The Ashes 2010-11 January 8, 2011

England target No. 1 ranking

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England's coach, Andy Flower, has praised the ruthlessness of his Ashes-winning cricketers, but warned that their 3-1 series win must not be seen as an end in itself, as the squad prepares to embark on a tough ODI campaign against Australia that will test their readiness for the World Cup in the subcontinent later this year.

Speaking on the morning after England's innings-and-83-run victory in Sydney, Flower said that, while the successful defence of the Ashes in Australia was a special achievement, it would be disrespectful to the challenge posed by other countries to single it out as a crowning glory.

"Our celebrations were good, and well deserved by the players," said Flower. "We had a good time and I think the guys are reflecting on a job well done and a job that they are very proud of. But our ultimate goal is to be No. 1 in the world, and in no way would I demean the Ashes series in saying that. Any series against any international nation is important in its own right, and any Test win is a very proud moment for me and our players. I think it would be disrespectful to view it any differently."

England's itinerary has left them little time to sit on their laurels. Much as was the case in 2009, when the team departed for Belfast shortly after wrapping up victory at The Oval, the squad set off for Canberra on Saturday to prepare for the two Twenty20 internationals that precede the seven-match ODI series. "There's not much rest time," said Flower. "The guys won't be able to bask long in the sunshine. They have to get their training boots on, and get back to work soon."

One man who will not be joining them on that trip, however, is Alastair Cook. England's Test vice-captain is not a member of the one-day set-up, and so he is set to fly back to England on Saturday evening, to reflect on his phenomenal achievement in racking up 766 runs in the five Tests, a tally that has only ever been exceeded by one Englishman in Australia - Wally Hammond, who made 905 runs in 1928-29.

"Cook had a particularly outstanding series," said Flower. "He's a very strong young man, he's displayed that strength in a number of ways through his career, and he's overcome most challenges that have been put in front of him, which is testament to that strength of character. Our players are picked to play international cricket because we believe they are good enough, and crucially they believe they are good enough."

Cook's turnaround in form has been stunning, after he struggled to 100 runs in the first four Tests of the English season before saving his short-term place in the side with a gutsy second-innings century against Pakistan at The Oval.

"Considering that people were calling for his head not so long ago, it is an outstanding riposte," said Flower. "Although that's not why he did it. It was because of the pride he has in his own performance and because he is very proud to play for England. I am very happy for him personally, and we're all thankful that he made those contributions to the team for us."

The team ethic was the defining feature of England's Test campaign, and of their rise and rise in the past 12 months, in which they have not lost a single series or tournament in any form of the game for 15 series and counting. The knock-on effect of such confidence is that the less-experienced members of the team, such as Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett, have been able to slot into the set-up without missing a beat.

"Bresnan and Tremlett stepped into the breach very skillfully I thought, and held themselves well under pressure," said Flower. "It's not easy to do when you don't play a lot of cricket at the start of the series, and you're asked to take over because of injury or form, but they did it very well. It's down to a combination of things. It's a testament to their character and the way they handle pressure, but also a testament to the unity in the side, and the fact that they felt comfortable coming in and didn't feel like outsiders."

The fact that England have forged a squad of international-standard players, rather than just a first eleven as was the case in 2005, augurs well for the challenges that lie ahead, with Flower hinting that changes of position and personnel may come into play when the team reaches the subcontinent in February for the World Cup. But all the while, that aim of No. 1 remains the ultimate focus.

"It's realistic, it's achievable," said Flower. "I don't know if we'll get there or not, but it's certainly what we are aiming for. This result will give the players a lot of confidence, and some of the results they are achieving are building that confidence all the time. Winning the Twenty20 World Cup, playing well in South Africa, and winning two of the last Ashes series are all things that will build the confidence of the side."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pom_basher on January 11, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    The problem for Indian fans doesnt seem to be with the England's desire to be No.1, but with the website's policy of publishing many articles (with Chappell at the forefront) accusing that India doesn't deserve to be No1, and then coming up with this series of articles almost stating that England are no.1 in waiting, and its only matter of time before India shades the false title and England claims the top spot.

  • romanc on January 11, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    I don,t thing it is England's improvement made them to win ashes... rather it wad Australian's bad performance...India had proved everywhere in the world...unless some bad umpiring was not there in Australia, India would have won the test title there...

  • DARN_IT on January 11, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Eagerly waiting for England - India series.... Lets see if England can break "THE WALL"...if the can see off VVS .... if they can sustain SACHIN ...if they can defend Zaheer.... if they can ...if they can ...

  • Micgyver on January 11, 2011, 1:24 GMT

    You have to give credit to the English bowlers,particularly the fast men who ALL swung the ball including reverse swing,something the Aussie bowlers struggled with.Another reason why they triumphed was their discipline.They never wavered from their plans and bowled tight,suffocating line and lengths. From what iv'e seen from the Indian bowlers is that if they don't have conditions to suit spin,the only man good enough is Khan.India's batsmen are still great but some won't be around for long whilst the English batsmen are a team experienced enough yet young enough to post consistent big scores. Not forgetting Sth Africa who like India have a couple of stars in the team.Steyn is a matchwinner on any surface and Kallis's batting exploits have saved them.

    My point is,England have a well balanced team with no passengers aboard so whoever thinks they cant be the No.1 team in the world is kidding themselves and speaking from the heart not the brain.

  • SDHM on January 10, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    @Trueman's_Ghost - I think England would have to whitewash both Sri Lanka and India to even get close, so somehow I don't think England will reach the top this summer...

  • Chapelau on January 10, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    @meety - you talk a lot of sense mate - can u pls teach jonesy2? England do have an improving team and with a fair run of results will be very close behind India as worldl ranked No.2 at the end of this summer... reasons; mental toughness that simply was not there before and a great team spirit. India have some great players, aging but great, but after Zak their attack is very very ordinary. Eng v India are always close series of late, this will be no different, but I take England to win 2-1 or even 2-0 considering India have no time to prepare after their tour of WIndies. True test as many have said will then be can England win in India?

  • ramanathanindiafans on January 10, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Guys i am commenting for what Darren Gough said about England & your fellow old cricketers comments after England winning ashes,Winning ashes does not make you contenders for No:1u have to win consistently everywhere, if u are able to beat Srilanka in Srilanka & India in India u will become No 1 & consitently win ashes for next 5 series

  • on January 10, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    England have retained the Ashes for the first time Down Under in the last 25 years. Well done Andrew Strauss and the England team. Strauss has been an inspirational leader for the England team and most of the credit should go to Andrew. Lets not forget how much he backed Alister Cook prior to the series. There were so many questions being raised about his technique and all the other stuff. Strauss backed Cook to the hilt and sure enough the Essex opener did not let his Captain down.

    It was really heartening to hear Strauss say at the end of the series that the job was not done as yet. England really look good to challenge India for the number one status. I'm really looking forward to the series between England and India next summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Truemans_Ghost on January 10, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    The "predictor" on the ICC ranking site doesn't go as far as the India-England games (and I'm not clever enough to do the calculations without), but India are no. 1 by quite a long way. Even if England did beat them at home, I think India would stay top. Ranking actually work quite well in that respect- India have saved up a lot of credit, so a narrow away slip up wouldn't cost them their crown.

  • SDHM on January 10, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    I never understand why an England side saying they are aiming for No. 1 provokes such anger - surely that should be the aim of all the test sides? And whenever anyone else says it, it never generates such a heated argument. Looking at both the fixtures and the talent available, as an England fan I have to say I'm optimistic it can happen, but I'm not saying it will happen - what's wrong with that?! I just feel that England are the only side with any real depth in all areas at the moment - we have several wicket keepers, many good young batsmen, a well stocked seam department (although a lack of any real quickies coming through is a bit of a worry) and a few promising spinners around the country. The India series is huge, and I think a lot depends on the weather - if it's like the end of last summer, England will be favourites. If it's like last year's early summer, I expect a few bore draws.

  • pom_basher on January 11, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    The problem for Indian fans doesnt seem to be with the England's desire to be No.1, but with the website's policy of publishing many articles (with Chappell at the forefront) accusing that India doesn't deserve to be No1, and then coming up with this series of articles almost stating that England are no.1 in waiting, and its only matter of time before India shades the false title and England claims the top spot.

  • romanc on January 11, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    I don,t thing it is England's improvement made them to win ashes... rather it wad Australian's bad performance...India had proved everywhere in the world...unless some bad umpiring was not there in Australia, India would have won the test title there...

  • DARN_IT on January 11, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Eagerly waiting for England - India series.... Lets see if England can break "THE WALL"...if the can see off VVS .... if they can sustain SACHIN ...if they can defend Zaheer.... if they can ...if they can ...

  • Micgyver on January 11, 2011, 1:24 GMT

    You have to give credit to the English bowlers,particularly the fast men who ALL swung the ball including reverse swing,something the Aussie bowlers struggled with.Another reason why they triumphed was their discipline.They never wavered from their plans and bowled tight,suffocating line and lengths. From what iv'e seen from the Indian bowlers is that if they don't have conditions to suit spin,the only man good enough is Khan.India's batsmen are still great but some won't be around for long whilst the English batsmen are a team experienced enough yet young enough to post consistent big scores. Not forgetting Sth Africa who like India have a couple of stars in the team.Steyn is a matchwinner on any surface and Kallis's batting exploits have saved them.

    My point is,England have a well balanced team with no passengers aboard so whoever thinks they cant be the No.1 team in the world is kidding themselves and speaking from the heart not the brain.

  • SDHM on January 10, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    @Trueman's_Ghost - I think England would have to whitewash both Sri Lanka and India to even get close, so somehow I don't think England will reach the top this summer...

  • Chapelau on January 10, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    @meety - you talk a lot of sense mate - can u pls teach jonesy2? England do have an improving team and with a fair run of results will be very close behind India as worldl ranked No.2 at the end of this summer... reasons; mental toughness that simply was not there before and a great team spirit. India have some great players, aging but great, but after Zak their attack is very very ordinary. Eng v India are always close series of late, this will be no different, but I take England to win 2-1 or even 2-0 considering India have no time to prepare after their tour of WIndies. True test as many have said will then be can England win in India?

  • ramanathanindiafans on January 10, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Guys i am commenting for what Darren Gough said about England & your fellow old cricketers comments after England winning ashes,Winning ashes does not make you contenders for No:1u have to win consistently everywhere, if u are able to beat Srilanka in Srilanka & India in India u will become No 1 & consitently win ashes for next 5 series

  • on January 10, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    England have retained the Ashes for the first time Down Under in the last 25 years. Well done Andrew Strauss and the England team. Strauss has been an inspirational leader for the England team and most of the credit should go to Andrew. Lets not forget how much he backed Alister Cook prior to the series. There were so many questions being raised about his technique and all the other stuff. Strauss backed Cook to the hilt and sure enough the Essex opener did not let his Captain down.

    It was really heartening to hear Strauss say at the end of the series that the job was not done as yet. England really look good to challenge India for the number one status. I'm really looking forward to the series between England and India next summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Truemans_Ghost on January 10, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    The "predictor" on the ICC ranking site doesn't go as far as the India-England games (and I'm not clever enough to do the calculations without), but India are no. 1 by quite a long way. Even if England did beat them at home, I think India would stay top. Ranking actually work quite well in that respect- India have saved up a lot of credit, so a narrow away slip up wouldn't cost them their crown.

  • SDHM on January 10, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    I never understand why an England side saying they are aiming for No. 1 provokes such anger - surely that should be the aim of all the test sides? And whenever anyone else says it, it never generates such a heated argument. Looking at both the fixtures and the talent available, as an England fan I have to say I'm optimistic it can happen, but I'm not saying it will happen - what's wrong with that?! I just feel that England are the only side with any real depth in all areas at the moment - we have several wicket keepers, many good young batsmen, a well stocked seam department (although a lack of any real quickies coming through is a bit of a worry) and a few promising spinners around the country. The India series is huge, and I think a lot depends on the weather - if it's like the end of last summer, England will be favourites. If it's like last year's early summer, I expect a few bore draws.

  • cricfan06 on January 10, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    @willmot - the Last time England beat India in a Test series.. was in 1996.. 15 years ago!! In the last 5 test Series between the two nations, India won 3 Drew 2...Englad have dominated India in the past, in the 70's there was a run of 5 straight England series wins over India. The summer series should be interesting, with both teams supposedly at their peak, it will be competitive.. A lot has been said about England's amazing bowling attack and yes, they were good in the Ashes, but against a substandard Aussie batting card...against the likes of Tendulkar and co.. it will be interesting to see how they perform. I think England's batting won it for them in Australia, so it will be interesting to see how the Indian bowlers fare against this strong batting side..They didn't do too badly against SA in the final 2 tests, taking 20 wickets both times..

  • AkilKapasi on January 10, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Calm down India fans. Nobody has said that England are the number one team yet. Far from it. If you would actually read comments made from the team themselves they aknowledge that they're behind SA and Ind. Of course their stated aim is to be No.1. Otherwise what the hell is point in competing? It just seems to me that you have a massive chip on your shoulder about something.

  • ramanathanindiafans on January 10, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    Dear Poms Be realistic,I heard many comments regarding your best bowling line up, in 2005 u had best bowling line up,hoggard,harmison jones&flintoff where are they now, so to say that u have so many good bowlers is a myth, one injury is enough for them to pack there bags, now about batting,cook is a class batsman no doubt & he will score heavily, provided that zaheer khan is injured for England tour,otherwise like grahame smith he is also going to be zaheer"s bunny, trott shuffles too much across the stumps a strong lbw candidate, kevin pietersen is temperamental a provoking tweet is enough for loosing concentration, ian bell looks stylish when he gets out, bowler feels he has foxed bell (if you see Ian bell getting out u can understand what i say) Matt prior is good but not good as Dhoni cannot change his game according to situation.Graeme Swann going to to get hit by Sehwag, poor fellow. So Poms be ready for India's tour of England remember we beat u last time when we were there.

  • on January 10, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    All this banter between Indian and English fans can only serve to create a better atmosphere. Indians love their cricket, English love their cricket - i hope the series won't be subject to controvesy and that both teams bring their "A" game.

  • pom_basher on January 10, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    @willmot - "As usual India will struggle in Eng this summer" : What was the series result when the world no 1 team visited England last time? and before that? Which planet are you from?

  • on January 10, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    I think all any englishman wants this summer is for the games against India to be competitive. I think to hope for anything else at this point is premature.

  • silentcacophony.ubiquitous on January 10, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    Right now Indian team is at peak , and in next 12-18 months there wont be any dravid, laxman and tendulkar. and sadly indian team has no hot replacements for them.. pujara looks exciting but he is yet to play matches.. indian middle order is stull shaky actually if u remove laxman and tenddulkar.. the likes of raina, yuvraj have not transformed to their full potential... and with Zaheer aged 32, India actually is on similar path which aussies experienced couple of years back.. Unless they find good long term replacements ( not trying Rp singh , sreesanth or muanf patel for evry 3-4 tests and dropping them),this indian team dream of remaining no 1 might end as soon as end of this year ... So i agree with flower they are on track.. give another 12moinths or so., you never know.. eng might dethrone india come 2012..

  • drwaqas1 on January 10, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    i agree with Mr.Flower that they can be #1 test side but he didn't thank SURPRISINGLY their'12th man' NEWS OF THE WORLD who came to their 'rescue' when their batsmen were being shown their real 'class' by AMIR & ASIF. Good luck MR.Mazhar Mehmood NOTW. Next series against India 'target Zaheer & Harbhajan'

  • Domzo on January 10, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    What do people want England to say? "Well obviously we'll never be any good in the subcontinent, and 3rd's about as good as we ever want to be, so we're happy where we are right now." Of course the team is going to target being number one, and of course to get there they have to show that they can consistently beat good teams, particularly a Sri Lankan team with an excellent batting lineup (not so hot on the bowling though without Murali) and a very good Indian team at home this summer (that could possibly do with better #3 and #4 bowlers, Sharma hasn't looked convincing for a while, even in South Africa - which should suit his bowling style - and Sreesanth seems like a bit of a Mitchell Johnson - can be devastating, can be very, very ordinary).

  • fastcrew on January 10, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    I am indian and i am telling ALL INDIAN fans to lay it off a bit. who cares wat the english think? remember, we are in war with the aussies (LOL); we have no grudge against england. let them dream...let our players do the talking. not like ponting and his crew who sledge all the time. I nevertheless tip india to win the series.

  • Vansan on January 10, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    I dont understand what makes all these Indian Fans provoked. Flower said they will try to achieve the no.1 test spot, which means they will collectively perform as a team more consistently, this ashes 2010/11 is a begenning and they want to keep up their tempo. At present situation England is a grooming side, Many indians said England should win India in India to prove it. Why didnt India win Australia in Australia to get to top spot? Get real Indian Fans, England this time is not the same as it was in 2007, they won Ashes twice, drew with SA in SA, also England was laughed at by others they cant cope with T20s and they won it in 2010. England have a real pace battery who can bowl in tandem to hustle any batsman - Anderson,Tremlett,Finn,Broad.Shahzad, Onions. Flower didnt claim England as no.1, he said England can compete that level. Indian fans seems to be another set of cry babies, always worried about ICC Rankings,

  • dib98 on January 10, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    stupid comments after beating the weak australian side you jump to far ahead when you need to relise that you have to beat the good teams too

  • on January 10, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    It's very possible for England to be the number one test team if they keep this standard up. They already have the best bowling squad in the world - Anderson, Tremlett, Bresnan and Swann are all world class. Then you've got Finn, Broad, Shahzad, Onions and Panesar for backup. India have Zaheer and Harbajhan. SA have Steyn, without doubt the best bowler in the world, and Morkel. But beyond those great bowlers both teams fall down a bit. As for the batting, Kallis will retire in the next 2 years. So will Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid. England's batsmen will be comparable to SA and India after that point.

  • on January 10, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Very funny england team..........Dont dream to become No:1. Atleast try to avoid getting defeated for the upcoming series against india.........

  • Sanj747 on January 10, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    Point taken Mr ramanathaindiafans but with due respect India also need to win series abroad not draw them like they did in SAF and SL. Can't see India beating England in England.

  • prasoonsharma on January 10, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    England outplayed Australia in every department in this series. To be #1, England needs to maintain winning habits for a number of months. India, England and South Africa are top 3 teams. They will compete hard against each other and take the top spot from each other in next 2 - 3 years till Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid retire, when India will go thru what Australia is going thru now.

  • willmot on January 10, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    As usual India will struggle in Eng this summer, they didn't win in SA just now and didn't win against Aus in Aus and in all honesty none of the above have ever seemed likely. As long as the BCCI retains financial clout and hence governance of the ICC they can continue to arrange the fixture calender to assist this bunch of over hyped cricketers to stay no.1.

  • Meety on January 9, 2011, 23:34 GMT

    @Bhavesh Pandya - re: Ian Chappell - get over it mate, ESPN let Ian Chappell have a say because it is just an opinion. Perhaps you would prefer to live in Nth Korea where opiions aren't expressed & the only thing you get to read about is how many hole in ones their 90yr old president hit on the week end round of Golf? On the topic of England being #1, if Cook keeps hitting big 100s every 2nd innings England will be #1 in a year! Add Trott & Pieterson chipping & Bell & Prior getting 50s, this side may end up with the best bating line up in the world. At the moment they have the best spinner & in Anderson they have probably the 3rd best swing bowler (behind Steyn & Zaheer). If thats not enough - Tremlett has blown me away, the side the Poms finished the Ashes with is a very good side. My gut feel is that Cook had a freak series (not saying he is not good but = to Bradman?). Poms are well coached & will push SA & India. This will be good for the game.

  • on January 9, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Sachin's 200 in ODIs; 2010 as No. 1 test team, Sachin's 100 in the ICC WC Finals with an Indian victory and a fitting reply to the above next summer - I will retire from cricket after that.

  • on January 9, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    You indian fans really grind my gears. The indian team is ageing dravid laxman tendulkar will all be gone soon, and Engalnd have a great future ahead of them. England's bowling is far superior to India's with zaheer being the only bowler of true class, harbijan is alright. I am confident we will destroy you in England as anderson is set for a phenomenal series IMO Fair enough your team has rightly deserves to be number one but in two years or so maybe your team won't be so world class. Granted pujara is a hot prospect but the bowling is lacking in new talent

  • on January 9, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Most indians are just jealous on England's growth, they achived top spot because England won the ashes 2009, and now just Andy trying to put things in order and said that england can achieve it, why that bothers indians, if they play as a groomed team, gelled unit, batsman back bowlers and backed by fielders, why dont they achieve it. It was the same story said before, play more IPL T20 to compete at T20 WC, but pity fellas bombarded and imploded in 2009 and 2010, any team that wins crucial moments in 5 day cricket will win, this time England dominated Australia, and SA is not the same strong after POLLOCK, they dont have genuine all rounder to back up frontline bowlers, Did all Indians forogot 2009 Boxing Day test was won by England in SA. The honest story here was since India couldnt force a series victory against SA for ages in their home turf, so they always have been saying SA in better than england, Even the mighty aussies lost to 5th ranked India in 2001, why cant England do?

  • 5wombats on January 9, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    Good article. Flower is a truly outstanding man manager; "Our players are picked to play international cricket because we believe they are good enough, and crucially they believe they are good enough." Good article; What a pity a lot of the indian people commenting on it didn't bother to read it or respond to it.

  • gerardpereira20 on January 9, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    England have just beaten Australia and that is an outstanding achievement. but lets face some facts a number one ranking is not built overnight. England does not have to beat either India or South Africa away be get to number one (India has not beaten Australia or South Africa away). However In the Decade 2001-2010 when Australia were the undisputed team n the world India's record against them shows played 19 , won 9, lost 6. India has beaten England home and away, Pakistan Home and away, the West Indies home and away and New Zealand home and away. In the recently concluded series Beaten SL home and drawn away, and drawn with SA home and away. Gambhir, Shewag, Tendulkar , Dravid and Ganguly all average over fifty, Kumble had over 600 wickets , Harbajan close to 400, Zaheer close to 300 and that is the real reason India are at number one the same yardstick put Australia at number one for almost a decade

  • 070707 on January 9, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    @legster: for ur kind information england never have or will be able to defeat the team of 2005 on any given day.. and letz c when india travels to australia how they fare there..n besides england have never won against a fulll strenght australian side of gilly, haydo,symo, lee. warne,mcgrath and so on..so kindly do ur homework before you start tellin the same to others..

  • pom_basher on January 9, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    I hope England becomes no.1 soon, so that the pointless ICC rankings at the moment will suddenly become meaningful.

  • ramanathanindiafans on January 9, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    Deae English Fans You have good team, but to be termed No:1 they have to come to india & beat india at home, Graame Swann is a good off spiner, to be called best offspineer he needs to come to Inda & take wickets all these things are highly impropable, first of all indian batting is legendary they will show there class will not give easy wickets like australians iNDIA will thrash graham swann left & right poor fellow he is going to suffer, England fans be prepared for the misery at the hands of indians this summer

  • SnowSnake on January 9, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    There are a few things people need to consider. 1) getting to #1 does not matter if you lose that ranking in 2 months. 2) looking into history does not do much to predict future. So, while India may have beated England in past, it does not gurantee that outcome in the future. India is still 11 points away from the distant #2, which means India will hold on to #1 ranking for atleast another 6 months. To say that India is not #1 is really stupid because there is no other team in the world that can hold on to #1 rank for 1.5 years in next two years. At the end of next two years India would have been top two team ranking for atleast for 3 or more years. So, India is really a dominating team. The sooner other teams accept it, better they will be prepared to dethrone India from its #1 rank. However, beware; because India is capable to take the rank back if lost. Thus, sustainability of #1 rank should be the real issue. India has done well in this aspect for over a year.

  • Quaser on January 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    I have to say to fellow Indians, this weakest Aussie side should have won the first test against India a few months ago, if the last wicket had not put on an amazing 70 plus partnership. Skin of the teeth stuff. So lets be generous, this is an outstanding English performance in Australia which denied the Aussies from playing. The coming series against India will be very interesting - shewag had better perform much more than he did in SA. Then, India have to be careful they don't fall into the Aussie trap themselves - take away the greats and have an honest look at what is left. Not really much, would you agree. Minus the greatT, Laxman, Dravid and Z - what do you think of the rest?

  • IndianaJones79 on January 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Just like SA fan, now England fans got overconfident. They should not forget that England didnt win series since 1996 (both away and home). lol:)...people who dont respect good teams , do not understand cricket. India performed well since 3-4 years ,thats why they are number 1. After performing consistently both away and home(They beat ENGLAND, WI, Pakistan, NZ), drew Series with (SA) away, beat Aus badly(If pitches were so dead, how come Aussies in that matter any guest team could not make runs..it shows that these teams are the worst batting line up).Thats why they are number 1. All jealous cricket fans who can not see india #1, are trying to say that eventhough india did well in so many series, they need to prove continuously that they are #1. While because England beat very underperforming Ausse team, we need to believe they are number 1. Ridiculous and utterly dumb argument. Ignorance is the word that come to my mind.

  • IndianaJones79 on January 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Just like SA fan, now England fans got overconfident. They should not forget that England didnt win series since 1996 (both away and home). lol:)...people who dont respect good teams , do not understand cricket. India performed well since 3-4 years ,thats why they are number 1. After performing consistently both away and home(They beat ENGLAND, WI, Pakistan, NZ), drew Series with (SA) away, beat Aus badly(If pitches were so dead, how come Aussies in that matter any guest team could not make runs..it shows that these teams are the worst batting line up).Thats why they are number 1. All jealous cricket fans who can not see india #1, are trying to say that eventhough india did well in so many series, they need to prove continuously that they are #1. While because England beat very underperforming Ausse team, we need to believe they are number 1. Ridiculous and utterly dumb argument. Ignorance is the word that come to my mind.

  • ashwinshankar on January 9, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Andy Flower can surely dream about it. England deserve the accolades in Australia. They are a great unit and Andy Flower has done a great job with the team. Beating Australia at home is no easy task. Very few teams in the world have achieved that. Kudos to England and Andy Flower again for that. Saying that, it also premature to say that in near future they can achieve No.1 position. India has fought hard to get No. 1 and I would not mid to see them against each other. It will be a great contest in the coming few years as all the top three team are doing well and in very great form.

  • anmn on January 9, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Headlines like these gives a lot of publicity for the Pomegranates ;-). I think the Pomegranates just want to tease Indians. Oh wait, Andrew Miller wrote this column. No wonder...He is just high due to the result. He will think better next week. Have a Pomegranate, Andy. It will help your mind.

  • on January 9, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Just because England won over the Aussies doesn't mean that you can become no.1 team. Forget no.1 try for no.2. Even that's tough for you. Currently England team is good. But SA team is better, & Indian team 'The Best'.... Concentrate more on 'working out', rather than commenting. England has defeated a team whose ranking is at no.5. How can one come to an conclusion just by achieving this. To prove India and SA that the are more better, just check out the ratings they have got this time. England has a rating of 115, SA- 117 and India... well India has 128, way beyond 115. Please before underestimating INDIA, prepare for the series upcoming in month of June. Lets see who deserves to be no.1 :) :D

  • mits6 on January 9, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Till granpa's (sachin & kallis ) are playing it's very very difficult to dominate these teams ind & SA . pray them to retire & u 'll be no.1.

  • Gazzypops on January 9, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    The top-3 teams (India, South Africa, and England) are much more consistently the top-3 teams in Tests (the Saffers are probably slightly more consistent than either India or England, actually). But England have built a team that on paper looks okay but on the pitch is pretty awesome. England v. India next summer will be very interesting. Neither side is entirely consistent across a series, often losing at least a Test they perhaps shouldn't. Hopefully the next few years will see a real fight between several teams for top spot. We'll see...

  • on January 9, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Dear all, Seems to me England are a genuine Number 3 and still improving. But India and South Africa really are a bit ahead and the really interesting stuff beyond the rhetoric is how might England improve still more. Eg a) how do they cut out the batting collapses that still happened this series? - they do it more often than India and SA, it's a real deficit b) how do they strengthen the depth of the bowling - move Prior to 6 and have a five-man attack - 4 seam/one spinner, 3 seam/two spinners according to circs? - and anyway apply the planning and practice ethic that's improved everything else about them to the batsmen's bowling (don't we have the worst bowling batsmen in Test cricket? and isn't that a real deficit?) c) Swan carries a huge load after a late entry into Tests and the Aussies at times found he had no answer to a bit of a bashing - he needs to be helped through that so that he can match Harbajhan(sp?) who is the same age and has 4 times the experience d) and more!

  • mamahajan89 on January 9, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    i wonder what makes u comment makers go hard at indians....let the series be played...let teh things pan out the way they have to....if englishmen beat us...well n good we've beaten them everytime in last 4 series whether we've gone to england or u've come here....we dint braG about number one ranking then. when englishmen were being battered by aussies series after series we beat them in 2001 and had a drawn series in 2003, beat them in perth in 2007 and now 2-0 in 2009 2-0 in 2010.....so....before u english guys make a case for ur team beating india and getting number 1 ranking....and dream on...(like u do in every football and cricket world cup..)...make sure u know ur numbers...and make sure that u are strong enough to digest the bashing we hand you/...like we've been doin it in recent past. and if u say that u do not live in past.....then for the time being be satiated by the fact that INDIANS are clear number one....clear and cut!!

  • prasanna2929 on January 9, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    hello guys....just one successful series against a poor aussies doesnt mean anything....no 1 is not so easy.....india proved many people,those who predicted straight forward south africa win in the last concluded series,wrong... it ll again happen in england dis june.....let those poor people think of straight forward english win

  • koldmeat on January 9, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    come on Mr. Billy Bud Sims. india will bury the ashes (which u got from the weakest aussie team in history) into the soil. england are far away from being the best. anyway hope is good.

  • on January 9, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    @AeyKay mate i totally disagree with you. Beating Australia in Australia in test matches indeed a remarkable achievement. How many teams have done it in past ?What same Australian side did to pakistan, west indies early in the year ? what Australia did to England in Perth ? they are very dangerous. England played superbly. They outclassed them with their sheer talent and mainly because of Cook, making runs with new ball at no1 position. Absolutely amazing. Do not forget England are emphatic throughout the season and year. Winning T20 in west indies with beating Ausies in the final there. So they are indeed No1 in that way :). I believe its just a beginning, England have put themselves in a right track. They might get no 1 position. Who knows ? Who would have every though that England won win the ASHES by 3-1 ? and beat the same Australian side ? Even Astrologers had predicted that Australia would retain the ASHES this time. Ponting and MCGrath was even talking about 5-0 :)

  • Legster on January 9, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    There are loads of people still missing the point, nobody is claiming they are number one yet, they are claiming that it is an achievable goal in the future, and 15 series without defeat in all formats on the trot put the idea that they're somehow basing this conclusion on this particular series is asinine garbage, and yes, do not forget that the Australian team that got whipped this series was pretty much the same one that defeated South Africa away, forced India into an epic rearguard before they won in India and were more or less the No.1 side in 2009. I also suspect quite a few people going green with envy, when was the last time India won a series against Australia in Australia? This hasn't stopped them from being No.1 at all, all I am saying is that it is not necessary for a team to beat every team in away series to become No.1, as a few have suggested that they need to.

  • on January 9, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    England team is the much improved side ,but to say with convition that they have it in tm to be ber 1 is queit an overstatement.Thye have beaten a very non s confident australian team who has been battered by Indian in their visit to subcontinent where the entire series was winless....This series was always predted to be 3-1 ...so they have just prformed to the expectation ..and this expetation wa snot based on great quality of Englishmen but much on ..how badly australia team was prepared to get the ashes.

  • Srikolith on January 9, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    To be no 1 they have to beat india and sri lanka in the subcontinent. I think it's a very tough task. Beating poor aussies doesn't mean that they can achieve no 1. Always england overates them.

  • kartik_1410 on January 9, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    Can't wait for the Ind vs Eng series next year. It's gonna one heck of a series.

  • Indianbeast on January 9, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    You can dream off! it;s free- What happened to the 5-0 whitewash by India in India!

  • on January 9, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    Deccan gonna be a much better team with star players like Steyn,White,KP,Sanga and Delhi with a good chemistry with Sehwag n Warner for batting and Irfan n Morkel for Bowling

  • on January 9, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    Come on you peoples why u crying on poms winning!!! cheers to them because after a very long period of time poms won the series against kangroos!!! we have to accept this fact right now, they have a very good team n going towards good direction!!!! No one can compare the passion and nature of ashes series with other ones(Indy/SL) If you talk about No-1 Nomination, I would say there is no team on earth who is No-1, Cricket is No-1 among us, always cricket wins but teams wear this Medal Temporary for a certin period of time...For Kangroos ..Ups and downs part of the game so never disappointed with performance next time they can perform better ...n pomps keep this passion up, .....cheers

  • on January 9, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    England are a superiour side to India, especially due to the fact England are more versatile in other conditions, when England play India this summer I can't see anything other than a strait forward England victory and then Number 1 will be very much a reality. I thnk it shows how much of a reality it is by the nervousness of the Indian supporters on here!

  • Natesan333 on January 9, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    Well l suppose he has to say that, but the fact of the matter is, it is far from being "realistic". Especially after the gutsy performance by India In SA.

  • syedahmed91 on January 9, 2011, 2:56 GMT

    I think they are already #1.

  • maharam on January 9, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    Well done England. This victory is more than a mere series victory taking into account the rivalry between the two way back since the start of the cricket. England has a good opportunity to start their journey when India visit them. The inconsistent bowling which depend on just two bowlers in Zaheer Khan and harbajan singh is a golden opportunity for them. Sehwag always vulnerable overseas especially against the moving ball.Getting him early is on the card everytime he is taking a strike. Dravid may not be around. Great opportunity to England. once again well done England for your great ashes victory

  • on January 9, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    If i were India i wouldnt get to smug, in three years time Laxman, Tendulkar and Dravid will probably of all retired and Sehwag, Harabajan, and Zaheer Khan will all be long in the tooth, they may well not be beaten this summer (although i wouldnt count on it) but the Indians have no one coming through that can match there current pedigree , Raina, Yuvraj and Ishant are all reasonable cricketers at best.

  • on January 9, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    India will be tough to beat but Sri Lanka will get thrashed 3-0 in the tests, they wont handle the pace bounce and swinging ball!!!!

  • restive99 on January 9, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    England deserve the top spot in Test cricket. Soon the ageing batting line up of overrated Indian team will be retiring, and all that will stand between England and the top spot will be Graeme Smith & Co. Go England!!

  • on January 9, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    Every time England does well they always find away to go backwards.

  • Nadeem1976 on January 9, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    great effort, but andy forgot that india and SA are doing great in test cricket. It is hard to reach #1 in 1 or 2 years. It took 20 years for sachin to see his team on the top. u got to wait andy for long time (3 years)

  • arvin on January 8, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    england can keep on dreaming... to become # 1 they need to defeat india 4=0 this summer and hope india lose to wi 2-0 before that... both of these are not going to happen...

  • AeyKay on January 8, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Impossible... Cracking a downsided team doesn't mean a real great achievement. Remember it tool 24 years to do this. To be number one in Test Cricket, they would take another two decades... Winning a test series and celebrating like a world cup win... then why do they participate in world cup, if Ashes win give them ultimate high...

  • on January 8, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Winning Ashes against a lop sided aussie team which was battered and bruised by India and then by Sri Lanka, is not the benchmark to become No: 1. Had Aussies brought back Warne or McGrath or Gilchrist or Hayden then I think England would lose 1-3 instead. Now Andy thinks that this English side is going to be numero uno even when they haven't played a single game in sub-continent...

  • gooey_kablooie on January 8, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    England have become a serious threat to all the sides. The way they have approached each year is remarkable considering they have risen strength to strength. They are a very balanced side thanks to Swann completing their bowling attack. Any of the top four teams (SA, India, Eng and SL) have it in them to become the best test side. Being an Indian, I would like to see Pakistan coming back. Pakistan has loads of cricket talent and if they sort things out can be up there with the best teams. A very exciting year of cricket is on offer.

  • stormy16 on January 8, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Eng have proven their worth at home and in the 'South' being SA and Aus. Sure they didint beat SA but that's a hard task and End did well to draw the series and not many beat SA at home. Eng have the corners covered with pace, bounce, seam and swing and the leading spinner in the world. There is only one frontier to conquer - sub continent. With or without that Eng are still worthy of the number one spot which they can achieve if they keep winning the way did in 2010. Eng also have plenty on the bench with Broad not featuring in ther series and a leg spinner and Morgan in the batting. Its the strongest Eng has looked since Gatting/Gower/Botham era.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on January 8, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    I think the key was that Eng played as a TEAM. They actually do look best placed to be the first team since Aus to pull away from the pack. Their team is fairly young and are very organised. With Ind aging and SA lacking a quality spinner and strong mentality, Eng do look best placed but still would have a lot of work to do.

  • tandelorama on January 8, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    i don't really know y england think they can be no 1 team of the test,when they haven't beat india yet,remember all that thrasing by inida cricketer in one day format as well as test when they visited india last time even when flintoff was playin in that team,well i guess it doesn't cost anything to daydream.

  • SnowSnake on January 8, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    Of all the nations trying to acheive #1 ranking, I believe that England has the right approach towards acheiving it. Most nations like SL and SA believe that they DESERVE #1 status, but only England is willing to work towards it by starting to win series. Best of luck England.

  • ashokpati on January 8, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    okkk,I salute england's ashes victory and its a big achievement against australia in australia,,,but if england wants to be the no 1 team in the world then they would have to work much harder and ur perfect challenge will be the series against INDIA the no1 team later this yr,,,,and this will be vry top,,,if u can do it then u can be the no1 team...have u have that talent to beat INDIA,,come on show us,,,team india is waiting to play with u....

  • on January 8, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Very funny no 3 team is dreaming for no: 1 ... they will be in the same place... ha ha ha

  • LALITHKURUWITA on January 8, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    Poms can beat SA in SA. But I do not think they can beat IND or SL in India or in SL.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on January 8, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    It was Australia's inability than England's ability. LOL

  • spinkingKK on January 8, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    I am an Indian supporter. However, I beleive England are a better side than both India and South Africa. India has most superior batting on paper and 2 or 3 quality seamers who can exploit good bowling conditions and 1 or 2 genuinely class spin bowlers . South Africa has strong batting and 3 or 4 quality fast bowlers and good fielding. But, England has got slightly lesser batting power, 4-6 genuine fast bowlers, 1 -2 quality spinners and very good fielding. England and India have got 2 settled and talented openers, which South Africa lacks. England and South Africa have genuine All-rounders which India lacks. South Africa and India have two very defensive captains who will settle for a draw if it is on offer. England captain seems to be slightly better and adequately aggressive(a bit hard to judge this one, because Australia never lets them play for a draw). So, to me, England seems to have all the goods required to be the number1.

  • PrasPunter on January 8, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    A splendid performance from England. Though an Aussie, got to admit that Eng really deserved this. Good luck for the future. Hope you display the same kind of ruthlessness against India and dislodge them off the so-called No 1 ranking that they are desparately holding without winning any series abroad.

  • vulpecula on January 8, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    England have just beaten the worst Australia side in living memory by an innings three times on their own pitches and they are aiming for the No 1 ranking ! They don't want to get carried away in believing that test cricket will always be this easy - it won't

  • on January 8, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    they have to win very match this year to be no. 1 by the end of this yr..

  • Flat_Track_bullies on January 8, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    "Played well in south africa" - lost the series didnt they and in most matches they were saved by the 9th wicket stand? England struggle against Sri lanka, lost to India at home. They havnt beaten any top side - bullied a struggling Australian side that in last two years lost to pretty much every other top team. GET REAL GUYS!

  • on January 8, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Dream on England... But # 1 is not going to happen anytime soon.

  • pakwellwisher on January 8, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    Not to forget they are the only side to have lost a series to WI in the last five years.Lost a Home series to India and SA and their performance in the sub continent remains shoddy to say the least.

  • RaghibA on January 8, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Their world belongs to Ashes........ They rate all their performances based on Ashes. They eat & drink Ashes and they dont wanna believe that something better exist beyond ashes.

  • Accumulator on January 8, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    For all the talk of becoming No.1, any, I mean ANY, team has to beat India in India, Period. It was a tough to beat India even when they are not playing their potential and looking at the current form the Poms will have their work cut out before trying brag about. It is not their pace and bounce that is under question but the ability of their batsmen to counter spinning tracks and cunning left armers bowling reverse swing. Even if India manage to draw the series in Englad, which in all likelihood possible, that is good enough to keep India at the top and England will need to face India in India to claim the top spot.

  • Something_Witty on January 8, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Any of the top 5 can have a shot at being number one. All of them are brilliant on their day, dreadful on others. All terribly inconsistent, which makes for highly interesting, if poor quality cricket. Even Pakistan would have a chance at being no. 1 if Amir and Asif were still allowed to play. Basically, when there is no clear number 1, rankings are totally meaningless. England, Australia, Sri Lanka, India and South Africa can all beat each other.

  • cricket_for_all on January 8, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    Sorry England You can't win India and SL for sure. Australia is very weak at the moment (They couldn't even win PAK). So Please don't dream it.

  • tfjones1978 on January 8, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    England on on their way to being number one, but currently they have won home & away against Aust, but lost/drawn series home & away against other top 5 teams. To be legitimately number one they need to win series against India/SA in England and a series against India/SA away from home. The current ranking system is meaningless. India wins 3 home, 1 away and have a HUGE margin over Srilanka (4th) 3 home 0 away and Aust (5th) 2 home 1 away. Until India win at least an away series against Aust, SA or Eng their claims to being number one is only on paper. India dont deserve number one, but neither does anyone else ... its a sad state of affairs where number one is assigned just because you can win home matches.

  • landl47 on January 8, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    The make-up of the ODI side will be interesting. Strauss and Davies appear set to be the openers, but after that England have Trott, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bell and Morgan. Only Collingwood and Trott bowl little medium-pacers. However, Colly is out of form and Trott is the least suited of the five batsman to short-form cricket. England have to decide which of the 5 to leave out. There have to be 5 specialist bowlers, so Yardy, Bresnan and Swann will play. Normally Broad and Anderson would be the other two, but neither of them is here. I can't imagine they'll pick 3 slow bowlers; picking Wright is a bit of a gamble if he has to bowl 10 overs, but he would strengthen the batting. Then there's Tremlett, Finn and Woakes. Woakes is the best bat and a very promising bowler, so I'd love to see him get a game. It should be a good contest.

  • Jatt20 on January 8, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    England did play really well to thrash the Aussies in their own backyard. It was quite impressive!! But lets face it, the Australian Bowling was toothless and their main batsman (Clarke, Ponting) were out of form. I still would not rate England the no.1 team, due to the fact they beat a "weak" and out of form Aussie team. South Africa and India are still the top two teams in my book. It would be interesting to see how the English bowling will fare against the likes of Kallis, Smith, Tendulkar, Sehwag, Amla, Dravid, Gambir, De villiers Laxman...And how the English batsman will fare against dale steyn, Morne Morkal, Zaheer Khan, H. Singh...If England can overcome these batsman and bowlers then they are truly No.1...But I dont think England is good enough to beat South Africa and India...They might beat them here and there, but out of 10 times they will loose 7 times against these 2 teams....

  • on January 8, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    Is there any specific reason behind showing these kind of articles on the top always, The ashes is finished now and its not a world cup, common, its just between England and Australia.............. England is not a great team, its just an ordinary team look at their past records, Why cannot you show the series of India and South Africa and other countries on the top , in the articles, I have been observing and discussing with lot of views and they say they Australia and England is always on top in articles and their is always false praising articles going on to fool people , Why India and South Africa in the talk and in the Articles on the top? Is this website owned by BBC or some british company or some Australian company,this is not fair.......

  • on January 8, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Just dream, I was looking at Ian Chappell's interview and he claimed that No.1 India and No. 2 SouthAfrican team does not have a good bowling or batting attack and that the England Spinner is better, he is out of his mind. I dont know why ESPN cric info will post stupid interviews like this and why England will start dreaming to be number 1 team who has just beaten the present weak team( one of the top team in the world) in past few years , Australia has been defeated by many teams, Srilanka,India and other countries, why the other Asian countries cant be no. 1? Why England? Well these kind of interviews promoted still shows the era of discrimination against the Asian countries and the unfair attitude , well England just dream........

  • jonesy2 on January 8, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    england are actually a really weak team with little to no depth they were just so very LUCKY to catch a australian team that wouldve gone down to 10 year olds

  • amanroy on January 8, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    It will be fun to watch India playing against England! Though it's hard for England to beat India! But lets see, time will tell! :)

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  • amanroy on January 8, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    It will be fun to watch India playing against England! Though it's hard for England to beat India! But lets see, time will tell! :)

  • jonesy2 on January 8, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    england are actually a really weak team with little to no depth they were just so very LUCKY to catch a australian team that wouldve gone down to 10 year olds

  • on January 8, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Just dream, I was looking at Ian Chappell's interview and he claimed that No.1 India and No. 2 SouthAfrican team does not have a good bowling or batting attack and that the England Spinner is better, he is out of his mind. I dont know why ESPN cric info will post stupid interviews like this and why England will start dreaming to be number 1 team who has just beaten the present weak team( one of the top team in the world) in past few years , Australia has been defeated by many teams, Srilanka,India and other countries, why the other Asian countries cant be no. 1? Why England? Well these kind of interviews promoted still shows the era of discrimination against the Asian countries and the unfair attitude , well England just dream........

  • on January 8, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    Is there any specific reason behind showing these kind of articles on the top always, The ashes is finished now and its not a world cup, common, its just between England and Australia.............. England is not a great team, its just an ordinary team look at their past records, Why cannot you show the series of India and South Africa and other countries on the top , in the articles, I have been observing and discussing with lot of views and they say they Australia and England is always on top in articles and their is always false praising articles going on to fool people , Why India and South Africa in the talk and in the Articles on the top? Is this website owned by BBC or some british company or some Australian company,this is not fair.......

  • Jatt20 on January 8, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    England did play really well to thrash the Aussies in their own backyard. It was quite impressive!! But lets face it, the Australian Bowling was toothless and their main batsman (Clarke, Ponting) were out of form. I still would not rate England the no.1 team, due to the fact they beat a "weak" and out of form Aussie team. South Africa and India are still the top two teams in my book. It would be interesting to see how the English bowling will fare against the likes of Kallis, Smith, Tendulkar, Sehwag, Amla, Dravid, Gambir, De villiers Laxman...And how the English batsman will fare against dale steyn, Morne Morkal, Zaheer Khan, H. Singh...If England can overcome these batsman and bowlers then they are truly No.1...But I dont think England is good enough to beat South Africa and India...They might beat them here and there, but out of 10 times they will loose 7 times against these 2 teams....

  • landl47 on January 8, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    The make-up of the ODI side will be interesting. Strauss and Davies appear set to be the openers, but after that England have Trott, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bell and Morgan. Only Collingwood and Trott bowl little medium-pacers. However, Colly is out of form and Trott is the least suited of the five batsman to short-form cricket. England have to decide which of the 5 to leave out. There have to be 5 specialist bowlers, so Yardy, Bresnan and Swann will play. Normally Broad and Anderson would be the other two, but neither of them is here. I can't imagine they'll pick 3 slow bowlers; picking Wright is a bit of a gamble if he has to bowl 10 overs, but he would strengthen the batting. Then there's Tremlett, Finn and Woakes. Woakes is the best bat and a very promising bowler, so I'd love to see him get a game. It should be a good contest.

  • tfjones1978 on January 8, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    England on on their way to being number one, but currently they have won home & away against Aust, but lost/drawn series home & away against other top 5 teams. To be legitimately number one they need to win series against India/SA in England and a series against India/SA away from home. The current ranking system is meaningless. India wins 3 home, 1 away and have a HUGE margin over Srilanka (4th) 3 home 0 away and Aust (5th) 2 home 1 away. Until India win at least an away series against Aust, SA or Eng their claims to being number one is only on paper. India dont deserve number one, but neither does anyone else ... its a sad state of affairs where number one is assigned just because you can win home matches.

  • cricket_for_all on January 8, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    Sorry England You can't win India and SL for sure. Australia is very weak at the moment (They couldn't even win PAK). So Please don't dream it.

  • Something_Witty on January 8, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Any of the top 5 can have a shot at being number one. All of them are brilliant on their day, dreadful on others. All terribly inconsistent, which makes for highly interesting, if poor quality cricket. Even Pakistan would have a chance at being no. 1 if Amir and Asif were still allowed to play. Basically, when there is no clear number 1, rankings are totally meaningless. England, Australia, Sri Lanka, India and South Africa can all beat each other.

  • Accumulator on January 8, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    For all the talk of becoming No.1, any, I mean ANY, team has to beat India in India, Period. It was a tough to beat India even when they are not playing their potential and looking at the current form the Poms will have their work cut out before trying brag about. It is not their pace and bounce that is under question but the ability of their batsmen to counter spinning tracks and cunning left armers bowling reverse swing. Even if India manage to draw the series in Englad, which in all likelihood possible, that is good enough to keep India at the top and England will need to face India in India to claim the top spot.