England achieve slow simmer

They're at the sort of temperature at which you cook a stew. It's not quite at the boil, but at least there's pans and heat involved, which didn't seem likely as recently as yesterday.

In their joke warm-up match against New South Wales, they took a few more wickets for not many runs in the morning and then toddled along to 256-4, which is nice and solid. Kevin Pietersen is on 80 not out, which is a welcome return to runs for a man who's never mentioned in the discussions about dropping middle-order batsmen, but yet who averages roughly the same as those who are.

Andy Flintoff's 48 not out, which is similarly reassuring. Any cynics who are suggesting that New South Wales' international bowlers are lulling England's batsmen into a false sense of security are seriously misunderstanding the Australian sporting psyche. Australians want to crush the English without mercy. It's as simple as that.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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