Monday, 8 March 2021

The fourth test and beyond

The last test of the series was predictable, India won comfortably but at least this time England were still in it until Pant smashed us and at least we made it into the third day.  But in the end, the result was predictable.

India are a very, very good team and they have strength in depth.  This is the main reason they are so difficult to beat at home but on this type of pitch defeating them is almost impossible.  All home teams prepare pitches to suit their own bowlers and why wouldn’t they?  But not everywhere in the world does this practice make an away win out of the question.

Yes we were well beaten in India but when you look at the six tests in the sub-continent we won three and lost three which is pretty good going and in reality as good as we could have hoped for.  But take away Joe Root then we would have probably lost all six. 

Other than the captain pretty much all the batsmen chipped in with a few runs and would have learnt a great deal.  If these same players are together for a few years (and I think most will be), then I’d expect them to compete on a return to India.  Rory Burns barely got a chance, making way so Bairstow could be accommodated and the latter should be spending next summer playing for Yorkshire.

In the games he played Ben Foakes done as well as the other England batsmen and his keeping was fantastic to watch but Buttler is improving in all aspects of his game and is hinting that he might become a very special player in all formats.

Our seam bowlers done well all things considered, Jimmy is in a different class but Stone looked bloody good in the one game he played.  We also learned that Jack Leach is our best spinner but if we want someone to hold an end and score a few runs then Moeen Ali is a better pick than Dom Bess, who still has lots to learn.

The media have complained about the squad rotations claiming it hasn’t worked.  It’s true that we haven’t fielded our best XI at any time but if the aim of the rotation was for the sake of the players as stated, then as long as they all come home in a sound state of mind then it’s been a success.

Coming up this summer we have New Zealand then India again, the two teams competing for the world test championship which tells you all you need to know about how good they are.  After that there’s an Ashes tour.  If we win all three series would that make us number one in the world?  Piece of piss.  And there’ll be loads of white ball stuff too.

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