That old chestnut, again. Just weeks after their last incursion into India for the Tests and the iT20s, England face “India in India” again: this time in cricket’s third format. It is probably ‘quite nice’ for the England players not to have a solid 3 months away from home, and it is probably ‘quite nice’ for them to be able to spend Christmas time with their loved ones (and families) too, but fuck them. They are professionals lucky enough to perform in a job which takes them all over the world; they rarely have to seen anything resembling a full winter, and amongst several other million things in the world, the wrong’un does not like ‘broken’ tours.
I also don’t like the jettisoning of your most effective bowler. India’s batsmen could not get Monty Panesar off the square during the Test series; he is nowhere to be seen here. Whilst one might appreciate that it is probably unlikely that he will feature much during the 2015 World Cup held in substantially different conditions Down Under, it is only January 2013 – why England have discarded him for this tour is baffling.
India have made a somewhat more debated decision to leave out Virender Sehwag. Whilst again Sehwag might also not be around in 2 years time, this practise of planning for future World Cups, which often come down to one or two decisions or inspired individual performances, often strikes me as counterproductive. Building a legacy of success and getting the squad in general used to turning tight situations into victories is surely more important than blooding individual players who might be injured or simply just nowhere near the frame in two years time.
Although it is England who sit at the top of the world rankings in the format, India will start as favourites – they can actually overtake both England and South Africa with a whitewash and this is perceived to be ‘their’ format, especially at home.
I’ll skip researching team news other than the above, and instead nail my two hard white new balls to the proverbial mast and say 4-1 to India.