Crash Hot

With the international season over and much of the country under water, now seems like a good time to take stock of where England stand.

As most of us have observed over the last few weeks, things are obviously looking a lot better than they were, but you only have to go back to the conclusion of the Edgbaston Test on 2nd August for a time when the future looked a good deal more bleak. And the present wasn't all that crash hot either.

Allowing for what's happened since, I think a little caution is in order, as Pietersen's England are, and will remain for some time, a work in progress, but, as a few people seem to have noticed, Pietersen suddenly looks right for the team and they look right for him. Why?

I think that team success depends a lot on finding the right captain for the stage a team's reached in its development. When Nasser Hussain took over in 1999 England had been one of the poorest sides in the world for years; in partnership with Duncan Fletcher he restored the team's respectability and left it ripe to be taken over and brought to fruition by Michael Vaughan in the years following 2003. Where Hussain was confrontational, Vaughan - at least on the surface - was consensual. With Hussain having dragged the team kicking and screaming to the surface, it required a fresh - and more tactically adept - approach to bring them fully into the light.

Now, with England having stagnated and declined since the Ashes were won in 2005, a fresh approach was required again, and Pietersen's exuberance and confidence, much of which appears to have infected his players, has appeared to be just what they need. Throw in his un-English ability to defy convention and accentuate the positive over the negative, and you have a recipe for success, at least in the short term.

The challenge now is to keep the momentum going. For what it's worth, we'll find out if they can in Antigua in late October.

No comments:

Subscribe in a reader