If there’s one hard and fast rule I learnt during my time with England, it’s that you need to keep your players away from County Cricket. Just look at what a mess it made of Zaheer Khan’s bowling – he’s only taken two wickets this series.

Oh sure, playing domestic cricket gave England’s players the form and fitness needed to compete in the first test of the summer. And I suppose it’s provided Andy Flower with the proving ground that’s produced his current test side, whilst giving those players enough variety of pitches that they’ve learnt to adapt their game to the demands of each match. Perhaps it gave Andrew Struass and Alastair Cook an arena to revitalise their one-day games too. And I suppose it’s produced a wide enough talent pool of bowlers that England can only play four of them in Tests knowing that if the extra workload causes one to break down there are plenty of ready made replacements.

But apart from that, what has playing county cricket ever done for anyone? Exactly. Keep your players away from it at all costs.

Which brings me back to my basic point – that it’s doubtful any of the counties will be chasing the signature of our young Indian lads after this series. Now, just imagine how fresh that’ll make them for the annual Champions League in September?

I think that put’s today’s struggles into perspective.

That’s ok, BCCI, you’re welcome.

~~~

Picking up a lot of criticism for India’s lack of preparation. In particular the batting line-up’s failure to combat the conditions they’ve found in England. Erm, hello, it’s not my fault if England have ambushed us with pitches that produce an even contest between bat and ball. How am I supposed to prepare Varinder to play a delivery that can move in the air and/or off the pitch? When’s he ever seen that in India?

Sure we could practise for it in the nets; and believe you me, if any of our lot could bowl fast, swing the ball or hit the seam consistently, we’d be fully prepared.

As it is, cover driving long-hops we’re sorted for.

If England start serving up those, we’re in business.

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