England have bounced back superbly since they lost the first of four Test matches against India. They have dominated the last two Tests and will be the favourites heading into the final match of the series in Nagpur but they must not get carried away by the way they have performed.
England will travel to New Zealand for a short three Test series after the New Year which will be completely different from the current series in India. England will not play two spinners in New Zealand which means, as good as Monty Panesar has been, he’ll be carrying the drinks around Australia’s next door neighbour.
The reason England can’t get carried away is because next year is going to be totally different to the way they are playing at the moment. New Zealand pitches are similar to English pitches in the respect that they can offer a lot of assistance to the seamers. Fortunately for England James Anderson and Steven Finn have both bowled remarkably well and Stuart Broad should be fired up to get his place back.
New Zealand are also not going to try and bowl England out with spinners and they certainly won’t open the bowling with spin in their own country. England must keep facing fast and bouncy bowling fresh in their minds and the coaches have to ensure England work hard against a quicker ball ahead of next year.
New Zealand will tour England at the start of the summer before the Aussies head over for one of the most eagerly anticipated Ashes tours of all time. They will pack their side with seamers and have been boasting that they have the best fast bowling attack in the world, which should thrive in English conditions.
Putting next year to one side for a moment, England also have to remember that they are far from perfect at the moment and have a number of key areas to work on. One is the middle order. Ian Bell can hardly scratch a run at the moment and Jonathan Trott has made only one score of note in the last three Tests.
England also have a big issue to deal with the number six position because Samit Patel is a passenger at the moment. He certainly won’t be in the team for the tour of New Zealand or the contests in England which means England could be well advised to get a solid number six in right now to play as a batsman only.
England can bowl out New Zealand and Australia with three fast bowlers and a spinner and they have the luxury of slotting in Monty Panesar if they want to bowl a second spinner but that middle order is a big concern because at the moment if the top order goes cheaply, there is very little hope for recovery.
The signs are good but if we as supporters get carried away and don’t stay grounded then next year could be difficult despite the edge in terms of quality and experience that England have over New Zealand and the Australians.