Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Formidable England

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With Australia short on talent, India counting its dollars aloud, Sri Lanka without Murali, and Pakistan never away from the ‘self destruct’ button, England and South Africa remain the top two sides in Test Cricket today.

It will be harsh to discount Pakistan given their recent record but to expect something sustainable, logical and reasonable from them; all prerequisites for success in Tests;  is asking for too much.

The last time South Africa were in England in 2008, they were a better side than England. This time the South African side looks even more strong with Philander and Imran Tahir added to the side. England however have been quite something else since regaining the Ashes; the 0-3 humiliation to PAkistan notwithstanding. The world’s best batting line up, the world’s best spinner and the world’s best wicket keeper batsman; they are all English. Well not technically but they all play for England. Add to that the bowlers who are quite capable of consistently taking 20 wickets in home conditions, and England look real formidable.

I would rate England and South Africa equal in terms of bowling but bank on England’s batting to score a win or two; although England must dread the havoc Philander, Steyn and Imran Tahir can cause. I guess South Africa’s bowling can engineer a win at least

South Africa’s worry has got to be the balance of the side and the work load of AB DeVilliers. Technically having AB keep makes their batting look strong but strength in numbers when the conditions favor the bowlers isn’t a safety net. In fact whether AB can keep as well as Boucher could have in English conditions must be a worry

Then there is Jacque Kallis’s less than satisfactory record in England. He averages less than half his career average in England.

In sum, I will continue to bank on England. Though these days, to bank with the English is criminally foolish.

Prediction: England 2 South Africa 1

1 comment:

Vidooshak said...

I agree that England has the edge here being at home and having an endless supply of decent fast bowlers - Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Finn, etc. Plus, Broad and Bresnan are good bats adding to batting depth.

AB's batting is critical to SA if Kallis is only half his normal self. Amla, Smith and AB will have to consistently deliver.

I agree with you 2-1 take although, I'm not sure where SA will eke out the 1.