One-Day Mataram

Deconstructing the gentleman's game

Guess what... it's an English collapse again!!

When the English openers, Ian Bell and Andrew Strauss, managed to get England off to a slow and steady start against Australia at Jaipur, it seemed as though the English team had learnt a lesson from its inept batting performance against India at the same venue a few days back.

Reaching 83 without loss was creditable. In the process, they managed to make the Aussies look ragged in the field. But already by then, the Aussie bowlers seemed to have started to claw their way back into the contest. Pressure was on the English batsmen and a steady flow of runs, that they had managed in the initial stages, seemed to have dried out to a trickle. Strauss looked decidedly ragged as his favourite cross-batted strokes were just not coming off due to the slowness of the pitch. Ian Bell looked edgy and nervous as he tried forcing the pace. That led to a ill-judged shot and Bell was gone.

As Bell went, England's death knell was sounded. None of the later batsmen seemed to have the wherewithal to cope with pressure and a slow & low pitch. Pietersen, Flintoff, Strauss, the lot, were exposed as the sorry old tale of an English batting collapse unfolded once again. And for God's sake... who on earth is Yardy?! ... and what is he doing batting so high up in the order?!! He's quite rubbish!! In the end, only Collingwood managed to offer some resistance with some sensible and level-headed batting. But he simply had no support from the other end! All England could manage was a paltry 169, which seems even poor when one considers dew factor later in the evening.

I assume Australia will overhaul this total quite easily. England will be left standing with a soapy ball and the prospect of an hasty exit from the tournament! One thing that they perhaps could do is to introduce Dalrymple into the attack within the powerplay overs in order to maximize his utility as a bowler by letting him bowl with a relatively dry ball.

Ohh... and a warm birthday wish for Geoffrey Boycott!! :-)

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