Melbourne: Former Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden reckons that England’s rise to the summit of Test cricket is down to consistency.
“In my career there was a lot of inconsistency in the England team, both in performances and also selection,” Hayden said in an interview.
“There were so many players coming in and out of the side it was really a turnstile into the English dressing room, but now it’s very different,” he added.
Hayden also picked out Ian Bell, who put himself to the top of the 2011 Test run-scoring charts during the marathon knock of 235 in the Oval Test against India, for special praise.
“Ian Bell has always been a very technically sound player and he’s now dominating Test cricket simply because technically he’s sound, mentally he’s grown up. His physical attributes are very good and he’s relishing the hard work,” the 39-year-old said.
England claimed the number-one ranking for the first time in 32 years after winning the Edgbaston Test against India by an innings and 242 runs, which also gave it an impregnable 3-0 lead in the four-Test series.
To top the championship table for the first time under the current ranking system, which was introduced in June 2003, England had needed to win the series by a 2-0 margin or better.
England accomplished its mission in great style when it won the first Test at Lord’s by 196 runs, then doubled the lead with a convincing 319 runs victory at Trent Bridge before sealing the series at Edgbaston.