Wednesday, 29 May 2013
For a modern example of a good result apparently justifying no end of foolishness, I refer you to two dogged but somewhat unimaginative cricket professionals, Coach Flower and Captain Cook.
'The result completely vindicates the tactics' they waffled. 'We've won by over 200 runs, what is there to complain about?'
Let me tell you, then. First, one of the rules of professional sport is to press home your advantage. Did you do so? No.
Second, there is such a thing as the Met Office and they are not always numpties. Short-term forecasting is better now than it has ever been. 'A good chance of persistent rain tomorrow' is, er, a good chance.
Always enforce a follow on when you have bowled out a side in less than 50 overs; you will not be draining your bowlers of energy for the rest of the summer, particularly if you have a spinner to operate from one end enabling you to rotate the quicks. If you HAVE to bat again, see off the new ball and then get stuck in. Don't play for your average or for a century when quick runs are needed. And when you bowl at a team needing a world record score to win, don't be defensive in the field. Only one slip and sweepers on the boundary? Give me strength!
Flower and Cook's strategy was wrong from the moment that England bowled out NZ in the first innings. Cook's initial quick runs in the second innings were rendered far less valuable when he and Trott batted like Barnacle Bill Bailey trying to save a test match in the 1960s. It is hard to recall so stark an instance of giving up the upper hand, given the poor weather forecast.
Australia are already here in this country and they would have been watching. They might have been given a reminder of our toughness, as well as our talent. Instead, they saw a weakness. 'Mate' (they would have said to one another) 'these guys are pussies when it comes to knocking the opponent out'.
Get a grip, England management. And then don't let go. Simple.
création d' idle at 5:09 pm