England made a whole big pile of mistakes today.
(1) The team.
(1a) Ravi Bopare: Nasser Hussain (bless him) loves Ravi Bopbop and even he said it was a daft selection. He is hopelessly out of form, out of confidence, and has a worryingly deep pit in the centre of his chin.
(1b) Jade Dernbach: The Dirtbag has everything. Genuine pace, good variations, yorkers, slower balls, even a good bouncer. For some reason he has been hittable all tournament. I don’t quite know why. But suddenly bringing him back was odd.
(1c) Tim Bresnan: Bressie lad’s experience would have been ideal for a crunch game. So, with a team of inexperienced players, the only sensible thing was to drop him.
(1d) Danny Briggs: Twiggs opened the bowling and did well each time. In fact, each game he played in, England won. He’s young, with a cool head, and has a lot of T20 experience. Best drop him too.
(2) The toss. On a tired pitch, one where he knew what a good score was, where pressure batting 2nd was more than likely to tell, Broad won the toss and chose to bowl. Gimp.
(3) Mitts. We couldn’t catch a sodding cold. Swanny’s drop at slip was terrible. For some reason the TV folk said it was a sharp chance. Bollocks. the ball looped, at medium speed, of the shoulder of the bat, straight to Graeme who mistimed his jump, and got only his finger tips to the ball. If he wasn’t so busy being embarrassed he might have had a chance at taking the rebound.
(3a) Mitts: Jonny Bairstow is now flagged in my mind as “not a ‘keeper”. I have always been a fan of selecting a “proper” gloveman, thinking that his skill by brining an extra wicket may well make more difference than an extra few runs. the other point here is that Bairstow is a fantastic out-fielder, so putting him behind the sticks double-weakens England.
(3b) Samit Patel: His bowling is normally pretty good; but if he gets tonked in one over and you have another option, then Broad was a prick for not using it. Even if it was Ravioli.
(4) Bats: Hello Malinga. I know you, you’re the chap who bowls full and straight. Quite handy you are too. But I play for England. I can do what the heck I like. Gimp. Gimp. Gimp. Gimp for 3, in fact.
(4a) Morgan never got going, the middle order collapsed. Samit held his nerve. Swann tried to make amends. Too much damage was done early on.
All in all, it didn’t make great viewing, and to be fair, with most of these mistakes being utterly self-inflicted, England didn’t deserve to win. The west Indies though, they are pretty lucky. They played poorly all day and some how got home against the Kiwis.
My heart wants Sri Lanka to win, but my head says Australia will. I can see Australia getting hammered though, their batting line-up pre-tournament-proper was frail, and has been for some time. Twatto, Warner, and Mussey can’t keep doing it all. If they fail, their world could come crashing down; but from where I’m sat, they seem lucky. All of this means that Pakistan will win – their bowling attack is probably the best, and by a distance. The trouble is that they can’t normally catch of field, though their effort and enthusiasm have been great so far. Which means India will now win. And if they do, there will be only one reason: Kohli.