The Enemy Camp – Tracing England’s Rise

Yahoo cricket editorial blogs

(Note to readers: 'The Enemy Camp' will be the name for Yahoo! Cricket's coverage of the English press during India's tour of England.)

England’s rise to the No 1 spot has given the sport a new lease of life in its home country. With the good reason, the British media is going all out in praise of their team.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain in the Daily Mail, takes a look things have taken a turn from the time he was booed at The Oval during England’s darkest hour –

Twelve years ago, at the same venue where England today embark on their new lives as the world’s best Test team, our cricket team hit rock bottom. I know because I was our captain — and it was not pretty.

Staying with the Telegraph - in detailing what England’s secret recipe has been to achieve the No 1 status, Simon Briggs lists out all the gadgets and gizmos the team has invested in with their £28 million budget –

England have Merlin, the specialist spin-bowling machine which outclasses any human practitioner apart from Shane Warne. They have ProBatter, a machine that simulates real-life bowlers, playing television footage of their run-up before releasing the ball.

Less expensively, they also have the Sidearm device - a more sophisticated version of the plastic tennis-ball throwers used by dog-walkers, which Gooch himself uses to generate speeds of 80mph from a standing start.

Jonathan Agnew stays with the theme in his column and by bringing into focus what has helped England reach the top, he reinforces what should be a lesson to the BCCI –

There has also been a massive amount of investment in this team, the resources behind them and all the training facilities. There is no other team in the world that is supported financially like this one.

Ben Dirs in his blog on BBC Sport echoes the sentiment by narrating a story from Alec Stewart –

Stewart tells a quite startling story of how, when he first played for England in 1990, the team's fitness coach donated his time for free. Fast-forward 21 years and there is barely enough space on the Lord's balcony to accommodate the retinue of support staff. Batting, bowling and fielding coaches, analysts, a statistician, a masseur - fast-forward another 21 years and they might even have a jester.

The Guardian’s Andy Bull feels that the applause for the English team hasn’t quite been enough –

Some people just don't seem to be able to enjoy it. "Getting to the summit is one thing," the cynics say, sucking their breath in through their teeth, "staying there is quite another." There is truth in that, but just because we worry that the crown will lie heavy on the head, doesn't mean we should skip the coronation. The Edgbaston Test was, quite simply, one of the most ruthlessly brilliant performances in the history of Test cricket, and the match at the Oval this week should be England's lap of honour. They should be feted on the front pages and roared to the rooftops. The final assault on the summit has been made, and the flag planted on top. Now is the time to stop and enjoy the view.

As for India’s situation - Speaking to Simon Hughes for an interview in Telegraph’s ‘The Indian Takeaway’ segment, Rahul Dravid pretty much summed up the series –

We expected them to be good, but we expected us to be better. To be honest we haven't been good enough.