Pakistan v England 2011-12 January 29, 2012

The wake-up call no one wanted - Flower

105

Andy Flower, condemned to his first Test series defeat since he took up the England coaching job on a permanent basis, has described their loss to Pakistan in the UAE as "the wake-up call no one wanted to get."

Flower laid the responsibility for the two heavy defeats in Dubai and Abu Dhabi squarely at the feet of England's batsmen and urged them to "face up to facts" and show "courage" in confronting their issues with high-quality spin bowling.

England's dramatic collapse in the second Test, when they were dismissed for 72 in pursuit of a target of 145, leaves them in danger of conceding their No. 1 Test ranking to South Africa if they do not win the final Test in Dubai. A 2-0 or 3-0 defeat, coupled with a 3-0 win for South Africa in New Zealand in March, would be enough for South Africa to take the top spot.

Their long-standing reputation as strugglers in Asian conditions has also been painfully confirmed. In 19 Tests in India, Pakistan, Sri lanka and now the Gulf since winning in Sri Lanka in 2001, England have lost nine, drawn nine and won one - and a sixth series defeat in seven is now inevitable.

"This is a great challenge for all of us," Flower said. "We've got another Test, a one-day series, a couple of Twenty20 games and then we've also got Test series in Sri Lanka and India before the year is out. So these issues will not disappear and we've got to face them with skill and a bit of courage. We've got to be a lot better than we were yesterday. Each individual will have to work very hard in working out his method of scoring.

"Yesterday was tough watching for anyone who loves England cricket. The guys played some really good cricket to get us into that position to chase a total of 145 to win a Test. It is exactly the sort of position you want to be in. But then we weren't good enough to deal with their spinners; we weren't skilful enough and we didn't deal with the pressure well enough. We have to face up to those facts.

Chasing a target of just 145, England's passive approach - Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook laboured for 15 overs in scoring 21 - allowed Pakistan's spin bowlers to build pressure on the batsmen and rendered them close to strokeless at times.

"They made familiar mistakes," Flower said. "We need our batsmen to learn. We didn't put any pressure on their bowlers in the second innings. We allowed them to bowl and create pressure. The conditions to play against quality spinners were difficult and we weren't good enough. We realise that we haven't been very skilful in dealing with that type of cricket.

As demands sounded for changes in the third Test, with the Essex batsman Ravi Bopara looking certain to be given an opportunity, Flower said that he would not be afraid to drop players if necessary.

"Continuity of selection has been part of our strength but very obviously we have to pick players who are most adept at dealing with these conditions," Flower said. "That is what we tried to do. We have lost the series now and of course we have to go into this third Test and pick what we think is the best XI to try and win the game. If that means making a change here and there, then we won't be afraid to do that."

Flower was keen to credit those England players who had enjoyed a good game and the excellent performance of the Pakistan team.

"Maybe we dropped a couple of catches in that first innings that were quite important, but other than that the bowlers and fielders were outstanding and Monty Panesar was great in his comeback game. Jonathan Trott and Alastair Cook were outstanding in that partnership of 139. Stuart Broad was outstanding; he played an aggressive, courageous knock to give us the lead - that was a match-turning performance from him both with ball and bat.

"It's also right to praise the Pakistan team for what they have done. They beat us fair and square. They have beaten us properly in two matches. They have fought hard and worked hard at their game and in a way I'm very happy for them. It's good for their cricket and it's good for their country."

With all the attention falling on an underperforming batting line-up, England have decided not to send for a replacement for the injured seam bowler, Chris Tremlett. Instead the England management have reasoned that the Lions players in contention will gain more benefit from match practice on their tour of Sri Lanka and that, with the likes of Steven Finn and Graham Onions already with the senior squad, England have most bases covered.

England have delayed the announcement of their squad for the limited-overs section of this tour until the end of the third Test. It remains unclear whether Tim Bresnan, who has returned to bowling in England, will have sufficiently recovered from his elbow surgery to warrant selection.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • RandyOZ on January 31, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Andy flower is a terrible coach and england a terrible team. He only got it due to the southern african effect.

  • RandyOZ on January 31, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    England and cricket shouldnt be put in the same sentence. a. they cant play it and b. they arent even english.

  • LastLaugh_PK on January 31, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    What bothers me the most is why are all these Indians rejoicing over OUR victories. I'm sorry but we don't wont to share our hardwork with you and we fight our own battles not for anyone else. You want to show the world that you are better than England then beat them yourselves not through us.

  • JG2704 on January 31, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    @Herbet on (January 30 2012, 13:01 PM GMT) Re your comms re the initial runrate. If a batting side knows that batting will become easier after seeing off earlier conditions/new ball or whatever then fair play, But on this occasion I reckon the pitch was only going to get harder to play on and it set the tone for the whole innings , obviously the Pak bowlers bowled superbly but I feel the England batsmen were at leat part responsible.I may also be the only guy who's not 100% convinced by Taylor.Maybe because I've only watched him in OD or T20 and he never looked that great and I didn't .Also he is (albeit in ODIs) struggling more than any batsman on the lions tour.Regardless I would say that bringing him at this stage could backfire.I'd bring in Finn for Morgan. I don't really see why it should be set in stone that we need to play 6 batsmen and why we can't play 5 bowlers

  • JG2704 on January 31, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    @Vijay_R1965- please show me an article where our team compare's itself with WI of old . It's all in your head. If we're saying Australia's dominance started in mid 90s , if you study their test record they lost 4 series in the SC between 95 and 01 plus one in SL. We have now losy a series away against the best SC Nation , let's see how we get on in SL and India before we are fully judged eh? Or were that Aus side also not true number 1s because they lost 4 series in 6 years in SC or are there different rules for England? We also did draw in SA , but of course their bowlers are 2nd rate???

  • Harry_Kool on January 31, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    Not really sure why so many Indian supporters are happy. At least the 2nd test was a tight contest & the Pommy bowlers have been outstanding, where did the Indian side put up anything that resembled a fight? How are your pie chuckers going to dominate England the same way as the Palistani bowlers? I can see the Lankans putting up a decent show for their spinners are up there, but come on guys, your spinners are well down by comparison. I would worry about the way your team is going to transition rather than toss jibes at the English.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on January 30, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    As much as I like them as batsmen, unfortunately KP and Morgan have to go when England plays a side in Asia with quality spinners. They need to groom batsmen who are specialists of this type of bowling, or who have a natural flair to play it better. One of the only ways to do that is give the English batsmen more exposure playing in Asia. Get them in the IPL, get them on visits for a few months to play country cricket, get them to participate in more tournaments, have more practice matches prior to a test series. These are critical developments that will be needed, otherwise England risks being ridiculed as a No. 1 team riding on the laurels of only performing in 2 or 3 countries and 2 or 3 types of pitches. To be the best, you need to emulate teams of the past that have dominated all conditions year in year out for periods of up to 6, 7 years. I sincerely hope that Pakistan and England both can achieve that. Pakistan for example struggles to bat a lot in Aus and Eng pitches

  • NaniIndCri on January 30, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    I thought the challenge started now (after loosing series), why bother waking up?

  • 12thUmpire on January 30, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    Full credit to Flower for not remonstrating in front of the referee! :-D)

  • jonnybtestmatch on January 30, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    I don't even think SA are particualrly good against spin, and think Pak spinners are class. On that wicket I could not have seen any side, bar India, chasing over 200. The truth is that with groundsman now looking to produce result orientated wickets, the tecniques of batsmen are being shown to be sub standard. I think the decade from 00-10 has over inflated global batting averages and has made mediocre players look class. Take England as a case point. Atherton was tecnically better than Cook, yet average is comparably lower. I think we will begin to see global averages fall, and consequently the resurection of test match cricket. I think there is no point in whigning about foreign conditions, as players in previous eras have found ways of adapting. To all PAK fans you will not hear my fellow Englishmen complaining about rank turners. And neither shoudl Indians complain about a green seamer. At least we are not having to endure any dull draws recently.

  • RandyOZ on January 31, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Andy flower is a terrible coach and england a terrible team. He only got it due to the southern african effect.

  • RandyOZ on January 31, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    England and cricket shouldnt be put in the same sentence. a. they cant play it and b. they arent even english.

  • LastLaugh_PK on January 31, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    What bothers me the most is why are all these Indians rejoicing over OUR victories. I'm sorry but we don't wont to share our hardwork with you and we fight our own battles not for anyone else. You want to show the world that you are better than England then beat them yourselves not through us.

  • JG2704 on January 31, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    @Herbet on (January 30 2012, 13:01 PM GMT) Re your comms re the initial runrate. If a batting side knows that batting will become easier after seeing off earlier conditions/new ball or whatever then fair play, But on this occasion I reckon the pitch was only going to get harder to play on and it set the tone for the whole innings , obviously the Pak bowlers bowled superbly but I feel the England batsmen were at leat part responsible.I may also be the only guy who's not 100% convinced by Taylor.Maybe because I've only watched him in OD or T20 and he never looked that great and I didn't .Also he is (albeit in ODIs) struggling more than any batsman on the lions tour.Regardless I would say that bringing him at this stage could backfire.I'd bring in Finn for Morgan. I don't really see why it should be set in stone that we need to play 6 batsmen and why we can't play 5 bowlers

  • JG2704 on January 31, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    @Vijay_R1965- please show me an article where our team compare's itself with WI of old . It's all in your head. If we're saying Australia's dominance started in mid 90s , if you study their test record they lost 4 series in the SC between 95 and 01 plus one in SL. We have now losy a series away against the best SC Nation , let's see how we get on in SL and India before we are fully judged eh? Or were that Aus side also not true number 1s because they lost 4 series in 6 years in SC or are there different rules for England? We also did draw in SA , but of course their bowlers are 2nd rate???

  • Harry_Kool on January 31, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    Not really sure why so many Indian supporters are happy. At least the 2nd test was a tight contest & the Pommy bowlers have been outstanding, where did the Indian side put up anything that resembled a fight? How are your pie chuckers going to dominate England the same way as the Palistani bowlers? I can see the Lankans putting up a decent show for their spinners are up there, but come on guys, your spinners are well down by comparison. I would worry about the way your team is going to transition rather than toss jibes at the English.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on January 30, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    As much as I like them as batsmen, unfortunately KP and Morgan have to go when England plays a side in Asia with quality spinners. They need to groom batsmen who are specialists of this type of bowling, or who have a natural flair to play it better. One of the only ways to do that is give the English batsmen more exposure playing in Asia. Get them in the IPL, get them on visits for a few months to play country cricket, get them to participate in more tournaments, have more practice matches prior to a test series. These are critical developments that will be needed, otherwise England risks being ridiculed as a No. 1 team riding on the laurels of only performing in 2 or 3 countries and 2 or 3 types of pitches. To be the best, you need to emulate teams of the past that have dominated all conditions year in year out for periods of up to 6, 7 years. I sincerely hope that Pakistan and England both can achieve that. Pakistan for example struggles to bat a lot in Aus and Eng pitches

  • NaniIndCri on January 30, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    I thought the challenge started now (after loosing series), why bother waking up?

  • 12thUmpire on January 30, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    Full credit to Flower for not remonstrating in front of the referee! :-D)

  • jonnybtestmatch on January 30, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    I don't even think SA are particualrly good against spin, and think Pak spinners are class. On that wicket I could not have seen any side, bar India, chasing over 200. The truth is that with groundsman now looking to produce result orientated wickets, the tecniques of batsmen are being shown to be sub standard. I think the decade from 00-10 has over inflated global batting averages and has made mediocre players look class. Take England as a case point. Atherton was tecnically better than Cook, yet average is comparably lower. I think we will begin to see global averages fall, and consequently the resurection of test match cricket. I think there is no point in whigning about foreign conditions, as players in previous eras have found ways of adapting. To all PAK fans you will not hear my fellow Englishmen complaining about rank turners. And neither shoudl Indians complain about a green seamer. At least we are not having to endure any dull draws recently.

  • Urajapakse on January 30, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Highly overrated team with less talented cricketers- WAKE UP ANDY

    THERE ARE MUCH BETTER SIDES ELSEWHERE.

  • Herbet on January 30, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    Our batsmen look awesome flogging fast bowlers about, but take pace off the ball, or the pitch, and we are truly pathetic. Its one of the reasons we struggle so much in ODI's. 21 runs off 15 overs is criminal. At that rate we would have ran out of time even chasing 145! There is a lot of focus on Pietersen and Strauss but Morgan is the one I would chop. Spin was supposedly his speciality but he has flopped. Given that he's not great against pace I think that makes him a pretty ropey Test player. Time for James Taylor to be given a go for me.

  • No_1_again on January 30, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Ian Bell a good player of spin? must be kidding... Should ask Warne about that.

  • JG2704 on January 30, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    @Vijay_R1965 on (January 29 2012, 16:29 PM GMT) - please show me an article where our team compare's itself with WI of old . It's all in your head. If we're saying Australia's dominance started in mid 90s , if you study their test record they lost 4 series in the SC between 95 and 01 plus one in SL. We have now lost a series away against the best SC Nation , let's see how we get on in SL and India before we are fully judged eh? Or were that Aus side also not true number 1s because they lost 4 series in 6 years in SC or are there different rules for England? We also did draw in SA , but of course their bowlers are 2nd rate??? Please publish

  • Garp on January 30, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    @jackiethepen- you are spot on! Flower all but admits they came into this series totally unprepared but doesn't see it as the managements fault? Who actually runs this lot? It appears to be the cricketers themselves, I guess if a coach asks them to do something they don't want to like saying hey guy's you've had 3 months off there is an overseas tour to a place your all notoriously horrible at dealing with maybe we should leave a few weeks early and get prepared on their wickets is just to much to ask of these multi-millionaire pampered underachievers. Then again isn't that what got Moores fired from the England coaching job? wanting the players to get together before a series to be properly prepared in a structured training camp. From what we've been told over the years these players believe they are more than capable of preparing themselves for a series and so is the agreement, so since they failed to do so shouldn't they be facing reprimands? or do the players dictate proceedings?

  • Nutcutlet on January 30, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    @ Jackiethepen.Your comments re: Gooch and Thorpe, spot on, IMO. I do, however, take issue with your criticism of Andy Flower. He, with his co-selectors, have sent this team to the UAE believing it to be the best available for the task in hand. The squad did great things in last winter's tests & there was every reason to be confident that things would work out on this shorter tour with the same players - and continuity certainly has its plus points. Where England has come unstuck is in not having had sufficient practice on these pitches against classy spinners who know precisely how to exploit the conditions. Perhaps preparation wasn't long enough, perhaps England was a tad over-confident, believing that someone or two would get runs whilst the bowlers did their stuff. A collective failure of the batting wasn't anticipated, nor the quality of the Pak attack. Flower will own up to his shortcomings (he's like that), but he can't bat for them too! The major failing rests with the players.

  • VettiPayyan on January 30, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    Hmm.. curious 2 kno if now Eng can be called Fast Track bully ? the moment they face slow turners.. they dont know how to play much like SA and Aus. ********** There's too much focus on pacers.. Remember.. when a pacer gets a wicket its mostly out of aggression.. but when a spinner gets one, its out of intelligence mostly.. Altho an Indian, I like Ajmal a lot.. .. a classy bowler and much better than the over hyped Swann who was highly ineffective in Ashes and was pounded even by the likes of Amit mishra in Eng.. This is to all Eng supporters.. dont brand anyone as Flat track bully.. Ian Bel looks so loose outside his home.. He shud be the Fast Track bully :-) Also I my prediction of 2-1 Pak, is provind to be correct... afer the 5-0 drubbing in ODIs

  • veerakannadiga on January 30, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Fair comments from Andy Flower.He's stated things as they are.But talking is one thing and performance on the field is another. The question to be asked is Can England overcome their "spinphobia"?.In all honesty England is not as bad as they are made out to be and pakistan is not as good as they are made out to be. As far as India & SL winning against England on their home turfs........... Do not count your chickens before they hatch.

  • anver777 on January 30, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Eng player's unwanted & fans unexpected collapse lost the pride of the team....... Very poor effort specially by Eng batters...... failing to chase 145 by world's no.1 test team is truly inexcusable. Already they've lost the series & if they loose the final test they may loose no.1 status as well !!!!!!

  • SirEngland on January 30, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    Ask Botham to call up his mother-in-law to play for England!!

  • farkin on January 30, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    go Pakistan white was the England team as for comparing India and England its like comparing lite bitter beer with lite lager beer both are tasty but unfulfilling

  • zenboomerang on January 30, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    As usual both the ECB & the media have allowed Eng cricket to be pumped up beyond any rational level... Both Oz & Ind were weak teams - Oz since 2007 has been trying to get itself rebuilt but lacked imagination... Don Argus fixed that... Eng hasn't been bowled to by a good unit since 2009/2010 in SA - so 2 years of junior international cricket... SA & Pak are improving greatly & Oz will get there in the next 1-2 years... Eng needed to win all its series this year to retain the no.1 position...

  • zenboomerang on January 30, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    I like the bit about not bringing in any Lions bowlers... That would have been just more SA born players added to the team... lol...

  • Sandt on January 30, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Everyone was against India when they were no.1 and said they dont deserve to be there. And all english media was over the moon when England become No.1. Now seeing this series this is not a no.1 team should do. This means Eng is good only in Eng. Why blame asian teams saying that they can win only in Asia. Why ENG/SAF/NZ cannot win in Asian countries. Aus and WI at their prime was the only teams done well in Asia. And if you look at overall cricket history Aus was the best team who can claim No.1 at the time of Steve waugh and Ponting. If england were No.1 side they should have won this match. The hunger or extra mileage to win is not showing which has shown only by Aud.

  • sahee-srilankan11 on January 30, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    england and india only talk no use...............

  • prannsshu on January 30, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    @JG2704 no..... a big no.........!!! finn in place of morgan... doesnt make any sense........!!! its english batting suffering ryt nw.. nt the bowling.....!!! i mean wt more u ask from ur bowlers... they are doing superb job.... in batting morgan is... i dont thing a test player......!! as far as bopara is concerned.. he has never given the ryt opportunity (i knw some people dont agree with me)..... after 3 tons in a row.. he got failed in 4 tests nd dropped.... not fare... in ODis he is always confused with position he bats..!!! his bowling is a crucial in odis bt never being used as much... he is the future of english cricket ..dude.. jst need to use him..!!!

  • Spelele on January 30, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Oh please, there is nothing that can be done about this overrated team's no show! It's quiet clear that they are not good enough. Their rise to No.1 was due to luck. I don't buy this "The bowling was so good, any team would have struggled", or "the conditions were difficult" nonsense. It should be remembered that SA were only bowled out once (that too for 380!) against this same team, on the same pitches a year or so ago. In the one match that Ajmal played, he was blasted around for 195 runs and only 3 wickets. Not to mention Rehman's figures of 10 wickets for over 430 runs throughout the 2 match series! And to think that England were blown away by the same bowlers?? All of Kallis, De Villers, Amla and Smith scored centuries in that SA-PAK series! The truth is that SA or Aus would have chased 145 runs with so much time left. Surely Clarke, Amla, Kallis, Hussey or De Villiers would have at least used their feet to these bowlers? Both SA and Aus are better against spin than England.

  • Spelele on January 30, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Oh please, there is nothing that can be done about this overrated team's no show! It's quiet clear that they are not good enough. Their rise to No.1 was due to luck. I don't buy this "The bowling was so good, any team would have struggled", or "the conditions were difficult" nonsense. It should be remembered that SA were only bowled out once (that too for 380!) against this same team, on the same pitches a year or so ago. In the one match that Ajmal played, he was blasted around for 195 runs and only 3 wickets. Not to mention Rehman's figures of 10 wickets for over 430 runs throughout the 2 match series! And to think that England were blown away by the same bowlers?? All of Kallis, De Villers, Amla and Smith scored centuries in that SA-PAK series! The truth is that SA or Aus would have chased 145 runs with so much time left. Surely Clarke, Amla, Kallis, Hussey or De Villiers would have at least used their feet to these bowlers? Both SA and Aus are better against spin than England.

  • jmcilhinney on January 30, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    @ElPhenomeno, you are an example of how people see what they want to see. In the series before this one KP scored 202*, 1, 29, 63, 63 & 175 while Bell scored 45, 0, 31, 159, 34 & 235. How is that "haven't done anything of note in quite some time now"?

  • Fast_Track_Bully on January 30, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    I am happy to see English fans back to earth after their series win over India. India lost away series in bouncy pitches and England lost away series in turning track. So nothing for them to hype. Yet another whitewash waiting for you, England. Already have one in ODI in India!

  • landl47 on January 30, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    The first test was a wake-up call. The second test was a demonstration that England aren't good enough in these conditions. Assuming England aren't prepared to settle for that, something different must be done. The bowlers did everything that could be expected (and the team selection was right). Too many of the batsmen just showed lack of technique and application. These are good players (with the possible exception of Morgan, who doesn't look like a test quality batsman to me and never has), so the method of coaching has to change. It's up to you, Andy.

  • indiasupbangalore on January 30, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    @WeeBee you have a point BCCI priority are with ipl, I only wish they would send they rajasthan team when england comes to india, rajasthan will give england run for money, they are top quality first class team. Should not take credit away from pakistan, their batting is weak, still they produce amazing bowlers who can take wickets to win the game. Any thoughts of having a similar pitches throughout the world created by a independent neutral person so a fair game everywhere around the world, like what artificial trough did for field hockey.

  • mars2009 on January 30, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    England doesn't play bad in second test. I guess England missed a trick for not to select Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah for the current series. Both of them are very good in playing spin. England should adopt the policy of horses for courses rather then past performances.

  • satish619chandar on January 30, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    @WeeBee : INdia might not have same quality of Ajmal,Rehman,Hafeez but still what they have might be enough for England i think.. BTW, Thanks Pakistan for showing the whole world about their ability to play spin in tests too.. India did show it a couple of months back in ODIs..

  • satish619chandar on January 30, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    Except for Trott and Cook, everyone looked at sea while facing spin.. Pakistan has the toughest of the spinners to face as they have a unique action.. Tough times ahead for England if SL and India decide to use the weakness of England by producing turning tracks.. England ll bowl well on it but batting looks in a deep hole on facing tracks assisting spin even a minimum level..

  • sritheking on January 30, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    i m an indian n i really love pakistan beating england in this passion.. many of the peoples r commencing that indians r fit make their profile only at home.. not its time for england... wat these peoples going to say for englishmens now...??

  • MN-USA on January 30, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    I am glad that Mr Flower has the balls to accept the reality that Team Englad was outplayed by fair and outstanding performance from an opposition that has been playing well for a while now. (I was thinking and wondering otherwaise, if Rehmans bowling action was suspicious because he wasn't wearing full slevees.) Its the same team that naged to Win a Test in their backyard in 2010 despite all the debackles going around them at that time, and managed to register a WIN against Australia as well to square the test series 1-1. 2012 is a different era for team pakistan, they are without any controversies and playing as a unit by utilizing the best available resources. (without the services of two of their best bowlers). We should hail their performances England should accept their defeat that they were outplayed by a better team......UNLIKE BOB WILLIS who loves to find reasons otherwise.

  • sheenu on January 30, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    From reliable sources, we learn that Bob Willis, Michael Vaughan etc are now trying to find some defect with Abdur Rehman's bowling action, and maybe even the molecular concentration of the air in UAE, for the series loss!! Because, every time England team loses, there MUST be an issue with opposition team's bowling action, or that the opposing team is resorting to ball-tampering, especially when the opposing team is from the sub-continent!! When W&W reverse-swng the ball, it was ball-tampering, but when James Anderson does it, it is brilliant bowling, ain't it, Bob? England ridiculed India saying how India could be No. 1 when they could not win in England, SA or Aus. But, England CAN be No. 1 when they lose by 10 wkts and get bowled out for 72 !!

  • saguni on January 30, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    So, is it true that most teams can only play better in their own backyard and find it difficult to play overseas? Still, no team has fared as poorly as the current Indian test team losing 8 matches overseas. We shouldn't forget that England beat Australia in their backyard; so, maybe England, NZ, & Australia play seam better whereas the subcontinent plays spin better. West Indies used to play everything better. Pakistan team seems to be doing good. Misbah seems like the next Rahul Dravid in the making...

  • 1egend on January 30, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    Wow, if Rehman, Ajmal and Hafeez has done this. what is going to happen in ODIs and T20s when AFRIDI will be also part of playing eleven. I am really excited about ODIs and T20s

  • Leggie on January 30, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    This was really the first challenge for this England team against a "good" bowling attack. During the last Ashes, they played an Australian attack led by Michel Johnson - whose form goes up & down and with it the entire Aussie line-up struggled. Then came the series against Sri-Lanka-wthout-Murali, which can be quite ordinary, and a series against the toothless "Injured-India" attack. It's definitely given them a false sense of comfort.

  • mohanan on January 30, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    I don't understand that England who were able to score higher than pakistan in the first innings, could not score well in their second innings. Is it because of the deterioration of the pitch? Batsmen like Mike Hussey have shown (at Galle) that one could survive such conditions. So, I think England should think about their technique against spin. Flower, who himself is an excellent batsman against spin, should be able to sort that out.

  • warnerbasher on January 30, 2012, 1:25 GMT

    Hey Maddy20. In the same period mentioned in the article above Australia has played 19 won 9 lost 5 in the subcontinent and just beat SL in Sri Lanka. South Africa played 18, lost 8 won 3. Bangers is not included in the above stats. Australia can generally play successfully in the subcontinent its just that England, South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies can't.

  • TheDoctor394 on January 30, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    @ ElPhenomeno - you say "KP and bell haven't done anything of note in quite some time now yet they get picked continuously." This is a ludicrous comment. They haven't done anything of note in quite some time becuase they haven't been playing! Bell averaged over 100 throughout last year's tests. In the last test innings the two played before the Pakistan series, Bell scored 235 and Peterson 175. That's why "they get picked continuously."

  • maddy20 on January 30, 2012, 0:23 GMT

    @JG2704 SL is also going through a tough space and are desperately looking for Murali's replacement. Their batsmen are out of form and cannot play even in home conditions. And that is the side that Aus has beaten. Australia has not won a single test in India in 5 years and England's record goes even far back. I guess SA will take their rightful place as No.1 by this summer!

  • Simoc on January 29, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    I agree with George. Scoring 21 in the first 15 overs of the second dig is hopeless. Pretty much announcing to your team that the bowlers are to good. At that stage Prior should have been elevated to first or second drop in an attempt to get momentum into the innings.. If Trott had been right for first drop England may have got there. Flower has proved to be an excellent coach but Strauss's form and leadership in the chase are questionable.

  • Patchmaster on January 29, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    Gooch should be ashamed of himself. New blood in the BATTING COACH role please.

  • Dr.Hasan on January 29, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    Extremely balanced and fair comments. Thanks Mr. Flower for acknowledging the Pak team. We wish you best of luck in your future endeavours....just not against Pakistan :)

  • 5wombats on January 29, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    @maddy20. Of course! Where else would you be but here gloating. You know - you really should change your name to @maddy8-0. Talk of reality checks from you is hysterical! To parapharse Oscar Wilde; "To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose eight looks like carelessness". And another thing; Newsflash - INDIA DIDN'T WIN THIS GAME - PAKISTAN DID! ha ha! And they played brilliantly to beat England. The true "really sad scenario for test cricket"..... is that india are incapable of playing it away from home.... Enjoy. Please publish.

  • DeeSharma007 on January 29, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    So England can't play spin...... whats new, perhaps all the biased English commentators should watch replays of how hopeless they are in conditions not suited to them. Or they should wait until they get utterly obliterated by Sri Lanka, South Africa and them totally destroyed by India in sub continent conditions.

  • the_blue_android on January 29, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    Welcome to the other side of the world, pommies. The frog will soon realize that their pond is not the only body of water on this planet.

  • yorkslanka on January 29, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    @yorkshirematt- come on mate, your'e happy to accept players from all around the world when they are doing well, but when they fail, they are "players from outside the broad acres"??if you took the variuos players that this England team have inherited from other countries through naturalisation, you would really be struggling...

  • shamlaatu on January 29, 2012, 22:18 GMT

    What's really concerning is that English batsmen did not even try to win. They were just blocking blocking blocking in the last innings. I thought Misbah was having a bad effect on our entire batting line with this "block block block till you get out" disease but looks like it's contagious to opponent as well.

  • Fifthman on January 29, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Full credit to Pakistan for the way they played, their confidence, maturity and skill. They will be tough for any team in the world to beat in this frame of mind. But England were their own worst enemies. They needed to take the game by the scruff of the neck like Broad did in the first innings, but instead they let the Pakistani bowlers dictate terms.

  • Arqamkhan99 on January 29, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    @candyfloss even south africa could not beat pakistan in UAE, the series was a draw. it was the first series of misbah as captain and his team looks even more settled and hungry now

  • DomP on January 29, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    Sadly, my doom and gloom prophecy seems to have come true. How many chances will Morgan get? KP hasn't delivered reliably for a while now either. I do hope some fresh blood gets a chance now.

  • explorer76 on January 29, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    I am a pakistani supporter, but I think the england team deserves respect. They played good fighting cricket and for most of second test they were ahead. In terns of pure talent Pakistan doesn't really have many "gifted" players right now - certainly no where near as many as we had in the past. However pakistan has had a great attitude which has helped us prevail. But I hope that this victory doesn't cause administrators to ignore the weaknesses that need to be addressed. One major concern has been the lack of contribution from fast bowlers - sure conditions were spin friendly but england fast bowlers still had an impact. Misbah seemed to have little confidence in our fast bowlers. This is something which has to change going forward. We need to groom our fast bowlers and have them as match winning options. Also while the batsmen always put a good fight, they never really seemed to dominate the opposition - a strong team in good form will not let us get away with that.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 29, 2012, 21:27 GMT

    Many English fans got angry when England's ability to play on slow and low surfaces was questioned following the 4-0 whitewash of India last summer. I hope these 2 losses buries that doubt. England are still a WEAK team in Asian conditions. Their batsmen are found wanting time and time again against aggressive, quality spin bowling. England still have a good bowling attack for all conditions but their batsmen are simply not good in Asia. It doesn't matter what excuses Andy Flower gives but the reality is there for all to see. England as it stands are good in their HOME conditions but outside they are just as bad as some of the other teams going around. This makes me QUESTION the ICC rankings and the way it's calculated. I feel there should be a test championship tournament with 2 tiered league and relegation system. The league should feature home and away matches so that no single team can constantly sit at home and win easily. This format will help us determine the next no1 side.

  • Jarr30 on January 29, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Wonder where is Vaugan & Nasser Hussain hiding? Wht happened to this sooo called NEW ICC NO#1 SIDE?? England can never play in sub-continent, or play spin. England don't deserve to be No#1. Even Bangladesh will beat this English side.

  • wc1992 on January 29, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    was England sugar free this time because i did not see much reverse swing ...without sugar they are nothing

  • sashi94 on January 29, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    I no longer believe in Test rankings because no team can play well outside their comfort zone. All the test teams have become so strong at home and the #1 ranking will come to the team with most home matches in the next 2-3 years. There is a grave disparity in pitches in cricket. The toss is also another huge factor which affects test cricket. ICC needs to do something about this. Make test cricket more interesting. In basketball playoffs, in a 7 game series.. the teams change venues everyother game and the team with the better record goes on to host the 7th game if necessary. In cricket, why not play 2 tests away and 2 tests at home.. rather than a prolonged series which lasts for 2 months where one team is at complete advantage. In the case of england and pakistan, eventhough the venues are not technically 'home' for pakistan, the pitches are prepared by the pakistani curators to their teams advantage.

  • Philip_Gnana on January 29, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    The boot is now on the other foot. It was not too long ago when Sri Lanka were bundled out for 82 in Cardiff. That was pure bad batting and a fluke of a win for England. Here we find England caught totally napping. Unable to face up to good spin bowling. This will only get worse with the two tours to the sub continent. Spin being a different ball game. Australians always played better against spin than the rest of the non-sub continental nations. With Pakistan on the way up, England will need to find a way of facing top class spin. No short fixes. To be the best you need to be beating the Asian nations at home too. Philip Gnana, Surrey

  • JG2704 on January 29, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    @ prannsshu on (January 29 2012, 17:19 PM GMT) - To me that's just a sideways step , although maybe a slightly better option than Morgan. Why not Finn for Morgan? OK you can say that Finn can't bat , but neither can most of the specialist batsmen at the moment

  • JG2704 on January 29, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    @3liteindia on (January 29 2012, 16:47 PM GMT) - You think Strauss and Bell have played Spin well on tour. Bell has been hopeless and Strauss no better. Trott and Cook have looked the best of our batsmen. More by default mind.

  • JG2704 on January 29, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    @Vijay_R1965 on (January 29 2012, 16:29 PM GMT) - please show me an article where our team compare's itself with WI of old . It's all in your head. If we're saying Australia's dominance started in mid 90s , if you study their test record they lost 4 series in the SC between 95 and 01 plus one in SL. We have now losy a series away against the best SC Nation , let's see how we get on in SL and India before we are fully judged eh? Or were that Aus side also not true number 1s because they lost 4 series in 6 years in SC or are there different rules for England? We also did draw in SA , but of course their bowlers are 2nd rate???

  • JG2704 on January 29, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    @maddy20 on (January 29 2012, 13:44 PM GMT) - Not totally sure if I agree with your generalistic view. Australia won a series in SL last year and I'd still back our guys to win in SL provided our batsmen show an improvement.

  • JG2704 on January 29, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    @stark-truth on (January 29 2012, 13:21 PM GMT)- You're right that it was ironic that Broad said he fancied chasing 250 but you say Pak's tail gritted out useful runs - well if you call the tail wickets 6-10 they carved out 85 runs over both inns. In the 1st inns England's 6-10 made 100 runs , but yes you are right although I blame our batsmen - Broad and Swann's runs are useful but I was hoping Broad would not even be called upon in the 2nd inns.

  • Patchmaster on January 29, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    ENg bowlers must be livid with the spineless performance from the batsman. How KP can hold his place at the moment is beyond me. Why do we NEVER here from Graham Gooch - the BATTING coach ? He just seems to be unaccounatable for ANOTHER collapse - can anyone explain this ?

  • TariqNajmi on January 29, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    3rd Test Pakistan Should Replace a Fast Bowler with a Proper Batsman Like Omar Akmal or an All-Rounder Like Abdul Razzaq

  • stark-truth on January 29, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Those Indians and Lankans salivating at the prospect of ambushing England through spinners, are forgetting that Kumble and Murali are no longer playing, and that Pak's magnificent spin duo is the best in the world. Also, Pak's team is a bundle of energy in the ground, unlike the flagging drooping Indian ageing half-asleep brigade. The way Paks fought it out speaks volumes about the impact of team effort - something which "Team" India so ironically lacks. India's only hope against England is that they would resist DRS.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 29, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    I LIKE THE HONESTY OF STRAUSS & FLOWER . THEY ARE ACCEPTING THEIR MISTAKES , SOMETHING WHICH OUR INDIAN TEAM HASN'T LEARN AFTER SUFFERING 8 STRAIGHT LOSSES .

  • jackiethepen on January 29, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    Not impressed that Flower is prepared to heap all the blame on the batsmen. Not a sign that he might have got it wrong also? Isn't he the coach? It is wonderful that he was prepared to accept Coach of the Year on the back of their success but when they fail apparently it is nothing to do with him. Amazing. This team doesn't lack courage but they did lack their batting coach Gooch - who had gone back to England after the first Test. A decent batting coach who stays in the job is needed - like Graham Thorpe. England batted better than Pakistan in the first innings - something everyone seems to have forgotten. Flower doesn't seem to think in terms of partnerships but that is how it was done. Cook with Trott, Bell with Broad. Crucial areas of play is how you put yourself ahead. Flower is a poor coach and always has been. The team needs to think for themselves. I'd like to see him in his pomp go out and attack Ajmal without getting in first. Nous is what the team needs not faux courage.

  • keptalittlelow on January 29, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Great sportsmanship and dignified comments by Andy Flower praising Pakistan. Hope Pakistan shows magnanimity in victory, thats all the sports is all about.

  • pussatina on January 29, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    Dear Vijay are you an Indian fan? I woudn't laugh so much if I were you I watched your spineless batting against Australia. However, you do make some pertinent points & England need to get their act together against spin. But well played Pakistan you played as a team & bowled great.

  • kitten on January 29, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Full credit to Flower in acknowledging England's shortcomings in this series against Pakistan. He has been clear in stating that the batsmen have to pull up their socks in the future if they are to compete in the sub continent. This is so unlike the BCCI who have stuck their heads in the sands, and refused to acknowledge that there is a major problem with this current test team. To lose two series, 4-0, 4-0, one after another is not only a shock, but an acute embarrassment for the millions of Indian followers all around the world. India were #1 for a year and a half, but have been rudely brought down to earth, and if England are not careful, they might suffer the same fate. But I feel, drastic changes may be made, and hopefully, even if England lose the next test as well, they will be better prepared to face SL and India in the future. Looking forward to the next test. Even though the scores were on the low side, it was a thrilling encounter this last test.

  • yorkshire-86 on January 29, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    One of the problems is that England have no backup plan for the batting. The top 6 know if they fail there is no pressure on them because the only alternative is the dire Ravi Bopara who is a tried tried tried and tested failure at the top level, and who proved against Sri Lanka he is clueless and talentless in subcontinental conditions - in fact if you exclude his scores against the West Indies (bowling attack no better than one of county net bowlers) he averages under 20. And in subcontinental conditions he averages under FIVE. England should have picked a talented young batsmen as the reserve rather than sticking with failures.

  • candyfloss on January 29, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    To be honest I am actually surprised by the way the english team has catapulted against Pakistan.The way they clinically demolished our Indian team last year I actually believed they were deserving no.1's, with the batting running as deep as number 10.They also seemed to give test cricket enough respect and focussed a lot on preparation atleast thats what appeared.I guess with the exception of South Africa now there is really no team thats good in all conditions.

  • yorkshirematt on January 29, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    Boycott as coach and Brezzie lad as captain. There's no other way. Lets bring the good times back!!! No more England players from outside the broad acres.

  • prannsshu on January 29, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    bopara should given a chance.... wid 2 seamers he can be handy as 3rd seamer.. and he is more classy nd better batsman than morgan.. bopara is must in 3rd test,,, best of luck england...!!!!

  • Rouky04 on January 29, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Yes england lost 2 times comprehensively but it doesnt mean that england is a good team. I am a pakistani supportor but i am off the view that england was off the color in last innings and pakistan bowled very well but it doesnt mean that england doesnt deserve the No. 1 positon....england will surely have to fight in last test match.

  • WeeBee on January 29, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    England to face Srilanka and India at their homes! ... Srilanka will beat them at home , but England will beat India at their home. REASON is INDIAN TEAM dont have quality spinners like ajmal, rehman, hafeez . . . .

  • LordOfCric on January 29, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Great match!!!! England bowlers are not struggling at all in these conditions, they have quality bowlers now. They didnt let Pak batsmen off the hook for single session. If they keep this kind of bowling performence, they will surely give hard time to India and Srilanka coz both teams doesn't have quality bowlers like Pakistan to restrict England of scoring freely...

  • playitstraight on January 29, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    This issue was always there for a long time, and unfortunately England have still not changed. The only batsmen who can play spin well in the England team are the captain Andrew Strauss, Johnathon Trott and Ian Bell. No one else can play it that well. If England want to be no.1, then first they have to learn how to play spin and how to handle pressure situations instead of collapsing like a bunch of cards like the 72 all out. It will be very interesting when England come to Sri Lanka and India this year.

  • on January 29, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    England has to tour India and Sri Lanka later this year. Unless they learn to bat the spinners, they will loose their ranking, perhaps would be No. 3 by the end of this year.

  • Vijay_R1965 on January 29, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    HA HA HA... What happened to the best in the world? What happened to the new ruthlessness that supposedly became this England team's hallmark, when they were rolling over the hapless Indians? Whatever happened to the brilliant stewardship of Strauss/Flower/Gooch team? And whatever happened to Ian Bell? Wasn't he supposed to have turned a new leaf and become a lion?

    Here's the bottom line. England is good only in England with doctored pitches. Or against particularly poor teams like the Aussies were last year; Heck - that team even lost to India 0-2 in India.And your much vaunted Ian Bell/Pietersen/Morgan can trot out double and triple centuries when the bowlers are Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar and Harbhajan Singh, but the minute the bowling is any good, they revert back to form and can't buy a run to save their lives.

    Till Eng win with some regularity outside of UK, they should show some humility and don't go comparing yourselves with the Windies of 80s of Aussies of the last 15 year

  • vinayespn on January 29, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    England can win if Andy flower is asked to open the batting in subcontinent conditions.. He is the only player who knows a thing or two about batting against quality spin.. LOL :)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 29, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    So, Andy at least now do you concede that England lost the first test not that they are rusty and all of that excuses ala Dhoni style? That test result was just the beginning of the rule rather than the exception that you failed to see. You were in denial when you said England played spinners well in the past.

  • Spelele on January 29, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    Oh please, there is nothing that can be done about this overrated team's no show! It's quiet clear that they are not good enough. Their rise to No.1 was due to luck. I don't buy this "The bowling was so good, any team would have struggled", or "the conditions were difficult" nonsense. It should be remembered that SA were only bowled out once (that too for 380!) against this same team, on the same pitches a year or so ago. In the one match that Ajmal played, he was blasted around for 195 runs and only 3 wickets. Not to mention Rehman's figures of 10 wickets for over 430 runs throughout the 2 match series! And to think that England were blown away by the same bowlers?? All of Kallis, De Villers, Amla and Smith scored centuries in that SA-PAK series! The truth is that SA or Aus would have chased 145 runs with so much time left. Surely Clarke, Amla, Kallis, Hussey or De Villiers would have at least used their feet to these bowlers? Both SA and Aus are better against spin than England.

  • kp289 on January 29, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    england need to quickly analyse teir defeat.... their bowlers bowled with guts and courage but their batsmen mainly kp,morgan need to step up!!!! but surely england have the ability to win the third test....they have to or else their their no.1 status will be under scrutiny...god save the queen.!!!!!

  • D-Ascendant on January 29, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    Added Flower: "And let's see how Pakistan play when they tour England... we should prepare rank seaming green tracks. Remember how we beat them when they last toured England? We're World No. 1, remember... how dare the media question us?"

  • adnan_rifat84 on January 29, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    at least some body praised WELL PLAYED PAKISTAN thank you flower hope your team learn from the mistakes they making against the spin.

  • gkannuchamy on January 29, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    Glad, I don't read anything ominous such as 'calling for the blood of senior cricketers' in the side like the one I see everyday in Indian media.

  • shahbazhussain on January 29, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    Andy is really a great cricketer.

  • ajmal1988 on January 29, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    I like team Flower/Strauss team mentality. They are saying fair and square that they were beaten by a better side in these conditions. They genuinely want to improve and adjust to the conditions in UAE/subcontinent, unlike India who are telling the curators to prepare rank turners (Gambhir) and don't even bother to care about the fact their fans are sick and tired of this performance. Flower is facing media, while India send Ashwin to tell the rest of the world that they are still not embarrassed.

  • Lion_96 on January 29, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    After England's dismal performance in the 2 Tests.....would this result in calls for rank turners in England? Seem to recall many comments on making green seamers in India after the WACA Test.

  • nzcricket174 on January 29, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    I bet he wishes he was still playing so he could show his team how useless they are.

  • Nampally on January 29, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    When you are winning, every thing clicks. England had the visiting teams like SL & India last year sharing the tour. These teams never had time to adjust to the English pitches when the tour was so short with very little adjusting time. Now England spent considerable time getting ready to the Dubai pitch. Yet failed against spinners. This should make England realise how tough it was for India to adjust to the pitches + cope with injuries to key players. England has all its top bowlers & batsmen FIT yet failed badly!.Pakistan has a golden chance to sweep the series & knock England out of #1 spot in test cricket. I do wish them all the luck in doing so.It must be recalled that India whitewashed England 5-0 in ODI's in Indiajust 6 months back.England justified that loss due to it being ODI NOT Tests!.Well England will face SL & India , away. Can they repeat the whitewash from their home series?Unlikely. It shows that all teams appear great at home but are quite the reverse abroad!.

  • maddy20 on January 29, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    World No.1 that Can't chase 145 is not a world No.1. Infact they are about to be clean swept! A serious reality check for the English. It confirms the fact that teams that are used to Seaming conditions cannot play on turning tracks(barring SA ofcourse) and teams that can play on turning tracks cannot play on seaming conditions. A really sad scenario for test cricket.

  • shahzebkhaan on January 29, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    pakistani fan but good to see andy and co accepting their weakness and determine in worked them out..perhaps the only way to cope with them good luck england and WELL done PAKISTAN

  • stark-truth on January 29, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Remember that Pak was playing with 10 players in the test and hardly used Junaid. He may have to make way for a batsman - that will compound England's problems. Ironical how bombastic Broad's statement the day before transpired...Pak's "tail" gritted out useful runs and the England whole lineup folded spectacularly - and Broad going out without touching a single ball!

  • Nutcutlet on January 29, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Well said, Andy! Perhaps it was a script that could have been predicted, but it does put the failing batsmen in the UAE, who have probably begun to regard themselves as auto-picks, on notice. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES does England want to fall into the Indian mind-set trap where several players have for years regarded themselves as undroppable. England under Flower & Strauss has developed an enviable work & team ethic, efficiency and attention to detail. None of this needs to be lost (another argument for keeping Strauss for the time being, btw) whilst changes in personnel are managed. It'd be perverse & illogical not to give Bopara (no matter what people may think) a chance to show what he's made of, as he has been part of the set up for long enough to know the drill and have imbibed the ethos. I fully expect him to replace Morgan. Next question: who's in line to replace KP? Flower must have a clearer idea than any Eng. follower. His judgement will be sound, for sure. Soon pls, Andy!

  • jplterrors on January 29, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Flowers got a big job ahead 2 turn this around as a BATSMEN get him back out there cant do any worse then KP Morgs or Belly could show em how its done.

  • Built_4_the_Kill on January 29, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    There is a similarity with England' series loss to Pakistan and India's series loss to Australia. Before the series started, Strauss and few of other English players were allowed by ECB to travel to India and/or South Africa to be better prepared for this series and especially better prepared to handle spin. BCCI is the other board which allowed few of its (playing eleven) players to arrive in Australia much much earlier to get some practice on seamy and bouncy wickets. India lost the series 4-0 and England is not far away achieving 3-0 deficit. Main reason for losses for both countries is, India lost the series b'coz their batsmen were not able coup the bounce and seam. England lost the series b'coz their batsmen are unable to play spin. You don't open your wounds to your opponents. ECB and BCCI made this mistake and now paying for this stupidity. BCCI sent the message to CA that batsman are scared of bounce and seam and same message was sent by ECB about spin.

  • ElPhenomeno on January 29, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Credit to flower for calling them out. But I dont think its simply a matter of playing spin better. English have never been mentally tough. Add to that some of the selections are baffling. KP and bell haven't done anything of note in quite some time now yet they get picked continuously. Its one thing to win in conditions you find familiar, entirely another to win against subcontinental sides in their backyard. I see some pain and possibly loss of #1 rank in england's near future. Sri lanka and india tours will be much more unforgiving.

  • ibtisamAB on January 29, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    I said it before this series and I will say it again - England are completely overrated. They received their number 1 ranking through beating a declining Australian side when they still had number 1, and a declining Indian side when they still had number 1, which gave them a lot of points in the ranking system. They will have to fight hard in Sri-Linka to keep their number 1 ranking, but even if they manage that South Africa will come to take it from them at home to complete the unmasking.

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  • ibtisamAB on January 29, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    I said it before this series and I will say it again - England are completely overrated. They received their number 1 ranking through beating a declining Australian side when they still had number 1, and a declining Indian side when they still had number 1, which gave them a lot of points in the ranking system. They will have to fight hard in Sri-Linka to keep their number 1 ranking, but even if they manage that South Africa will come to take it from them at home to complete the unmasking.

  • ElPhenomeno on January 29, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Credit to flower for calling them out. But I dont think its simply a matter of playing spin better. English have never been mentally tough. Add to that some of the selections are baffling. KP and bell haven't done anything of note in quite some time now yet they get picked continuously. Its one thing to win in conditions you find familiar, entirely another to win against subcontinental sides in their backyard. I see some pain and possibly loss of #1 rank in england's near future. Sri lanka and india tours will be much more unforgiving.

  • Built_4_the_Kill on January 29, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    There is a similarity with England' series loss to Pakistan and India's series loss to Australia. Before the series started, Strauss and few of other English players were allowed by ECB to travel to India and/or South Africa to be better prepared for this series and especially better prepared to handle spin. BCCI is the other board which allowed few of its (playing eleven) players to arrive in Australia much much earlier to get some practice on seamy and bouncy wickets. India lost the series 4-0 and England is not far away achieving 3-0 deficit. Main reason for losses for both countries is, India lost the series b'coz their batsmen were not able coup the bounce and seam. England lost the series b'coz their batsmen are unable to play spin. You don't open your wounds to your opponents. ECB and BCCI made this mistake and now paying for this stupidity. BCCI sent the message to CA that batsman are scared of bounce and seam and same message was sent by ECB about spin.

  • jplterrors on January 29, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Flowers got a big job ahead 2 turn this around as a BATSMEN get him back out there cant do any worse then KP Morgs or Belly could show em how its done.

  • Nutcutlet on January 29, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Well said, Andy! Perhaps it was a script that could have been predicted, but it does put the failing batsmen in the UAE, who have probably begun to regard themselves as auto-picks, on notice. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES does England want to fall into the Indian mind-set trap where several players have for years regarded themselves as undroppable. England under Flower & Strauss has developed an enviable work & team ethic, efficiency and attention to detail. None of this needs to be lost (another argument for keeping Strauss for the time being, btw) whilst changes in personnel are managed. It'd be perverse & illogical not to give Bopara (no matter what people may think) a chance to show what he's made of, as he has been part of the set up for long enough to know the drill and have imbibed the ethos. I fully expect him to replace Morgan. Next question: who's in line to replace KP? Flower must have a clearer idea than any Eng. follower. His judgement will be sound, for sure. Soon pls, Andy!

  • stark-truth on January 29, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Remember that Pak was playing with 10 players in the test and hardly used Junaid. He may have to make way for a batsman - that will compound England's problems. Ironical how bombastic Broad's statement the day before transpired...Pak's "tail" gritted out useful runs and the England whole lineup folded spectacularly - and Broad going out without touching a single ball!

  • shahzebkhaan on January 29, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    pakistani fan but good to see andy and co accepting their weakness and determine in worked them out..perhaps the only way to cope with them good luck england and WELL done PAKISTAN

  • maddy20 on January 29, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    World No.1 that Can't chase 145 is not a world No.1. Infact they are about to be clean swept! A serious reality check for the English. It confirms the fact that teams that are used to Seaming conditions cannot play on turning tracks(barring SA ofcourse) and teams that can play on turning tracks cannot play on seaming conditions. A really sad scenario for test cricket.

  • Nampally on January 29, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    When you are winning, every thing clicks. England had the visiting teams like SL & India last year sharing the tour. These teams never had time to adjust to the English pitches when the tour was so short with very little adjusting time. Now England spent considerable time getting ready to the Dubai pitch. Yet failed against spinners. This should make England realise how tough it was for India to adjust to the pitches + cope with injuries to key players. England has all its top bowlers & batsmen FIT yet failed badly!.Pakistan has a golden chance to sweep the series & knock England out of #1 spot in test cricket. I do wish them all the luck in doing so.It must be recalled that India whitewashed England 5-0 in ODI's in Indiajust 6 months back.England justified that loss due to it being ODI NOT Tests!.Well England will face SL & India , away. Can they repeat the whitewash from their home series?Unlikely. It shows that all teams appear great at home but are quite the reverse abroad!.

  • nzcricket174 on January 29, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    I bet he wishes he was still playing so he could show his team how useless they are.