England fans appear to be making the most of Australia’s eight wicket defeat to India, drawing all sorts of conclusions based on this one Test match. This shows a certain lack of awareness when their own team recently lost the first Test in a series in India by nine wickets.
There are plenty of similarities as well. With the bat, England had little to show for their defeat beyond a hundred from their captain and a feisty display from their number seven. Ditto Australia. In terms of the bowling, Graeme Swann took five wickets, giving some cause for optimism and while Australia’s spinner didn’t do a right lot, James Pattinson took 5-96.
Some people seem to think that just because England happened to win a series by using two spinners, that that’s the way you should do things in India. But cricket isn’t a tightly plotted videogame where you have to locate the sole route to completion. England themselves opted to leave out Monty Panesar for that first match in large part because South Africa had managed to draw their 2010 series thanks to Dale Steyn.
England thought they were playing to their strengths, not recognising that their spin attack was actually as good as their pace attack. In contrast, Australia’s self-assessment is probably accurate. This doesn’t mean that they can’t win, however – but they do need to find their own approach.
Maybe they could bring back Mitchell Johnson.