Sunday, 23 November 2008

4-0 will it be 7-0?

Four games played, four games lost. Obviously not a good situation and the spectre of a 7-0 whitewash is looming large. I said a week ago that:

“Even if India wins, England has to show that it could have won. KP has to show what he is made of and get the players to perform better.”

Although England has lost both games I think that England could have won both games. Today’s match was a little cracker and when Shah and Flintoff were together it looked like England might do it. Shah played a fantastic innings and showed what a good player he can be. However, I also think today’s loss also showed what is wrong:

  • The bowling of Anderson and Broad was again erratic. A lack of control at the start of the innings lets the opposition get off to a flyer. This happens far too many times and England is absolutely dependant on Flintoff to recover some control. Flintoff is bowling really well but he only has a fifth of the overs.
  • Patel looks ineffective with bat or ball and a little out of his depth.
  • We always knew Prior was a weak wicket-keeper and he has done little to dispel that impression but I think we can live with that in ODIs if he makes runs. So why on earth would he be batting at 9? Is this the same Prior that topped the county championship?
  • Collingwood looks a shadow of his former self and it’s quite sad to see. He came in straight after Shah and Flintoff and there looked no chance he was going to chase down the runs. Still the best fielder in the side but 44 runs in four starts if nowhere near good enough
  • Pietersen looks a worried man. In shots of the dressing room today he looked like a guy who had just been told he had a large tax bill. He looked broody and irritated. This is not a state of mind that will help him. He needs his thoughts to be clear and mind uncluttered. That is always going to be difficult as captain but if it is getting on top of him already it is going to be a long winter for him.
England is outclassed by India pure and simple. Realistically all we can hope for is that they fight like tigers.


Mahesh said...

Fight like tigers - might quite be the phrase you are looking for considering what's happening in a country just South of India :)

But, you are right, the last two ODI's could have gone either way. Looks like the Indians will put out a weakened side for the rest of the games, resting a few players. I think England will win 2 out of the remaining 3.

KP got a wake up call, a poor Aussie side or not, if KP & Co play like this, Ashes will be a massacre.

Straight Point said...

england refused to arrest the initiative...this has been the story so far and yesterday's match was not exception...

even in 20 overs format and series at stake they dont have the confidence of moving KP and flintoff up the order i don't think when will they have...either or one if not two should have opened...and i could not believe that paul was coming ahead of player like broad who could have slogged better...

Rob said...

Good point about Broad. 9/10 was Prior/Broad -- just plain silly.

I rad on someone's blog recently (Sorry forgot whose) that England's 50 over strategy was:

* Get past the tricky first 20 overs
* Consolidate for 20 overs
* See what we have left for the final 10

Scarily accurate...

Rob said...

Mahesh: Coney was predicting an England win on Saturday based on Australia's non-bowling attack (maybe he was mad at NZ).

Jack Chafer said...

i think that mabye your a bit hard on Kevin Pietersen, just think about it your in the dressing room seeing your team getting thrashed, your going to look worried, remmember hes gonna think what s the press going to be saying. Any captain would look the same. He has done well agaisnt south Africa mabye we should remmmeber that and stop thinking Oh my god were losong a seris

Mahesh said...

Well Rob, it wont be 7-0, the Indians will have to settle for 5-0. Unfortunate, but this kind of incident puts things into perspective.

I'd be very surprised, if the Test matches aren't cancelled as well.

Rob said...

Yes, cricket does seem a bit insignificant when compared to current events. The Middlesex side must be feeling very odd too.

I hope the tests do go ahead.

Mahesh said...

Oh well, the Mumbai test has been changed to Chennai. KP now says it's up to teh English players to decide whether they want to play or not.

I hope the cricketers just carry on as normal instead of cancelling. Let's see what they are made off :)