Shabby England

I was critical of England after the 1st ODI, I thought that maybe I was being a bit harsh on them as they have had a great series to date. After seeing what happened in Hobart earlier I see that it wasn’t just a blip last week, that England need to up their game or risk ending this tour with a confidence sapping series defeat.

England weren’t just beat on Friday, they were thrashed in my view. It was a shabby, disjointed, weary looking performance. If England want to be regarded as the best side in the world, then you can’t just switch off after the test series is finished.

The positive side is that the bowlers did ok and with James Anderson returning for the 4th game they will be refreshed more.

But the batting let England down. Although they got a massive score in the 1st ODI, I think it is widely acknowledged that they should have got more. Plenty of top order wickets were needlessly thrown away.

The same problem surfaced again in Hobart on Friday. Strauss, Trott and Bell all got starts and failed. Prior and Pietersen both fell early in their innings, but from time to time that happens in ODI’s.

I’m no knocker of Ian Bell, in fact as a Warwickshire man I’m a biased fan of his. But it’s high time he played a match winning innings, he keeps coming to the wicket, looking great, but not playing a match defining or match winning innings.

To an extent Morgan threw his wicket away as well. But the top order aren’t setting the game up for him, they are leaving him with too much to do. When he came to the wicket the score was 83/4.

Shortly after when Bell chucked his wicket away it was 96/5 and England still required 135 runs to win with Morgan batting with the tail. He must have thought ‘here we go again, I’m expected to get us home with the bowlers.’

Leave him 50 to 60 at a run a ball with the tail and I’m sure more often than not he will get us home, but over 100 is just asking too much of him. It’s like we are depending on him too much these days.

Another problem England have is how to freshen the batting up. While the bowlers have the eager to impress Chris Woakes and the returning James Anderson to freshen things up, the batsmen have an out of form Luke Wright and the confidence shot Paul Collingwood in reserve. It isn’t ideal preparation for the world cup.

I suppose Steven Davies is still there, but I doubt he is in the greatest frame of mind after the kick in the guts he has suffered.

While we may have won the Ashes, this series isn’t just an end of tour thrash around, it needs to be taken seriously. There was a chance to hammer Australia into the ground here, there is also a chance to hit the world cup with some sort of form. At least we haven’t peaked too early for the world cup, haha.

But speaking as an England fan who has watched his country get thrashed by Australia so ofter, first get beat in one format and then humiliated in the other – this is our chance of revenge, so come on England pull your fingers out and lets get back on track in Sydney.