When I got back from a weekend away yesterday at 2.35, I turned on the TV in the expectation of a whole afternoon and evening's cricket. Herschelle Gibbs had just been dismissed but there didn't seem to be any reason at that stage to believe that things would turn out as they did.
It was England's most comprehensive and efficient ODI win against a major side since who knows when, but, well though they bowled and batted, some account must be taken of the fact that South Africa, so disciplined and purposeful in the early part of the Test series, don't seem to have been at the races since Edgbaston.
The next thing I know, the game's nearly over, I've got the radio commentary on in the kitchen and Henry Blofeld is rambling on (does he ever do anything else?) about England's chances in next summer's Ashes series, what has made Pietersen such a successful captain, etc., etc. If you allowed yourself to get carried away you could find yourself thinking that England had found the Holy Grail of Cricket in KP, the glorious leader who will take them on to the sunlit uplands of unprecedented success.
Well, just for the moment, I'm not quite buying it. While Pietersen's captaincy record currently stands at played 3, won 3, and he seems to be shaping up really well in terms of both his onfield and off-field influence, one thing I know from too many years of following the England cricket team, especially in one-day cricket, is that if you ever allow yourself to think things are going right they'll very quickly go wrong.
Which is not, of course, to say they will; but let's see where we stand next spring.
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