Have Gatting and Hick earned a repreive by scoring fifties in the second
inning?? If so then I would definitely compare it with Vengsarkar of the
seventies and Shastri of the mid and late eighties - players who performed
only when their place was in question. In fairness to Gatting though, he did
not have a miserable tour of India - so also Hick. England's problem is that
the bowlers are doing such a terrible job that an average job by the batsmen
will definitely ensure a defeat. Consistent stellar performances are the need
of the hour as far as English batsmen go - to be honest, if your bowlers give
the first four batsmen of the opposing side the luxury of (almost) reaching
three figures, it becomes hard to conceive what changes in the batting lineup
would be adequate to match that effort.
On a slightly unrelated note, I find it most amazing how some English batsmen
can be so good against pace and so miserably poor against spin (e.g. Lamb
and Smith). One would have thought that the English county championship with
all it's talent from overseas players would bring up batsmen who would be
equally at ease with pace and spin.
Finally, is this goodbye for Chris Lewis - if I'm not mistaken his match
performance would be 2 wickets and a pair. However beat old Beefy might be
today, I'd choose him over Lewis - just for a look see if not anything.