Cricket: Are England improved?...

Or is it just that the West Indies are particularly bad lately?

Has This England side a chance of beating South Africa and Australia?

I know it’s a convention of British English to use plural verbs for all group nouns, but doesn’t a sentence that includes the word pair “are England” sound just a little bit retarded, even to you guys?

Sounds a bit strange but it is valid. Imagine ‘England’ to mean the team, not the country. The collection of players.
“Are the players in the cricket team of England”
“Is the players in the cricket team of England”

Version one is right.

Yes, version one is right because “players” is plural. There is only one team under discussion though, so, in American English, players are but team is.

I mean, it’s not the case that “players” is the implied subject, like “you” is in “get the ball”; in “The team is home,” there is no implied subject, there is an actual subject: team. I know that you’re following British convention, but it’s just wrong.

Ok. I’ve seen/heard it used by many a pundit.
Does it really look retarded though? To me it looks unique and that’s why I phrased it like that.
Also “Is England improved” doesn’t sound quite right. ‘Are’ was the best way to reword it without making it into a longer, less news-headliny title. I like news-headliny titles.

England are impoving. However…

The West Indies side is the worst I have ever seen in a lot of years. They can at times pull off a performance which cons people into believing that they are back on track, but in batting, bowling, fielding, captaincy they are disgusting at all levels. Beating NZ was possible a better achievement, even allowing for it being at home and with NZ (again) not having Bond.

RSA have just lost to Sri Lanka. If it is agreed that Australia are tops for the moment, the second spot is quite open. Perhaps India, perhaps England…

England against Australia? Bob Willis has said that England has no chance. I think it will be competitive, but I’d still favour Australia. Giles and Harmison will find bowling to Ponting and co a different story, and Trescothick, Keys and Flintoff who have done well against the West Indies have previously been exposed against Australia.

Bring it on!

Silly question obviously… But have they a chance of winning at least one test match?

When are the ashes?
When is the ashes?
(I like cricket when it’s on but I am not keen enough to know things like that.)

And where?

August 2005- England at home to Australia. England normally take a Test or two off Australia, so it should be a tight contest.

If I win Gold Lotto, I’ll be there. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think England are an improved side - you can only beat what’s in front of you - but in the past I think England would have beaten a poor side 2-1 or 3-1 - not 4-0.
So, I think the Windies are poor but England continue to improve.
The big tests will clearly be over the next 12 months.
My view - Giles has done well, but if they had a second high-quality spinner …

I’m not going to start a rag with lissener, but “England are improved” is perfectly acceptable British English. As confirmed by all my rowdy friends over at the Oxford English Dictionary.

So, England. Yes, I think it’s hard to judge their performance against the Windies, because, as Cicero says, the West Indies have been pretty horrible lately. Of more interest was England’s 3-0 series win against New Zealand, because the Kiwis have been a reasonably good side of late. And even though the West Indies didn’t play well, the mere fact that England secured the series sweep can’t be ignored. I can’t imagine the England of five or ten years ago completing the job. (Um, on preview, what Made in Macau said.)

Despite what Bob Willis said, I think England does have a chance. But they have to play to the best of their ability, while Australia has to be a little off, for it to happen. One thing is for certain: if Australia wins the first Test, the series might be over right off the bat. I’d foresee the English media turning on the team if they went down to defeat in the first match, and the old English self-doubt taking over from there. I also think they need to concentrate on what they’ve been doing well over the last seven Tests–namely, quality seam bowling–to have a chance against either South Africa this winter or Australia next year. It’s not going to be often that the English have a glut of young seamers like Harmison, Anderson, and Jones; now they have to use them judiciously.

And no injuries this winter. That’s critical.

It doesn’t help that the English media is owned by an Australian. :smiley:

I don’t think we English are the type to be put off by one Test match defeat when there are 5 more chances to win the series. Or maybe it’s just me. When England is down one or two tests to Australia I for one sure root for the team to pull it back.

When they are losing it’s still enjoyable to see the team get wickets and runs. Maybe that’s the beauty of cricket - plenty of oportunity for the losing side to please the crowd.

P.S. Glad to know that “Are England improved” is acceptable. I was beginning to think I’d done a zoolander.

(“school for kids who don’t read good” or something like that)

No, as I said, I understand that it’s standard British English. I wasn’t saying you were retarded; I was saying standard British English is retarded.

American English has retained many features that the British variety has long discarded. In the dubious sense of retardation it’s your version that suffers the impairment.

whuuuuuuuuuuuu . . . ?

He said “it’s our bloody language, we’ll do what we like with it” :mad:

Safety wink: :wink:

The tour to S. Africa will tell us a lot more about how good England are. The positive thing about the recent two series is that England have a good squad - cover in all positions, bar spin bowling, where the King of Spain (sic) has no peer.

As noted above, some of the batters may get found out against the Aussies, but I think Flintoff has turned the corner and is a different player now compared to 18 months ago. The bowling can be off for uncomfortably long periods, and the likes of Hayden and Ponting are likely to cash in if that is the case. Harmie and Flintoff have the technique and the temperament, but the back up seam/swing bowling at this level is not proven. Fielding too must continue to improve if England are to have a chance of regaining the Ashes.

But in Fletcher and Vaughan they have a good team. One thing for certain. If they do win the series, everyone will be saying that Oz are on the slide!

I didn’t take it personally. But you did make me wonder if the title stook out to the majority American viewers.

Did you see the catching in the last couple of days? Admittedly, I only heard it on the radio, but it sure sounded unbelievabley good.

Stuck, not stook.

I only got into cricket last year, but I love it now. One things for sure: England are a much more exciting team than they used to be. I think the Ashes next year is going to be a real challenge, but I reckon we’re at least in with a chance. If Freddie continues to improve I think he could do it for England.

I <3 Freddie.