Sunday, 29 March 2015

Test cricket coming soon!

Time passes quickly and since I last wrote anything on here the World cup has gone to form.  The final four teams that contested the semi-finals were South Africa, India, New Zealand and Australia with the co-hosts making it through to the final.

England as expected lost to Bangladesh and crashed out at the group stage.  The ODI game has changed dramatically in recent years and England haven’t changed with it.  Where England push singles the top teams are smashing boundaries, with our approach to the game we can only hope to be anything like competitive on home soil.

The final was an anti-climax.  NZ started shakily with the bat but progressed to 150-3 then collapsed 183 all out.  Aus won at a canter by seven wickets with 101 balls remaining.  As a passionate England supporter it’s tough watching Australia being presented with the world cup.  It was made 1000 times worse by the grovelling Englishman holding the microphone.  Mark Nicholas was nothing more than an honest county pro but has always been a sickening, plum gobbed wanker in the commentary box.

At least now we have some real cricket to look forward to.  England play a test series against the West Indies with the tests beginning in Antigua on 13th April.  This series is crucial and England must win well to gain some momentum going into the summer.  England will have their eyes on the Ashes series later in the year but before then we face New Zealand who are not to be over looked and are definitely capable of winning.
Thought for the week, Lewis Hamilton must surely be a multi-millionaire so why can’t he get himself a hat that actually fits?

News this week was dominated by the pilot that deliberately crashed a plane full of people.  Shocking, tragic & senseless.  Strikes me as an adult version of taking a gun to school.  Oh apparently there’s some political bollocks beginning soon.

I found an Ian Rankin title that I hadn’t read so bought it assuming it would be a Rebus novel.  It wasn’t, I was disappointed for a second but remembered reading other ‘non Rebus’ books that were bloody good.  “Bleeding Hearts” tells of an assassin who you can’t help liking.  After a hit Michael Weston (or is it?) feels he’s been set up and back tracks to find out what happened.  With enemies closing in on all sides he doesn’t realise just how set up he has been!  It’s a pretty good thriller and I enjoyed it but not as gripping as you know who.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Just not good enough

Saturday evening saw England take on Sri Lanka in the latest world cup match and for once I was able to sit down and watch part of the game.  Had I known how frustrating this experience would be I wouldn't have bothered.  Mathews captained his side well and his bowlers kept to plan. England posted a reasonable total of 309-6 built around Joe Root's 121 but I went to bed in the certain knowledge that this would not be enough runs. And so it proved, Sri Lanka cantered to a 9 wicket win with Thirimanne and the brilliant Sangakkara both making centuries.

It's time to face the facts.  The top ODI teams are playing a different game now and England have been left miles behind.  The plain facts are where England are pushing singles the likes of Australia, New Zealand, India & South Africa are clubbing boundaries.  England's innings stuttered along without any momentum and whereas 309 would have been considered a decent score once upon a time, nowadays it is 30 runs short.

The daft thing is England still have a chance of going on to the next stage of the competition with a win of Afghanistan, despite losing three games without even being competitive.  It would take an absolute miracle for England to make any meaningful contribution to this tournament thereafter.  England have gone into this World cup without the first clue of what their best team is, with a strategy that is a decade out of date and with a fear of failure rather than confidence in their abilities.  Moeen Ali and Gary Balance aren't up to the task right now, Bell seems to be feeling the responsibility of his senior position in the side and Morgan is not producing the goods.  Our bowlers look toothless compared to the attacks of the other leading side.  Lurking in the shadows is the KPego.  We don't want him back but we could hardly be worse if he was.

Peter Moores has been in charge of England for around a year now and has had indifferent results, just like he did in his first tenure as coach.  Is Moores unlucky to get the job at difficult times?  Or is he simply not up to it?