Monday, July 20, 2009

Looking for the negatives

Well, England won. Much cheering to be had around at work, and surprising magnanimous treatment of the office’s token Australian.

Most England fans were nervous this morning, despite the near-impossible task ahead of the Australians. So, in-keeping with our natural pessimism, doubt and self-loathing, it’s important to take out all the negatives from this stonking* victory.

Arguably, the critical moment in the match came with wickets of Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen. Once England’s lower order biffed away– specifically in the confident form of Matt Prior – England reminded us that we were miles ahead. Pietersen looks a short, hobbling trot away from Knackers' Yard and Bopara would rather sprint there himself, if it evades facing Australia.

Stuart Broad also is a bit of a worry. His bowling would be good, if he batted at six, or even seven. But he doesn’t, so it isn’t.

This might be a strange time to say this, but playing Andrew Flintoff is much like losing two players. You lose a proper batsman at six, and you need a bowling all-rounder at eight to make up for Freddie’s lost runs. So much of the threat is indirectly sucked out of the team.

At the moment, Broad’s there for his runs, and against this generous Australian attack, such a safety net isn’t necessary.

But, that said, everyone one is doing an amazing job. Especially England’s secret weapons: the twelfth man and the third umpire.

*Yes. Stonking.

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