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Sight Screen

Thursday, September 15, 2005

We Are The Champions

So says Simon Jones I think people should start realizing we are the best team because we have beaten Australia, even though points-wise we are not - Oh well...if they say so..must be true. After all, they invented the game didn't they. But really, does he have a clue about the cricket happening around in the rest of the world? And he isn't alone in the great proclamation...hoards of journalists, ex-cricketers, fans join him in the chorus.

To Jones' credit, he does go on to say Australia are statistically the best side in the world, and rightly so, but from what I've read, there are many who disagree with him on this.

And, now that they are the 'World Champions in Test Cricket'...the next sight is on the ODI World Cup. Not that its a wrong aim, sure Eng are improving fast in ODIs, and can, if built up properly, reach the peak by WC07 time. But I hope they realize that there is a peak to be climbed in the test cricket arena as well. They may have crossed one of the big hurdles, but there are a few more coming up.

Woolmer thinks that his team can play well enough to cut short the World Champion song. And they have an inclination to do it with spin, with a possible recall to Mushtaq Ahmed (which, IMO, would be a great move. He's no Warne, yet the next best thing in leg spin, and Eng would be wary of it. He has a dangerous reputation also in the county circuit) Pakistan has always had the dilemma of going for pace or spin friendly conditions at home (with Imran, if I remember correctly, openly opting for pace, going by his team's strengths). While Pak pace attack is still good enough to trouble the best lineup (which Eng isn't), I think with Mushtaq-Kaneria(+Saqlain?) spin combo they can not only match that, but also lessen the threat of Eng 'quartet'! Would be a good move by Woolmer. This should be an interesting series, if only Pak batsmen show as much gut for a fight as they did in the Ind tour.


  • I am sure you are aware that Saqlain and Mustaq Ahmed have applied for British citizenship......which implies...Pakistan may have to do a re-think...and England well may become the World Champ after all! Wonder if our guys are offered English citizenship...what will happen!?
    I wish...some of our reporters and players are allowed to write for some Aussie newspapers!..This is the best time to torment them...and they fully deserve it. But its all wishful thinking.....I know nobody is as hospitable to foreigners and their half-cooked opinions..like we are!

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 03:40  

  • I thought that this was Prem's post till I saw your name towards the end. Looks like you have caught on Prem's style. :-)

    Good to see England bragging - they have earned it. They can do it till they meet their waterloo - maybe in Pak or India.

    By Blogger vshan, at 03:43  

  • blwe_torch...thats news to me!! have they really applied for british citizenship ?? I guess that would serve the PCB right....having let their talent waste. But anyways, its Woolmer who mentioned Mushtaq in that article (Saqlain was my speculation :)...so I guess they know the status.

    vshan, I usually write my name in the post title, for those who want to read Prem's article only. Missed it here...was in a rush :) And yes, Eng have surely earned the 'bragging' rights. So I dont mind the players and administrators bragging...but the 'neurtal' critics, media, analysts...atleast they should see sense. Ahh..well...its only for a while...

    By Blogger worma, at 04:02  

  • worma

    No problems in reading your posts. They are good, logical and a nice read. I was commenting on the style that you have caught on from Prem.

    On England - yes - it is only a matter of time.

    By Blogger vshan, at 04:11  

  • Worma, Christopher Martin Jenkins (from the Times) and a few other sensible journalists have actually stated this in the very next day (of England winning the Ashes) that England cannot claim the title of World Champions unless they do well in the sub-continent and more importantly win in Australia next year. And Micheal Vaughan also said "We are some way away from matching the achievements of this aussie team".

    So some sense does prevail (but I hope Jones and co do shut up)...

    But don't you guys think this beating India in India is a carrying it a bit too far? Remember, the Aussies did not beat India till last year. Never once heard that they were not the world-champs prior to that...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 04:30  

  • I remember, I saw this news about Mustaq Ahmed and Saqlain in the TV , just yesterday..or day before.

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 04:49  

  • Well, that should solve england's problems in the spin department :-)

    By the way, talking of citizenship, Fletcher just got his british passport after waiting for 7 years. The problem was every year his application was rejected because he use to spend more then 3 months a year touring with the English team outside UK.

    Talk about an irony here!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:02  

  • I wish India was in the same position as England!...I hope a time will come when every Pak and SriLankan player would like to play for India!

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 05:06  

  • I see a future, atleast in ODIs, where a Pak or a SriLankan native will play in India as there will be cricket teams representing clubs and not countries. Say, we'll have Brett Lee opening the attack for Indian Tigers and Irfan Pathan opening the attack for Sinhala Elephants. ;-)

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 07:40  

  • Make that Simhala centipedes!

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 07:50  



    By Blogger Dennis, at 09:12  

  • this is exactly the reason i supported aussie to win.. i knew the entire england woudl proclaim that they were world champions.. Aussies lost to India away and at home they drew the series against us. So doesn't that make us World champions then :).

    I am rooting for the Pakistan team to thrash this Enganld team...

    By Blogger Balaji, at 09:52  

  • yes Saurabh, I know there are sensible voices, and Vaughan is definitely one of them. But then there are big names on the side of irrantionality also (Boycott, Greig etc). Anyways...about the criteria itself....well no it shouldnt be just tied with beating India in India (which btw, they have a decent chance of doing, lets see how we build up, and how their tour of Pak goes)...but surely they have to beat most of the teams home and away to claim that title.

    Aus were champions because they did that (except with India)...and Eng shoudl be able to do that....I think by the time they play next Ashes...and if they win it, this matter would have been close to being solved (SL in SL would still remain I think...but still...) And I think even going by ICC rankings, its gonna be similar course.

    And about these foreign players....I hope we are able to groom our own players well enough...I think we have enough talent (and still not a good grooming infrastructure). And I sincerely hope that Pak gets back those two (dunno what state of mind Saqqy is in, he was pretty much mentally shattered early on)...and I think Woolmer can 'revive' them if he gets them back in the team....good for them...good for us that they give a good fight to Eng :)

    By Blogger worma, at 10:32  

  • England did play well to claim the ashes back. But, i think its really too early to say England has equalled the aus performance for years.
    Lets not forget the fact that Aus have claimed the ODI WC twice back to back, have beaten all test playing nations at their home convincingly in last 10years.
    This is something a remarkable achievement by the aussied, considering England have only their home series (before that SA & NZ)!!
    Even the ODI series they played this summer in Eng, Aus managed to win.

    I'm not degrading Eng performance, they appear to be the best side today considering their form. But, they should continue this for another few years to even get closer to what aus had achieved !!

    Good luck Eng !

    By Blogger Sriram Narasimhan, at 13:30  

  • This is news, I mean about Saqi and Mushtaq applying for British citizenship. Apart from Kaneria, I dunno if there are any quality spinners around in Pakistan. But you never know till you know, since Pakistan seem to have this propensity to throw up a sensation or two suddenly into the ring without prior notice. I think they ought to wait for a bit or atleast I hope the citizenship thing takes sometime, since they just might have a chance under Woolmer!
    Talking about Pakistani spinnners, Abdul Qadir has some things (both good and bad) to say about Kaneria. Nice interview and tribute on Cricinfo to mark his 50th birthday. For once I have no complaints about the media hypeing up someone's birthday.

    By Blogger anantha, at 16:27  

  • I'll tell you what I don't know if they'll get British citizenship but I feel like one of the key components that England is lacking is a decent spinner.

    They absolutely MUST have at least one (or maybe two decent part timers) to support their pace attack in the subcontinent.

    And then we won't have to watch Giles anymore!

    By Blogger Sidhant, at 21:12  

  • I was dreading this bragging from the English players and cricket followers.

    I don't remember how many of us called India the 'the best team' after defeating Australia fair and square in 2001!!

    The tests we won had both McGrath and Warne playing!

    How many tests have the English men won when both these stalwarts are playing together?


    By Blogger Chandan, at 00:49  

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