England’s tough sub-continent task
The immediate future of England’s international Test side hangs on a knife-edge this winter as Alastair Cook prepares for a gruelling four-match series with India in just over a month’s time. If England fail to deliver on the sub continent, then the repercussions could be disastrous for the team.
Form is not on England’s side. After dominating the Test scene for five good years, the wheels started to come off early this summer with fractious incidents behind the scenes that led to Kevin Pietersen’s exclusion from the squad. A relatively uninspiring two-match series with West Indies hardly ignited the summer and even when Australia came to town for a short-form bout all thoughts were firmly focussed on South Africa’s arrival.
Abject at the crease, Andrew Strauss retired after England’s 2-0 thumping to the Proteas and subsequent loss of their number one Test status, leaving the national side in a real mess in Cook’s hands.
With back-to-back Ashes series coming next year, England must perform above expectations against India in order to retain some hope of overturning Australia in the summer. They will face a side unbeaten in five most recent clashes between them and undefeated against England on home soil since 1985. It is unsurprising therefore to see that the hosts are heavy favourites according to the latest England v India betting.
Furthermore, the experienced heads of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni – all of whom played in India’s series win versus England in 2009 – know what it takes to subdue any idea of an English upstart on home soil.
Cook will need his men on top form in November if he is to defy the England v India betting Odds and overcome this powerhouse on Indian soil. Tendulkar and co. will admit they are not the team of four years ago but they nevertheless have enough quality throughout the order to cause England serious discomfort before a gruelling summer ahead.