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A Middle Passage

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As was the case in their respective recent tours, both England and West Indies face a series that shall determine whether either is in fact developing into a potential threat to the current vacant #1 position or continuing their polite slide to the cellar.
 
Geoff Boycott, who once described Mike Atherton (aka Curtly's fave bunny) as a very good batsman and Carl Hooper (over 100 Tests wickets) as a lollipop bowler, has again jumped before another train and declared the series a walk in the park for the Poms.
 
This shall not be the case.
 
I have long been reluctant to predict Test series. However, anyone who witnessed England's disconnected performance through last year's Stanford 20/20 tournament, and their prolonged professional and administrative tribulations since, would suggest a group containing several unresolved and distracting internal problems.  These observers would soon suggest that this latest journey through the former colonies should run well in favour of the Windies.
 
Still nowhere near their mythical best, West Indies have become a fairly settled outfit of late with improving bowlers.  Yes, the gifted Mr. Pietersen shall be an issue - his failure however to fully take on the mantle of 'world's best batsman' must now be bothering his handlers - as shall be Mr. 'watch-me-watch-that-paint-dry' Strauss. After them however, it's all the sound of bugs chirping.
 
I'll allow that every West Indian batsman's history (save for Chanders) makes anxious reading but I quickly recall the grit shown for the most part by varying members of the order during the Sri Lankan and Australian series of last year as well as some new faces who seem to get 'it' (e.g. Mr. Nash), as well as the bowlers ability to consistently keep knocking over the big dogs.
 
This shall be a reversal in fortune for the 'Caribbeans' and to paraphrase Boycs, it'll be West Indies by some distance.



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