|Cook acknowledges |
applause for yet another 100
England have been world dominators for 1 week. It is only natural therefore to compare them to the great W Indies and Australian teams of the last 30-40 years each of whom resisted all challengers for 15 years. (If this was Scotland we'd be saying wha's like us.........but it's not so we're not). There is a little more work to do before any valid comparison can be made.
Of the English team only Bopara has anything to prove as he plays for a continuing place in future plans. Onions would be a solid replacement for Anderson if the latter's muscle problem doesn't clear. Everything else is in place - Swann might hope to make more of a contribution than he has had to all summer but the seam bowling conditions have mitigated against that.
|The mystery of the noisy lace|
The Oval is India's favourite English ground, they have not lost their on their last 6 visits and it has huge historic significance for them as the site of their first victory in England in 1971. The youngest player in their side on that occasion was none other than Sunil Gavaskar but the victory was set by their spin trio of Chandrasekhar, Venkat and Bedi. One team - 3 top spinners - will that ever happen again?
While sentiment is a fine thing and 40th anniversaries are all very well, FB cannot see other than England continuing the slaughter. Call for the whitewash.
This would be only England's 3rd whitewash - they dumped India in 1959 and W Indies in 2004 so it is a rare achievement for them. Also worth thinking about is that Strauss has won 20 Tests as skipper - that is as many victories as England managed in the whole of the 1980s. Impressive?