England preparing hard for Indian challenge
The English Cricket team has to be termed as “underachievers” in context of modern cricket. The inventors of the game and those who first propagated it are in a habit of reigniting the fervor once in a while but they fizzle out that quickly as well. For instance, one would remember the 2005 Ashes victory that ended a long standing drought for England over their nemesis. They had a relatively young captain in Michael Vaughan and a pace battery that seemed invincible. They had probably the world’s best all-rounder in Andrew Flintoff in exceptional form and yet after the win, they got nothing right.
Most fans belonging to the Barmy- army would argue that nothing beats beating Australia. The Ashes 2005 victory was the highest point for the and anything else that might have followed soon after would have been simply surplus. The hunger was extinguished and the team extinguished soon after. Players like Harmison, Jones and Flintoff evaporated in thin air.
England have had another spell of success in recent times as they conquered Australian ground to retain the Ashes. They had their usual world cup campaign as they exiled themselves in a manner. Everybody in England clearly did not care. However, there seems to have been a change in that attitude post the world cup exit and England are keen to dethrone India from their numero uno position in Test rankings.
The English Cricket Board bifurcated the captaincy for Test and the limited overs edition as the first step in that direction. Andrew Strauss retained the Test captaincy whereas Alastair Cook was rewarded with ODI captaincy for his consistent performances with the bat in the all forms of the game. Andrew Strauss has engaged himself with Coach Graham Gooch to get back his batting form and has been preparing for the India series with great expectations. Meanwhile, England engaged Sri Lanka in the ODI series after a triumphant victory in the Test format.
England’s strength has been derived from the Traditional. They have made wickets in their backyard that support swing and have nurtured a coherent bowling attack. Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan do well to contribute in that department. They have made sure that the pitches have a fair share of bounce to take advantage of India’s vulnerability. Chris Tremlett will have the responsibility of maximizing that aspect. It is not a conspiracy like they planned against Australia in 2005 but they are surely backing their strength.