Yet again Paul Collingwood has presided over an English cricketing disaster. The defeat at the hands of Holland on Friday night could have already put England out of this tournament – on the first day! The arrogance shown towards the Dutch by whoever took the decision – Andy Flower, Collingwood, etc – was astounding.
About Pietersen, Collingwood said “We hope he’ll be fit for Sunday, but we’re obviously not going to take any major risks, simple as that. He’s involved in a big year ahead of us, but this is a must-win game on Sunday, and if he’s fit he’s playing.” What more proof do we need that their minds are on the Ashes and the Ashes only. They obviously haven’t learnt from their tour of West Indies.
Would Pietersen have played if it where an Ashes fixture or the Twenty20 Final? You decide. Yet again England seem to have turned up with their minds on other supposedly bigger and better things and took their eye of what was in front of them.
Before we get to the individual mistakes lets look at the team selection. Why were big hitters Graham Napier and Dimitri Mascarenhas left out of the team? With the exception of one Ravi Bopara innings, Mascarenhas is the only other English cricketer to have made an impact of any note in the IPL – the highest level of T20 cricket played in the World, with both bat and ball as well – yet he is constantly over-looked for One Day cricket by England.
Who is the brains of the England outfit who dosen’t rate Mascarenhas good enough for a starting place out of the players in this squad? Who was happy for England to have a middle order of Key, Morgan, and Foster with no big hitters, to leave out Mascarenhas was in my opinion a massive mistake. On a personal note I’m not a massive Napier fan, I believe he has got picked on the back of one innings only in last seasons domestic T20 so I show no bias in these comments, but even he might have been a better middle order prospect than what the England think tank gave us.
Then we have the stat of just 14 boundaries in 20 overs! After the opening partnership the batting was a mess, poor shot selection again with batsmen chucking their wickets away – I’m well aware that you have to take risks in this form of cricket but Collingwood and Morgan got out to nothing shots. Five wickets outstanding at the end of the English innings and barely a boundary hit in the last 8 overs, great tactics!
Then we come to Broad’s last over. I’m not trying to single him out but between himself and Foster they missed four run outs in the last over alone, and there was a dropped catch in there as well.
Yet again no one alert enough in the field to back up at the bowlers end on the last ball with a 1 run needed to go to a six ball shoot-out, after the New Zealand last ball run out debacle last year will England ever learn? The ball dropped five yards from the bat and they manage to run 2, what is going on? Apart from all that it was actually a well bowled over.
After blowing the away series in West Indies and putting further participation in this tournament at risk already with worrying about the Ashes it might be advisable for England to try make up for things by winning them back.
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