After draws against Mumbai A and India A respectively many believe there is more to come from the England squad if they’re going to compete with India’s first team on their home turf. The fact of the matter is, the players from England’s opposition so far have grown up playing on India’s slow and dusty wickets, so there are positives to take from these two warm up games.
England have shown resilience and professionalism with the bat and they have taken quick wickets and broke partnerships, despite a couple of niggly injuries the games, in my eyes, have been a good lesson and England have learned well. Nick Compton’s unbeaten 64 on Monday put him in the driving seat for the opening batsman slot vacated by the departure of former captain Andrew Strauss. If chosen he will be partnering Alistair Cook, the new captain, who has shown he is one of the best number two’s in test cricket the modern game has seen.
With Jonathan Trott at number three the Ashes holders already have an opening batting line up that will not give their wicket away whether it’ll be in desperation to keep a spot, or if the style comes natural to them. Below them has a middle order which can and will get runs in Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Samit Patel and Eoin Morgan if selected. The runs doesn’t stop there though, Matt Prior, regarded as one of the best with gloves and bat will keep his place. England will be hopeful of Stuart Broad shaking off his heel injury as soon as possible to maintain his place in the Test XI. Broad who would consider himself an all rounder will be followed by Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann
The bowlers in the potential starting XI are James Anderson, Monty Panesar, Stuart Meaker and Graham Onions. England have had a strong line up for years and if they can pull together as a team they can make this series very interesting, both the batters and bowlers (especially spinners) have chipped in with impressive performances so far and with one warm up game to go on Saturday before the 1st test next Thursday, many will believe that if the top order can score runs and the seamers can join the spinner(s) in the wicket-taking fun, England can get back to the top of the test rankings with a series win.
Just after the turn of the millennium Surrey were on top of county cricket. They dominated with talented players such as Mark Butcher and Graham Thorpe, which was demonstrated by Surrey winning the first T20 competition in 2003. Apart from recent success in the CB40, triumph has been a real challenge for the London team. However, Surrey fans will have their tails up going into the new season next summer.
After announcing the signing of South African Captain Graeme Smith on a 3 year deal on Thursday the expectation and hope would have significantly rose. Kevin Pietersen joined the Brown Caps in 2011 and despite his absence due to playing for England the confidence and playing style improved throughout the season. This resulted in promotion from the County Championship division two later that season.
Smith became the youngest South African captain at the age of 22 years and 89 days and its a position he’s held onto tightly through to the record breaking 94th test as captain earlier this summer against England. The Protea has scored 8,314 runs in 102 tests with an average of narrowly under 50. The opening batsman is considered one of the best on the globe and with those statistics, there’s reason to understand why.
It is a bold move from Surrey however, as even with his South African commitments he has instantly been given captaincy following the exit of Rory Hamilton-Brown at the end of the season. Smith’s wrote himself into the record books with South Africa but another challenge in the 31 year old’s career is whether he can captain Surrey to success.
Do you think Graeme Smith will bring success to Surrey?
Good morning, good afternoon, Bonjour, whatever the timezone – wherever you’re from, welcome to Josh Orwin’s first Cricket blog post.
Some say Cricket, despite mastered in many countries overseas, underlines England’s cultural lifestyle with the sense of elegence and gentlemenship which game is played. Some however, emphasise how Cricket is England’s third choice sport, but merely watch it when nothing else is on.
It is interesting to think that 35 years ago cricket was not only without the technology the game has today, but was also without any forms of safety regulations. In comparison to today where players have the utility of top of the range safety helmets and a variety of pads and bodyguards. Today’s players also have the luxury of in-game technology with hot spot and everyone’s favourite hawk-eye being the forerunners but yet has still maintained its traditional values which has made many think that Cricket is one of the most developed sports in the land.
One thing that does need questioning (albeit for safety reasons) is why, with the smallest drizzle of rain and darkness can make the game unplayable. The game is watched by millions around the world and until this major frustration is halted the more people will be convinced that Cricket just isn’t modern enough.
Welcome to On The Ball UK, a brand new sports blog bringing you different takes on the latest news in the Sporting world.
I will take this opportunity to introduce the team:
Ryan Butler (@abaconButtee) – Ryan will be taking care of all things Football and Snooker. As a Trainee Sports Broadcaster his opinions of football come with experience and passion. As a Hampshire fan, Ryan will also be giving his insight on the goings on in the world of Cricket.
Stephen Orwin (@stephenorwinxv) – Stephen is our Rugby man. There isn’t anything going on in the land of the egg shaped ball that this man doesn’t know anything about whether its League or Union. Stephen will also be covering aspects of Tennis throughout the sporting seasons and don’t be surprised to see his two cents in regards to Cricket.
Josh Orwin (@Orwinner) – Josh is our chief Cricket writer. He loves the game and knows a thing or two when it comes to playing and analysing the sport, whether its County or International Cricket he is the man when it comes to the big thing out on the field. Josh will also be chipping in with thoughts and reaction to the goings on in Golf and at points will even have his say on the Football aswell.
Thats the team! Now all we need to say is to look out for regular posts and updates as well as later on in the year refreshing articles on minor sports which we love and follow.