2012 Test Cricket Previews: England

1 01 2012

England sit pretty atop the Reliance ICC Test Rankings thanks to a stellar season. After beating Australia in the final Ashes Test to win the series 3-1, England waited until June before their next Test series – a three match series against Sri Lanka which they one 1-0. They then thrashed India 4-0 in the four match Test series against India, known as the Pataudi Trophy. Amazingly, the English did not lose a Test match all year.

In 2012, England will be looking forward towards polishing the solid machine that is their Test team. Anchored by the reliable Alastair Cook, their batting line up is solid and consistent. Jonathan Trott is another rock in the top order, and is well supported by the classy Ian Bell and the dynamic Kevin Pieterson.

Matt Prior has nailed down a position that has been juggling players as a clown would since Alec Stewart retired. A reliable keeper, what has been most refreshing is his batting. England can now rest assured that they have quality batting beyond the top 5, something that has been further assisted by bowling all rounders such as Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan nailing down spots in the line up.

England are blessed with tremendous depth in the bowling department. Anderson, Broad, Tremlett, Bresnan, Finn, Dernbach and Swann all fight for 4 or 5 positions (depending on how England approach the game), and then there are still many more quality youngsters coming through the ranks that can’t get a look in at the moment.

Predictions

Newcomer of the Year: James Taylor, the 22 year old Nottinghamshire batsman has been performing brilliantly for both Leicestershire and the English Lions over the past year. He averages just under 50 in FC cricket, and has hurled his name to the top of the “talented young batsmen” list. Expect him to get an opportunity this year, and expect him to take it with both hands.

Player of the Year: Alastair Cook will have huge pressure on his shoulders to maintain the performances he put out in 2011, and whilst his average of 84.27 will take some beating, I firmly believe that he will perform admirably in the coming year. The clash he has with Dale Steyn when England take on South Africa will be mouthwatering for the neutrals.

End of year Ranking: 1st.

Agree with anything? Disagree with anything? Comment below!

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