No Great Surprise

It wasn’t a massive shock to me to see England go crashing out of the World T20 on Monday, to be honest I believe it was the culmination of a sustained period of shoddy management and a lack of joined up thinking.

Any regular readers of this blog will know that for a few weeks now I have had a bee in my bonnet about the lack of leadership and poor decision making that I believe has been taking place for some time now.

I’m not going to go over the top and hammer the players for what has happened, as I think they are (on the whole) a decent, inexperienced bunch of talented blokes, some of whom have a decent future within the game.

What I am annoyed about is the lack of joined up thinking over the past 12-18 with this T20 side, and the management in general.

Who exactly is England’s strongest T20 XI at the moment? With the exception of Broad, Finn, Swann and Morgan, I am struggling to think of another player who has a spot nailed down in this side.

Compare this to the XI who won 2 years ago, of which I can name 10 of the players off the top of my head.

For a few years the 50 Over side seemed to be the ‘let’s have a look at him and see if he has test potential’ team, now it appears to have moved onto the T20 side.

This side seems to have had no level of consistency with selection lately. Where have all the experienced guys gone? This team is way too inexperienced for one, I have no problem with chucking youngsters in, but not a whole host of them in one go.

Craig Kieswetter has been asking to get dropped from the limited overs’ sides for about 12-18 months now, so England leave it until the ‘do or die’ game to do it. And then throw Jonny Bairstow in at the deep end with the gloves!

The batting was too inexperienced and hasn’t played enough games at this level. Where have the likes of Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler had the chance to face the likes of Malinga before?

You can’t chuck young blokes with no experience in against world class performers like this in a world cup and expect them to succeed, it’s ridiculous. They had no chance, it’s totally unfair on them in my view.

And the ECB’s stance on the IPL, where these guys could perhaps gain some experience? Don’t mention it!

I’m no fan of IPL, and it’s been proven that your players don’t have to play there to win a World T20, but your players do need some experience of facing this class of cricketer.

At the moment England have discarded too many of the players with experience, and for that, I blame the management.

In a further twist of management failings, I see that Kevin Pietersen is now expected to be welcomed back into the England fold sometime this week.

At last!!

Maybe some light will now be shed on what the delay has been to all this, if I don’t hear any explanation, then I’m going to assume that it is down to the management not sorting it out quick enough. The same management that allowed this situation to develop.

I heard Ryan Sidebottom talking on the radio this morning, it was quite interesting what he had to say. He pointed out that for the sake of the England cricket team, the Pietersen situation needed to be resolved. Agreed!

He then went on to say that not one player he has spoken too would turn down the chance to play in the IPL. It did strike me as slightly ironic that this whole situation seems to have arisen out of one players desire to play IPL, but yet the rest of the squad (some of whom are supposed to be anti Pietersen for some reason) would jump at the chance if offered it.

I’m well aware that Bopara and Broad, and possibly others have turned down the chance. But I think the point that Sidebottom was making was that the majority would gladly go there if offered.

I think it’s pretty clear by now that I think that the England management have to up their game somewhat. They have again allowed English cricket to slip from the top of the tree, as opposed to building on it. We didn’t even manage to consolidate our position.

I do hope that when Pietersen is given his contract and they have all kissed and made up, that a bit of common sense is arrived at and he is added to the India touring party.

Let’s see what happens.