Friday, March 09, 2007

Vaughan: Back to Basics

I notice that the BBC stole my Michael Vaughan picture in the post below. Should I sue them? Best not draw attention to myself, really… Anyway, sorry for the repetition, but here’s some more Vaughan.

In a recent interview, Vaughan has claimed that England’s recent success is due to their “back to basics” approach. I normally associate back to basics with John Major’s desperate attempts to hold a divided and toppling government together in the face of inevitable annihilation. But I’m sure it’ll all be cheery for Vaughany.

Anyway, in this interview, the England captain believes big-hitters are not central to the England plan:

“Paul Collingwood is not that explosive, but he’s very, very valuable. JD [Jamie Dalrymple] is very explosive towards the end, Belly is a nice little player who knocks it around and KP [Kevin Pieterson] is coming back. These guys are all going to play their part.”

This cerebral, clear-thinking approach for Vaughan is really refreshing. It rejects the contemporary obsession with rope-clearing; it is not the only tactic worth considering. Building an innings in a deliberate and methodical way is just as effective when compiling a score. Rather like the old adage: “It’s not how, it’s how many”.

For Vaughan, England won in Australia because of

“…going back to basics, working together as a team, trying to prepare in a way that was specific to one-day cricket and then just having that little bit of luck. We got together and talked about every aspect of one-day cricket as a team – we left no stone unturned.”

This is a very interesting comment. It shows that England are willing to scrutinise their approach and diversify their tactics. One-day cricket is not about predictable variation (rotating bowlers and field settings for the hell of it) it’s about conforming to a carefully constructed plan and being flexible in the use of tactics. Similarly, when batting you must look to your team’s particular skill-set, and build a plan that emphasis and even exaggerates this natural advantage.

I have now convinced myself: Pinch-hitting is not the only method to victory.

It seems, rather like me, Michael Vaughan is challenging the hegemonic discourses that many take for granted. Is there nothing the man can’t do?


Mephistopheles said...

There is something Vaughan can't do: Play couple of seasons without injury.

"Back to the Basics" is the term struggling cricketers and struggling cricket teams use quite a bit. If going "Back to the Basics" was easy, all cricketers/cricket teams would be doing it.

Nevertheless, a sound plan. Especially in this world cup where wickets are slow and hitting through the line is not an option.

The Atheist said...

Wow. Another comment. That's worth a link, that is!

Yeah, I agree that "back to basics" is a sign that you are desperately useless. But, dammit it's the best hope we have.

At least we acknowledge our failings. Which, for England, is moving up from their usual wittering about being bloody brilliant.

Thanks for the comment, though.

Mephistopheles said...

Thanks for the link. I linked you too.

Pakistan and England (if they play Panesar) are the two teams I am really worried about as an Indian cricket fan.