Cow Corner

How good can this England side be?

Cow Corner

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So there we have it: England are the new number one Test team in the world. Officially.

Talk of an era of dominance may be perhaps a little premature, but it's impossible to ignore the growing expectation and excitement surrounding this England side.

Andrew Strauss's men have comprehensively usurped India at the top of the ICC world Test rankings, and their series victory could hardly have been more emphatic.

Inevitably, all the talk is now of how dominant England can be on the world stage. Can they remain top of the rankings for a sustained period of time?

This settled group of players continue to soar near the top of the individual world rankings, and as a cohesive unit there is no side in international cricket with such a collective spirit.

Are Strauss's side as good as the class of 2005? What about the other great England XIs who have distinguished themselves over the years on the Test match stage?

Oh, and before we confine our recognition of what coach Andy Flower has achieved at the helm, let us not forget that England are the reigning Twenty20 World Cup champions, having triumphed in the West Indies.

England are a long way off emulating the dominance of Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting's trailblazing, domineering Australia sides of the last two decades, but do they have the capability to achieve similar success?

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The potential longevity of this side is quite startling and there is no logical reason why this group of players cannot remain together as a close-knit group for many years to come.

Only Andrew Strauss would be expected to perhaps end his international career in the next few years at the age of 34.

Indeed, the future looks extremely bright with Leicestershire's irrepressible young batsman James Taylor leading a group of prodigiously talented players coming through the England ranks.

Taylor is a batsman of quite astonishing talent, and his exploits for the England Lions of late have ensured that his progression through to the senior side seems all but inevitable.

As for the current crop of already established stars, well there is no weak link right now.

Alastair Cook continues to break records with the bat; in Graeme Swann England undoubtedly have the best spin bowler in the world; while the pace attack is unequalled in strength and depth.

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England are the new number one side in the world, and this is just the start of what is to come.

From 2001, Australia remained top of the world rankings for an incredible 96 months. Following their stint of dominance, South Africa held the mantle for four months, before Mahendra Singh Dhoni's India seized it for 20 months.

What will be the legacy of this England side, and how long can they remain at the top of the international game?

This is only the start for Flower's history-makers.

How good do you think this England side can be? Post your views and comments below...

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TALKING POINT OF THE
DAY:
What to make of India. The focus must be on how well England have played in this series, but any analysis cannot simply ignore the fact that India have been haplessly below par. How could it have all unravelled so quickly and so alarmingly for Dhoni's side?

What do you think? Post your views below...

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USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: A
COOK 71 tests; 5834 runs; Average 49.84; 19 100s; 26 50s; HS 294. If you then
project forward to him playing 120 Tests his stats would read A COOK 120 Tests,
9860 runs; Average 49.84; 37 100s, 51 50s but at his age and looking at how
many Tests they play these days, if he stays fit then I expect him to pass
10,000 runs easily. (AJ dips
into his Wisden Almanacks to further bolster Cook's confidence).

TWEET OF THE DAY: "Amazing
fielding from @Swannyg66
(Graeme Swann). Definitely meant that. Hurts me to give him credit though! Come
on England!" (Steve Finn
- @finnysteve on Swann's deft deflection to run-out Sachin Tendulkar).

STAT OF THE DAY: England's victory by an innings and
242 runs was by the 15th biggest margin in Test match history. The largest
remains the innings and 579-run win against Australia at The Oval back in 1938.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: Fan in retro England kit goes for an audacious cheeky one-handed catch in the typically raucous Eric Hollies Stand with an oh-so-safe pint of Guinness in his other hand...

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...What could go wrong? What happened next...?

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...Our man in the retro England kit fumbles the catch, drops it in his pint of the black stuff and causes absolute carnage! His crest-fallen face was shown in the big screen at Edgbaston for the next five minutes. Take a blow.

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