Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Forcing form

England’s line-up has consisted of a number of figures that justify their position purely for reasons of stability and consistency for the broader team.

Ravi Bopara, not only has he suffered from the premature spotlight that comes with over-promotion, but retains his place only because of the wider desire not to upset the batting order.

Graeme Swann, although feisty in the field, and with the bat, has also underperformed. Until Headingley, Stuart Broad was a liability with the ball.

There are mixed lessons for the England management. It has taken three Ashes tests before Broad performed. And all four have been scotched as far as Bopara and Swann are concerned.

But, there is this assumption that stability breeds success: That a settled side has the confidence as a functioning unit to think about the long term.

Underlying this, is a second assumption, that this team unity will pull flaggers upwards and convert stragglers into battlers.

The depleting effects and resentment that comes with carrying passengers aside, on the basis of the evidence of this series, there is little evidence to suppose that this thesis is correct.

Of course it is true, and no one wants to return to the disastrous chop and change strategy of yore, there is a balance to strike.

Continual failure after the opposition has worked you out, can worsen your prospects if you don’t have the character to fight back with continued exposure.

In any case, England have dug themselves into a hole now. So blatant is the batting order’s weaknesses, is that some form of panic button pressing is inevitable.

Confidence from the top to the bottom is so shot that new blood is vital to fight back. Otherwise, the fragile line-up of goons that England has constructed will implode again.

1 comment:

Susana said...

you wrote that at 9:30 in the morning...?