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Sight Screen

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Poms are coming(-worma)

Well..not exactly coming to India...but close enough. And the wheels have been set in motion. While Akhtar faces a tough fitness test today, and not many are rating his chances high, here is an English look at the Pak prospects.

Scyld Berry in Telegraph rates the Pak players Eng should watch out for here, and also looks at the English chances here. He expects a result-laden series
In Mudassar's day Pakistan was the home of bore-draws, of flat batting pitches and 27½-hour Tests (2½ hours shorter than anywhere else). Not any more, because they have discovered a supply of fast bowlers and wrist-spinners like no other country on earth. In the five years since England fought their rearguard action under Nasser Hussain to win the series 1-0 at the final gasp, there has been one drawn Test in Pakistan.

Their board were so miffed at England's defensive strategy that they ordered most of the pitches to be dug up and relaid to provide more bounce. As rain almost never features in Pakistan, we can expect at least two of the three Tests to be decided.

While Simon Hughes, also in Telegraph, seems to disagree.
Because of the dew at the beginning of the day and the fading evening light, it may be hard to get a result in the Tests. To that end, England will miss Simon Jones, the likeliest wicket-taker on the relatively lifeless surfaces.
To me, his analysis of English chances is more balanced, and he doesn't expect an easy time for the English bowlers
Andrew Caddick struggled then, and Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison may this time. It could present an opportunity for James Anderson or the highly-rated but raw young Durham speedster Liam Plunkett should England decide to go with four quickies. Flintoff and Giles will be key, chipping away at the patience of Pakistan's impetuous batsmen.

Although even in batting front, he does expect England to face some challenge from the relatively less known Pak pace attack and is rightly counting Kaneria as the main threat(and no talk of Mushtaq....who, I felt, was more of 'ploy' by Pak to mislead the Eng management?), he rightly highlights the key factor in a possible successful Eng tour to be tied to their capacity to handle the tour in their non-playing hours.
Clearly the main threat to England's well-being will be the leg spinner Danish Kaneria. Improving rapidly, he is a strong bowler and more consistent than when England faced him last. He lacks the wile of Shane Warne, but he can spin the ball both ways and is not flustered by rough treatment.

The real problem for England, however, may be to stave off boredom. Evenings are long and featureless, the wives and girlfriends have elected not to travel, and there is not much to do but pop in and out of each other's rooms.

Meanwhile David Graveny starts the argument all over again...that Eng should be considered the best in the world, should they win in Pak and India
."We are halfway there, having beaten Australia and won the Ashes.

"But to become the world's top team we have to beat Pakistan and India,"
"England are up there. The mark of a good team is to beat Australia, anywhere, and also to win on the sub-continent."

And finally, the sorry saga of the Ashes aftermath in Australia continues...with its lone victim Damien Martyn.
Martyn, who turned 34 last Friday, has returned to state cricket and made a superb 110 in Western Australia's five-wicket ING Cup win over Victoria yesterday.

Asked if he was doing anything different with his batting since being dropped, Martyn replied curtly that nothing had changed since the Ashes series finished in September.

"It's the same as England," he said, "no different. (There were) better bowlers in England.

"When I got 1200 runs in a season, people asked what was different but I was batting exactly the same way.

"It's just cricket.


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  • doesn't look like the POMS are coming to India anytime soon, at least that's the way BCCI thinks.


    Of all the things that is wrong with the BCCI, their inability to schedule tours has to be high up there...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:01  

  • yeah I read that one :-)...although I wonder why the ICC does not implement a simple solution of making it mandatory for the host boards to declare the schedule x months in advance, and the touring board to accept/negotiate and finalise it in a further y days.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:07  

  • Look at the Cricinfo site of Australia..They have the next two years schedule up and running with dates and not with the standard *tbc*

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 09:16  

  • GG and RP out of contention.

    I thought GG was sure bet, becos middle order is shaky...push SRT down. Oh welll..who knows..how Indian cric works..tuff to predict.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 09:52  

  • does anyone know which channel is showing the india srilanka odi series in the UK.

    By Blogger barcafan, at 10:01  

  • no idea barcafan. It's normally on Sony but I don't see it on the TV guide...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 10:03  

  • ravi010, even I know when my club is playing next two years :-)

    Sad state of affairs, to say the least.

    A lot of English guys would love to visit India and watch the games, but go to Sri Lanka or West Indies instead because the tour operators cannot give them good package deals.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 10:47  

  • Maybe, this is BCCI's idea of giving home advt to India.

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