England Hold On – Just

December 24, 2009 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

So after one Test, the series is still level and England should be confident that that is the case given they played nowhere near their best.

First let’s go through the positives.

The middle order of Trott, Pietersen and Collingwood played well. They combined for 118 runs in the first innings and 176 in the second innings. With five wickets in the first innings and a top score of 85, Graeme Swann was clearly England’s best and was a deserved man of the match. Had he not contributed with the bat and reduced the first innings deficit to just 62, England would have lost.

Now for the negatives. Ian Bell scored seven runs in two innings. He has to go – the question is, does England have anyone to replace him with? They would even be better off batting Prior at 6 and playing the extra bowler because then they would have more bowling options. As it is, Bell is a waste.

Likewise Alistair Cook needs to produce or be dropped. He scored 27 for the match and clearly is struggling. He needs to produce. Since his 95 at Lords, his top score in eight innings is 32. Not the start from the top of the order that you are looking for.

England clearly have the potential to play better. And like Andrew Strauss said following the Ashes, “”When we were bad we were very bad and when we were good we managed to be good enough.”
Here England were ok and that was enough for a draw. They now have a week off before the next match in Durban.

Last time there four years ago, England were dismissed for 139 in the first innings. They rebounded with 570 in the second innings and in the end were unlucky not to win. They had South Africa at 7/183 but couldn’t take three wickets from the last 27 overs.

The time before that in 1999 the match was also a draw. SouthAfrica followed on but then Gary Kirsten scored 275 as they batted for two days.

Will there be a result here? England are at 4.7 for the win, South Africa is at 2.56 for the win while the draw is favourite with cricket betting at 2.4.
For the series, England is at 4 to the 1.85 South Africa is at. Still anything can happen on Boxing Day.

David Wiseman writes for this blog. He also writes about greyhound betting.


Entry filed under: Cricket.

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