Thursday, February 15, 2007

England revival in full flow

I think it all started after Buchanan asked for his team to be tested during the CB Series. And the aftermath is what we won't forgot in many years to come. It took us back to exactly 20 years, when England edged past Australia in 2nd final of Benson & Hedges World Series Cup. The current tour hasn't been anything as successful after loosing 5-0 in the Ashes, but to take some silverware home is never a less thrill which is the result of beating Australia 3 times in a row (twice in the finals).

Dreadfully humiliated after being whitewashed for the first time in Ashes since 1920-21, there were no signs of progress until first 9 matches of the CB series, after which England could only reach the final statistically by winning all its remaining matches , but that was also considered as a distant possibility looking at the magnitude of the defeats they recently suffered from the hands of Aussies n Kiwis. The injury to Kevin Pietersen, Vaughan, John Lewis further took the odds away from them. But a run of four consecutive wins saw them not only reach the finals but go on to claim the trophy with Flintoff tasting his maiden success as a Captain.

The spirit rises again
With this game of cricket reaching to the point where every member of the team can be called as talented. What is left now is showcasing it and making it count to their team's success with some monumental application. This England team consists of a bunch of youngsters viz-a-viz Joyce, Loye, Nixon, Plunkett, Mahmood, Monty who all make most of the opportunities that came their way. The plan was simple, at least one batsman should stay for long and play an anchor role. England's improved luck was reflected in a couple of dropped catches when they were batting. Ed Joyce, who was the replacement of Trescothick was crucially dropped on six before scoring his maiden hundred in 10th match that England won by huge margin. Wildcard Nixon also played a big factor in creating a more positive mood in the camp. Clicked when needed the most, England's recent success is highly indebted to some fierce knocks from Collingwood that includes two 100s in last three matches. Shifted up the order due to the absence of Vaughan, Trescothick, Pietersen; he proved yet again what a great one-day player he is.

Not a slump, but a rare inconsistency
Australians who dominated most of the series with their outright performance in all the sections of this game were beaten convincingly in first final. They must be crying at their luck when a modest target of 241 in second final proved like an avalanche for them. After they loose 4 quick wickets in their top order, weather makes her role count by taking the match from them as D/L comes in picture.

Critics all the way
Hitting back at his critics, Duncan Fletcher has made a point for his earlier calls to have faith in his 'young side'. He is now more concerned about over-confidence but he believes that after their plunge to rock-bottom, the only realistic way is up. John Buchanan with no regrets over his comments, still insists the loss will have a long term benefits for the Australians.

With this, after a winter in which nothing, it seemed, was ever going to fall into place, England's stunning performance means that they will enter the race for World Cup high on confidence and, in the eyes of some bookmakers, second only to the Australian as outright favorites.

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1 comment:

Raja said...

Mind you peterson was mising in this series and for the last year or so he was there most consistent batsmen..also Monty's maturing played a big there triumph...i think this will be the most open World cup of the recent times with all the teams looking in reasonably good touch....