Done and Dusted

With a decent Test series done and dusted and Australia, ultimately, well beaten, India appear well-placed to challenge for the world number one spot.

However, any assessment of where they stand now has to be coloured by the fact that they're on the verge of having to rebuild. Kumble and Ganguly are no more, and, while the early signs from Amit Mishra have been good, I'm less than convinced about his future in the side, with Chawla probably a better bet in the long run. Dravid's future must be uncertain, with runs needed against England to prolong his career, and Tendulkar and VVS clearly can't go on for ever. For India, over the next 3-5 years, everything depends on how their replacements shape up, but, with the brilliant Ishant Sharma there and the hugely impressive Dhoni pulling the strings, the future looks relatively bright.

For Australia, on the other hand, the future looks rocky. While the batting still appears strong, too many of the major players are the wrong side of thirty, Haddin is no Gilchrist (who is?) and the attack, for all the individual merits of Lee, Clark, Johnson and, well, Krejza, isn't what it was (how could it be?). Seeing them slide to defeat this morning one had the first inkling for a very, very long time that this was just another side, with strengths, sure, but a number of clear weaknesses which better teams, like India, will exploit.

At this stage England will fancy their chances for next summer too, and, while there's a lot of water left to flow under a number of bridges before then, at the present moment I'd probably back them.


Rob said...

Interesting piece, I like your comment about Australia 'just another side'. They have some weak links (White, Haddin, Watson) -- almost Englandesque :)

I think maybe you are more confident in England than I. My money is still on Australia.

I think England will get whooped in India with Indian bowlers 'making hay' -- Sharma in particular. I cannot see Bell, Collingwood et al playing his reverse swing very well.

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Rob.

Well, as you may be able to tell, I'm certainly not confident of England's chances next summer. I was just leaning that way slightly after watching the Aussies subside yesterday, but things will probably change. I agree that England will find things very tough in India - Ishant is staggeringly good for his age and I can see Mishra causing them major problems as well. But how confident England and Australia are at the start of next summer will depend more on what happens to England in the Windies and Australia in their series against South Africa.

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