Half Time Scores: Collingwood's Rose Tinted Glasses 1 - 0 Nasser Hussain's Rose Tinted Glasses
One way in which I build up to the start of a test, particularly the first test of series, is by gauging the mood in the opposition camp. When Pakistan aren't involved, this build up broadens to discovering what the mood is like in both camps. So I popped over the BBC Sports Website
, and I found a few interesting pointers.
First, have a look at this
. It's a link to non-other then Mr. Paul Colling-didn't-touch-wood
's "exclusive" column. Paul's always thought of him self as a bit of master in the art of self belief, but this time, he takes positive thinking to new heights.
Despite the loss of Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick, and the other injuries we've had, it would be wrong to say our preparations for the first Test are in disarray.
What has happened will give an opportunity to someone else and we just have to pull our socks up and get on with it. Everything that's gone on will make us stronger as a team.
Alastair Cook and James Anderson linked up with us in training today and seemed in good spirits - as a squad we are not down in the dumps and remain confident we can win over here.
And if Paul was, with that column, trying to impersonate Dr. Pangloss, then Boycott
, via their own respective columns, must surely be trying their luck at pretending to be Martin. Martin
and Dr. Pangloss
are both characters from Voltaire
's famous satire novel Candide
After 25 years of playing and 20 years of commentating on cricket, I can't imagine a more difficult time to be captain of England. I hope for all the world it works out for England but India is one of the toughest places to win. They've already lost in Pakistan and this is tougher.
Even with a full strength team, England would have found this opening Test in India a tough ordeal. Now, reduced to a third choice captain, an opening batsman who has just flown halfway round the world and a spin attack with just three caps between them, they need a miracle.
Also giving them a run for their money is the Beeb's resident Fun and Games Section columnist Derek 'Robbo' Robson
, England's injury crisis has forced him to wonder if Jonathan Woodgate would be the next person to get a call up:
"Anyone fancy a trip to India? Travel paid. Must have sturdy constitution, no back problems and own pads. Apply D. Graveney, address supplied. Well it's getting a bit like that, isn't it? This tour has reminded me of Homer Simpson slowly bouncing down the side of a mountain, screaming with pain as he bounces from one rock to another. All we need now is for them to make the overburdened Freddie captain and the game's up. What? Oh he is captain. I wonder why they don't just send England A over to Nagpur and what's left of the senior squad can finish off the A tour in the Caribbean."
But he probably doesn't know that those A lads aren't doing particularly well either (lost
their opening 4 day game against Antigua by 1 wicket earlier on Monday). Paul Collingwood certainly wouldn't have approved of such desperate pessimism, he would have probably like these
Duncan Fletcher and Fred Flintoff quotes much more, the two of them are doing their bit to not sound too negative, but it obviously doesn't quite meet the standards Collingwood has set.
To make sure that Collingwood doesn't win the contest for biggest rose tinted glasses adorned without any competition, Nasser Hussain decided to fly over straight from Collingwood land to Nagpur. Paul Coupar, who will be blogging at Cricinfo's Tour Diaries through out this tour tells us
more about his arrival. But we're more concerned with Nasser's attempt
at this stage, so let us quickly see what he had to say:
"I'm quite happy for England to have these injuries because it puts the pressure back on India."
Good try there Nass, I have to acknowledge. But I'm afraid this comes across to me as a case of being overwhelmed by superior quality. You can't beat calling a situation where you've effectively lost about 27% of your first choice team as 'not being in disarray', even though calling it a "nothing to lose" situation is pretty Panglossic in its own right.
Paul Collingwood has won the initial stages of this contest fairly comprehensively it would seem, and given the state of his English team, it could just about be the only thing any Englishman manages to win all tour.
I'm not sure if I'm expecting too much from India in saying this or if I'm taking England lightly, but somehow I feel that if England are forced to field the same side Rahul Bhattarcharya has predicted
they'll pick for tomorrow through out the whole series, then India really ought to beat England 3-0.
Should be a good series regardless of who wins though, epesically for a neutral follower like me, so here's hoping for a good start (and for late end, so that I can watch some of this stuff live, in case, just in case, I get back from college on time).