Apologies in advance, as this is basically a rant about England, as opposed to a betting preview.
England will get another chance against a Chris Gayle-less West Indies today, and they will be hoping to improve on Friday’s rather sorry performance, in which they contrived to complete a 15 run defeat.
There were some positives, but on the whole it was another pretty inept defeat, and that of a team that really hasn’t got a clue how to win any more.
With the exception of Michael Lumb and James Tredwell, no one in England colours really covered themselves in glory. I suppose it could be said that Joe Root and Moeen Ali had reasonable performances, but they weren’t world beating.
The death bowling, and the batting in general – once the Root, Ali and Lumb had gone – looked fairly clueless. This is a relatively inexperienced England side, but the likes of Luke Wright, Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan, etc have to be doing better.
Bopara was in for nearly 8 overs, and didn’t manage a boundary with nearly 10 an over required. What was he doing, having a net? England have been waiting for some players to come good now for some time, it’s high time they delivered, or they should just go back to county cricket – permanently.
This was a match that England should have won, and they completely threw it away, not once, but twice. Following on from the Ashes, England got themselves in decent positions (when they had West Indies at 45/4) and failed to capitalise, it’s becoming way too much of a theme now.
The same pitch is to be used today, and it’s hard to make a case for England at odds on, yet again – they are a best price of 10/11 with Paddy Power (£50.00 Free Bet). The only reason for backing England is West Indies’ ability to self destruct on an equal footing with England’s, and that’s no criteria for placing a bet. If you fancy West Indies, they are a best price of 21/10 with Boylesports, so not a massive amount between the two in the betting.
I picked out Ben Stokes as a potential Man of the Match in the last match, and Stuart Broad didn’t even bowl him. So I’m not suggesting anything here, as who knows what will happen.
Broad seems to be learning on the job as captain, he hasn’t had a great start, but this is the current state of the England set up. England are going into a T20 world cup (a competition England won in 2010), with a captain still learning, and players that we don’t even know if they are international class. That’s forward planning. Well done ECB.