England's domination becoming almost predictable
Once a word used to deride England's cricketers, "predictable" is fast becoming a badge of honour that...
Once a word used
to deride England's cricketers, "predictable" is fast becoming a badge
of honour that captain Andrew Strauss and his squad can wear with pride.
Two crushing test victories
over India, the second coming in a rush of wickets at Trent Bridge on
Monday, have put England on the brink of the top ranking in the five-day
format of the game and talk of "domination" is in the air.
there have been many false dawns, the momentous 2005 Ashes win over
Australia being one of them, the riches available to Strauss and manager
Andy Flower suggest the D word is not out of place.
fast bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett and
off-spinner Graeme Swann, England have an attack full of potency while
Tim Bresnan showed in taking five wickets to skittle India for 158 that
Strauss has the kind of back-up options that are the envy of the world.
India would have done for a bowler of Bresnan's quality as they toiled
in the heat with the game slipping away from them on Sunday afternoon.
Matt Prior has improved beyond measure with the gloves and his batting
is now approaching the heights reached by great Australian Adam
Gilchrist in the all-conquering sides captained by Steve Waugh and Ricky
Although openers Strauss
and Alastair Cook are struggling for runs, the batting order rarely
collapses like a house of cards these days and the tailenders regularly
Bresnan and Broad
contributed 209 runs to England's cause at Trent Bridge, a key factor in
the 319-run victory which left the hosts 2-0 up and top-ranked India
staring at a demoralising rout.
Pietersen has put his ego to one side and emerged as a batsman who can
dig in for the common cause while Ian Bell, with a test average of 47,
is world class.
the swaggering Australian teams for whom victory was almost a
pre-requisite are not misplaced, especially when considering the fringe
players who have proved consistently that they can come in and feed off
the confidence within the ranks.
have won seven of their last eight test series. That should soon become
eight from nine and although matching the domination of Australia, who
between 2000 and 2008 lost just two series, is unlikely, they certainly
look like the team to be measured against for the forseeable future.
is all a far cry from the days of tortoise-like scoring rates followed
by rapid collapses, scatter-gun bowling and sloppy fielding which drew
scorn from Down Under.
Shane Warne, once the tormentor of England's batsman, sees many similarities with the Australian sides he played in.
Australia were on top and dominating world cricket, the things we
wanted to do were score fast, take the game away from the opposition and
intimidate the tail," Warne wrote in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
"England are doing all those things and showing the qualities that will make them No. 1."
said there were no obvious weaknesses in England's squad and like
Australia of old, someone would make runs or take wickets at the
"England are not carrying anyone," he said. "When you become No.1 side in the world it is all about depth."
Former England captain Nasser Hussain heaped praise on Strauss's team.
is just no weak link," he said. "They are the best England team I have
ever seen. They are an amazing set of players....I think England are now
realising that they are embarking on what might become a very special