Progress Report

When I started writing this blog, two years ago today, England weren't very good at one-day cricket. Little has changed. Despite some illusory indications of progress in the second half of 2007, the way in which the New Zealand series ended last Saturday carried more than a hint of the type of confusion and inadequacy which have historically been England's closest bedfellows.

Tim at Third Umpire has produced some typically succinct summaries of the players involved and I agree with most of what he says. Of the players he's more critical of I feel that Wright and Bopara are worth persisting with in the long term but they may both benefit from a bit more time in county cricket, especially Wright. Ambrose must be jettisoned (although he deserves, and will get, further chances in Test cricket), and Shah must surely climb the order. Broad's a given, and I always did like Graeme Swann.

While the story in Test cricket is a little more encouraging I think England are going to be tested to the limit by South Africa over the next couple of months, and I'm very dubious about their ability to cope. In fact, I won't be at all surprised if they get a bit of a hammering.


Jrod said...

Happy birthday.

Anonymous said...

You've been going two years and this is my first visit - I do apologise!

Anonymous said...

I dont think England is that bad. New Zealand is too good at ODIs. They have pride at stake in ODIs.

Rob said...

Ambrose's form is a bit of a mystery. I thought he played quite well in the test matches and made some important runs. He rarely made mistakes behind the wicket. Put him in a fifty over match and he looked way out of his depth. He struggled to get a run and then dropped THAT catch.

South Africa will be interesting. most people predict a drubbing. I think it will depend on how well we bowl (doesn't it always). SA have a quick attack but England do generally play well against quick bowling. I think the issue is going to be dismissing Smith, Kallis (and friends) with a bowling attack that lacks fire.

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks for all the comments.

Jrod, that's worth a link to your famous blog, which I don't seem to have got round to doing yet.

UTP, NZ are indeed a good ODI side, but that doesn't necessarily mean that England are also good. They can look good, but they've got no consistency at all.

Rob - the developing view about Ambrose seems to be that he's got a limited range of strokes (the cut, mainly) and people (well, New Zealand, as he hasn't played against anyone else yet) are starting to work him out. There's probably something in that. Re the series I think I went over the top in talking about England getting 'a hammering'. As you say, if we bowl well, we probably won't. But I'm just feeling a tad pessimistic at the moment - I'm expecting South Africa to play well but I'm only hoping England do.

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