We can’t bat, we can’t bowl and we can’t field. I suppose we knew that before today’s match started. Unless the pitch deteriorates alarmingly and gives us an unfair advantage, as happened against South Africa the other day, our boys simply aren’t up to it.
However, after our appalling defeat to the out of form Bangladeshis, we can add another four ‘can’ts’ to England’s list of failings. We can’t pick the right team team, we can’t read a pitch, and we can’t pace an innings. We struggle to bowl legitimate deliveries too. Anderson and Co bowled twenty three wides today. I would make a joke about it, but I don’t need to. The statistic itself is hilarious enough.
Andy Flower got a lot of credit for England’s victory in the Ashes, so it’s only fair that he takes a bit of flack for this embarrassing defeat. You got it wrong Andy. You got it horribly wrong. Our faith in your judgement has taken a huge knock after today’s debacle. Sometimes we wonder what planet the England think tank are on. It must be one where rational thought hasn’t been invented yet.
There was a rumour before the game that England might play three spinners. The reason? The pitch was slow and the seamers might become cannon fodder under lights when the dew helps the ball come onto the bat nicely. So what did Flower and Strauss do? They went into the game with just one spinner and picked three specialist seamers. Dumb and Dumber must be their favourite movie.
Despite the ineptitude of England’s selection, we still had enough experience in our XI to win the game. However, I started to have doubts when Jonathan Trott started batting for a draw in the tenth over of the innings. Someone obviously forgot to tell him that it wasn’t a test match, and that England only had 50 overs to play with. His 67 off 99 balls was painful to watch. He put his teammates under pressure and dug the team into a hole.
However, just as I was about to burn my hastily constructed effigy of Trott, word came out of the England camp that they thought 230+ would be a good total. Even after the match, when Strauss was explaining his team’s lamentable performance, he claimed that 225 was a ‘competitive total’. Trott was obviously batting to instruction. Shame he didn’t have the common sense to realise that his captain and coach were talking balderdash.
The frustrating thing is that we still almost won the game. We had Bangladesh on their knees at 169-8 yet we still couldn’t win. Well, I’m afraid that’s what happens when Jimmy Anderson is the supposed leader of your attack. We needed wickets from Jimmy, but all he delivered was wides. Anderson has now played 142 ODIs. His wickets have cost 31 each and his economy rate is over 5. It’s a good thing for him that Broad has gone home otherwise he’d be out of this team quicker than you can say ‘useless when it doesn’t swing’.
However, it’s probably unfair to blame individuals. It took eleven players and one coach to lose this one. Perhaps the ECB should enlist Fabio Capello to help us. The England football team might have been rubbish in the 2010 World Cup, but at least they didn’t actually lose to any minnows. Does anybody think we’ll beat the West Indies and qualify for the quarter finals? I don’t.