Monday, 17 December 2012

England and India going in different directions - Series Review

The first thing that has to be said is well done England, they outplayed India in every single department. The signs are good for Alistair Cook as he and his team have done something that no other England team has for twenty eight years. For India however they will need to have a serious look at where they need to improve in the future. What makes the win even better for England is that they were thrashed in the first test and improved then after, showing  that they have a lot of mental toughness.


Apart from the nine wicket loss in the Ahemedabad, they never looked in trouble. This was down to England being very clinical and India being poor. Alistair Cook's first series after being made captain could not have gone any better. He has passed the test with flying colours and the experience of captaining in India will stand him in good stead. 

Monty Panesar's selection for the second test onwards played a big part in England winning. In my opinion he is probably the best English spinner, and far better than any spinner India had to offer. James Anderson also played a massive part of this win, he on past tours of India has been clueless, this time he was prepared and performed well. In all the tests Matt Prior has shown why he is now regarded as a top keeper/batsman. The demoralising effect he kept inflicting on India, probably helped out the bowlers. The last test cameo from Joe Root and the century by Ian Bell showed some encouraging signs for the coming year.

There probably is not too many of the players who didn't feel they contributed much in this series, the only exceptions are Stuart Broad, Sammit Patel and  Tim Bresnan. 


At the start of the series Virat Kohli declared that this was the chance for revenge. This was a total wrong thought, India should have concentrated on winning first, then revenge would have come.They lost the series pretty abysmally, didn't show any fight at all. There were problems in all three departments, the most worrying has to be the much lauded batting line up. The openers did not perform that well, Gambhir in particular looking dodgy despite making some runs. Cheteshwar Pujara did his job with the bat well and sometimes showed the senior players how to bat. His only flaw was to drop Cook in the fourth test whilst he was only on seventeen, going on to score a big century. 

It could be the end of the great career of Sachin Tendulkar, if it is then it will be a shame he could not have gone out on a high. There is a series against Pakistan coming up, where he could finish against the team where it all started. 

The series has already seen Zaheer, Yuvraj and Harbhajan cut from the team, it is very likely there test careers are over. Up until the last innings of the last test M.S Dhoni did not do anything. The pressure is mounting on him as captain, but I do not think there is anyone on form who is good enough to take over. It also has to be shown that he battled well for his 99 runs. One positive for India is Ravi Ashwin, this was for his batting. In my opinion he could fill a higher role as a batsman, possibly the position vacated by Yuvraj. On the other hand Ashwin has been very disappointing with the ball. 

The Future:

England will go home for the Christmas period after a few T20 games and come back refreshed for a ODI series where India will still be favourites. Then then travel to New Zealand all in preparation for the big summer. India take on Pakistan, the pressure on the team will double. I would hope by then India accept the DRS system, and make some big changes to the team. 

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