Monday, 6 February 2012

Humbled

And so the test series is over, England have been humbled 3-0 by a Pakistan side that lacks flair but more than makes up for it in discipline. A reversal from what we’ve grown to expect from Pakistan teams over the years. What is really frustrating from an England point of view is in two of the matches we’d bowled ourselves into a winning position only to have the batsmen let us down. To be more precise, those batting at numbers four, five and six have not been worth their place in the side on this tour.

KP is becoming an enigma, lately he seems to score 200 or bugger all. We all know what he is capable of but he just doesn’t seem to be the same person he was before the whole captaincy fiasco. I’ve been one of his greatest supporters over the years and I love watching him bat but for the first time I can envisage an England team without him. Maybe not yet but his days may be numbered.

Ian Bell has been pure class for the last year or so but this tour has been a nightmare for him. I’m sure this is just a temporary blip, he’ll go away, work hard and come back a better batsmen for it.

Eoin Morgan has never proven himself a top class test batsmen in my opinion and now I doubt he ever will. There has to be a casualty from this tour and odds on it will be Morgan. Sorry, stick to ODI.

All the other players have held their own in my opinion but one or two deserve a special mention. The bowlers have been superb, particularly Broad and in his test comeback Monty Panesar, always a popular performer and his wickets will have been enjoyed by England fans.

Going forward I doubt there will be many changes and would expect 10 of the 11 players who played in the third test will begin the series in Sri Lanka. Morgan will be the man to miss out but who will take his place? Next man in line is Ravi Bopara but last time he played in Sri Lanka he had a nightmare tour. It would make more sense to pick one of the players who have done well on the recent ‘Lions’ tour of Sri Lanka; Joe Root of Yorkshire scored a timely ODI ton and has been talked up as the next big thing. Will the England management show more of the flexibility that saw them finally pick a second spinner? Time will tell.

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