Hit out or get out

Stuart Broad

England’s tactical think tank has some work to do

Windies 179-5. England 164-4

Once upon a time, England ruled the waves in T20 cricket. We had openers that didn’t get out in the first over, an explosive middle order, bowling options coming out of our ears, a captain with tactical nous, and the X factor of Eoin Morgan.

These days we’ve got Eoin Morgan and err … that’s about it.

Yesterday’s defeat to the West Indies was so depressing because it was completely avoidable. It was a complete and utter failure of tactical thinking.

The game hinged on two mistakes: firstly, Broad’s inexplicable decision to bowl Patel when Gayle was doing his usual whirlwind impression (he predictably got smacked for three sixes in six balls), and our batsmen’s decision to carefully rebuild for six overs after two early wickets fell.

Message to Jonny Bairstow (and a lesser extent Alex Hales): This is not a 50 over world cup; you don’t get time to rebuild; not when the required run rate is ten an over.

It’s harsh to single out individual failures, but it’s a tough business international cricket. Talented as he is, Bairstow made just 18 from 29 balls (that’s almost five overs, or a quarter of our innings).

You simply cannot afford to have someone batting like Chris Tavare at his best – or should that be worst – for that length of time. If you’re having a bad day, just get out for heaven sake.

Bairstow’s innings all but lost us the game. It put Morgan in an impossible position – and although he almost pulled a victory out of the hat, the run rate was just too high in the end.

Wise sages believe that T20 cricket is won by the team with the best plans and the ability to execute them effectively.

England didn’t seem to have a plan yesterday. And if they did, the execution was so poor that nobody noticed.

So come on Andy Flower. You’ve got an inexperienced captain with more testosterone than brains – one who is more likely to shout at this troops rather than coaxing the best out of them with astute man management – so it’s up to you to get the right messages onto the pitch at the right time.

And if that message is ‘hit out or get out’ so be it.

A frustrated James Morgan

1 comment

  • Ive often wondered when batsmen get bogged down and can’t buy a run, especially in T20 where one over can make the difference between winning and losing, why not do the decent thing and retire? Sometimes it’s just not your day, move aside and let the next man have a stab!
    Admittedly if the next man was Samit the pie chucker (if anyone should know how to deal with a pie it’s Samit!) then you might want to stick around but this should be an option for the top four. S**t or get off the pot as it were.
    I can see us going out in the super 8’s here. We just don’t look up to the job. Unless we make some actual plans for our seemingly clueless captain to follow we will be on the plane home very quickly. I don’t think it has anything to do with a lack of Kevin, we have the tools to do the job. Samit needs to bowl like Yardy and fire it in at 65mph (who would have thought that Mike Yardy would be the difference between winning and losing?) batting Morgan at 5 is not giving him enough overs to finish an innings off, I think the whole of the top five are batting in the wrong order personally but what do I know?
    I think they need to learn some lessons from 2010 in that we won games by bowling the opposition out cheaply and then chasing a low total. We are not good enough, or brave enough, to let them get big numbers and expect to chase it down.
    Better pack up that trophy and get ready for some humble pie I think!


copywriter copywriting