Ruthless England on top of the game, but for how much longer?

2011-08-17 00:00

YOU have to hand it to England: they have been ruthless in their domination of former Test champions India.

To a man they have played superb cricket, revealing impressive depth in their squad and renewed vigour.

There is every chance they could do the business in the final Test at the Oval as well. It doesn’t get much more emphatic than a 4-0 whitewash.

So why do I find a cock-a-hoop England team a tiny bit irksome?

Perhaps it’s reflecting back on the celebration scenes after England’s historic Ashes victory where a swaggering Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were seen slurring the verses to Jerusalem alongside the team bus.

I guess it’s just that when it comes to English cricket it seems there is always too much to say — particularly when their team is at the top.

England’s cricketing excellence speaks for itself, but already much has been made of their rise to the top of the Test rankings.

Former English Test captain Alec Stewart said, “I believe they can go on and dominate for some time now.”

Said Shane Warne, writing in the UK Sunday Telegraph, “This current group of English players could become better than all those Australian players as a team and as individuals.”

I wonder if he would have been brave enough to say the same thing in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kevin Pietersen, who is not often short of a humble opinion, said he believes the current England team are better equipped to rule the cricketing world than the team who defeated the all-conquering Australians in 2005.

Thankfully amidst all this conjecture is a voice of reason from English coach Andy Flower, wh osaid, “We are a good side, there is no doubt about that, but I don’t think we can compare ourselves to those other sides. We have been playing well for a little while now but only a short time in cricketing history terms.”

England would be best served to focus on maintaining the momentum and hard work that got them to the top of the Test rankings.

It must be tempting for them to puff out their chests and reflect on their greatness, but as India knows only too well, it might not be long before a more determined side knocks them off their pedestal.

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