Monday, October 15, 2007

Doing good the English way

The performance of England over the course of this surprising ODI series against Sri Lanka has been unremarkable. If we were to point for a couple of “key players” who performed at “key moments”, we may be left stumped.

Perhaps Owais Shah’s crucial 80 on the second match genuinely won the match, but other than that, English players have been quietly successful. Even Kevin Pietersen didn’t play any booming centuries. No one bowler ran through the Lankan line-up. They were hushed, but still had a force – like a girl’s burp.

England’s success has come from solid team performances. Rather like how England crushed the Australians in the rugby World Cup and knocked them out of the tournament, England’s bowling “pack” have been well organised, disciplined and good. This is a huge change from normal.

They have succeeded in a reserved way. No one wants to show off too much, they all just stuck in and did their bit. And quite right.

Most of the press seem convinced that this “resurgence” is solely down to Otis Gibson, the new bowling coach. Alan Donald and a year of improving performances account for nothing when there’s a chance for a badly researched but plausible article to write.

I put their success down to this: no Steve Harmison. I’m no statistician (although I tried, once) but I reckon England’s overall success rate has improved about a jillion percent since he decided to injure his cleavage or something. We need accurate bowlers that get wickets now. This is 21st century cricket, after all.

1 comment:

Uncle J rod said...

Otis Gibson was he a fringe player for the Windies?