The English are the perpetual race that always deems themselves to be superior to everyone. Of late this annoying tendency has creped up time and again in English press as they deem their teams to be virtually indestructible and invincible. However the teams have never ever lived up to their reputation. For example- The English cricket team has lost more World Cup finals than any other team, the soccer team has not been able to win a major tournament since 1966 and prides itself for being the home of the Premier League – probably the hardest league to play in with the least number of local players playing.
Andrew Strauss declared on the eve of the Test match at Lord’s that there wasn’t a team in world cricket that was better than England. Of late we have also been flummoxed by certain press reports that claim that India stand no chance against a vastly superior English side. There has been more than a single claim on the veracity of India holding the No. 1 rank amongst all Test teams. While everyone has endured it in good humour, I believe it is time to give the English a real description of the picture.
Well the current English side is strong and there cannot be any doubts about it. However I would strongly question the side being English. Well when four players out of the 12 selected are originally born in South Africa and have been playing for England only because they could not make the grade in SA during the era of reservation in team selections, how is the team supposed to be English? The quartet of Strauss, Pietersen, Trott and Prior can scarcely claim to be playing International cricket under a different flag.
Also I would like to question those people who point fingers at India’s record overseas. Let’s take the last two series that took place between India and England- the parity is maintained as both teams played once at home. Going back to India’s last tour of England- India defeated the English 1-0 in the test series. The test series was highlighted by disciplinary issues with the English never being brought to the book. The Indians lost the ODI series 4-3 after making a sensational comeback from 3-1 down to level the series 3-3 only to lose the decider. India has since seen the rise of their talismanic captain MS Dhoni who has led them to two World Cups in a space of 4 years.
Coming back to the much more recent tour of India by England in 2009, the tour started with a 7 match ODI series with India thrashing the English 5-0 in the five games played before the series had to be called off due to the Mumbai terrorist attacks sparing the English side the ignominy of a whitewash. The English arrived for a Test series arranged hurriedly and were promptly dispatched back in a similar state- vanquished without a clue.
Present track record also suggests that the Indian team which has not been defeated in 11 consecutive series’ shall be more than a match for whatever the English have to offer. All that remains is to ensure that there is no doubt about the same outcome at the end of summer.