What a game that was. The tournament as a whole probably needed it and while I hoped for a good game, I didn’t expect it too be this good.
I thought at the halfway point that England could be in for a good thrashing, maybe even a humiliating 150 odd run defeat if the chase went really bad.
England showed great character to fight back, not just once, but twice. The initial run chase was well paced and well executed by Strauss and Bell in particular, and then when it looked like we had thrown it away, Swann, Bresnan and Shahzad showed that this team has got plenty of guts about it.
It’s amazing though, now that we have got our batsmen scoring runs the rest of our game seems to be falling apart. The fielding was an improvement on the Netherlands game, but it would have been harder for it to be any worse.
The bowling again struggled. in particular Jimmy Anderson. He is now all over the place and I think when Broad is fit again, there is a strong argument that he comes back in for Anderson.
I know it was one of those wickets where all the bowlers were always likely to go for a good few, but even taking that into consideration, Anderson’s figures were awful. It’s not just his figures either, he is supposed to be the leader of the attack, but he looks anything but at the moment.
In the end I thought a draw was probably a fair result. One one hand England should have won, but at the half way point the same could be said about India.
India would also be well justified in saying that England might not have got anywhere near the total had Ian Bell been given out lbw to Yuvraj. He had a lucky umpires reprieve in the Sydney test earlier in the year, it appears that even the umpires like watching him bat these days.
I’ve made my feelings known about the standard of Rod Tucker’s umpiring in the past, Billy Bowden needs no help dropping a clanger at times either. Between the two of them, they made a right mess of this one.
Strauss’ innings was brilliant, Bell supported him well, but he played a ridiculous shot to get out and start the collapse. Bell can’t be blamed for other players poor shots, but he seemed to throw it away after he got treated for cramp.
My predicted ‘Man of the Match’ Paul Collingwood failed with the bat again, it looked very hot out in the middle when he and Prior came together, unfortunately they couldn’t handle it. I’m sure Andy Flower would have expected better from two players who have been around long enough to know how to handle tense situations.
On reflection though, Andy Flower has plenty to think about after this match. England showed great fight, but the bowling and fielding must be a concern, particularly James Anderson.