England's failings

It's a post-mortem, even though we're barely half-way through the series. What a triumph!

Neither of England's openers, Strauss and Cook, produced anything of note for the first two matches of this series. That England's middle order of Bell, Collingwood and Pietersen acquitted themselves well is consequently all the more admirable, but a Test side can't afford to sacrifice two of its best batsmen for so few runs.

Particularly when you take into account the catastrophe that is England's lower middle-order. Flintoff doesn't actually look like a batsman at present. Perhaps he was short of match practice. Perhaps he's struggled with Australian conditions, which are relatively new to him. Either way, you didn't necessarily anticipate runs on his arrival at the crease.

The same goes for Geraint Jones, only more so. This is a cricketer in freefall. He knew he wasn't the tour selectors' first choice and was doubtless wary of being seen as a Fletcher pet. Having grown up batting on Australian pitches, surely his failures in familiar conditions should be all the proof that is needed to drop him. It just hasn't been happening for him. It doesn't seem likely that it will.

Ashley Giles had barely played cricket in an age. He was never a world-beater prior to this. Everyone's saying what a mistake it was to pick him. We don't disagree. He never looked like taking wickets. England may as well have selected another batsman and called on Pietersen, Collingwood and Bell with the ball. The difference in the standard of England's bowling attack would have been negligible.

While Matthew Hoggard should be exempt from criticism, he needed more support from his fellow bowlers. Steve Harmison was a liability early on, for whatever reason. He was yet another player being carried by the rest of the side. Ultimately, there were too few players carrying too many.

James Anderson bowled steadily but really provided little. he was another player, along with Giles and, if you think about it, Flintoff, who really didn't have enough matches under his belt.

Australia had failings too, of course, but this was one place where England out-scored them.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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Blogger omarhaq said...

tough loss mate

though in your post mortem, you neglected to mention saj mahmood being ignored - i was wondering what your thoughts were on that?

i was not impressed with the captaincy. one must queston flintoffs acumen in his under utilzation of saj.

plus it is rumored that flintoff was behind panesar and mahmood's initial exclusion from the squad.

i think captaincy has played a large role in this series. strauss, in my opinion, was tactically a better choice

6:19 pm  
Anonymous Blue and Brown said...

Sorry for the delay in responding, Omar. Don't know if you'll read this.

As far as our thoughts about the woeful under-utilisation of Sajid Mahmood go - we don't know what was going on there.

Hope that's cleared things up.

10:13 am  

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