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Probably for the best that this place is so empty these days... - Cricket - the game of life!

About Probably for the best that this place is so empty these days...

Previous Entry Probably for the best that this place is so empty these days... Feb. 8th, 2012 @ 01:10 pm Next Entry
...given that I'm going to write about the just-completed Pakistan series from an English perspective! Not at very great length, however, as it's almost unbearably depressing.

It used to be that England had plenty of strength in depth in the batting department, but precious little when it came to the bowlers. Now, it seems to be the other way round. With the possible exception of South Africa's, I think our bowling attack can go toe-to-toe with any Test bowling line-up in the world. It says something that we can lose players of the calibre of Bresnan and Tremlett and not look weak.

The batsmen, of course, get no such favours. Between them, numbers four to six averaged under 12, the worst overall performance by an England Test middle order ever in a series of three matches or more. Pietersen hit the odd emphatic shot and then got out; all right, that's what he usually does. Bell looked a shadow of a shadow [sic] of the man he was against India last summer. And Morgan is not good enough, full stop.

Strauss, Cook and Trott didn't do very well either, but at least they looked as though they knew which end of the bat to hold, and Cook even managed to get close to a century. Prior played fairly well, which puts him head and shoulders above most of his compatriots. I continue to believe that he should be batting at six, with Broad told to apply himself a little harder to becoming a genuine all-rounder.

So, changes for Sri Lanka? There ought to be -- you can't play this badly for three successive matches and expect no consequences -- but will there be? After all, the only reserve batsman on tour is Bopara, who doesn't convince me either, and England have usually been reluctant to blood youngsters in circumstances like these. It comes back, as I said, to a lack of strength in batting depth.

Mind you, James Anderson's belief in his own batting ability seems well-founded. After all, he scored more Test runs, at a higher average, than the man (Bell) who batted at five...
Current Mood: discontentdiscontent
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Date:February 9th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
India may even be in a worse state, given the imminent retirement of several of their greatest ever batsmen. Let's not take anything away from Pakistan, who played very well -- but England don't really have any excuses for being this poor.
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