England in Sri Lanka 2012 April 8, 2012

Flower keen to pass on lessons

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Andy Flower, the England team director, is keen to ensure lessons are learned on the team's recent overseas tours are not limited to the senior squad and get passed down the chain to younger players. Flower was boosted by the strides made by the batsmen in Sri Lanka as they fought back to level the series with a convincing eight-wicket win in Colombo following the whitewash against Pakistan in the UAE.

The success was set up by Kevin Pietersen's barnstorming 151 but Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Andrew Strauss all played important innings. But the revival was started by Trott in the second innings in Galle when his 112, although not able to prevent defeat, showed how batsmen can succeed by playing to their strengths.

England's other representative sides - the Lions and Under-19 team - also toured Asia over the last six months with mixed results. The Lions lost in Bangladesh but won in Sri Lanka, while the Under-19s were beaten 5-2 in a one-day series in Bangladesh. Flower wants all levels of the professional game to work together to improve England's cricket in these conditions.

"It is our job, not only to embed all those lessons but also to continue building on want we've learnt," Flower said. "We also need to pass on those lessons to younger English cricketers so that when they are playing international cricket they don't make the same mistakes as ours did this winter. I think that's quite important.

"It has been a tough winter but our focus has never wavered, our determination has never wavered and I think you would probably have see that best in the field. I think that was a good indication of where the group was. Yes it's been tough but it's brilliant to come back and level the series. It's a real pity that it's not a three-Test series - both Tests were excellent matches played on good pitches."

England almost left it too late to put in a complete batting performance and while Flower acknowledged it was a lengthy phase of trial and error, the end result has left him very hopeful of what can be achieved in the future.

"We all want instant results but the world doesn't work as easily as that but I do think it's exciting watching excellent cricketers still have the capacity to learn and improve themselves," he said. "I think good sides and good players have that capacity and are humble enough to open themselves up to new learning experiences. And I think we did see evidence of our guys learning in the second dig in Galle and out here."

Eoin Morgan was the one batsman to pay with his place after the Pakistan series and there will be focus on Ian Bell and Strauss when England resume action against West Indies in May. Bell has had a poor few months with just one half-century, in the first innings in Galle, to show as reward and his dismissal in Colombo - pulling a long hop to midwicket - was an inglorious way to finish.

Strauss, meanwhile, struck an important 61 to lay the foundation alongside Cook in Colombo but has now one Test hundred in 50 innings. From within the team there remains no doubt over his position - something reiterated by Flower - yet he could still do with a productive summer against West Indies and South Africa. Bell, too, will not be dropped although will need to convince the selectors that he has the game to succeed in India next winter with Flower insisting no one is immune to scrutiny.

Heading into the home season, No. 6 is the likely spot up for grabs if England revert to their regular balance of six batsmen, a keeper, three quicks and a spinner. Ravi Bopara was the spare batsman on the two recent tours after picking up a side strain in Sri Lanka being overlooked for Samit Patel.

"Not one player owns a position in the batting order," Flower said. "There's competition for all places. Of course some are more secure than others but I don't want to comment who'll bat at six against the West Indies as I need to talk to the selectors. We'll be having a selection meeting later this month and that's when we'll be discussing it in greater detail."

Neither would Flower be drawn on whether he thought the top six that played in Sri Lanka was the ideal combination for India at the end of the year. "I think it's a little early to say that this batting unit will be there at the end of the year, we don't know how things are going to pan out," he said. "Yes, this batting unit is good enough to score heavy runs in India but part of our job is to ensure it isn't a closed shop and if there are other players in England, we want them pushing the top seven here, constantly. That will drive our standards upwards."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 10, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    @nutcutlet... yep, at last the scales are falling from some of the blind Bell supporters... IR Bell is THE weak link, he seems to always lack the mental fortitiude to ''do it'' when it matters. I've said it before. Possibly the message is starting to get thru, mainly thru IR Bell's own poor work. Cue a few easy (non-solus!) hundreds vs the WIndies followed by the usual lack of gumption vs Steyn (almost identical to Bopara so Ravi isn't the answer either). Shame Morgan is wasting his time in the blingy 20over IPL and not learning the above homework lessons with Gooch and Flower

  • jmcilhinney on April 10, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    @maximum6, I agree with staggering the SC tours. I would say that at least one tour to a subcontinent destination every two years is essential if England want to develop consistency in those conditions. I know that there are many Pakistan fans, and some others, who hate hearing it said but I think that most England fans consider UAE to be different enough to English conditions and similar enough to real subcontinent conditions to be considered part of the group. The likelihood of England learning to play well in India and SL and not in UAE or the other way around is fairly slim. They will either learn to play spin in non-English-like conditions or they won't. Regular visits to the subcontinent and UAE (while required) will help to do that.

  • 5wombats on April 10, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    @Giridharan Jagannathan on (April 09 2012, 08:03 AM GMT). Rubbish.

  • 2.14istherunrate on April 9, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    I wonder sometimes whether England players don't sometimes overdo the hard work bit, and therefore are too keyed up at performance time. Sometimes relaxation isevery bit as good as practice. One of the problemms with playin in the subcontinent is that the fixtures are not staggered a bit more so that we play SL , Pak, and India away over 3 years not all within a 1 year period so that players remember a bit better how to do it. India too face this sort of problem getting all their non overseas tours within a year. Crazy overkill!!

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    @360review on (April 09 2012, 08:01 AM GMT) The SL management also visited the umpire's room in the final test but I guess you missed that as opposed to being blinkered?

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    @jimmy2s on (April 09 2012, 02:41 AM GMT) If England's batting line up are always that bad then why (pre Pak) did they go so long unbeaten inc away series in Aus and SA? And by the same token if Steyn,Philander and co were to have England in a "Cold Sweat" why are SA not blowing away all who are in front of them? I look forward to you response

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    @bddhika_harindat on (April 08 2012, 23:10 PM GMT) Where has Flower said England will succeed in every match in the SC ? And by the same token re SL under scoring in the 2nd match , England did the same in the 1st inns in the 1st match so we could say that Eng should have won 2-0. SL in England. England dominated that series (a la SA/NZ) but in all likelihood the rain saved SL from a 3-0 defeat and but for England's exceptional bowling/SL's dismal batting (depending on how you want to see it) Eng should not have been able to win the test they did win

  • on April 9, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    @360 he does mean teach kids how to play spin he was an excellent player of spin one of the very best ju8st because he was zimbabwean doesnt mean he was a rubbish batsman he averages over 50 in his test career

  • on April 9, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    @jeremy 2 tons in 51 innings isnt too clever either nor is one in 27 strauss is clearly off form

  • RandyOZ on April 9, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    2/75 in Barbados, so we are already well past the United XI's all out for 51 due to the mighty spin bowler Benn. haha.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 10, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    @nutcutlet... yep, at last the scales are falling from some of the blind Bell supporters... IR Bell is THE weak link, he seems to always lack the mental fortitiude to ''do it'' when it matters. I've said it before. Possibly the message is starting to get thru, mainly thru IR Bell's own poor work. Cue a few easy (non-solus!) hundreds vs the WIndies followed by the usual lack of gumption vs Steyn (almost identical to Bopara so Ravi isn't the answer either). Shame Morgan is wasting his time in the blingy 20over IPL and not learning the above homework lessons with Gooch and Flower

  • jmcilhinney on April 10, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    @maximum6, I agree with staggering the SC tours. I would say that at least one tour to a subcontinent destination every two years is essential if England want to develop consistency in those conditions. I know that there are many Pakistan fans, and some others, who hate hearing it said but I think that most England fans consider UAE to be different enough to English conditions and similar enough to real subcontinent conditions to be considered part of the group. The likelihood of England learning to play well in India and SL and not in UAE or the other way around is fairly slim. They will either learn to play spin in non-English-like conditions or they won't. Regular visits to the subcontinent and UAE (while required) will help to do that.

  • 5wombats on April 10, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    @Giridharan Jagannathan on (April 09 2012, 08:03 AM GMT). Rubbish.

  • 2.14istherunrate on April 9, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    I wonder sometimes whether England players don't sometimes overdo the hard work bit, and therefore are too keyed up at performance time. Sometimes relaxation isevery bit as good as practice. One of the problemms with playin in the subcontinent is that the fixtures are not staggered a bit more so that we play SL , Pak, and India away over 3 years not all within a 1 year period so that players remember a bit better how to do it. India too face this sort of problem getting all their non overseas tours within a year. Crazy overkill!!

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    @360review on (April 09 2012, 08:01 AM GMT) The SL management also visited the umpire's room in the final test but I guess you missed that as opposed to being blinkered?

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    @jimmy2s on (April 09 2012, 02:41 AM GMT) If England's batting line up are always that bad then why (pre Pak) did they go so long unbeaten inc away series in Aus and SA? And by the same token if Steyn,Philander and co were to have England in a "Cold Sweat" why are SA not blowing away all who are in front of them? I look forward to you response

  • JG2704 on April 9, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    @bddhika_harindat on (April 08 2012, 23:10 PM GMT) Where has Flower said England will succeed in every match in the SC ? And by the same token re SL under scoring in the 2nd match , England did the same in the 1st inns in the 1st match so we could say that Eng should have won 2-0. SL in England. England dominated that series (a la SA/NZ) but in all likelihood the rain saved SL from a 3-0 defeat and but for England's exceptional bowling/SL's dismal batting (depending on how you want to see it) Eng should not have been able to win the test they did win

  • on April 9, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    @360 he does mean teach kids how to play spin he was an excellent player of spin one of the very best ju8st because he was zimbabwean doesnt mean he was a rubbish batsman he averages over 50 in his test career

  • on April 9, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    @jeremy 2 tons in 51 innings isnt too clever either nor is one in 27 strauss is clearly off form

  • RandyOZ on April 9, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    2/75 in Barbados, so we are already well past the United XI's all out for 51 due to the mighty spin bowler Benn. haha.

  • Perera32 on April 9, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Ok England did play brilliantly to win the 2nd Test. But many people in the comments are overreacting to the win. Sri lanka isn't the strongest Sub continent team and they were not at their best, It may sound like im making excuses but the SL team selection was not the best either. England are a very good team, and they have proved that with the performance in the last test match and truly deserve to win the match. All those who commented before the Pak test series said that England will whitewash both Pakistan and Sri lanka but look what happened. Then these English fans were no where to be seen and all of a sudden when they win 1 test match they think they are the best again. The India tests in november are not going to be easy at all, Im sure the Indians will give a better fight this time.

  • on April 9, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    i really wish india nd srilanka played 5 test matches every year against the english.... both muralidharan and kumble would have ended with 1000 wickets.. nothing to take away from warne though.. he was on his A game always...

  • on April 9, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    @ Jeremy Stone. It does not take much spin to suggest that Strauss' recent form is mediocre. It is. You could easily responds to your own fact about Strauss' outscoring Cook in the majority of innings by saying, yes, exactly, one oif th issues for Strauss is thgat he does not make good his starts. If you look at his average over the last couple of years it is in the mid-30s. Past England captains who have been this way before such as Atherton, Botham, Gower and Hussain, all regard an examination of the issues as entirely valid - and tney have felt it from both sides. That said I have yet to find one member of the UK media who does not believe that Andrew Strauss should lead England into the next Ashes series and who does not wish him well. There is striking unananimity but if the nedia does not examine issues as they arise what exactly is its function?If he succeeds against WI and SA this summer it will be to general relief.

  • zenboomerang on April 9, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    What Andy F has said is quite correct - experience gained from seniors can be as good as what the best coach can give... But I am unsure about the subcontinent experiences gained?... I mentioned before the UAE games that Pakistan had the best bowling attack that England had faced since the Saffa tour in 2009 & that Eng seemed to have a mental block to spinners in Asia - nothing fixed there... SL had 1 good spinner & down 2 good seamers since Vaas, Malinga retired - so little gained from there... I will be much more interested in how England do at home against WI & SA bowlers this winter as both packs look much better than what India, Sri Lanka have or Oz in 2010 had... I think the WI's can make large inroads into the Test arena over the next few years...

  • Nutcutlet on April 9, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Such is the determination of Andy Flower, England supporters can be sure that all of the winter's lessons are hard learned. He knows, more so than anyone, how inept England was in the UAE & at Galle, and but for the pyrotechnics of KP in Colombo, would have struggled there as well. Nonetheless, it is only the batting that needs critical scrutiny and IMO it is Bell and the #6 position that need recalibrating. Once the middle order is sorted out, then England should give India more than a run for their money. The stumbling block is that Bell is what I call a season-ticket-holder (i.e. an auto-pick). There has been a huge investment in him founded on the confident belief that he was/is the best possible #5 available to England. That confidence has now been shaken. Perhaps this season begins with the question: who can do better than IB in that position? For that reason alone, I would expect to see a new face or two in the England Test team this summer.

  • Lmaotsetung on April 9, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    LOL...haters will hate. So Flower wants the whole Eng setup from the senior team to the Lions to the U19 to the kiddie in the park to learn how to play spin on slow and low tracks and share his experience and people are bringing up India, Pakistan?!? He just wants to pass on his experience to current and future Eng international such as how to play the sweep on line and NOT on premeditation...nothing more nothing less. Some people try to read too much into an article that has nothing to do with them. As far as #6 spot, Johnny boy hit a century in his seasonal debut....watch out Ravi! I say time to bring on the youngster this summer...Bairstow, Butler, Stokes, etc

  • Valavan on April 9, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    @Giridharan Jagannathan, haha hilarious comment, what an excuse it is? if we loose further in subcontinent, we can give the same excuse, when you cant give credit where it is due, that says who are you? malinga and murali retired isnt it, so your team still lives in the past with Murali and Malinga, haha i am really laughing high when i read it. Please when next time you visit England, ask malinga, murali and vaas to come out of retirement and play. cricinfo please publish.

  • on April 9, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Strauss's "One hundred in 50 innings" is a real factoid. It all depends how you spin this story. His last hundred was 27 innings ago, and the one before that was 51 innings ago. The suggestion is, of course, that he hasn't scored a hundred for fifty innings. If people generally appreciated this is how the one-in-fifty statistic had been derived, it would never have been possible to promote a Strauss crisis. It is all the more ironic, since Strauss has outscored Cook in 27 out of those last 50 innings (an index of continuing reliability, at least). He has also scored 13 fifties, as well as the solitary hundred. Just for international perspective, Gautam Gambhir's last Test 100 was 37 innings ago, and Sehwag has gone 27 innings without a 100. These things happen at the top of the order.

  • jmcilhinney on April 9, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    @bddhika_harindat, I'm not sure what part of this article leads you to believe that Andy Flower does think those things. The gist of your comment seems to be that England should not be pleased with their performance even when they win because they didn;t really deserve to win anyway. You say that SL would have won in Columbo if they'd scored 325 in the first innings. How is that any different to saying that if England has scored 250 in their first innings in Galle they would have won? England were not good enough to score more runs in Galle and SL were not good enough to score more runs in Columbo... or Cardiff. Your argument that "you wouldn't have won if we'd scored more runs" is just plain stupid because the whole point of cricket is to score more runs than your opponent so if you don't score them then you obviously deserve to lose.

  • 5string on April 9, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    @bddhika_harindat, What ARE you on about? Your first statement is bizarre - are you an Indian supporter, by any chance? Somehow India always manages to find its way into these discussions, completely irrelevant and unwelcome. "Had Sri Lanka scored 325..." - they didn't! Swann the only spinner who's a threat? Er, yeah we know! Some SL batsmen do play well in all conditions, as do many batsmen from all teams. What is your point, please? I think Flower is saying England need to keep working on batting technique and there is good competition for all places in the team. Youngsters need to learn the same lessons so that there is a promising future, too. I agree.

  • on April 9, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Oh yeah Andy you did do well against India. But let's see what happens when you come to India later this year :) SL was tired after playing in the energy sapping heat of the Aussie summer and mentally drained with so much focus. Plus they did not have a good team for this series. No Murali, Malinga, Kulasekara, etc. Plus Dilshan, Sanga, and Thirimanne were out of form. This was a wrong time for the series. SL clearly did not want it. Also they made a mistake in selecting Randiv and not Mendis. England have been playing offies lately and it was easy to tackle Randiv. So am sure you can't read much into this. In fact if the subcontinent teams focus hard on tests rather than IPL then England will never win even in England.

  • 360review on April 9, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    What would Flower be passing on to young players? Is it OK to run to match referee's room every time a decision goes against you? Wouldn't it be better to focus on how to play spin in sub-continent? Swann may have gotten lucky wickets on last over of the 4th day, but it won't happen in every match.

  • drnaveed on April 9, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    every Country plays well on his homeground. when teams from india, pakistan , srilanka tour ausralia , england they find it difficult to adjust to those conditions, and similarly teams from australia and england find it tough to adjust in conditions over here .furthermore we have hot weather here,whereas they have cold weather there.some of the england team players took special sessions of practice in indian,as a preparation for the series against pakistan, which they lost 3-0 in u.a.e. similarly ,indian team went much earlier to australia to get adjusted to those conditions, but they lost that series 4-0. so, one cannot master the home condition of some other far off country,even if one goes one year ahead of the scheduled series..........

  • Rahulbose on April 9, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Not sure how he expects "learnings" to be passed on. Eng can be proud of the way they played. They kept trying hard even after repeated failures, that more than anything shows how good a side they are. As for India series, it is in winter so Eng should do well. Plus the Indian team will be playing tests after a long break.

  • vrn59 on April 9, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    This is a good article. Many people will feel that England are being over-optimistic about the tour to India in November after just one successful innings with the bat, and they might well be right, but this last match really was a good sign from England. Their main strength is their world-class bowling attack that is capable of taking 20 wickets in all conditions. Anderson, Broad and Swann are the best in the business, and they are ably backed up by Bresnan, Finn and Panesar. With regard to the batting, Cook, Trott and Pietersen are looking good in subcontinental conditions. This analysis is based not just on the last Test match, but on Cook and Pietersen's back-to-back ODI centuries in the UAE against a potent Pakistani spin attack and Trott's fighting Test century in Galle. Strauss and Bell have scored only one half-century each in this series and still have some work to do. Prior's keeping has been great, and he has been ok with the bat too, but could do better.

  • goldeneye075 on April 9, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    as soon as they win a match..... They start their BIG TALKS ... lol ;-) .... winning one match doesn't prove anything my dear.. flower ;-) At the moment Pakistan are to true greats in the sub continent ,, and if they play vs Eng in sri lankan soil they will definetly will win 10 out of 10 time.. England will not lose in India, as they do not have quality spinners.. who can take 20 wickets and wickets are flat as flat can be in india,,.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 9, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    @bddkia_harindat, those two drawn tests (Lords and Rosebowl), where both heavily affected by the weather, I believe they lost 5-6 sessions in each test, hmm there was also no mention of swann in the article.....In regards to AF's comments, its common sense that the seniors pass on what they've learnt to the next generation, and i'd be suprised if other teams didnt already do this, thats what helped the WI's and Aus remain so dominant for so long.

  • Leggie on April 9, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    England won against one of the weakest Sri lankan attack in recent times. Not much to have learnt from this I suppose

  • RandyOZ on April 9, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Flower appears to be saying all the right things to me, unlike Arthur. However, England's selection policies to appear to be mirroring the Australian protected spieces act, ie: North, Haddin, etc.

  • wrenx on April 9, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    Unimpressed with this dross, as is the norm with Mr. Flower. Wonder how England will fare against a formidable South African side? Mr. Flower would do well to remember that alongside Steyn & Philander, his feeble batting line-up will be facing a another Pakistani spinner - no doubt that'll make England's jelly-legged top & middle order break out in a cold sweat.

  • Clive_Dunn on April 9, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    @bddhika. Er, so you've ignored the hundreds of lost overs to rain during that SL in England series in order to back up a hugely weak argument ? The SL batsmen couldn't play seam and swing, the same way the English struggled on low, slow turners. One innings from Dilshan aside, the Sri Lankans looked horrible in English conditions.

  • bddhika_harindat on April 8, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    Mr Flower, don't think that you will succeed in every match played in sub-continent just becuse you won a game in SL. Had Sri Lanka scored 325 runs in the 1st innings, similar thing would have happened to Eng like in Galle test. It was the psychological factor that they gained in the 2nd test in Colombo which they won. And also, don't think Swann is the only spnner in the world cricket who can be a threat as there are lots of spinners who can turn the bowl in any pitch in the world. If you campare the results of this test series vs. series SL played in England last year, it was proved that batsmen from subcontinent played well in english pitches as SL were able to draw 2 matches in that series except for 1 bad session which they bowled out for 84 runs in the 1 test in cardiff, which England won unexpectedly.

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  • bddhika_harindat on April 8, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    Mr Flower, don't think that you will succeed in every match played in sub-continent just becuse you won a game in SL. Had Sri Lanka scored 325 runs in the 1st innings, similar thing would have happened to Eng like in Galle test. It was the psychological factor that they gained in the 2nd test in Colombo which they won. And also, don't think Swann is the only spnner in the world cricket who can be a threat as there are lots of spinners who can turn the bowl in any pitch in the world. If you campare the results of this test series vs. series SL played in England last year, it was proved that batsmen from subcontinent played well in english pitches as SL were able to draw 2 matches in that series except for 1 bad session which they bowled out for 84 runs in the 1 test in cardiff, which England won unexpectedly.

  • Clive_Dunn on April 9, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    @bddhika. Er, so you've ignored the hundreds of lost overs to rain during that SL in England series in order to back up a hugely weak argument ? The SL batsmen couldn't play seam and swing, the same way the English struggled on low, slow turners. One innings from Dilshan aside, the Sri Lankans looked horrible in English conditions.

  • wrenx on April 9, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    Unimpressed with this dross, as is the norm with Mr. Flower. Wonder how England will fare against a formidable South African side? Mr. Flower would do well to remember that alongside Steyn & Philander, his feeble batting line-up will be facing a another Pakistani spinner - no doubt that'll make England's jelly-legged top & middle order break out in a cold sweat.

  • RandyOZ on April 9, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Flower appears to be saying all the right things to me, unlike Arthur. However, England's selection policies to appear to be mirroring the Australian protected spieces act, ie: North, Haddin, etc.

  • Leggie on April 9, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    England won against one of the weakest Sri lankan attack in recent times. Not much to have learnt from this I suppose

  • YorkshirePudding on April 9, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    @bddkia_harindat, those two drawn tests (Lords and Rosebowl), where both heavily affected by the weather, I believe they lost 5-6 sessions in each test, hmm there was also no mention of swann in the article.....In regards to AF's comments, its common sense that the seniors pass on what they've learnt to the next generation, and i'd be suprised if other teams didnt already do this, thats what helped the WI's and Aus remain so dominant for so long.

  • goldeneye075 on April 9, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    as soon as they win a match..... They start their BIG TALKS ... lol ;-) .... winning one match doesn't prove anything my dear.. flower ;-) At the moment Pakistan are to true greats in the sub continent ,, and if they play vs Eng in sri lankan soil they will definetly will win 10 out of 10 time.. England will not lose in India, as they do not have quality spinners.. who can take 20 wickets and wickets are flat as flat can be in india,,.

  • vrn59 on April 9, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    This is a good article. Many people will feel that England are being over-optimistic about the tour to India in November after just one successful innings with the bat, and they might well be right, but this last match really was a good sign from England. Their main strength is their world-class bowling attack that is capable of taking 20 wickets in all conditions. Anderson, Broad and Swann are the best in the business, and they are ably backed up by Bresnan, Finn and Panesar. With regard to the batting, Cook, Trott and Pietersen are looking good in subcontinental conditions. This analysis is based not just on the last Test match, but on Cook and Pietersen's back-to-back ODI centuries in the UAE against a potent Pakistani spin attack and Trott's fighting Test century in Galle. Strauss and Bell have scored only one half-century each in this series and still have some work to do. Prior's keeping has been great, and he has been ok with the bat too, but could do better.

  • Rahulbose on April 9, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Not sure how he expects "learnings" to be passed on. Eng can be proud of the way they played. They kept trying hard even after repeated failures, that more than anything shows how good a side they are. As for India series, it is in winter so Eng should do well. Plus the Indian team will be playing tests after a long break.

  • drnaveed on April 9, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    every Country plays well on his homeground. when teams from india, pakistan , srilanka tour ausralia , england they find it difficult to adjust to those conditions, and similarly teams from australia and england find it tough to adjust in conditions over here .furthermore we have hot weather here,whereas they have cold weather there.some of the england team players took special sessions of practice in indian,as a preparation for the series against pakistan, which they lost 3-0 in u.a.e. similarly ,indian team went much earlier to australia to get adjusted to those conditions, but they lost that series 4-0. so, one cannot master the home condition of some other far off country,even if one goes one year ahead of the scheduled series..........