Monday, September 17, 2007

Victory slips through England’s hands

England should have beaten South Africa. In stead, they opted for defeat. They managed this intriguing tactic by a number of means: dropping a major wicket at every opportunity and refusing to hit boundaries.

This revolutionary approach to the twenty20 format successfully ensured a loss.

The South African responded by saying, “ha ha ha” and later added, “we beat you at rugby.” They didn’t see it coming, to be honest, look at the surprise on Shaun Pollock’s face.

Why it is, when the England team apparently look alright, they construe to be woeful? I don’t know. I’m especially annoyed because I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and backed the buggers to the tune of £10. I should have plugged for Australia, at 4/1. £40 would hae come in handy...

Interestingly, after projected my thoughts to Paul Collingwood he actually adhered to my advice. Firstly, he decided to field first, which I think is probably the best approach to twenty20. Secondly, he constantly fiddled his bowlers, with most spells lasting no longer than an over. It gave the batsman limited time to line-up the bowlers – and they struggled especially with the quicks.

However, my favourite, Chris Schofield was the difference between the teams. The South Africans battered the slow bowlers (with the leggie going for three consecutive sixes at one point). Whereas England had no similar easy weakling to score heavily off.

I think that the most successful approach to twenty20 would be flexibility. It may be an idea to go to a ground with a squad of say 14, and then whittle it down eleven based on the conditions. Bowling another quick in Schofield’s place yesterday may have secured England the match, and given the conditions, one could have foreseen this.

Twenty20 is about quick thinking and adaptability. Listening to commentary it is crazy how unself-conscious the describers are. One over a bowler is bowling “dreadfully” and literally the following over he’s a “hero”. Things change so quickly that the players need to learn to adapt to changing circumstances quickly.

They also need oodles of luck.

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