Why England deserve to be no 1

Written by kobus. Posted in Cricket

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Published on August 18, 2011 with No Comments

As some of you might know, England  recently surpassed India as the no 1 test team in the world. This was quite a suprise to me. Yes England played good test cricket the past couple of years, but are they really nr 1 in the world?

My answer is Yes! “Why?” you might ask? Let me explain to you why they deserve to be the best.

Let’s start with the facts. Firstly, becoming nr 1 doesn’t happen overnight, so let’s look at the stats for the past 2 years for the batsmen with the most runs, and bowlers with the most wickets. Let’s see how the English players compare with the rest of the world.

For batting, Alistair Cook has the most runs of any batsmen for the past 2 years. Jonathan Trott is sitting at nr 3, Ian Bell at 6, and Kevin Pietersen at nr 11. Quite suprisingly ,  Matt Prior, their wicket keeper, is on nr 16! Higher than AB de Villiers!


Alastair Cook has scored the most test runs of any batsmen in the past 2 years

Since it’s quite clear that their batting has been quite dominant, let’s take a look at the bowling stats.

Graeme Swann and James Anderson are the 2 top wicket taking bowlers in the world! And then Stuart Broad is on nr 5.


Graeme Swann has taken the most wickets of any bowler in the past 2 years

When you look at the team record for the past 2 years it’s also quite impressive. Played 24, won 16, drew 3, and lost 5. That’s a winning percentage of 67%!

The facts clearly show that this is a team that has done extremely well over the past 2 years. But why have they done so well? Their coach, Andy Flower has to be the one who must receive the praise for their success. He built a team based on a foundation of a few senior players. He stuck with the same team giving them the opportunity to build up experience. While doing this, the team  developed a good balance of bowling and batting. They’ve got bowlers who can swing ( and reverse- swing ) the ball and can produce movement off the seam. And finally a spin bowler who produces excellent drift while placing the ball at the correct line and length. And very importantly, he produces tremendous spin when needed.

So do I think they can be beaten? Well as it was proven on the current and South African series, India is just not the same team without their primary fast bowler Zaheer Khan. They have got a lot of depth in batting, but not enough in their bowling department. While they do have some young talent, it will take some time for them to be the likes of James Anderson or Dale Steyn. In addition to that, Tendulkar and Dravid will not be playing for too much longer and finding replacements for them will be almost impossible.

Australia in my opinion is far from the team they were 5 years ago. With the retirement of Ricky Ponting drawing nearer and nearer, I see some difficult times for them ahead.

South Africa will be the only real competitor for England the next 18 months. With Gary Kirsten and a new proper spinner at their disposal,  give them a year or 2 and it should be very exciting to see them against England.

Therefore England is leading the test race at the moment and will lead it for the next 12 months, with the possibility of being caught by South Africa. With the Test Championship  taking place in a few years, it should turn out to be a very exciting competition!

Source : Cricinfo

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