Punter knows where the middle of his bat is now, but what about when he’s edging forty next year?
Ok. Who wants to be the first to call India’s much vaunted batting line up ‘flat track bullies’; or should that be ‘slow low dust bowl bullies? There’ll be quite a few takers after their latest debacle – this time at Sydney.
However, tempting as it is to overreact to their latest humiliation – this time at the hands of Ben ‘the destroyer’ Hilfenhaus (ha!) – let’s have a bit of perspective here. Yes, India’s batsmen do better in home conditions, but show me a batting unit that doesn’t? England’s record on the subcontinent isn’t exactly awe inspiring.
Let’s just say that a few of India’s big guns are winding down at the end of their careers, but the next generation aren’t quite ready to replace them yet.
Talking of ageing stars who aren’t as good as they used to be, a few of Australia’s batsmen returned to form at the SCG – and it’s a bloody good thing too. The last thing England need before next year’s Ashes is Australia realising they’ve still got a massive problem.
If you ask ‘don’t call me Andy’ Strauss and his boys, they’d much prefer to see a stuttering Ricky Ponting, who will be edging forty by the middle of 2013, at the heart of the Australian batting line-up than a new batsman they haven’t worked out yet.
India’s predictable capitulation at the hands of an average Australian side, who clearly haven’t moved on from successive Ashes defeats, has therefore done England a massive favour: it’s fooling Australia into thinking that everything in their garden is rosy, when in fact (James Pattinson and Pat Cummins apart) their cupboard is looking barer than the bottoms at a nudist beach.
Now how’s that for a bit of one-eyed optimism?