England kick off their Carlton Cole Bit Stronger than Dishwater Tri-Series (or whatever it’s called) campaign against the Aussies shortly. It’s going to be an interesting series.
Our new skipper, Owen Morgan (let’s pretend he’s British) appeared in front of the Aussie media yesterday and seemed in a bullish mood. And why not. England don’t really have much to lose: for the first time in a long time, expectations are actually lower than the team’s talent levels. It makes a nice change, doesn’t it.
The tour has actually started pretty well too. In years gone by, England sides tripped over every banana skin going – particularly in Queensland, where bananas are ubiquitous. This time, however, our warm up match was in Canberra, not Cairns, and our batsmen put on a bit of a show.
Ask yourself this: when was the last time an England opening pair put on 113 for the first wicket in less than fifteen overs? And no, fantasy scores on Brian Lara endorsed video games don’t count. I’d wager it’s never happened before. Bell certainly hasn’t made 187 in 145 balls for England before. Not even against Bangladesh. Well played Ian!
I think we can safely say that the decision to drop golden balls is paying off so far. England have often talked about playing aggressive cricket in the past, but team selection and our approach in the first few overs has betrayed our natural caution. This time I sense things are different. I think Morgan really believes in the strategy, and players have bought into this philosophy too.
My fear, of course, is that we’ll be too aggressive, fall flat on our faces, and then retreat into our shells for the rest of the series. I just hope the team accept the odd catastrophe is inevitable, and keep the faith when things go wrong.
Being more aggressive is definitely the way to go in the modern era, and I hope early setbacks don’t knock the stuffing out of us. That’s why the victory over the President’s XI was quite important. If all goes wrong against Australia at least the players know what’s possible if they stay true to their attacking game-plan. It won’t work every time, but when it does it will be fun to watch and should be very successful. England can definitely surprise teams on their day.
It will be interesting to see what side England put out against the Aussies. I imagine that Chris Jordan has bowled himself out of contention, but it remains to be seen whether England pick two spinners. My gut tells me they should not, but it all depends on the pitch and weather forecast I suppose.
Meanwhile, in other news, Colin Graves the new ECB chairman has set out his plans to revive the English game. I won’t bore you with all the details, as you’ve probably read them yourself, but if you’re late to this particular party here’s cricinfo’s summary.
In other, other news, Kevin Pietersen got up at 7.30am, had cornflakes for breakfast, brushed his teeth for a few seconds longer than he normally does, had a cup of coffee, and then went off to training.
No England players or ECB officials were offended or harmed in this time,