Snakes and Ladders: England's quest to reach top of game
Tuesday 31 May 2011
England have fixed their sights on becoming the world's No 1 Test team – and sooner rather than later.
Given a good run of results, and a fair wind, they could be crowned by the end of a summer, which sees them start against fourth-ranked Sri Lanka and then tackle leaders India.
Knowing England, though, their journey from today in third spot is unlikely to be without its ups and downs. Or snakes and ladders.
Independent Sport will monitor England's progress on a daily basis throughout the summer's seven Tests.
Up: KP may have his problems with left-arm spinners but he is a whiz when it comes to keepy-uppy. We counted nine on the trot, so to speak, during a warm-up session – maybe Chelsea will pay England a handsome transfer fee.
Up: You can never have too many batsmen in good form – and Ian Bell looks ready to enjoy a summer of heavy scoring on the evidence of his sweetly struck unbeaten 103 at Sophia Gardens.
Downp: The list of candidates to replace side strain victim Jimmy Anderson in Friday's second Test is no longer quite so long. Well, not if Ajmal Shahzad's figures for Yorkshire against Sussex (31-2-145-1) are anything to go by.
Up: Who needs five bowlers? Or four? Or three for that matter? With Jimmy Anderson not on the field and Stuart Broad unable to do any damage, the deadly duo of Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann reduced Sri Lanka to nervous wrecks.
State of play on the snakes and ladders board: Jump forward two spaces England.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Unhappy forward is ready to quit Real Madrid, according to Angel Di Maria
Commonwealth Games 2014: Australia launch Glasgow swimwear - but are criticised for drawing attention to the 'crotch' area
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Jurgen Klopp concerned with Dortmund injuries and praises signings of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke