England's real challenge will be to sustain the No 1 position by winning in countries like Sri Lanka, India, and South Africa © Getty Images
England’s real challenge will be to sustain the No 1 position by winning in countries like Sri Lanka, India, and South Africa © Getty Images

 

By Rahul Namjoshi

 

Of the last 12 series England has played, nine have been at home and three away. Of the three away series, one was in Australia which they won 3-1, one in Bangladesh which they won, and one was in South Africa which they drew. All the other away series that they played a couple of years before were drawn or lost.

 

So when the likes of Michael Vaughan and Geoff Boycott say that England are the No 1 team in the world, do they have any reason to gloat? England actually lost against the West Indies in 2008-09. They also lost to India after setting a target of 380 plus in 2008. So how many tough series has England played? Before you embark on the World Cup 2015 journey, Mr. Flower, try and retain that #1 position.

 

When India was No 1, they said that it was a statistical anomaly. It was like Caroline Wozniacki being the top ranked tennis player; it was pure statistics. Today Maria Sharapova is No 1. Cricket is like women’s tennis — there is no clear No 1. We all want to see ONE team dominate the field. Sadly it won’t. England hasn’t won a series in India for almost 20 years now. Nasser Hussain tried with his really negative tactics about 10 years back. He failed.

 

A No 1 team has to win outside their country, right? Has England won in India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies over the last 3-4 years?

 

A top-ranked team has to be consistent. One never said that India was the BEST team in the world — even when it was ranked No 1.

 

Today everybody is trying to give reasons for India’s failures and reasons for England’s success. Both are faulty. Neither team has had the Glenn McGrath/Shane Warne like combination at any point in time to win games consistently

 

When a newspaper came up with a headline for an article written by Ian Chappell about India’s demise in world cricket, one really felt it was adding insult to injury. Chappell should give his gyan to the Australian cricket team where his brother has a key role to play. India is fine… it will survive. Ian Chappell, it may be recalled, wrote off Sachin Tendulkar!

 

As far as the English media is concerned, Boycott has been like Bishan Bedi while Vaughan has been a combo of Navjot Singh Sidhu and Charu Sharma! If both of them can ever understand what we are comparing them to, we shall have some Andy Roddick-like movements.

 

One remembers Jimmy Anderson being all worn out in the India World Cup because he was very tired in Australia. He was allowed to be tired. And he could bowl sh**. England has had three players with injury problems today. Did the players play the IPL? It has been a case of the Best of England vs the Worst of India. That’s how it has been.

 

Hail No 1. Till they can carry it!

 

(Rahul Namjoshi, an utter failure as an MBA, has no published novel to boast of and hence trying the next best thing – blogging. There, too, the results there aren’t too encouraging. Rahul pens his thoughts on the game in a blog called “Not Cricket”)