Exchanging Congratulations

As the congratulations were exchanged and the hands shaken at the end of the Mirpur Test, one's thoughts inevitably drifted to those of the players. Michael Carberry, who looked happy but perhaps a little wistful, will have known that there's a good chance that his Test career has ended almost as soon as it began, while James Tredwell, well though he acquitted himself over the five days, will have known that it might be a long time before he's seen again in England whites. A few romantics may talk about England playing two specialist spinners, but when apart from in the sub-continent (and then rarely) is it ever going to happen? Barring a serious loss of form in all areas, Graeme Swann is destined to remain England's sole spinner for the foreseeable future.

Tim Bresnan's sentiments will have been different. A big bear of a Yorkshire lad with a winning smile and an instinctively confident attitude, he looked, with his ability to extract occasional but potent bounce and movement from the most soporific of tracks and his uncomplicated batting, like a player who could stay in England's Test match mix for a while. Having troubled the Bangladesh batsmen on their own dead surfaces, he's sure to do so in this country, and the fact that Graham Onions' back injury is worse than first thought may mean that he gets a chance to do so. For his ability to look as though he was enjoying the hard work and for maintaining his equanimity in a way that the increasingly annoying Stuart Broad would do well to copy, you don't need to look far beyond him as the quiet success of the trip.

The batting was as good as it needed to be. Cook was outstanding and KP showed that rumours of his demise (so persistent that I stupidly started to believe them myself) were greatly exaggerated. Trott, as The Old Batsman writes, is a potential complication, but an interesting one. With his obvious mental resilience he has a good base on which to build; his Warwickshire colleague Ian Bell should now go from strength to strength (although I've said that before).

Bangladesh, though much improved, are still weak, but with the heat and the dust it's a tough tour. Whatever the deficiencies of their tactics and the limits of their ambition, England deserve credit for emerging unscathed and remaining the only major country that's yet to lose to Bangladesh in any form of the game.

And, for that, Eoin Morgan, currently engaged on IPL business, must be thanked.

No comments:

Subscribe in a reader