Pakistan v England, 3rd ODI, Dubai February 19, 2012

Squad could go on to better things

While this series win does not make England immediate favourites for the next World Cup, it does show that England are progressing into a highly skilled ODI team
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Short of stumbling upon hidden treasure or a formula for ever-lasting life, it is hard to conceive of a way that the third ODI could have gone much better from an England perspective.

It was not just that England won. It was that they confirmed their dominance over Pakistan by wrapping up the four-match series with a game to play; their captain underlined his newly acquired status as a fine ODI cricketer; their young fast bowler again demonstrated his class; and their star player returned to form following a lean period. England's cup was overflowing with encouragement.

This win does not mean England should suddenly be considered favourites for the next World Cup or that all their problems are resolved. But, after the 5-0 whitewash they suffered in India before Christmas, it does suggest progress.

On the surface, it would seem to mark an abrupt turn of fortunes for both these sides. There were concerns after their 3-0 drubbing in the Test series, that an England team struggling for form and confidence might be thrashed in the ODI series. Instead, led from the front by their captain, they achieved only their second series victory in Asia since 1987 (in series excluding Bangladesh and involving just two nations) and their first away series win (again, excluding Bangladesh) since defeating South Africa at the end of 2009. While England's record in home conditions was good, their record outside the UK was modest.

But perhaps we should not be too surprised. Since Alastair Cook was appointed captain, England have won series against India and Sri Lanka at home and only been beaten by India away. When Cook was appointed England's ODI captain, he accepted that it would take time to change the fortunes of a side that had recently suffered early elimination in the World Cup and warned that there were be "some hiccups on the way". The series in India was certainly a hiccup but, four major series into Cook's leadership, it is possible to trace improvement.

England may well have developed the nucleus of a squad that could go on to bigger and better things. The likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes could be pushing for inclusion in a battling line-up that has performed well here, while the likes of Tim Bresnan will be pushing for inclusion in a bowling line-up that has performed very impressively. That represents a strong squad.

But the greatest success has been the form of the captain. Cook has not just ground out runs as is routinely described. He has timed the ball beautifully, hit the ball with power and scored at a rate of 88.36. He looked every inch a top ODI opener and has surely ended, once and for all, the debate over his position in the side. Had he scored just 20 more runs, he would have become just the fifth man - and the first England player - to register three successive ODI centuries.

Their fielding has been pedestrian, their spinners quiet, the seamers disappointing and the batsmen underperforming
Dobell on Pakistan

Steven Finn, too, has established himself as a fine international bowler. For the third game in succession, he bowled with pace, skill and control and has built on the progress he showed in India. It is increasingly hard to see how England will be able to omit him from any team in any format before long.

And then there is Kevin Pietersen. This was Pietersen's eighth ODI hundred but his first since 2008. He was magnificent in this innings: confident; powerful; brave. It was a reminder of the wonderful player that helped England win the only global trophy they have yet lifted - the World T20 of 2010 - and of the player that was once rated the finest ODI player in the world. One innings - however good - does not prove he is back to his best but proves he is capable of such heights. Aged 32, there is no reason why Pietersen's best should not be in front of him.

"I said I didn't feel as if I was out of form," Pietersen said afterwards. "I didn't know it had been three-and-a-half-years since my last century - that's a long time ago - but I felt very calm. I didn't feel I had a point to prove to anyone. I understand that, if I don't score runs, I'll be criticised and that is fine. I'm very thick skinned.

"ODI hundreds are very hard to get, so when you get them you enjoy them. But to win for England means more to me. This ranks right up there with the best ODI series wins I've experienced. Pakistan are a fantastic team and, after being hammered in India, this is a good place to be."

Cook, meanwhile, praised the spirit of his England team. "We showed character to turn things around," he said, referring to the 3-0 loss in the Test series. "When you lose three in a row, you have every right to be down on yourself but we fronted up. It doesn't mean we've learned all the lessons from India, but it does mean we might be making some progress."

Such a victory requires context. Pakistan were strangely off-colour in this series. That a team that could be so impressive in the Test series could look so anaemic in the ODI series is hard to understand. Their fielding has been at best pedestrian and at worst ragged and their batting has been fragile. While their spinners remained quiet, the seamers disappointed. With the batsmen underperforming, it has proved impossible to balance the side.

In the first two games, at least, there were mitigating factors. They had lost the toss and were obliged to bat under lights. Here, batting first, they were simply outplayed. They were bowled out in all three of these games and have reached 250 only three times in their last 28 ODIs. The England attack is good, certainly, but Pakistan's batting clearly needs strengthening.

"Confidence is a big thing for players," Misbah-ul-Haq said. "You can see by the way they are playing that the England batsmen, as they are getting used to our bowlers and the conditions, are playing with more confidence. All credit to them."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 22, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    @JG2704 on (February 21 2012, 23:01 PM GMT) @valavan is hard core England fan. He is trying to be sarcasm I think. Meanwhile @Satish Viswanathan grinds his Indian axe and chews his sour grapes... it is so funny to see when "ODI World Champs" India are getting pasted yet again away from home. By Sri Lanka this time.

  • JG2704 on February 21, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    @Valavan on (February 20 2012, 22:11 PM GMT) re "we as indian fans dont merit ODIs" eh? @Satish Viswanathan on (February 20 2012, 08:58 AM GMT) You're absolutely right. One England player states a preference for ODIs to be scrapped and that means the whole side and the whole nation think along the same lines? And it is unlikely that Swann will call for tests to be scrapped because if he was as you portray him he'd have done so already. Still good to see that you people remain so humble and dignified when your team is on top of its game.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 21, 2012, 21:58 GMT

    Ho ho @Satish Viswanathan on (February 20 2012, 08:58 AM GMT) are you sure that India do not "whinge and behave like spolit school kids"? You need to look again at India team on the field lately. Kohli putting up the middle finger, lots of carrying on in the latest game against Australia. There is plenty of evidence that suggest opposite to what you say.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 20, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    @Sports4Youth on (February 20 2012, 09:37 AM GMT) - you have made mistake of comparing ODI form to Test form. His Test form is outstanding, if you don't believe it - just ask an Australian. He also smash Indian for 294 runs in 3rd Test match Birmingham - 70 more runs than whole India team put together. Morgan also hit 100 in that match. Now he hits ODI hundreds for fun against Pakistan.

  • Valavan on February 20, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    @Satish Viswanathan, this aint worser than sehwag, gambhir yawning for home tests to show their capaboility. we as indian fans dont merit ODIs, its just a bonus and we are happy they perform after test drubbing, BTW WC 2015 is in Australia, so its reasonable to think of winning WC, we want to win an ODI WC same as other teams, so none spoke about scrapping ODIs. cricinfo please publish.

  • JG2704 on February 20, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    @usmanHM on (February 19 2012, 14:29 PM GMT) Who is saying that England are number 1 in ODIs just because we beat Pakistan. Yes if we're going on the recent form then Pakistan are a much better test team than England. However look at the test series results from both teams from the last 3 years or even last 2 years and the quality of teams each has played. Look at common opponents and how each team did against those opponents. I'm not going to start giving it all the rubbish like "Wait until you visit England" because that's sour grapes and disrespectful towards team Pakistan , just like you are being towards England for winning the ODIs. I would much prefer to have scraped the test series than win the OD series by whitewash - but how about a little respect. Our fans aren't trying to snipe/rub it in aor say it's a revenge mission so why be so grudgeful. Please publush ESPN

  • Sports4Youth on February 20, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    No doubt Cook is a good batsman, but not as good as the ODI figures show. The same Cook managed only one good score of 90+ in the 3 tests series. In the ODI's he has been largely helped by poor captaincy by Misbah and an absoluetly lackluster Gul. Also the poor fielding and wicket keeping helped him.

  • on February 20, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    How times change! The same English side wanted ODIs scrapped after the drubbing in India.Now they consider themselves well placed to win the WC in 2015.Will Graeme Swann call for tests to be scrapped after they get hammered in Sri Lanka & India? India might be no good while playing overseas.But we dont whinge about the format and behave like spolit school kids.

  • jackiethepen on February 20, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    Pakistan have been woeful in the field. Cook apart who has batted beautifully, this has helped the England batsmen to better scores. Bopara was let off twice before he reached 2 in the first ODI. Morgan was dropped yesterday. KP was dropped on 48. Which was fortunate for KP because his first 50 was really flakey. Can Dobell really liken the KP of today with the player of yesteryear? I thought KP could have been dismissed many times over and looked ungainly. After his 50 he began to show us something of the old KP. But the truth is a better side would not have dropped him.

  • JG2704 on February 19, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    @Joninnorwich on (February 19 2012, 11:01 AM GMT) take your points on board there. I actually feel that some of England's batsmen looked absolutely psyched out by Ajmal and Rehman in the tests whereas they looked a lot more at ease in the ODI's esp in the 2nd and 3rd. I realise that they may revert to type when they play SL in the test matches but I hope they don't.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 22, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    @JG2704 on (February 21 2012, 23:01 PM GMT) @valavan is hard core England fan. He is trying to be sarcasm I think. Meanwhile @Satish Viswanathan grinds his Indian axe and chews his sour grapes... it is so funny to see when "ODI World Champs" India are getting pasted yet again away from home. By Sri Lanka this time.

  • JG2704 on February 21, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    @Valavan on (February 20 2012, 22:11 PM GMT) re "we as indian fans dont merit ODIs" eh? @Satish Viswanathan on (February 20 2012, 08:58 AM GMT) You're absolutely right. One England player states a preference for ODIs to be scrapped and that means the whole side and the whole nation think along the same lines? And it is unlikely that Swann will call for tests to be scrapped because if he was as you portray him he'd have done so already. Still good to see that you people remain so humble and dignified when your team is on top of its game.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 21, 2012, 21:58 GMT

    Ho ho @Satish Viswanathan on (February 20 2012, 08:58 AM GMT) are you sure that India do not "whinge and behave like spolit school kids"? You need to look again at India team on the field lately. Kohli putting up the middle finger, lots of carrying on in the latest game against Australia. There is plenty of evidence that suggest opposite to what you say.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 20, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    @Sports4Youth on (February 20 2012, 09:37 AM GMT) - you have made mistake of comparing ODI form to Test form. His Test form is outstanding, if you don't believe it - just ask an Australian. He also smash Indian for 294 runs in 3rd Test match Birmingham - 70 more runs than whole India team put together. Morgan also hit 100 in that match. Now he hits ODI hundreds for fun against Pakistan.

  • Valavan on February 20, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    @Satish Viswanathan, this aint worser than sehwag, gambhir yawning for home tests to show their capaboility. we as indian fans dont merit ODIs, its just a bonus and we are happy they perform after test drubbing, BTW WC 2015 is in Australia, so its reasonable to think of winning WC, we want to win an ODI WC same as other teams, so none spoke about scrapping ODIs. cricinfo please publish.

  • JG2704 on February 20, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    @usmanHM on (February 19 2012, 14:29 PM GMT) Who is saying that England are number 1 in ODIs just because we beat Pakistan. Yes if we're going on the recent form then Pakistan are a much better test team than England. However look at the test series results from both teams from the last 3 years or even last 2 years and the quality of teams each has played. Look at common opponents and how each team did against those opponents. I'm not going to start giving it all the rubbish like "Wait until you visit England" because that's sour grapes and disrespectful towards team Pakistan , just like you are being towards England for winning the ODIs. I would much prefer to have scraped the test series than win the OD series by whitewash - but how about a little respect. Our fans aren't trying to snipe/rub it in aor say it's a revenge mission so why be so grudgeful. Please publush ESPN

  • Sports4Youth on February 20, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    No doubt Cook is a good batsman, but not as good as the ODI figures show. The same Cook managed only one good score of 90+ in the 3 tests series. In the ODI's he has been largely helped by poor captaincy by Misbah and an absoluetly lackluster Gul. Also the poor fielding and wicket keeping helped him.

  • on February 20, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    How times change! The same English side wanted ODIs scrapped after the drubbing in India.Now they consider themselves well placed to win the WC in 2015.Will Graeme Swann call for tests to be scrapped after they get hammered in Sri Lanka & India? India might be no good while playing overseas.But we dont whinge about the format and behave like spolit school kids.

  • jackiethepen on February 20, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    Pakistan have been woeful in the field. Cook apart who has batted beautifully, this has helped the England batsmen to better scores. Bopara was let off twice before he reached 2 in the first ODI. Morgan was dropped yesterday. KP was dropped on 48. Which was fortunate for KP because his first 50 was really flakey. Can Dobell really liken the KP of today with the player of yesteryear? I thought KP could have been dismissed many times over and looked ungainly. After his 50 he began to show us something of the old KP. But the truth is a better side would not have dropped him.

  • JG2704 on February 19, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    @Joninnorwich on (February 19 2012, 11:01 AM GMT) take your points on board there. I actually feel that some of England's batsmen looked absolutely psyched out by Ajmal and Rehman in the tests whereas they looked a lot more at ease in the ODI's esp in the 2nd and 3rd. I realise that they may revert to type when they play SL in the test matches but I hope they don't.

  • on February 19, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    Spot on Joninnorwich, we won't know how good this England One Day side is until the middle order is exposed. Bopara has played well below the openers but so has Patel coming in late but what of Trott, Morgan and Kieswetter?

  • usmanHM on February 19, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    JG2704:::: If you read all my comments together, you will know that my point is that Pakistan is a better test than England: You see the result...It has a reason behind it. First, Azhar Ali, Asad, Misbah, younis khan they are temperamentally test batsmen. Second, in tests you can win games by bowling all the day long by ur best bowlers such Ajmal, Rehman. So, England failed.

    In one days, Pakistan team becomes fragile by all means. Key is above mentioned players are not one day batsmen. Pakistan need find a top order that suits this form of the game. This means that England is much better ODI team than Pakistan. Having said this, however, does not mean that England is no 1 in ODI. As to be number 1 like Aussies have been, England in this format need to beat Inida, Sri lanka in their backyards n aussies and SA of course.

    MOreover, in test England is really a worse team I have ever seen despite their very good bowling attack as their batsmen can't bat good spinners. Watch in SL IND

  • Joninnorwich on February 19, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    I think there are an awful lot of people on here claiming points off each other whether they support England or Pakistan. The truth is during the test matches it was about two teams with quality bowlers and batsmen totally out of form, England's even more so than Pakistan's. The fact that England lost is immaterial, the fact is both sides were abject.

    Even now in the one dayers only three England batsmen have performed. Cook certainly, in all three matches, Bopara (c/o various stumping and catch misses) in two innings and now Pietersen yesterday in one out of three games.

    It was always going to be easier for England's batsmen in the ODIs. For a start, Saeed Ajmal is only allowed 10 overs. But England sure have to get to grips with slow, low, turning pitches and the doosra or the sub-continent teams are always going to have the advantage.

  • JG2704 on February 19, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    George , we've been here before. While it is good to find some form I have to say that Pakistan in ODI's are like our Jeckyll and Hide cousins. They can be brilliant or woeful

  • JG2704 on February 19, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    @ chokkashokka on (February 19 2012, 09:58 AM GMT) - Is there really any need for this sort of trash talk? How about trying to post something constructive on your own sides woes?

  • JG2704 on February 19, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    @usmanHM on (February 19 2012, 07:34 AM GMT)/ (February 19 2012, 01:01 AM GMT)Strange comms - You are certainly not contradicting yourself here buy saying "don't take credit away from Pakistan team who threshed England by 3-0 in actual form of cricket" and then go on to make out that poor Pak bowling and the KP dropped catch were the ONLY reason's Eng won. Or are you saying it's unfair to try and take Paks victory over England away from them but not vice versa?

  • on February 19, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    One of the biggest problem in Pakistani team is IMRAN FARHAT. He is the son-in-law of the chief selector Muhammed Ilyas. His father-in-law keep pushing him despite the fcat that this guy got no talent or skills both for test or one day cricket. He is not at the level of even being a club player. He should be out of the team immediately. Also Azhar Ali is a god test player but he is not ready for one day yet. I think Razzaq should be back and Pakistan should also search for good quality fast bowlers like England's Finn, Broad and Anderson. If Pakistan wants to win IMRAN FARHAT should be out.

    Javed Ahmed

  • chokkashokka on February 19, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    can't wait to welcome them in India - we'll welcome them with garlands and send them back in tatters with their tails between their legs

  • on February 19, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    Arguably the best bowling line up in the world today; Finn, Broad, Anderson, Swann with Bresnan, Dernbach and Tremlett pressing for a go at the XI… Pakistan on the other hand; world beaters on their day need to clean up their act (confusion) and look forward to rebuilding a team that perform consistently

  • Tlotoxl on February 19, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    usmanHM: You are right to say that very few people remember or frankly care about ODI cricket series and I'm sure that will be the case here. The point is that England have been improving with every match in the UAE, 1st test, outplayed completely, second test should have won chasing only 148, thirrd test England scored much better on the same ground as the first test. and now in the ODIs 3 centuries and 3 50s in 3 matches.

  • big_al_81 on February 19, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    Great series win and like several others on here I'd much rather they'd found their form in the tests than the ODIs. However, the real benefit is in gaining confidence for the batsmen in these conditions. With SL round the corner, that's excellent news given the only serious difference between England and Pakistan in the Tests was England havng the greater batting frailties. I'm really surprised at any one saying much about the World Cup 3 years away from it. Nothing means much at this stage - it's a long way off. I'm less surprised about some bright spark trotting out the inane comment about the real test coming 'against Dhoni n co in indian pitches'. Glad you remained anonymous - maybe all cricket should be played in India to make it a 'true test' for everyone else and as easy as possible for India?

  • usmanHM on February 19, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    James HUmphry: I just want to say that Your team won Ashes last year, great....beaten in one dayers by 6-1. Which team was remembered as the winner??? Moreover, I wanted to say that win over Pakistan does not mean that they have sorted their issues of playing against spin. They faced only 20 overs from two quality spinners. They will have to face much more in Sri lanka and India...wait n watch. Peiterson's century was just another innings courtesy of a dropped catch. English win came against a fragile Pakistan side...n if they win against Srilanka and India in one dayers, we can call it a good side. Pakistan is a better test unit, but India n Sri lanka are better one day side. if you win test and lose one days there, you will start saying that we wanted to prove that we are test champions.

  • landl47 on February 19, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    This looks a well-balanced England side. The emergence of Finn has given them a true strike bowler in any conditions. Patel's bowling and batting at #7 means that the batting is deep and the bowling has good variety. The batsmen took a long time to adjust to the different requirements of the type of wickets produced here and on the subcontinent, but they have been steadily improving. If the tests were started now, England would be heavy favorites to reverse the whitewash.

  • Trickstar on February 19, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    @usmanHM LOL Your reply has far too much irony for my liking, your last sentence says 'don't take credit away from Pakistan team ...' hello, isn't that exactly what you're doing with England. Saying stuff like 'England had to face only 20 good overs from Saeed Ajmal and Afridi' I mean really what do you say to logic like that. No it's all pure and simple sour grapes man up and take the loss, just like England had to, it wouldn't have been that bad but you lot had been claiming it would be another whitewash in the one dayers and England can't play in the conditions or spin.

  • on February 19, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Pakistan Selectors are far more talented than us and they must know very well that who is a test player and who is a one day player. Starting from Imran Farhat, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah, Azhar Ali they really dont understand the format of one day... Misbah as a captain has never played a captain inning in one day. Secondly our fast bowler Umar Gul is no more a wicket taking bowler. We must have professional wicket taking fast bowlers spin can always never do the trick. PCB must teach these players how important are the first 10 overs of the match in batting.. Pakistani team was playing defensive in all the 3 one days. Spin bowling can always support fast bowling but cant take the place of fast bowling.

  • Blal on February 19, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    At the beginning of the present tour if both the teams were given choice of either 3-0 test victory or 4-0 ODI victory, I am 100% sure both teams would have gone for 3-0 test victory. So even if Pakistan lose ODI series 4-0, Pakistan whould leave the UAE as happier side, if not the happy side. For a team that was in turmoil until recently beating England the number one team, 3-0 in the test series is an achievement and should be seen as such. From here Pakistan should look and strive for better times as they now have base backed by solid performance.

  • simon_w on February 19, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    @usmanHM -- I don't think anyone wants to take credit away from Pakistan for giving England a good hiding in the Test series (England _are_ the best Test side in the world right now: not in all conditions, or by a large margin, but no-one deserves top spot more right now). I don't mind admitting that, personally, even winning this series 4-0, should we do so, won't make me feel even slightly better about the Test defeats. But this piece is about the England ODI team.

  • simon_w on February 19, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    @OhhhMattyMatty: do you mean Gary Ballance the Zimbabwean? Do you expect him to qualify for England? (genuine question)

  • on February 19, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    usmanHM - They are not taking anything away from Pakistan. Pakistan won the test series...Congratulations! But we're now onto the one day series. Do they have to mention the test wins in every future article? Dobell does mention that Pakistan were 'outstanding' during the tests. I for one would prefer England to have won the test series...but its nice that some of them seem to be in ODI form with a World Cup round the corner....Favorites to win, no....but at least a semi final spot considering the pitches are more to their liking

  • on February 19, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    England batting might be getting better but pak batting is nowhere to world class against a good english bowling. Pak definitely has a better test unit than a oneday one. I bet the same england team will be thrashed again if they come to india against the likes of dhoni n co. But I appreciate the fact that england is at least playing better oneday cricket after a terrible test series. But englands true test in oneday will be against dhoni n co in indian pitches :-)

  • scorbos15 on February 19, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    While this series win does not make England immediate favourites for the next World Cup, it does show that England are progressing into a highly skilled ODI team

    George Dobell in Dubai - how are we so quick to say highly skilled ODI team with the thrashing they received in the hands of India few months ago? Let us be cautious in making big statements, I wont India is a great test team if they win couple of matches abroad after Aus and Eng debacles !!

  • OhhhMattyMatty on February 19, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    Agree with Dobell, the likely 2015 WC XI: Pietersen, Cook(c), Trott, Stokes, Morgan, Buttler(wk), Patel, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Finn. England heavy favourites, given the conditions in Oz and NZ. Also a chance of Taylor, Briggs and Ballance forcing their way in.

  • usmanHM on February 19, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    England has won not because they are a good side rather they have won because of (1) Pakistan is not a good one day side. These players are good when they play test because they have temperament and good test match technique. In one day matches you need to score fast which you can't expect from Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Misbah, Younis khan etc. (2) England had to face only 20 good overs from Saeed Ajmal and Afridi, if it was a test there was no limit of overs and Saeed would have gone to bowl may be 35 overs. (3) Misbah captaincy style much suits to tests not one dayers.

    Even Pakistan has lost one day series but test match defeat to England should not be compensated by one day series win. England beat Aussies in Ashes last year, but last one dayers by 1-6. Can we say that both team played equally well. No it was English team that was far superior than Aussies. Come on don't take credit away from Pakistan team who threshed England by 3-0 in actual form of cricket.

  • pak94fan on February 19, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    England's cricket future looks bright because they are playing the people that have been deserving... their bench is very strong also, I applaud the management... Pakistan needs to look for something similar from Zaka Ashraf and co. by scrutinizing performances in limited over games for ODIs... the politics don't have any place in the team. Every game needs to be played on its merit, and tough decisions need to be taken when necessary, such as dropping your under-performing strike bowler. We need a good batting coach, and people that have consistently performed in domestic matches should be given a chance like Nasir Jamshed, and Sadaf Hussain. If necessary, the experience can be recalled too with someone like Abdul Razzaq not quite done yet. The fielding placements and catching desperately need improvement, something that was overlooked in the tests basically because everyone got bowled/LBW. A w/k who bats well is a requirement too. Well played England, and Pakistan, get it together...

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  • pak94fan on February 19, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    England's cricket future looks bright because they are playing the people that have been deserving... their bench is very strong also, I applaud the management... Pakistan needs to look for something similar from Zaka Ashraf and co. by scrutinizing performances in limited over games for ODIs... the politics don't have any place in the team. Every game needs to be played on its merit, and tough decisions need to be taken when necessary, such as dropping your under-performing strike bowler. We need a good batting coach, and people that have consistently performed in domestic matches should be given a chance like Nasir Jamshed, and Sadaf Hussain. If necessary, the experience can be recalled too with someone like Abdul Razzaq not quite done yet. The fielding placements and catching desperately need improvement, something that was overlooked in the tests basically because everyone got bowled/LBW. A w/k who bats well is a requirement too. Well played England, and Pakistan, get it together...

  • usmanHM on February 19, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    England has won not because they are a good side rather they have won because of (1) Pakistan is not a good one day side. These players are good when they play test because they have temperament and good test match technique. In one day matches you need to score fast which you can't expect from Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Misbah, Younis khan etc. (2) England had to face only 20 good overs from Saeed Ajmal and Afridi, if it was a test there was no limit of overs and Saeed would have gone to bowl may be 35 overs. (3) Misbah captaincy style much suits to tests not one dayers.

    Even Pakistan has lost one day series but test match defeat to England should not be compensated by one day series win. England beat Aussies in Ashes last year, but last one dayers by 1-6. Can we say that both team played equally well. No it was English team that was far superior than Aussies. Come on don't take credit away from Pakistan team who threshed England by 3-0 in actual form of cricket.

  • OhhhMattyMatty on February 19, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    Agree with Dobell, the likely 2015 WC XI: Pietersen, Cook(c), Trott, Stokes, Morgan, Buttler(wk), Patel, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Finn. England heavy favourites, given the conditions in Oz and NZ. Also a chance of Taylor, Briggs and Ballance forcing their way in.

  • scorbos15 on February 19, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    While this series win does not make England immediate favourites for the next World Cup, it does show that England are progressing into a highly skilled ODI team

    George Dobell in Dubai - how are we so quick to say highly skilled ODI team with the thrashing they received in the hands of India few months ago? Let us be cautious in making big statements, I wont India is a great test team if they win couple of matches abroad after Aus and Eng debacles !!

  • on February 19, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    England batting might be getting better but pak batting is nowhere to world class against a good english bowling. Pak definitely has a better test unit than a oneday one. I bet the same england team will be thrashed again if they come to india against the likes of dhoni n co. But I appreciate the fact that england is at least playing better oneday cricket after a terrible test series. But englands true test in oneday will be against dhoni n co in indian pitches :-)

  • on February 19, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    usmanHM - They are not taking anything away from Pakistan. Pakistan won the test series...Congratulations! But we're now onto the one day series. Do they have to mention the test wins in every future article? Dobell does mention that Pakistan were 'outstanding' during the tests. I for one would prefer England to have won the test series...but its nice that some of them seem to be in ODI form with a World Cup round the corner....Favorites to win, no....but at least a semi final spot considering the pitches are more to their liking

  • simon_w on February 19, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    @OhhhMattyMatty: do you mean Gary Ballance the Zimbabwean? Do you expect him to qualify for England? (genuine question)

  • simon_w on February 19, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    @usmanHM -- I don't think anyone wants to take credit away from Pakistan for giving England a good hiding in the Test series (England _are_ the best Test side in the world right now: not in all conditions, or by a large margin, but no-one deserves top spot more right now). I don't mind admitting that, personally, even winning this series 4-0, should we do so, won't make me feel even slightly better about the Test defeats. But this piece is about the England ODI team.

  • Blal on February 19, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    At the beginning of the present tour if both the teams were given choice of either 3-0 test victory or 4-0 ODI victory, I am 100% sure both teams would have gone for 3-0 test victory. So even if Pakistan lose ODI series 4-0, Pakistan whould leave the UAE as happier side, if not the happy side. For a team that was in turmoil until recently beating England the number one team, 3-0 in the test series is an achievement and should be seen as such. From here Pakistan should look and strive for better times as they now have base backed by solid performance.

  • on February 19, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Pakistan Selectors are far more talented than us and they must know very well that who is a test player and who is a one day player. Starting from Imran Farhat, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah, Azhar Ali they really dont understand the format of one day... Misbah as a captain has never played a captain inning in one day. Secondly our fast bowler Umar Gul is no more a wicket taking bowler. We must have professional wicket taking fast bowlers spin can always never do the trick. PCB must teach these players how important are the first 10 overs of the match in batting.. Pakistani team was playing defensive in all the 3 one days. Spin bowling can always support fast bowling but cant take the place of fast bowling.