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The other review system

Related Link : India in England 2011

It is natural to take stock when things go badly wrong. Teams and players will never improve if they do not evaluate their performance and look at where things have gone wrong. This introspection has been taken to excessive lengths in cricket, with India joining Australia in conducting internal reviews after heavy defeats by England. Those involved in sports betting will know the process of evaluating performance well.

The fact England was the opposition that forced these reviews is significant. Australia and India hate losing to England and struggle to come to terms with the superiority of their oldest rivals. There is something in both national psyches that makes England being better at cricket sit uncomfortably.

Both teams under-achieved against England but were only allowed to perform to a certain level. Sport creates winners and losers. Only one team can be ranked number one and that team, due to their superior bunch of current players, is England.

Australia were always going to struggle after losing Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Stuart MacGill in the space of a couple of years.

India’s bowling resources are undeniably bare. They became world number ones by being hard to beat and having some of the best batsmen ever to call upon. The over-reliance on Zaheer Khan was inevitably costly.

The respective boards should not accept mediocrity – and the seven huge defeats England meted out to Australia and India recently contained plenty of that – but sometimes a tacit acknowledgment that the better man won needs to be made.

England have of course climbed to the summit of Test cricket thanks to their detailed planning, an indirect product of their own review, the Schofield report, submitted after their own Ashes hammering in 2006/07.

These reviews can clearly do a lot of good, but the starting point should be wiping out the silly mistakes. Australia’s crazy ditching of Nathan Hauritz and subsequent spinner’s merry-go-round was avoidable, as was selecting 17 players for the opening Ashes Test.

India’s planning for their tour of England verged on the complacent. Any fan will tell you that the BCCI have taken their eye off the Test game in favour of IPL riches. Their team was poorly prepared to take on an England team that they clearly under-estimated. Those following the Online Betting UK will have been fully aware of this.

Reviews can be a painful experience and some mud-slinging is sure to ensue. India might live to regret vetoing the use of the DRS, the sensible review system and embracing the other review system, which can point out problems without necessarily properly fixing them.

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