England Head Into The Unknown

Because not a lot of cricket has been played, especially on the wicket at Dubai Sports City, it is hard for both the management and the pundits to say what the cricket is going to be like

Neil Fairbrother
England Head Into The Unknown

Talking to Stuart Broad over the last 24 hours, I can sense the excitement the players are feeling about the trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The team has not played together for a little while now and I think the time off over Christmas will have recharged the batteries fully. It seems as though the players are really looking forward to being together again which is a great sign.

Because not a lot of cricket has been played, especially on the wicket at Dubai Sports City, it is hard for both the management and the pundits to say what the cricket is going to be like.

Are we going to have a traditional Asian type of pitch which is slow, low and turning – or will we see a wicket with a bit more pace and maybe uneven bounce?

We shouldn’t underestimate how good this Pakistan may well be. Obviously they have had a real shake up and I’m sure we will see, particularly with their young quick bowlers, some real pace and aggression.

Of course there will be lots of attention on the series because it is the first time the countries have met since summer 2010 when the cheating scandal broke out. It may well be the team that can control their emotions the best that will come out on top.

I would imagine the professional way in which the England team is now run means the players will be completely in the zone come the day.

India's Travel Woes Continue

After day one of the Sydney test, Sachin Tendulkar is still in search of his 100th International 100 having dragged a ball on for 41.

The Indian batsmen, once again, are failing miserably to come to terms with the pace and bounce of wickets outside their own continent.

James Pattinson looks a fantastic find for the Aussies and when Pat Cummins is fit, they look like they may have a very potent, young, new-ball attack.

Talking to Wasim Akram immediately after the Melbourne test, he felt the Indians’ body language was terrible when going out to the crease and didn’t think they were going to get the runs. Body language gives an awful lot away and clearly the bouncing ball does not suit the more inexperienced Indian players.

Tough Test Ahead For Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka unbelievably won the Boxing Day test in Durban, South Africa. Coming back from a thrashing in the first test, they turned the tables at Kingsmead.

It was a complete team performance led by Kumar Sangakkara. The number one rated test match batsman came back to form with a bang scoring a hundred in the second innings.

Interestingly, Mark Boucher dropped him before he had scored in that second innings. Could it be a result of this that Boucher has now been left out of South Africa’s one day squad which has just been announced?

The third test at Newlands, where historically South Africa play their best cricket, has started well for the home team. They look like posting a big score which will be very difficult for the away team to combat.

There is some fantastic cricket to come over the next month and a half so I imagine we will all be glued to the television.

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