How long can England dominate test cricket?
England have destroyed India to go 3-0 up in their test series and officially become the world’s best test nation having also humbled Australia Down Under just a few months ago.
It’s a new position for England to find themselves in after batting collapse after batting collapse undermined their sides in the 1980/90s and sporadically in recent years.
The great Australian teams of the last two decades managed to keep at the very top for years and their dominance only fell apart because of a lack of talent waiting in the wings once their big guns retired.
England have the advantage that only captain Andrew Strauss (34) is anywhere near retirement and given he has given up on one-dayers, he can carry on his excellent captaincy for some time yet. Spinner Graeme Swann is 32 but his second wind as an international cricketer came late so he is unlikely to bow out soon.
They have a vast array of seam bowlers with Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett not even playing at Edgbaston and others knocking on the door.
Their batting perhaps does not have the same depth with Ravi Bopara failing again with Jonathan Trott injured but if Alistair Cook can continue scoring double tons for fun, it doesn’t much matter. In any case there are some decent youngsters coming through.
Hunger should not be a problem either given England have craved this sort of stature for so many years.
The ECB, unlike the BCCI, has also learnt from the mistakes of the 2007 Ashes tour by giving the team ample preparation for their test series. India, the previous beast test nation, have just not been able to cope with the swinging ball in English conditions and one warm-up match just was not enough.
That leads onto the final reason why England could dominate tests for years. They seem to cherish the longer form of the game more than many other nations who are caught up in the dash for cash associated with one-day and Twenty20 cricket.