England have faced Michael Beer, Xavier Doherty and a guy who looks a bit like Harbhajan Singh in the last year. They haven’t really had to combat any spin bowlers.
Saeed Ajmal is a spin bowler – he’s a good spin bowler, in fact. He’s not a 7-55 on day one spin bowler, but then no spinner is unless he happens to be playing England.
Saeed Ajmal was playing England.
It’s fun watching England batsmen play spin. It’s fun in much the same way as it would be fun to see a hippo attempt Groove is in the Heart on Just Dance. They’re keen. They’re just fundamentally ill-equipped for the task.
David Morgan’s county recommendations could perhaps be applied to Test cricket in order to help England’s cause. They could play Australia home and away, but perhaps play Pakistan only at home. That would work in their favour and India would doubtless be happy to benefit from a similar arrangement regarding their own touring commitments.
Despite being MASSIVELY RIGHT about Ajmal and England, we’re not happy. At the same time, neither do we despair. This is day one of a prolonged trial against spin for England’s batsmen which stretches through a series in Sri Lanka in March to one in India at the end of the year. If England are a good side, they’ll improve considerably.
We think they’re a good side. But let’s see.