England dreams of Ashes as ‘India shows the way’November 11th, 2008 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 11 (IANS) India’s 2-0 victory in the Test series against Australia has given England faint hopes of regaining the Ashes, with one commentator saying the defeat had robbed the Aussies of the “fear factor.”“No side will now go into a series against Australia facing invincibility,” said the Guardian’s Mike Selvey.
“Home and away this year the Indian team have shown the way. Australia will still hold their own in most company but necessity means it will be a different, more cautious side that we see in the future.”
The paper said the series had four other lessons: Australia have no great bowlers; the lack of high-class bowling is impacting on Ricky Ponting’s captaincy, who is now a “potential panicker”; the coaching ranks lack inspiration; and the bookies watched with interest.
“Bookmakers have slashed the odds on England regaining the Ashes. And they think they know,” said the paper.
The Times’ Christopher Martin-Jenkins said in spite of the defeat, Australian selectors “are not about to drop Ricky Ponting.”
And, he warned, “Anyone rushing to take yesterday’s shortened odds of 15-8 against England regaining the Ashes next year should remember how Ponting responded to his team’s previous defeat in a series. They won 19 of their next 20 Tests, including five out of five against England.”
The Daily Telegraph added its own words of caution: “Only one team has worried the Aussies consistently during the 21st century,” the paper said, “and it is not England.”