311.1-46-1167-10

That’s India’s bowling analysis during England’s last two innings.

At first glance it looks pretty ugly. In fact, the more you study those figures, the more they resemble the cricketing equivalent of an eight-pinter – I’ve been staring at them all evening now and the chances of us gently spooning each other for the remainder of the night are pretty slim.

Yet reaction from India is far more positive. Not from the team’s enormous supporter base, but from the far more important demographic of IPL franchise owners.

Turns out our bowling being plundered at an overall economy rate of 3.75 means you can down size those figures into a cricketainment sized spell of 4-0-15-0. The sort of return India’s new 20/20 obsessed business elite pay a fortune for.

It seems that for them, the story of this tour has been my moulding of Sharma, Sreesanth, Kumar and R P Singh into the perfect IPL bowling attack. I have, at some point over the last couple of months, become the corporate pinup boy for Indian businesses love of the trendy medium pace trundler. A photo of me trying to persuade Zaheer Khan to cut down his run up now adorns the wall of Tata Steel’s boardroom. And in the silicon valley of India, Bangalore, my face appears on a thousand mouse mats next to the slogans “dot ball!”, “take the pace off” and “I’m driopping Brett Lee for the final”.

As you can imagine, this isn’t quite what I had in mind when I picked Steve Harmison and Saj Mahmood to take the new ball for England.

Some image re-management is clearly called for…

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