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A time to celebrate

August 14, 2007

Considering that a hard-fought series has just ended, there is surprisingly little ink splashed on the subject in the English press (which kind of balances the tremendous amount across our own media pages, but never mind that). In the Independent, David Llewellyn glides across the surface while celebrating Zaheer Khan's role in the series triumph. And while on Zak, it is noticeable that in the one innings when he was unfit, and couldn't strike, India failed to bowl England out; that this innings happened at the back end of the Oval Test was just one of those unfortunate coincidences.

Michael Vaughan in his post-series remarks puts his finger on the one aspect that made the real difference between the two teams: the presence of two left arm seamers in the Indian attack:

"We have been up against a very good India team. I hope we will have learnt from playing against this side. We have all been asked different questions when we have batted, about the angle at which we have had to face the left-armers. That is something that we have not seen before," Vaughan said.

Simon Hughes suggests that England, as a batting team, collectively lacked application; the slap-happy Andrew Strauss, and Ian Bell lower down in the order, are the two batsmen the columnist singles out as being under pressure.

Poor shot selection -- another way of saying lack of application -- is Geoffrey Boycott's biggest grouse. He also sees one silver lining in the defeat:

I think the three seamers have done fantastically well. That has been the big plus of the summer. Quite frankly, without meaning to put them down, they are our second-string attack. When Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison are fit none of the current trio would probably get in the team.

But Jimmy Anderson has been a star. I think he's upped a gear with his bowling. He's been a wonderful athlete in the field and the public have taken to him because of his attitude and commitment.

Photographs: Getty Images | Text: Prem Panicker

Also read: Tale of two 'keepers rules headlines

  • India in the United Kingdom 2007
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