ARTICLE: Tourists return home with ... (S.Hughes) - 28 Feb 1995
Tourists return home with winning habit
Simon Hughes looks back over a triumphant tour and offers an in-
dividual player-by-player assesment.
NINE weeks ago the England A tour party arrived in India rela-
tively green and vulnerable. Only two had ever been to the sub-
continent before. Emerging from the chrysalis this morning on a
flight from Dhaka will be 15 tanned, maturing players with new-
found versatility and the prime ingredient required for any suc-
cessful sportsman - the winning habit.
The Management deserve much of the credit for this with shrewd
planning, decent man-management and positive attitudes. John
Barclay has demonstrated how valuable it is to have an empathy
with the country you are in - he was still smiling even when the
engine of the team bus briefly caught fire yesterday - and the
physio Wayne Morton has injected energy into every net session,
fielding practice and social event. He monitored meals and kit-
chens and only one player, Mark Ilott, picked up a significant
injury or illness.
The major objective of A tours should be to hone the skills of
aspiring players in preparation for the Test arena, and in this
context the 1995 Asian trip may prove to be the most valuable
yet. Apart from Mark Ramprakash`s obvious credentials, Glen
Chapple and Richard Stemp will lay claim to full honours this
summer with Jason Gallian not far behind. Nick Knight and Min
Patel would let no-one down at the top level and Keith Piper`s
wicketkeeping is on a par with anyone in the world.
The most striking aspect of this party was its spirit, while
there were no weak links in the fielding which was consistently
excellent; hardly a catch went down all tour.
This coupled with determined batting and steady, whole-hearted
bowling was why they lost only one match out of 12 and that only
narrowly. No wonder they managed to blow #700 at last night`s
celebration party, before plunging en masse into the hotel swim-
ALAN WELLS (Capt): A hard, aggressive captain, a touch stubborn
sometimes but the Indian experience will have increased his
range. Set a good example as a batsman and still has aspirations
for Test cricket, though these are probably just wishful thinking
despite his versatility. An outsider for the World Cup for he is
a good improviser and competent against any bowling. Age and the
wealth of competition may count against him.
MARK RAMPRAKASH: An inspired choice as vice-captain. Revelled in
responsibility and obviously enjoyed being looked up to.
Technically the most complete batsman in England; temperament
occasionally let him down, but his angry spark is now harder to
ignite. Exudes a cool arrogance on the field.
NICK KNIGHT: Originally a surprising choice but has learnt fast
and made significant steps. Sets out to bat a long time and accu-
mulates rather than dominates. Ambitious, thoughtful and a bril-
liant fielder, particularly at silly point where he unsettles
batsmen with agility and relentless clapping.
JASON GALLIAN: Most people`s player of the tour. Always willing
and able and has made rapid advances from limited beginnings.
Adapted technique to negotiate Indian spinners and umpiring;
later used his feet to become more forceful. Well organised
defence, plays very straight. Australian-style seam bowler and
socialiser, he seems to enjoy himself in any role.
MICHAEL VAUGHAN: A rather rigid player who never quite came to
terms with the slower bowling and conditions, getting out a
number of times playing across the line. Was never disheartened.
DAVID HEMP: Clean, classy striker of the ball, sometimes a bit
too free for the comfort of the next man in. Still has nothing
much in between the block and the big shot. Beneath a benign ap-
pearance is a fierce desire and an almost unintelligible Welsh
PAUL WEEKES: Continually suffers from lack of opportunity and is
therefore hard to assess. Made a contribution in almost every
match, chipping in with useful runs and crucial wickets or a
brilliant catch. Possibly not selfish enough to develop into a
Test player and his bowling lacks real consistency. Survives al-
most exclusively on hard-boiled eggs.
PAUL NIXON: Scored thousands of runs in the nets but couldn`t
quite manage it in the middle. Kept wicket adequately and ener-
getically without quite being "top drawer", his favourite phrase.
Could not be faulted for enthusiasm in his roles as wicketkeeper,
chief cheerleader and chairman of the fines committee.
DOMINIC CORK: A batting average of 16 and 27 wickets at 20 apiece
conveys most of the picture. Can`t quite establish himself as a
genuine all-rounder, but has the knack of taking wickets, wob-
bling the new ball and probing batsmen`s weaknesses expertly.
Test match outsider.
KEITH PIPER: Rated by Alan Knott as the best young keeper in Eng-
land, with some justification. Natural and unfussy standing up to
the stumps, neat and assured standing back. Gives bowlers added
encouragement with cries of "come on, let`s bubble". Lacks confi-
dence with the bat.
GLEN CHAPPLE: Consistent in everything from bowling outswing to a
daily application of lemon juice on his ginger hair. An old head
on young shoulders - seems to know his game inherently he adjust-
ed his method to suit the conditions. Delivers lively natural
outswing with rare accuracy while not afraid to experiment. Big-
hearted and a capable batsman with an immense straight drive.
Should appear for England this summer.
IAN SALISBURY: Suffering from a partial lack of confidence, a
dicky shoulder and perpetual comparisons with Shane Warne.
Still tends to bowl one short ball an over and has slowed his
run-up, ` la Warne, which hasn`t helped. Can be unplayable, but
at the moment is an expensive luxury. Fine slip fielder.
RICHARD JOHNSON: A short-of-a-length seam bowler not ideally
suited to Indian conditions. Has learnt a lot about himself, and
can only improve when he returns to greener pastures. Should make
more runs with an unflappable temperament and simple approach.
RICHARD STEMP: Has better control of his bowling than he some-
times does of his temper which can make the captain`s job invidi-
ous. Has a fluent, wheeling action, dangerous loop and probing
accuracy, but still over-reacts to bad umpiring or inflexible
leadership. Test class spinner, good athlete but needs careful
MIN PATEL: Provides the tease to compliment Stemp`s torment. A
very phlegmatic spinner, he gets on with the job and is adept at
operating over the wicket into the rough and gets spin but negli-
gible bounce. He is a good competitor and stealthy fielder with
an exceptional arm. If Michael Atherton cannot handle other
spinners` fits of pique, Patel would be a reliable alternative.
Source :: The Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)
Contributed by Rahul.Chandran (phaedrus@*.cis.yale.edu)