The break between the Test matches certainly seems to have helped England’s batsmen who have put up a much improved performance against the Indian spinners at the Wankhede stadium Mumbai. The pitch has always been good for batting with the even bounce it has and though it does help spinners, those who are prepared to use their feet and at the same time show some patience can stay and get runs. Keaton Jennings making his debut and in fact coming into the team after the injury to Haseeb Hameed was clearly unaffected by any negative thoughts that teams tend to get into when they are down in a series and his fresh mentality came through in the way he batted. There were no preconceived notions or theories that England cricket is known for and so he treated each ball on its merits and did not think it was a hand grenade that was going to explode in his face. His hundred and some good batting from the others helped England get to 400 but at the time of writing the Indian batsmen have responded in fine style and the match therefore will likely go down to the wire on the last day.
The Chappell - Hadlee Trophy is a terrific initiative between the two Trans-Tasman neighbours and the Australians wanting to show that they are on the way to a recovery swept to a series win over New Zealand. This was most convincing win over a good New Zealand team but the Australian batsmen led the way with some fantastic batting. David Warner slammed two hundreds and when he scores runs the Aussies invariably have a good score on the board. The first one-day game was dominated by the Australian skipper who got a wonderful century and in doing so notched his 6th one-day century of the year. His 164 enabled the Australians to get a massive score that New Zealand despite a brilliant century from Martin Guptill were unable to chase. Smith followed up with a 72 in the second game when David Warner got a century and then Mitchel Marsh went berserk and Australia scored runs almost at will in the final overs.
Is this the turn around for the Australians. After losing the first two Test matches of the three Test series against the Proteas they came back with loads of changes to their team for the final Test and won it quite comfortably. Then the sweep in the one-day series agianst New Zealand so they will be in a better frame of mind when they tackle the rest of their domestic season. If they continue to do well then they will come to India for the four Test match series with greater belief in themselves and look to erase the memories of the first ever clean sweep loss against India.
Steve Smith for his hundred and then 72 against New Zealand in the Chappell - Hadlee Trophy is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.