T20 top spot is no solace for England

New rankings fail to hide fact Cook's men have been woeful as they look to avoid 5-0 whitewash

England were licking their wounds en route between two great Indian cities yesterday when the announcement came. To their ranking as the best Test team in the world can now be added a similar status in Twenty20.

Click HERE to view T20 world rankings graphic (95 kb)

It must have felt as if they were being awarded an Oscar for previous work while the present employment consists of appearing in a straight-to-video slasher flick. The top spot was revealed in the inaugural ICC official ratings as the tourists arrived here on their charter flight from Mumbai. They also have the top batsman in Eoin Morgan and the second-placed bowler, Graeme Swann.

Unfortunately, England are coming towards the end of a series in which their stock in the third form of the game, 50-over one-day internationals, has plummeted within a month. At 4-0 down to India with the final match being played today, they have fallen to fifth in the table, the sole consolation being that they cannot decline further even should they lose.

While two top rankings is not to be sniffed at, England's last desperate remaining desire is to win the World Cup, which is to be played in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. In that regard at least, the drubbing they have received around this country, is of no relevance.

Playing cricket in India is hugely different from playing in Australia and England's players will be much better suited to the environment in all respects. Equally that does not mean they are much good at present.

India have been clearly superior at every turn and if it has come as a surprise to England after two series wins at home last summer, it must have begun to dawn how off the pace they are. England's record in India is dreadful and becoming worse.

One win in the last 17 matches is bad enough but three of the four defeats here have been among their heaviest. India have taken 34 wickets, three times bowling out the opposition, to England's 18. India have scored eight fifties, two in each match, compared to England's four, three of which came in one match.

The tourists' playing of all types of bowling has been distinctly moderate but as usual here they have tied themselves into unfathomable knots against spin. This is a deeper mystery considering how accomplished their coach Andy Flower was against spin in general and in India in particular.

News of theTwenty20 elevation provided a welcome diversion from difficulties and might provide encouragement for the solitary Twenty20 match of this short tour, on Saturday.

Flower said: "The introduction of rankings for international Twenty20 cricket provides real context to the various series played."

Morgan's nomination as the world's best T20 player should ensure his value rises at the auctions for the Indian Premier League in January and a $1m pay day is very possible. It also underlines how much England have missed his perky, fearless innovation here.

There seems little point in retaining today the batting order that has so resoundingly failed in this series. If a hesitant Ravi Bopara is under particular threat, Craig Kieswetter has displayed limitations, never nailing his role, occasionally standing centre stage but more often forgetting the lines.

Ian Bell should play but that has been the case all series and he has yet to appear. Swann seems certain to return for Scott Borthwick. But victory now is as unexpected as such heavy losses were a month ago.

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003