Pakistan v England, 4th ODI, Dubai February 21, 2012

Series where seeds have been sown for 2015

This series could have produced some early pointers on each side's development towards the 2015 World Cup
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In years to come, it is likely that few will remember the Bank Alfalah Presents the Mobilink Jazz Cup Series particularly warmly. It was, after all, just another series in an overcrowded schedule contested by two middle-ranked sides taking their first steps on a road that leads to the 2015 World Cup.

But, should either one of these sides go on to lift that trophy, perhaps they will reflect that it was the seeds sown in the course of these four games that bore fruit.

England, in particular, have made demonstrable progress over the last couple of weeks. Despite their debacle in India, England have now identified a squad of players that they believe can serve them over the next few years and develop and improve in the process. This was their first clean sweep against a major Test-playing nation since 2008, when they defeated South Africa with one game lost to rain. England have now leapfrogged Pakistan to go fifth in the ICC ODI rankings.

More importantly, a few issues have been resolved. The opening partnership of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen now appears to have been set in stone; Steve Finn has emerged as a seamer capable of leading the attack alongside the likes of Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Tim Bresnan; while Ravi Bopara, Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel also contributed.

Pietersen's success was the most eye-catching. Coming into this series he had struggled for form for some time: he had made just three half-centuries in his last 36 ODI innings and had not made a century since November 2008. His promotion to an opening position looked like the last throw of the dice.

How quickly things can change. Now, after two centuries in succession, he might just be back to his best. This was an immensely impressive performance. It was not just that it was his longest innings, his highest innings or that it brought him level with the record held by Graham Gooch of 28 international centuries for England, it was that he did it with his side under pressure. From 68 for 4, it took great composure and skill to time this chase to perfection. He later rated it "probably the best" ODI innings of his career. It is hard to disagree.

They must improve their fielding. It is rare that Pakistan cling on to a 50-50 chance. Julien Fountain, who will shortly be appointed as fielding coach, has his work cut out.

Cook was scarcely less impressive. He has taken huge strides as a leader and a batsman in the last few days and has merited his man of the series award and his call-up to the England T20 squad. All doubts about his position are surely dispelled.

Perhaps most reassuring from an England perspective was their "bench strength". England made four changes for this game, with their three senior bowlers - Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Stuart Broad - all rested and Ravi Bopara's sore back ruling him out of contention. While Jos Buttler endured a tough baptism, Danny Briggs, Jade Dernbach and Tim Bresnan all bowled impressively. Young men, even young men so extravagantly gifted as Buttler, do not come with guarantees. But he and Ben Stokes still have every chance to force their way into the 2015 reckoning. They are too good not to come again.

Craig Kieswetter also impressed in the final game. His keeping is still not as polished as he would like, but it has improved and will continue to do so. England have invested a great deal of time in Kieswetter. Now is not the time to abandon the plan.

There was a little encouragement here for Pakistan, too. The partnership between Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq provided a glimpse of their future direction, while Adnan Akmal, too, provided some stability behind the stumps. Yes, Azhar might have to develop his range of strokes, but in a side that struggle to bat through their overs, his solidity is not to be dismissed.

They have more concerns, though. The balance of this side, with five spinners and just one seamer, might be useful for pitches here, but it will be of little use in Australia or New Zealand, where the 2015 World Cup will be contested.

The batting is fragile, too. They were bowled out in all four of these games and have reached 250 only three times in their last 29 ODIs. Their highest run scorer, Misbah-ul-Haq, is also the oldest player. Aged 37, he is unlikely to make it to the World Cup.

What was the difference between their Test form and their ODI form? Well, in the Test series, Pakistan were able to grind their way to match-winning totals. The likes of Misbah and Azhar could take their time without the pressure of overs ticking away. They were able to play obdurate, attritional cricket. That option is denied them in this format.

Most of all, they must improve their fielding. It is rare that Pakistan cling on to a 50-50 chance and, in their coach and captain's estimations, England improved fielding is worth anything up to 50 runs a game. Julien Fountain, who will shortly be appointed as fielding coach, has his work cut out. He is not an alchemist.

"England improved; they really batted well after the Test series," Misbah said afterwards. "Their top order was the big difference. It is remarkable to score four centuries in four innings. That was the main difference."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on February 23, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    @swwastik123 - PS , We also hadn't won in Australia for a very long time - 23 years in fact - and Australia were pummelling us in many of the test series - unlike India who were beating us by the odd test. You labelled the Aussies as "deflated" well if the Aussies were deflated in test cricket then what does that make India in test cricket now?

  • JG2704 on February 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    @ swwastik123 on (February 22 2012, 17:59 PM GMT) Depends what you call hit and giggle stuff? Some might say that OD isn't that important either. This possibly is the best ever England side , or at least since the rankings were introduced but as for people saying it's the greatest side ever - you know that's BS. And yes it would be great to win in SL (where we have done in the last 10-15 years) and India (where we haven't) but it's not the be all and end all. Just like winning a OD WC. I'd rather England remained at the top of the tree in the test rankings a didn't win the OD WC than win a WC and then get humiliated 2 away series running

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    @S4CHIN_IS_GOD Re "I am Indian fan" - You don't say? - It's also nice to see that you are not living in yesteryear and BTW if you include T20 then England have won a trophy - holders in fact. You say that no one cares about this Side Series so what actually qualifies as a Side Series? If the Test format means more than the OD format then as an Indian you should not be criticising any other test nation and the OD 5-0 whitewash over Eng was also a sideshow .If OD is more important (+I'm not saying it is) then the OD series win trumps the test win over Pak. Actually quite funny that an Indian fan should give advice to anyone right now on how to play cricket after 8 away test thrashings in a row. BTW what was the score between India and Eng in the last WC?

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    @Jamal Ahmed Khan on (February 22 2012, 10:46 AM GMT)/ Deuce03 on (February 22 2012, 11:07 AM GMT) That's too much logic for SFY to deal with. It's a shame that generally speaking the respect between Pak and Eng fans has been good and then you get obsessives from other countries trying stir up the boards.

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    @Sports4Youth on (February 22 2012, 10:50 AM GMT) PS You say "When ever they have managed to reach the Finals or Semi-Finals they always run into some or the other Rampant Team and get crushed very badly" . The 2 times we reached the final we were beaten by 22 runs in 1992 and 7 runs in 1987 - and that's being crushed badly in your book?

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    @Sports4Youth - You have alot to say in your posts. The problem is that you are contradicting yourself all the time. You say that Pakistan are the weakest team in Asia right now , well if you're talking recent form in the tests then Pak whitewashed Eng , Eng whitewashed India and beat SL. So how are Pak the weakest team in Asia on that form? If you are talking on form then Pak are ahead of both India and SL and if you're just talking rankings then England are still top of the test rankings despite the loss. I actually thought you were a Pak fan because you have been on our threads so often but it seems you're just another bitter and frustrated Indian fan with a huge chip on your shoulder. You also say that Misbah's captaincy was the only reason Pak lost and then you say also "Also Pakistan have a chronic fielding problem. Add to that the failuire of Pak Batsmen"- Do you know what the word ONLY means?

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (February 22 2012, 07:21 AM GMT) - Not that you'll listen if this does get published - but these writers haven't been saying that they don't care about OD cricket. And even most of our fans haven't said we don't care period. Most of our fans on these boards have said that we care much more about how we do in the tests than the ODI's and if you read most of our posts properly we say that the OD series is a decent consolation and maybe a confidence builder. In the test series Pak won fair and square and it hurts. We could all come out with the BS that it was due to injuries (Tremlett and Bres) but that would be BS , although that doesn't stop other nations fans doing the same. BTW thanks for coming on the boards after the test series trying to claim to be a Pak fan and stir it between the 2 sets of fans. A shame no one from Pakistan wanted you on board.

  • on February 22, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    M.Hafeez should be the captain of t20 side,misbah should lead one day and test side.For wicket keeping problem,umar akmal should keep in t20,kamran akmal in odi and adnan akmal in test matches.

  • Tlotoxl on February 22, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    @ S4ACHIN_IS_PASTIT: first of all England *have* won a trophy, the World T20 cup as well as the Ashes, and the trophey for being no1 in the world and the the Pataudi Trophy for beating India, you remember that, when they got utterly thrashed 4-0? at least in the PAK-ENG test series England did get in a winning position of needing just 148 to win, India in all of the last 8 tests have got nowhere near even that. As for nobody caring about PAK-ENG, i'm sure outside the 2 countries few people did care, just as I certainly didn't care about AUS-IND other than wanting both teams to lose!

  • usernames on February 22, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    @valavan: And England has been waiting since eternity for a silverware other than that for hit-and-giggle cricket? English cricket needs to win something in the subcontinent. I, however, love how they hype their team as the greatest ever when they win a couple in their backyard, or against deflated Aussies.

  • JG2704 on February 23, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    @swwastik123 - PS , We also hadn't won in Australia for a very long time - 23 years in fact - and Australia were pummelling us in many of the test series - unlike India who were beating us by the odd test. You labelled the Aussies as "deflated" well if the Aussies were deflated in test cricket then what does that make India in test cricket now?

  • JG2704 on February 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    @ swwastik123 on (February 22 2012, 17:59 PM GMT) Depends what you call hit and giggle stuff? Some might say that OD isn't that important either. This possibly is the best ever England side , or at least since the rankings were introduced but as for people saying it's the greatest side ever - you know that's BS. And yes it would be great to win in SL (where we have done in the last 10-15 years) and India (where we haven't) but it's not the be all and end all. Just like winning a OD WC. I'd rather England remained at the top of the tree in the test rankings a didn't win the OD WC than win a WC and then get humiliated 2 away series running

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    @S4CHIN_IS_GOD Re "I am Indian fan" - You don't say? - It's also nice to see that you are not living in yesteryear and BTW if you include T20 then England have won a trophy - holders in fact. You say that no one cares about this Side Series so what actually qualifies as a Side Series? If the Test format means more than the OD format then as an Indian you should not be criticising any other test nation and the OD 5-0 whitewash over Eng was also a sideshow .If OD is more important (+I'm not saying it is) then the OD series win trumps the test win over Pak. Actually quite funny that an Indian fan should give advice to anyone right now on how to play cricket after 8 away test thrashings in a row. BTW what was the score between India and Eng in the last WC?

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    @Jamal Ahmed Khan on (February 22 2012, 10:46 AM GMT)/ Deuce03 on (February 22 2012, 11:07 AM GMT) That's too much logic for SFY to deal with. It's a shame that generally speaking the respect between Pak and Eng fans has been good and then you get obsessives from other countries trying stir up the boards.

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    @Sports4Youth on (February 22 2012, 10:50 AM GMT) PS You say "When ever they have managed to reach the Finals or Semi-Finals they always run into some or the other Rampant Team and get crushed very badly" . The 2 times we reached the final we were beaten by 22 runs in 1992 and 7 runs in 1987 - and that's being crushed badly in your book?

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    @Sports4Youth - You have alot to say in your posts. The problem is that you are contradicting yourself all the time. You say that Pakistan are the weakest team in Asia right now , well if you're talking recent form in the tests then Pak whitewashed Eng , Eng whitewashed India and beat SL. So how are Pak the weakest team in Asia on that form? If you are talking on form then Pak are ahead of both India and SL and if you're just talking rankings then England are still top of the test rankings despite the loss. I actually thought you were a Pak fan because you have been on our threads so often but it seems you're just another bitter and frustrated Indian fan with a huge chip on your shoulder. You also say that Misbah's captaincy was the only reason Pak lost and then you say also "Also Pakistan have a chronic fielding problem. Add to that the failuire of Pak Batsmen"- Do you know what the word ONLY means?

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (February 22 2012, 07:21 AM GMT) - Not that you'll listen if this does get published - but these writers haven't been saying that they don't care about OD cricket. And even most of our fans haven't said we don't care period. Most of our fans on these boards have said that we care much more about how we do in the tests than the ODI's and if you read most of our posts properly we say that the OD series is a decent consolation and maybe a confidence builder. In the test series Pak won fair and square and it hurts. We could all come out with the BS that it was due to injuries (Tremlett and Bres) but that would be BS , although that doesn't stop other nations fans doing the same. BTW thanks for coming on the boards after the test series trying to claim to be a Pak fan and stir it between the 2 sets of fans. A shame no one from Pakistan wanted you on board.

  • on February 22, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    M.Hafeez should be the captain of t20 side,misbah should lead one day and test side.For wicket keeping problem,umar akmal should keep in t20,kamran akmal in odi and adnan akmal in test matches.

  • Tlotoxl on February 22, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    @ S4ACHIN_IS_PASTIT: first of all England *have* won a trophy, the World T20 cup as well as the Ashes, and the trophey for being no1 in the world and the the Pataudi Trophy for beating India, you remember that, when they got utterly thrashed 4-0? at least in the PAK-ENG test series England did get in a winning position of needing just 148 to win, India in all of the last 8 tests have got nowhere near even that. As for nobody caring about PAK-ENG, i'm sure outside the 2 countries few people did care, just as I certainly didn't care about AUS-IND other than wanting both teams to lose!

  • usernames on February 22, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    @valavan: And England has been waiting since eternity for a silverware other than that for hit-and-giggle cricket? English cricket needs to win something in the subcontinent. I, however, love how they hype their team as the greatest ever when they win a couple in their backyard, or against deflated Aussies.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 22, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    Oh dear! looking like disrespectful/forgetful India fans are back. @S4CHIN_IS_GOD on (February 22 2012, 12:50 PM GMT) Your envy must burn you up. You say "No1 cares about ICC Rankings. ICC Rankings are shambles" only because your marvelous India are not on top of these rankings. When they are on top you will say "look how marvelous India are"! And calling England "chokers" is very funny indeed coming from follower of DOUBLE WHITEWASHED Test team comprising many many Innings defeats who also could not even win single game in ANY format in England last summer. I will say considering the desperate state of India cricket best for India fan like you to keep quiet and hope no-one notices. India cricket in state of free-fall like guy without a parachute. Please publish.

  • Valavan on February 22, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    @S4CHIN_IS_GOD, even after getting thumped game after game since WI tour in 2011, you start to howl loud, comon whats your point here when your team is getting back and forth and your fellow fans and captain running short of excuses, we whitewashed Pakistan in ODIs, have India even did that, NEVER, check the stats, we have done which India havent done until this moment. We are encouraging our team, why you are howling and crying here, dont you have more excuses about your team, so you get here to bash England. We dont need your comment here in ENG vs PAK forums, We can deal with it, cricinfo please publish.

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    @spiritwithin on (February 22 2012, 07:13 AM GMT) To be fair , I agree with you but I suppose ESPN have to do articles on some subject between games

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    @usmanHM on (February 22 2012, 00:34 AM GMT) Agree that this series does not mean that it's all rosy as far as ODIs are concerned but why bring other sports into it ? Maybe you ought to check our population against some of the countries which regularly win these tournaments. Also you could add to the equation how big cricket has always been in countries like India,Pak , WI and Aus compared to Eng. Then there is the point that Hockey is a very obscure sport in the UK and BTW we did I think win a gold medal in 1988 Olympics. It's like me saying how many Pak players have been golf number 1 ranked player , darts number 1 player , Boxing world champs , Rugby world champs - Snooker etc. It's just petty isn't it? Please publish ESPN

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    @Aubm on (February 22 2012, 05:09 AM GMT) I think you've probably hit the nail on the head without resorting to any derogatory remarks. Even since the last T20 WC we have players like Wright,Yardy,Collingwood and Sidebottom who will get nowhere near the side now.It was 4 months or so ago when we were whitewashed in India and only a few months before that when we beat India convincingly. Also in the world cup there were probably days between us losing to Ireland and beating SA. On their day Eng can beat anyone and by the same token we can lose against anyone. Obviously teams like Aus and India are more consistent but away from their own back yards I wouldn't say they are unbeatable.

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    @koldmeat on (February 22 2012, 06:27 AM GMT) To be fair , this is a report on the ODI format/future. I'm sure George did a different - more negative report - on the tests and his report on the state of England's T20 future will be done after the T20 series which like you say could go either way. And yes I know that England have not won a WC yet but if memory serves me right - in the early 90s when Pak beat Eng in the final , in the 1st match England bowled Pak out for 74 and then the game was rained off with Eng on 24/1.Pak only just qualified for the knockout stages which they probably wouldn't have done had the rain gods not smiled on them. They then went on from strength to strength and beat group winners NZ in the SF by 4 wkts thanks to Inzy scoring 60 off 37 and Eng by 22 runs in the final so sometimes a little luck does come into it as well as skill.

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    @Lmaotsetung on (February 22 2012, 06:48 AM GMT) Re Bres playing over Anderson. I think you have to firstly take into the equation how good both are at their main purpose (bowling) and how likely it is that Bres would be needed in batting before weighing up the selection. For instance another member said that they could pick a 5 man bowling attack (in tests) if Bres was included (because of Bres's batting) but my argument against that was how would Bres's batting likely stand up in SC conditions and also that Finn is so hot with the ball in his hand that he brings more than Bres with the ball that Bres's batting doesn't level it up. It's like if you offered me a peak form Morgan,KP or Buttler or a peak Bopara I'd choose the former 3 every time despite the fact Bopara can bowl some overs. If you put Bopara or Bell in the OD format then Bopara's bowling would swing it for me as there's not alot between them in the OD batting stakes.

  • JG2704 on February 22, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    @Sports4Youth on (February 22 2012, 08:23 AM GMT) - Saying "England have won the ODI series only because of faulty captaincy from Misbah" is like an Englishman saying Pak won the test series ONLY because of poor batting/selctions etc. I understand your comms and I too say that Pak should have been more attacking re field placings etc , however by using the word ONLY , I feel is a little disrespectful and it's like saying Pakistan ONLY won the test series because the English batsmen were so negative and invited pressure from the Pak bowlers. At least team Pak weren't afraid of making changes to the line up/formation etc - even if they were not the right changes.Then I read your next post and I realise respect is not too high on your agenda - please publish cric info

  • S4CHIN_IS_GOD on February 22, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    England fanz get over it. Pakistan is and will be better team than England as we can see. I am Indian fan. No 1 cares about these 2 sides series. No1 cares about ICC Rankings. ICC Rankings are shambles. What people care about is competetion/world cups/trophies in your cabinet? England have 000000000000000 is their cabinet. Aus 4, WI -2, India - 2, Pak 1, SL 1. Please England Fans rise on trophies cabinet than you be considered a good team. you are chokers like SA. Great team who knows their strength like PAK and India and win competetions because of guts. England have everything, still a loser. Just look at 2011 WC. maybe buy some indian SA batsmen, pak spinners and aussies fast bowlers. Then you might have a chance.

  • Deuce03 on February 22, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    @Sports4Youth: Pakistan are far from the weakest team in Asia right now. In the rankings (in Tests) they are the second team in Asia; in reality I think they might be the strongest. They have better bowlers than either India or Sri Lanka and those teams are in crisis. India's batting has failed for 16 consecutive innings: the line-up may sparkle with star power but in reality it is crumbling. Sri Lanka are a horror show at war with their own board, held together only by the capabilities of a couple of their batsmen. England's defeat by Pakistan was a painful bump down to earth, but I don't think we can draw any conclusions about the forthcoming India/SL tours from it.

  • Sports4Youth on February 22, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    Mr.Dobell WC 2015 is still far away. By then the present English team will experience many upheavals. In any way England will never win a Word Cup. There appears to be some kind of curse on them. When ever they have managed to reach the Finals or Semi-Finals they always run into some or the other Rampant Team and get crushed very badly. First WI, then 87 Aus, then 92 Pak etc. Even late starters like SL have one WC victory to their name, but not England. Please win one WC.

  • on February 22, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Sports4Youth this weekest side your talking about defeated srilanka in test and one dayers not two month ago what would you say to that

  • Sports4Youth on February 22, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    @ rahulcricket007 on (Feb 22 2012, 07:14 AM GMT) :-- Why only the Australian thrashing, Please also remind him the 5-0 thrashing (white wash) they recieved just recently in the ODI series in INDIA. Virtually the same team played there, except Broad who was injured. Now they will bring the same team again to India and SL and I don't know what Dobell is expecting.

  • Sports4Youth on February 22, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    @ Valavan on (Feb 22 2012, 07:57 AM GMT) :-- Wow wow, Chil out boy. Just relax. 2027 is far away, the immediate worry for England is the next series comming up against India and Sri Lanka. There the progress of England will be measured properly. Every one knows the tribulations that Pakistan have gone through. They are relying too heavily on new faces and of the dumped players had to be drafted back into the side as an emergency measure. Given all these facts I thought if Misbah would have been more pro-active and attacked results would have not been so bad for Pakistan. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY STILL IN THIS CONDITION THEY INFLICTED ONE OF THE MOST SERIOUS DEFEATS AGAINST A SO CALLED BEST ENGLISH TEAM. LOL.

  • Sports4Youth on February 22, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    During the 1st ODI Nasser asked Waqar Younis if any new fast bowler are comming up in Pakistan. Waqar Younis replied with the the name of SADAF HUSSAIN and praised him highly. I found his stats to be highly impressive. a bowling average of 18 in the first class matches was unbelievable. I compared his stats with the other Pakistan bowlers and was surprised to see that none of the present Pak bowlers were even close to him. That leads me to wonder why isnt he in the team? After all, All the other Pakistani bowlers play the same domestic competition and in the same competition if one bowler is way ahead in terms of figures then he should be definately better than the others. Logical conclusion, isn't it. But somehow top decisions always defy logic.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 22, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    @Sports4Youth on (February 22 2012, 08:23 AM GMT) You India fan a funny guy! In one place you call England teams "donkeys". Now here you call "Indian batsmen are the best in the world". If this is true then why is India records in ALL FORMATS home and away, excluding specific competition of World Cup, since beginning of India tour to West Indies, why is the record as follows. India, Played 45 Won 19 Lost 20 Drawn 5. If India batsmen "best in world" then why more defeats than victories? If we take only Away result in ALL FORMAT it is much worse for India. Played 31 Won 8 Lost 18. How can anyone say India is "best batsmen" in the world after TWO successive test washes??? It is incredible. Next you will say that England only beat India 8-0 in the summer only due to faulty Dhoni captaincy, not because of obviously superior England performance. It makes me laugh to see these comments!!! India on the way down whole world can see it.

  • KarachiKid on February 22, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Pakistan need to find good batsmen both in Tests as well as limited overs cricket (espeically ODI's) who can take attack to the opposition or in a sheet anchor role, someone who can keep scoreboard ticking. Azhar Ali gets bogged down too often, so not all that suited to ODI's. Many of my fellow Pakistanis like to think Umar Akmal as the key, well I dont think so. He has proved over last 3 years that he does not have the temprament to excel in either tests or ODI's. In T20's maybe, like Afridi. But Afridi and Hafeeez can still survive with quickfire 20 or 30 because of their bowling not Umar Akmal. Finally Adnan Akmal's batting absolutely positively crap so he is also not suited for ODI's.

  • on February 22, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    ENgland need to improve a lot in OD cricket. . But for all the negative talk about England in Tests, they have still won 7 of their last 8 test series - and are still ranked number one in the world. So playing "pooh-bah" when England are happy about winning an ODI series sia bit rich. It's not like they have suddenly done a U turn. England are still number one in tests, and still mid table in ODI's - Englands focus is still test cricket. It always has been - and probably always will be. No one is saying England are ODI world beaters..just that they are moving forward with what looks like a decent plan. That's all.

  • Sports4Youth on February 22, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Mr. Dobell England have just played the weekest team presently in Asia and yet they were white washed. They won the ODI series thanks largely due ot poor captaincy from Misbah. India and Srilanka will be a completely different challenge, Here you will meet some of the world best batsmen and you will see some good fielding. Also the bowling is decent in indian conditions. England will loose all the matches in India and Srilanka.

  • Sports4Youth on February 22, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    @ rahulcricket007 on (Feb 22 2012, 07:14 AM GMT) : - FULLY AGREED. England have won the ODI series only because of faulty captaincy from Misbah. If only Misbah had attacked more intensely, like he did in the tests England would have struggled. Also Pakistan have a chronic fielding problem. Add to that the failuire of Pak Batsmen. England won, now there are the things that Eng will never get in India and SL. Indian batsmen are the best in the world and srilankans are not far behind. In fielding Sri Lankans are one of the best in the world and Indians are not far behind. In India and Srilanka, England will struggle to win a single ODI or Test.

  • on February 22, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Mr Dobell, please publish a few more balanced arguments. I love your patriotism, but one decent series against a developing Pakistan is hardly convincing. Your comments about the English Test side being one of the greatest of all time still lingers as one of the least objective notions i've read from an non-indian writer. Chill out.

  • Valavan on February 22, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 and other english haters, either understand the article before commenting or just leave this page. Well why should England play ODI vs India and SL, Did you forget the last ODI series in SL was won by England in 2007. Well mind you, SL and India are the strugglers in OZ given that next WC is being played in Australia. You all wait until 2027 until WC returns to be hosted in India. cricinfo please publish.

  • Valavan on February 22, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 and others, its clearly evident you misinterpretate the statement. Well Dobell means there are talents from which they can choose and prepare for WC2015, it was not meant England is ready for it or they will win it. Within the coming years, England will develop a better ODI squad along with a few consistent performers from now to be ready to take up the challenge of WC2015. As an English fan, we ourselves know this is just a beginning for a long path. If you all know Australia were on lowest ebb in 1984, but the media then said now we look for combinations for 1987 WC and probably everyone would have laughed it, but with OZ winning the cup it was proved. So this is just beginning. cricinfo please publish.

  • rahulcricket007 on February 22, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    i can never understand these english cricket experts . when they lose to aus by 6-1 & india by 5-0 , they said we only care about test matches . TEST IS REAL CRICKET . now when they defeat a defensive pak team they are saying we are ready for next wc .

  • rahulcricket007 on February 22, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    MR. DOBELL , PLEASE DON'T SAY THAT ENGLAND ARE READY FOR 2015 WC .LETS SEE HOW THEY WILL PERFORM IN OIDS IN SL & INDIA . AND SEEMS LIKE YOU FORGOT THAT ROYAL 6-1 THRASHING WHICH ENGLAND SUFFFERED IN AUS LAST YEAR .

  • spiritwithin on February 22, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    @KarmatBaig..what anuradha implied is that they sud take it series by series,any team who hits the form at the right moment can win the WC,india playing badly at aus now wont make any difference bcoz in 3yrs time alot can change,did anybody foresaw SL winning 1996WC or pak winning 1992WC??Dobell writes the same thing whenever england does well,England after winning the Ashes still got walloped 6-1 in odi series downunder,so this result that too in UAE where the condition is far different is not an indicator of any sort,yes they did a great job by winning 4-0 bcoz pak is always a quality side in odi's but the same team also blanked india 3-0 in odi's in england only to get thrashed 5-0 in return...so england still has time to find few more players for WC,just one series wont d that

  • donda on February 22, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    It's not that easy for england to win in 2015 because both Australia and South Africa are already add young talent to make a team. India on other hand still not making any changes. Srilanka may play well but will not be challenging. New Zealand at their home is very dangerous team.

    I still think that Australia will win at home 2015. SA is choker so 50/50 on that team and england has only 20% chance to win 2015 WC. Wining in dessert against pakistan make no sense for the preparation of WC 2015 with fast paced wickets.

  • Lmaotsetung on February 22, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    I'm pretty sure Anderson won't make WC 2015. If Cook and the selectors have any guts, they'd play Bresnan ahead of Anderson with Broad and Finn as their seam attack. I guess the new ball rule at each end have given a lifeline to Jimmy in the 50 over format but still...Bresnan's batting far outweigh whatever advantage Anderson has in the bowling department. So the author says Eng is on the right track towards a good showing at the World Cup in 2015 as opposed to some you know which team (ahem...rotation...ahem) and some people take it as though he's saying Eng is gonna win it in 2015. Learn to read people.

  • koldmeat on February 22, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    Mr. Dobell, England has not won any world cup yet, I wonder why?

    There is still T20 left. Like Cook says in one of the presentations, "We have not played the test series well, that does not make us bad players". Same can be said for Pakistan. Just because the lost the ODI series, it does not necessarily make England a better team. If England can bounce back after the dismal performance at Test Series I see no reason why Pakistan cannot do that in T-20.

    So please wait till the series is over to write this type of report.

    2015 is still far away from now Mr. George Dobell.

  • ShardulJuyal on February 22, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    way too early to say a thing about the 2015 WC. As far as the opening stand of KP & cook set in stone goes...WC is still 3 years away. It would be too much to assume hat the forms of all players will remain same. Also i am intrigued by the quickness of the seeds. A few days back this team was a contender for the best ever test team alongside the invincibles and the Windies of 80's. Now the seeds have been sown for '15.

  • on February 22, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    England may have won the one day series. There is no denying the fact that their batsmen especially Pietersen and Cook have improved their batting from the test series. One must however not be overjoyed after this icing. It should be remembered that their next cricketing assignments against South Africa at home and against Sri Lanka and India away are the real tests. Countering Steyn and Co. in helpful conditions would be tough. Also Sri Lanka under Jayawardene are showing signs of resurgence. Not to forget India has always been a graveyard for the touring teams. England would have to cope up not only with spin but also with hard scoring batsmen on unhelpful pitches in India. Their ability to tame someone like Sehwag and Sachin in India would determine how successful they really are. As far as seeds of 2015 are concerned, they really need to invest in people like Jade Derbach and Jonny Bairstow. With Pietersen now opening, power hitters like bairstow would be good in the middle order.

  • din7 on February 22, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    @anuradha_d have u started reading articles today. 1st understand the article and then speak dobell didn't mean eng will win the WC, but just they are on right direction. AS for inida (i m indian) they were beaten 3-0 by eng in eng. AND nithing to say more ind is nothing more than home experts, don't expect to be even in final in next WC. ENG4-0, AUS 4-0 and the story continues.................

  • Aubm on February 22, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    All this talk of "planning for 2015" both in this series and the Aus one is complete rubbish. The odds that any of the current ODI squads will closely resemble the ones they take to the 2015 world cup is very slim indeed. In 3 years, players will come and go, lose form, injuries, newcommers arrive, matches won & lost. And if any of the teams are actually already planning for the world cup instead of the current series at hand & perhaops oned directly following, then they are crazy.

  • birdz_eye on February 22, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    Must say that England played superb & solid cricket to secure solid whitewash ODI series over Pakistan. Well about sowing seeds for 2015 its still early days. Pakistan are work in progress they played excellent cricket in Test matches by changing their traditional style of playing the game while they found out the hard way that similar defensive approach won't work in ODI & T20s. On the other hand England side were lucky to find themselves in ODI series against a side which had no clue about the right combination for this format nor that was a settled side. So well played England but this win doesn't promise them consistency of KP & Co against more settled & equipped sides in coming series, no point in fast-forwarding to 2015 yet knowing the fact that WC has been the most miserable tournament for England. Keep up the good work England; Climb your way back to glory Pakistan.

  • KarmatBaig on February 22, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Anuradha, Dobell is not implying that England will win the World Cup what he means to say is that England is on the right track in identifying potential players for the next World Cup, this is called planning in advance and give the team to gel as a unit for the big occasion. Mind you the next World Cup is in Australia and New Zealand and see how badly India is performing presently in Australia with their so called home tarck great record holders.

  • demon_bowler on February 22, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    I have been so impressed by Misbah. He has been as gracious in defeat as he was earlier magnanimous in victory. And he understands the game very well -- his observations, even in defeat, are that of someone who knows exactly what went right and what went wrong. He is a fine leader of men. This defeat in 1-day cricket shouldn't overshadow Pakistan's very well-merited, and much more important, victory in the test series. Misbah has transformed Pakistan's fortunes in the only form of the game that really counts. More importantly than that, he has changed the image of Pakistani cricket in the eyes of the world. He is the best captain of Pakistan since Imran Khan, and given what he has achieved with far lesser resources than Imran had at his disposal, and in far worse circumstances -- possibly the best Pakistani captain ever. He is certainly the best captain in world cricket today. Has anyone ever taken over the captaincy in such difficult circumstances?

  • on February 22, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    There was a time in 2005-06 season when India was notching up a world record 17 successful ODI run chases. They blanked ENG 6-1, SL 3-0. The team looked as malleable as any. A Dhoni blast at #3 here, Irfan Pathan pinch-hitting at #3 there. Utthappa opening, Tendulkar wasn't needed, Ganguly wasn't missed. Yuvi-Kaif finished off matches as if by birthright, an 18 yr old Raina was walloping allcomers. On the other side McGrath was touted as too old, Gillespie gone, Ponting injured, Tait was scattergun as Oram belted 80s in 50 balls, Vettori tweaked wickets for fun, Styris kept scoring and NZ blanked AUS 3-0 in Chappell Hadlee series. Yet, when it mattered in WC2007, we know the story! It's a long time away - Pietersen will be 34, with a decade of int'l cricket fatigue behind him, Anderson 33, no spring chicken fast bowler .. ENG does have a great pool of talented benchwarmers, but we haven't even seen them last the sophomore season ... too early for predictions!

  • YadavAjay on February 22, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Every win for ENG and mr. Dobell comes forward to say that 2015 world cup is in sight. But the same team with a change or two failed miserably in Aus after their their strong Performance in Ashes. This means that Eng can play only one format at a time properly. If they pass in test, they will fail in ODIs and vice-versa.

  • kp289 on February 22, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    i agree with mr.dobell england have young guns to look upon and their flamboyant player k.p, is in a great form....every thing is going right for england at the moment !!!!!!!!

  • on February 22, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Defeating Pakistan not the strongest batting line up in world cricket is not anything earth shattering...let us ease down a little...wait till they play other stronger one day sides...even a struggling side like indian beat them hands down

  • on February 22, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    @anuradha_d no one ever called English side as the best ever in the history of test match cricket. They might have called this is the best English test team in England's history.

  • on February 22, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    The semi finalists at the next world cup will be Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. The usual suspects, except Pakistan will replace Sri Lanka who are on a downward trajectory.

    Its pretty rich the author saying slow bowling won't help at all, when the last time a world cup was played in NZ/Australia, slow bowling was the difference.

  • usmanHM on February 22, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    I Agree to Anuradha, what were you thinking Mr. Dobel while writing all this strange stuff. Come on why are behind world cup...btw how many world cup you have won in the history including all the sports, hockey (zero), football (01), Cricket (01), Rugby and so on.. world cup in cricket is not the only big event rather each test series has more importance than the world cup..Even if world cup is the only goal to achieve, it is still far away and your team is not Aussie side that you can predict that can at least qualify for final in every world cup since 1987.....

  • on February 22, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Mr. Dobell, please dont jump to conclusion so early?This was just 1 odi series and you talking about world cup 2015??lol....Especially your comment about opening partnership appears to have set in stone...

  • anuradha_d on February 21, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    Mr. Dobell hasn't learnt yet....one swallow doesn't a summer maketh........he forgot that some people at the end of India series in Eng....were calling THIS English side the best ever in the history of thetest match cricket .......and now after a listless Pakistan in the high os a test match white-wash...played substandard cricket....Mr. Dobell is seeing a world-cup in sight......buddy...don't forget this English side was walloped 5-0 in Indian short while back.....take it series by series.....rather than fastforwarding to 2015.....or retro comparisons with greatest EVER

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  • anuradha_d on February 21, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    Mr. Dobell hasn't learnt yet....one swallow doesn't a summer maketh........he forgot that some people at the end of India series in Eng....were calling THIS English side the best ever in the history of thetest match cricket .......and now after a listless Pakistan in the high os a test match white-wash...played substandard cricket....Mr. Dobell is seeing a world-cup in sight......buddy...don't forget this English side was walloped 5-0 in Indian short while back.....take it series by series.....rather than fastforwarding to 2015.....or retro comparisons with greatest EVER

  • on February 22, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Mr. Dobell, please dont jump to conclusion so early?This was just 1 odi series and you talking about world cup 2015??lol....Especially your comment about opening partnership appears to have set in stone...

  • usmanHM on February 22, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    I Agree to Anuradha, what were you thinking Mr. Dobel while writing all this strange stuff. Come on why are behind world cup...btw how many world cup you have won in the history including all the sports, hockey (zero), football (01), Cricket (01), Rugby and so on.. world cup in cricket is not the only big event rather each test series has more importance than the world cup..Even if world cup is the only goal to achieve, it is still far away and your team is not Aussie side that you can predict that can at least qualify for final in every world cup since 1987.....

  • on February 22, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    The semi finalists at the next world cup will be Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. The usual suspects, except Pakistan will replace Sri Lanka who are on a downward trajectory.

    Its pretty rich the author saying slow bowling won't help at all, when the last time a world cup was played in NZ/Australia, slow bowling was the difference.

  • on February 22, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    @anuradha_d no one ever called English side as the best ever in the history of test match cricket. They might have called this is the best English test team in England's history.

  • on February 22, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Defeating Pakistan not the strongest batting line up in world cricket is not anything earth shattering...let us ease down a little...wait till they play other stronger one day sides...even a struggling side like indian beat them hands down

  • kp289 on February 22, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    i agree with mr.dobell england have young guns to look upon and their flamboyant player k.p, is in a great form....every thing is going right for england at the moment !!!!!!!!

  • YadavAjay on February 22, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Every win for ENG and mr. Dobell comes forward to say that 2015 world cup is in sight. But the same team with a change or two failed miserably in Aus after their their strong Performance in Ashes. This means that Eng can play only one format at a time properly. If they pass in test, they will fail in ODIs and vice-versa.

  • on February 22, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    There was a time in 2005-06 season when India was notching up a world record 17 successful ODI run chases. They blanked ENG 6-1, SL 3-0. The team looked as malleable as any. A Dhoni blast at #3 here, Irfan Pathan pinch-hitting at #3 there. Utthappa opening, Tendulkar wasn't needed, Ganguly wasn't missed. Yuvi-Kaif finished off matches as if by birthright, an 18 yr old Raina was walloping allcomers. On the other side McGrath was touted as too old, Gillespie gone, Ponting injured, Tait was scattergun as Oram belted 80s in 50 balls, Vettori tweaked wickets for fun, Styris kept scoring and NZ blanked AUS 3-0 in Chappell Hadlee series. Yet, when it mattered in WC2007, we know the story! It's a long time away - Pietersen will be 34, with a decade of int'l cricket fatigue behind him, Anderson 33, no spring chicken fast bowler .. ENG does have a great pool of talented benchwarmers, but we haven't even seen them last the sophomore season ... too early for predictions!

  • demon_bowler on February 22, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    I have been so impressed by Misbah. He has been as gracious in defeat as he was earlier magnanimous in victory. And he understands the game very well -- his observations, even in defeat, are that of someone who knows exactly what went right and what went wrong. He is a fine leader of men. This defeat in 1-day cricket shouldn't overshadow Pakistan's very well-merited, and much more important, victory in the test series. Misbah has transformed Pakistan's fortunes in the only form of the game that really counts. More importantly than that, he has changed the image of Pakistani cricket in the eyes of the world. He is the best captain of Pakistan since Imran Khan, and given what he has achieved with far lesser resources than Imran had at his disposal, and in far worse circumstances -- possibly the best Pakistani captain ever. He is certainly the best captain in world cricket today. Has anyone ever taken over the captaincy in such difficult circumstances?