Wednesday, 18 April 2007

England Dig Their Own Grave

image courtesy cricinfo.com

Anyone backing the English to win was going to be doing it at their own peril. Yours truly had predicted a tough run chase for either side in a high pressure game, but a target of 155 is not going to bother even the minnows, leave alone the might of the South African batting line up. More than a month after the event started we have on our hands four teams that have qualified for the knockouts and, to be honest, there should be no complaints. The teams that have progressed fully deserve their final four places.

England wasted a golden opportunity. The wicket on offer was true, and anything less than 250 was going to be a sacrilege. The copy book approach just won't work in one-day cricket; it is a waste of time in the modern era. There is nothing wrong in sticking to the basics but timely innovations are the need of the hour to survive in the shorter version. The lack of aggression was appalling and England’s over-dependence on a few batsmen only added to their misery.

Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Andrew Flintoff hold the key with the bat and Freddie's failure with the bat has upset the balance of the side hard. KP has been the bulwark of the side, and it was not his fault he failed in a crunch game. The law of averages had to catch up with him and to England's misfortune, it had to happen when they were in within striking distance of a semifinal slot. The failure of the openers and Michael Vaughan in particular spelt doom. The side lacked direction and looked wearied.

The body language of the England side left a lot to be desired. There was no aggression and coupled with it was a sense of resignation, right from the start. Unless they do something quickly about the way they approach over-specific cricket, nothing much would change. It is time they start giving importance to the shorter version too to become a force to reckon with otherwise the gulf would be for everyone to see.

Sri Lanka gets another chance to boost their NRR and the top-order will be looking at some useful batting practice when they take on Ireland today. But the manner in which the Irish have competed indicates that they should not be taken lightly. With even the semifinal pairings more or less decided, fans can watch the remaining four games in the super eights without damage to their fingernails.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The last stage of the super eight can be watched without losing the fingernails, but where is the excitement?
Excitement gone and Australia in the final and wining the cup indicates that we got only one watchable match, the semi-final which involves 2nd and the 3rd spots.
The super six was better, compared to super 8.

Let’s hope that New Zealand stops the Aussies.

Ganesh said...

Based on cricket statistics, the England cricket team could actually have won the cricket World cup

The current England cricket team is actually quite suited for one day cricket internationals. Players like Flintoff, Collingwood and Pieterson are match winners and the England cricket team is lucky to have them in their one day team at the same time.

It appears that motivation and the recent captaincy changes,added to Fletcher's lack of focus on one day international cricket matches,have destroyed England cricket's best chance to win a cricket World cup

madhugr said...

England didnt have a game-plan to beat South Africa at all. They were just going through the motions once they had a low total to defend.

I am also suspicious of the relationship between Flintoff and Vaughan. There might be something brewing there. Freddy must be sad that bad luck stuck him at such a wrong period.

Smith and Co relished the pitch but to play again, they need to win their semis on a different one, which is not so suited to their pace attack.

Kalyan said...

Proteans Clobbered English, SA has come back strongly in this match with their excellent bowling plan to prove that they are not a team to take lightly. South Africa was in the driving seat from the beginning of the match. Superb captaincy by Graeme Smith today, He got his coveted gift of KP Pietersen wicket today.SA batters is not doing good in WC2007. But this match de Villiers and Smith laid foundation and made this match one-sided in favor of RSA.