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News Letter
Mon Jan 7 2002
Issue No: 19

England heaves a sigh of relief after Hussain’s clarification

Nasser Hussain’s reported decision to quit at the end of the 2003 World Cup was greeted with great dismay by almost all of England. Hussain’s latest column in the Sunday Telegraph must then have brought waves upon waves of relief to his anxious fans. The skipper clarified that “it is not up to me to dictate how long I do the job. The selectors make those decisions.” And if any residual confusion remained, that would have been driven away when he explained his earlier quote to The Sun: “What I have said is that I would like to be captain for another 15 months.” At the end of the period Hussain plans to “sit down with the selectors and decide what is best for English cricket.”

He also used the column to tell his young teammates what exactly was expected of them in India. “Our young side did well there (in India) but these matches will be a greater test. The strength of the opposition and the match situations will be more like the World Cup. It is a chance for the youngsters who emerged in Zimbabwe to show that tour was not a one-off.”

David-inspired India romp to win against English eves

In a low-scoring affair, the Indian women began their five-match series against England with a thumping eight-wicket win at Chennai. As predicted, it was a test of England's skill on the field against India's batting prowess. The former was rendered impotent by England's inability to put enough runs on the board on a flat batting track. On being put in to bat, the visitors were knocked over for 106, a total that was never likely to stretch the Indians.

After a lively opening spell from the seamers England lost wickets at regular intervals to the tantalising spin of Neetu David. The left-arm spinner, thought by many to be of the highest pedigree, strolled in effortlessly, bowled an impeccable line and length, coupled with teasing flight, to scalp 4/14 from nine overs. The effort, the fourth-best by an Indian woman in limited-overs games, later earned her the Hero Honda player of the match award. England managed just 106 all out from 44.4 overs.

Required to score at a sedate pace of 2.14 runs an over, openers Anju Jain and Jaya Sharma got off to a slow start, before the latter was dismissed by left-arm spinner Dawn Holden. India were almost halfway to their target at 51/2 when Jain (21) departed, being trapped lbw by Thompson. The fall of Jain's wicket brought Mithali Raj and Anjum Chopra together.

Mithali timed the ball impeccably from very first ball, opening her account with a classic straight drive for four. Raising the excitement level considerably, Mithali struck an unbeaten 36 off just 33 balls, finding the fence on seven occasions. Chopra remained unbeaten on 26 (64 balls) when the winning runs were scored with more than 20 overs to spare.

John Harmer calls it as he sees it

If anyone knows a thing or two about women's cricket it is current England coach John Harmer. Having played a bit of cricket himself as a second XI cricketer for Victoria in the early 60s, Harmer coached Australia women to three World Cup finals. On England's loss in the first one-dayer, coach Harmer had this to say: "It is an attitude thing really. The players need to settle down and start to hit the ball well. A positive approach is the only one that will work, most of the time." He went on to explain that much of it was in the mind. "I think they were a bit overawed by the whole situation. It is a mental thing rather than anything technical. That part of their game is fine. What they need to do is release all that energy when they are at the wicket," said Harmer, confirming a thought that many people who witnessed England's oh-so-slow batting had!

  • Quotable quotes and pithy statements: get the words, straight from the horse's mouth, at Wordsworth. Click Here
  • Look back on a tempestuous year of Indian cricket with CricInfo's Rewind 2001 feature. Click Here
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The last day of the third and final India-Sri Lanka Test in 1987 saw 28-year-old Kapil Dev become the youngest bowler to claim 300 Test wickets. Kapil, playing in his 83rd Test, also became the second cricketer, after Ian Botham, to complete the double of 3,000 runs and 300 wickets in Test cricket.

In another two days, the Challenger Trophy at Bangalore will see India hopefuls press their claims for a place in the Indian squad for the one-dayers against England. It promises to be a pitched battle; log on to for a blow-by-blow account.

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I went to India as a standby and they were always going to bring Caddy (Andrew Caddick) back. Richard Johnson, on being replaced by Caddick.

The team always seems to be changing. Players find themselves out due to injury or loss of form, or selectors deciding to change things. The Australian side always keeps the same side; for years you see the same names in the middle-order. Mark Butcher.

We have to pick a strong squad for the first two one-dayers against England where the onus should be on winning alone. Depending on those results, new players should be introduced and given a chance. Denzil Fernandes.

Sunil Gavaskar, reckoned by most to be the finest Test opener of his generation, did not have all that happy a time against the Englishmen; his batting average of 38.2 in 38 Tests against the men from Old Blighty was his lowest against all opposition in Tests.

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