BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Cricket: England: England in India  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Statistics
Counties
Scorecards
The Ashes
World Cup
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Sunday, 3 February, 2002, 18:18 GMT
Mixed feelings for skippers
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew writes for BBC Sport Online
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew says England's batting remains a cause for concern despite their achievement in coming from behind to share a gripping one-day series in India.

At its best, one-day cricket is exciting and unpredictable and this series has been one of the most exhilarating I have ever seen.

It is probably fair that it should end up level at three wins each, but the captains will each feel very differently about the outcome.

Sourav Ganguly, who was roundly booed by the Indian crowd at the end, faces an uncertain future and could even lose the captaincy as a result.

Nasser Hussain, on the other hand, will be thrilled that his inexperienced team battled so impressively to come back from 3-1 down.

England had to fight even harder to win this match than they did in Delhi three days earlier.

The England team say farewell to the Indian fans
England enjoyed a lap of honour after their win

They had to do everything the hard way, but particularly with the bat when a rollicking start by Marcus Trescothick was squandered by some atrocious batting in the middle order.

I am not sure what Michael Vaughan was up to when he sauntered down the pitch to be stumped off Harbhajan, but it began a slide which saw England collapse from 153 for two to 174 for seven.

It was desperate stuff which, yet again, should be ringing alarm bells in Duncan Fletcher's office.

This is not a batting line-up that will achieve anything in the World Cup, and it needs a drastic review.

The last three wickets mustered a crucial 81 runs as Foster and Gough both supported Andrew Flintoff, who was last out for 40 and with Bombay seldom helping teams that bat under lights, England's 255 was certainly competitive.

I do hope, though, that in their celebrations, England do recognise that it should have been many more.

Only that way will they gain anything from their experience here.

Flintoff carves Javagal Srinath into the off-side
Flintoff had a good match with bat and ball

It was noticeable how the dew and muggy conditions freshened up the pitch, so much so that even Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were forced to bat cautiously - well, relatively cautiously!

Both had been dismissed by the 14th over with 88 on the board and although Ganguly's run of form continued - he top scored with 80 - India are as prone to collapses under pressure as England.

Substitute Dinesh Mongia for Vaughan and you have an equally brainless stumping that began the derailment.

Ajay Ratra, who was dropped by Vaughan - his second absolute sitter in two games - and Mohammad Kaif both slogged straightforward catches into the deep and, from a comfortable position, India suddenly needed 18 to win off the last two overs.

Darren Gough is outstanding in these situations and he allowed only seven from the penultimate over, leaving Flintoff with the relatively straightforward task of defending 11 from the last.

Not only did he run out Kumble, but he clean bowled Srinath first ball and in the course of his celebrations, Flintoff stripped off his shirt and tore, bare-chested, around the Wankhede Stadium - a sight the startled locals will not forget for a while.

News and features on England's tour to India

One-day series

Correspondents

Test Series

SPECIAL FEATURES

PLAYER PROFILES

SPORTS TALK

TOUR FIXTURES
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England in India stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England in India stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales