Throwing In The Towel

Most of the English supporters seem to be throwing into the towel even before the series is truly underway. But the batting performance of the team on the first morning has not been as bad as was being predicted. They held their own to reach a respectable 89-2 at lunch. Not too bad, I say.

One of the most surprising ‘give up’ notes was by Geoff Boycott. I was surprised to read Sir Geoffrey say, “…and given the current state of the England squad, I am afraid the conclusion to the series may be foregone…” referring to the result of the series in India’s favour.

As wholeheartedly as I may agree, I would like to have some more respect shown to the guiles of Flintoff and Duncan Fletcher not to mention Messrs Harmison and Hoggard. These men were indeed the ones instrumental in winning back the Ashes. To be fair to England, they have lost 3 of their mainstays out of 11 (of the touring party; Giles never came here to start with). As a result, they have had to play Monty Panesar and Alistair Cook (who was giving a rather good account of himself). Now even if two of these guys performed what could be called average and two of the more established (or senior if you will) players had a good series, they may not miss the batting services of the beleagured captain and vice-captain.

Which brings us to the point of leadership. Freddie Flintoff may be an extremely motivated individual but he was perhaps not ready for captaincy just yet. He sure would not have expected it in this manner. But cometh the hour, cometh the man. That’s what English supporters would hope at least. Given the spin bowling resources, he would have to bowl a fair bit himself as would the two experienced seamers. Why? As Boycott puts it, “Frankly, I hadn’t heard of Panesar until this series, and there are probably half-a-dozen better spinners than him playing on the Calcutta maidan!” Harsh but perhaps true words.

One just hopes that Flintoff does not lose his edge as a player in trying to be the statesman and captain. The bottomline, though, will perhaps be as most expect it; in favour of India (2-0 according to some experts I spoke with) but it won’t exactly be a walk in the park.

Er… any news on the Barmy Army?


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