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Sunday, 3 February, 2002, 17:18 GMT
How good are Hussain's men?
An inspired performance from England's sees the tourists gain a thrilling five-run victory to tie the one-day series with India in Bombay.
How will Hussain and Co fare in future contests?
After getting off to an aggressive start, England appeared to lose their grip on the game thanks to five quick wickets from Harbhajan Singh.
But the tourists held on to set a target of 255 runs, 30 more than has ever been chased at the Wankhede Stadium.
Indeed it turned out to be just out of reach for an inexperienced tail, as the game came to a nail-biting end.
With little over a month until the New Zealand series, England will need to take heed of the lessons learned in India.
Have Hussain's men got cause to celebrate or are there tougher times to come?
Yet again England prove that they can compete at the highest level playing the one-day game, but they need more consistency when playing Test cricket. Let's hope England can reproduce displays like these in the World Cup!
Drawing a series in India is no mean feat, but England are far from the finished article. There are question marks over the middle order, the wicket keeper and the bowling. India were poor for a home side, rescued all summer by the quality of their spinners and Tendulkar. England and New Zealand have similar sides; it should make for an entertaining series.
It's high time we give credit to England's recent performances. Everything seems to be falling in place for them and it's taken a while for it to do so. Nasser Hussian has shown great leadership and amazing confidence in his team members. The English youth is to be praised for the brave front they have put up. One must be happy that the series was even and well fought, rather than worry about how we (Indians) would perform against the stronger teams.
England has shown to India that a cricket match is not won only by individual brilliance but by the team effort and determination. I think this determination that England have produced over the few months will certainly lead them to be among the top teams.
England need to be praised highly for their efforts in India. They have come a long way and the side is shaping into a good one. Hussain/Fletcher are getting the best out of players (which never used to be the case in England teams over the past 20 years). It's great to see Flintoff coming through- he will be a great player for England in the future!!
The main difference between the two sides is that India are a marvellously talented side poorly led and England are a fairly mediocre side very well led. England will find it much tougher in NZ I think. The middle order is a big problem. I am convinced Hick can still perform well there as his record proves though I think he has had enough chances at Test level.
If India cannot win against ordinary bowling attacks like England I don't know what they will do against teams like South Africa and Australia. No one was level headed enough to steer home when the win was nothing but formality. India missed Robin Singh in the middle order. He would never allow India to buckle under pressure like this.
Once again the enormously gifted Graham Thorpe demonstrates that, far from being 'England's best batsman' as often trumpeted by the media, he is found wanting at the very point when ability and experience need to show their colours for England's cause.
To be stumped for six runs when the team needed a bag full was a moment of extreme disappointment. I have come to the conclusion over the last few years that Thorpe represents a version of 'promise unfulfilled.' Graeme Hick had many opportunities to show his talent at Test level and it did not quite work. Hick however is a better county batsman than Thorpe by a long, long way.
A look at Thorpe's stats would show a reasonable number of 50s but given the number of appearances there should have been far more 100s. The New Zealand trip will give Thorpe a chance of getting a few runs but consistency against Australia and say South Africa or Pakistan, is something on which he has yet to convince.
I think England have performed commendably on this tour to India. Hussain's men certainly can hold their heads high and move on to the next and more exciting tour of New Zealand, who are peaking at this stage.
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