Let’s start with the positive; the English national cricket team have taken the test series win taking a 3 – 0 lead in a four match series to move into the top spot in the world rankings. England completely outclassed the Indians in this test, firstly bowling out the tourist for 224 in just 62 overs before going on to make 710 for 7 declared. Alistair Cook was caught just six runs short of a triple century, Eoin Morgan hit 104 before being caught, Andrew Strauss scored 87 before being clean bowled, even number eight batsmen Tim Bresnan scored 53 as England ran rampant. As the Indians took to the field for their second innings, their fans (on Twitter) were just hoping to push the game into a fourth innings but it wasn’t to be as England once again bowled out the visitors for 244 in 55 overs. England took the win by an innings and 242 runs, a massive home win for the Englishmen. I did hear a rumour that many cricketing nations were not putting much effort into test matches concentrating more on 50 over and Twenty20 matches. I don’t think there is too much truth, maybe it’s just sour grapes by other cricketing nations because of England’s rise up the world rankings since 2009. Why even send a test team overseas if they don’t play to win?
Moving Northwest, the Reds had a disappointing start to the season being held to a 1 – 1 with Sunderland at Anfield. Luiz Suarez missed from the penalty spot in the sixth minute after Kieran Richardson brought down the Uruguayan inside the box. Suarez made up for his penalty miss in the 12th minute netting from close range to give the home side the lead. Liverpool held their slender lead until the 57th minute when Sebastian Larsson superbly volleyed past Pepe Reina from inside the 18 yard box. It’s only the first game of the season, there’s a long way to go this season but Kenny Dalglish would have been hoping for a victorious start to the season especially at home, Liverpool will have to show improvement! It was truly a game of two halves, Liverpool dominated the first half but were pegged back in the second half by Sunderland and that pressure translated into an equalizing goal, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce will be the happier of the managers. Liverpool are currently third in the league with four games to be played tomorrow and Monday.
Down in the Southwest; Plymouth Argyle were thumped 1 – 4 at Home Park by Rotherham. Loan signing Will Atkinson scored on debut for the Pilgrims four minutes after half time but then came the Rotherham show with Gareth Evans scoring twice in an eight minute period to overturn Argyle’s lead. Adam Le Fondre put the game out of reach of the home side scoring twice to give the visitors a three goal cushion in the final ten minutes. Argyle manager Peter Reid admitted that his side was naive and that Rotherham didn’t have to very work hard for their goals which indicates to me that he believes that work needs to be done in defence. Something needs to happen; the visiting team should not have the lions share of the possession. At this time Argyle are in 21st in the league, it’s still early days but it’s not looking good; Plymouth are looking more like a non-league side who have recently been promoted than a team that have come down from a higher league! I sincerely hope that the takeover deal happens soon so 100% effort can be put on winning games and building the team up again, Reid’s plan to gain promotion this season is looking unlikely right now sadly! It’s not at reflection on the manager, it’s more a reflection of the situation!