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England Well Poised

Dec 11, 2010 1:56:01 PM - thesundayleader.lk

The West Indies Tour was a disappointment with the weather intervening in all games. The postponement of the ODIs was inevitable.
I did hear that the tourists were not too happy with the state of the new venues but that too was to be expected. New venues are good for the game and in this part of the world including the West Indies teething problems will occur.

Ricky Ponting

I remember touring the West Indies and the venue at Grenada was new but there too the organisers were not certain whether we could play there with the facilities not being ready. We had to play South Africa and the Windies at that venue. This kind of thing happens yet its also equal to both teams. In fact the Windies did get a heads up at these venues. The Sri Lankans will have only the Provincial Tourney to brush up now.
We did see that teams dominating over a long period do go through a downward curve at sometime. The Aussies are there now. We did also discuss last week that the bowling fire power required to get 20 wickets to win a Test holds the key. The state of the track apart from this is one area where the strength of a Test team lies. The Australians have had a long run at the helm and this has been so for nearly 20 years. Starting with Steve Waugh followed by Mark Taylor and of course the first four of Ponting have been with their nose well ahead.
Ricky Ponting was never outside the top 10 as a batsman unlike at this point in his career. He is too good a bat not to make big runs and I will be surprised if he does not get a big hundred or even more in the Ashes. It shows as I said that a captain is as good as his team. The Aussies need not panic as they are doing right now. It is evident from the chopping and changing of players more often than not.
A player from whom much is expected finds himself on the bench in the next game. Panic… yes it does seem so. There seems to be chaos within the dressing room. The mental attitude required to get back seems on the back burner. This is compounded by the fact that there’s a clamour to bring Warnie back! There’s talk that the bowlers are not doing their job. Confidence has to be restored into the dressing room and in double quick time. Aussies just need to get back to basics.
Of course the English side has good players and they know it judging from their body language. They are on top and will keep the pressure on the pedal. Take Cook as an example. Not much was heard from him outside the tour to India. Back to back hundreds is no flash in the pan. To do so on bouncy wickets is a sign of class. KP comes good with a double hundred and Strauss gets in with another century. Collingwood starts but is left bereft of a well deserved hundred. All this with the bowlers getting the twenty has made the English dressing room bristle with confidence. They talk of trust and confidence amongst players quite in contrast to the opponents.
Adelaide is known for big hundreds and doubles. KP will get his name etched on the steps of the pavilion. Qualifying requirement? A double hundred in a Test at this venue.