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    January 19, 2006

    Vaughan starts the excuses

    In a webchat with Sun Online, England's captain Michael Vaughan anointed India as favourites for England's series against the hosts. He claimed that the English side was a very young one. While there is absolutely no doubt that India, at home, are expected to beat England, that bit about England being a young (presumably he means inexperienced) side needs some analysis.
    People have to be realistic. Miracles don’t happen and we’re still a very young side. We beat Australia by playing great cricket on our home soil.
    We are still a young side and if you want to be the best in the world you have to have all areas covered.
    I assume that England's preferred side for the tests would consist of eleven players picked from Trescothick, Strauss, Vaughan, Bell, Pietersen, Flintoff, Geraint Jones, Giles, Simon Jones, Udal (or Panesar), Hoggard and Harmison.

    The total number of tests played by those twelve is in excess of 400 tests. An average of over 30 tests per player isn't bad, especially considering that 8 out of those 12 have played more than 20 tests, 6 have played more than 40 and 4 have played more than 50 tests.

    Sorry Michael, that doesn't look an inexperienced lot to me, especially considering this same "inexperienced and young" bunch defeated Australia, South Africa and West Indies.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 7:55 PM |
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    5 sledge(s):

    hahahaha.. he's just playing the 'we are underdogs.. no pressure on us' bit.. not that the Indians are complaining... a healthy dose of homemade pitches of variable bounce and nasty turn.. should help them gain a little bit more 'experience'...:-))

    By Blogger Beowulf (19-Jan-2006, 8:19:00 PM)  

    I think any bullishness Vaughan would have carried as a legacy from the Ashes was seriously dented in Pakistan. He's being cautious, but I agree that blaming the youthfulness of the side was not perhaps his most credible way of demonstrating more caution.

    By Anonymous Chris (20-Jan-2006, 3:18:00 PM)  

    beowulf: Haha, but do you reckon Nagpur, Mohali and Bombay will have typical raging turners?

    chris: Yes, it was quite a nice joke though :)

    By Blogger Jagadish (20-Jan-2006, 7:20:00 PM)  

    mohali is still one of the best grounds in the world and def. in India.. just for quality.. one can definitely expect a decent seaming track with bounce and turn later on(3rd days onwards)nagpur reminds me of the green-top that 'dada' refused to play on..:-)) dunno what to expect this time.. definitely a hard baked track but a raging turner i doubt.. bombay is the weak link as Aussies would vouch for.. an under-prepared pitch last time saw 4 innings and entire match completed in 2 days and 11 overs.. michael clarke a part-timer at best got 6 wickets for 12 runs or so.. resulted in the pitch curator later claiming 'they do not know how to play spin'.. defending his preparation.. all said and done the weather would be nice so I don't doubt hard bouncy (bouncy by our standards..:-))) tracks which take spin later on.. the kind Bhajji likes.. bounce and turn.. watch out for Bombay though.. could be the nightmare again.. but going by past experience a sporting wicket like chennai.. which provides stuff for pacers early on.. ball onto bat for easy batting.. and nice spin later on.. is enuf to trouble the Eng.. do we really need raging turners..??

    By Blogger Beowulf (20-Jan-2006, 8:01:00 PM)  

    beowulf: The last time when Mohali served up a track which wasn't a batting beauty was in 1999 when New Zealand rolled India over for 83 on the first day. Since then, teams average over 40 runs per wicket and score at over 3 an over, suggesting that the pitch continues to be close to a bowler's nightmare. The balance between spinners and [medium] pacers is pretty even, close to 50% each. As for Nagpur, I think as compensation for what happened against Australia, this time we'll see a turner while at the Wankhede, the wicket will be restored to the normal true pitch we normally see.

    By Blogger Jagadish (21-Jan-2006, 12:02:00 AM)  

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