Old failings haunt England

It was once said that the four most dangerous words in investing are ‘this time it’s different;’ at the moment you can apply that to spin bowling, the sub-continent and England’s batsmen. Instead of something different, as Andy Flower had promised, it was, as Yogi Berra famously said, deja vu all over again, as the same combination of a slow, holding pitch and a spin-based attack reduced once dominant, decisive batsmen into nervy novices again.

England were bowled out for 193 in just 46.4 overs on a bizarre day when seventeen wickets fell. Having conceded a deficit of 125, England’s bowlers, led by a rejuvenated Graeme Swann, then set about sparing the batsmen’s blushes again, reducing Sri Lanka to 84-5 second time around. The pitch is dry and spinning now, but not viciously so, the low scores being more a reflection of batting frailties on either side rather than the conditions……

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