that England are second to S.A. in the ODI rankings (and were, I think, first until SA played a woeful NZ team) suggests that you are talking rubbish.

    Actually, having watched a bit of the India/ Pakistan series I think that the really interesting series will be S.A. v's Pakistan. It will be very interesting to see if the SA batters can cope with Ajmal even if they produce wickets with minimal spin. It would also seem that Pakistan have the pace bowlers to make it interesting on traditional S.A. wickets.

    Mind you Australian bowlers stock continues to rise and rise ..... at least when they are bowling at Australian batsmen.

  • gsingh7 on January 6, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    india won last 2 series 5-0 make it 3 in 3, come on u blues, come on india

  • A_Vacant_Slip on January 6, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    @MAR00N5 are we going to have to put up with all the trilling from India "fans" all over again? Have you people learned nothing? Are you just another India follower who has just changed their cricinfo name recently? Or are you yet another fairweather India fan? Let us survey India recent trilling. 2011 - they said they would trash England Test match. India were washed 4-0. They said they would thrash England ODI. India lost 3-0. They said they would whip England t20i - India lost. They said Australia Test there for the taking. India were washed there as well 4-0. They said they would win CB series in Australia. India didn't even make the final. They said they would win Asia cup. India didn't even make the final. Fast forward to 2012. They said they would wash in Test in India. India lost 2-1. They said they would flog England t20i. India drew. They said they would whip Pakistan ODI. India lost. So @MAR00N5 this should be a time of quiet reflection for you. A time to not boast.

  • brusselslion on January 6, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    And I thought that silly season was meant to start in August?

    @MAR00N5: Congratulations India A win a warm-up match. All rosy in India's garden again. Excellent.

    @Jonesy: That'll be the same "..worst limited overs side in the world" that whitewashed Australia 6 months ago. BTW: I see that the "world's 2nd best spinner" has just finished a home 3 match series with 7 wickets @ 43.85! Indian & English batsmen quaking in their boots.

  • 30-30-150 on January 6, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip- The ongoing India A vs England match would give you a clear idea "why" England can't beat India.. Poor England are being totally mauled even as I type.